Bookmark and Share
Standardization News Search
Plain Talk for a New Generation
We're Committed

Some see ASTM as a place where standards development is easy and open, a place where technology reduces obstacles, where professionalism and efficiency are elevated to an art. Some see it as a well-oiled standards machine, where limitations are related only to one’s own level of commitment. Some see it as the epitome of opportunity, the embodiment of the free market spirit, an engine that drives science and technology into the economy.

These are perspectives gained by experience. People with these perspectives are people who know us. They’ve been here. They’ve tried it and it works for them. They’ve achieved success in the marketplace because they’ve done their standards work here. They’ve met their agencies’ goals because they’ve done their standards work here. Their products are safer and their own standards of excellence are higher because they’ve done their standards work here.

But let’s look at ASTM another way for a moment, from a different perspective. ASTM is more than a standards developing organization with a satisfied family of participants. It’s a standards organization of the new millennium. The marketplace is global and the standards family is extended. ASTM is a citizen of the world standards community. It must deal with principles surrounding obstacles to trade and conflicting viewpoints of international stakeholders. Standardization in a global setting is fraught with complicated and difficult aspects. ASTM, however, is not without experience here. For years, it has sent its emissaries to far lands, reached out to other countries, other governments, and other standards organizations. Publishing in languages other than English and collaborative distribution arrangements with other national standards organizations are just two examples of how ASTM has moved outward and expanded its horizons.

International membership has increased significantly, as well as international sales. We have been aware for some time, however, that ASTM needed an institutional response to its global responsibilities.

To that end, ASTM is now proud to announce the creation of a new senior staff position: vice president–global cooperation; and I personally am pleased to announce that Ms. Kitty Kono, ASTM’s Washington Representative, has been appointed to fill this new position. Kitty Kono is well known to readers of SN as its former editor in chief. She is also well known to ASTM members and its Board of Directors as a former staff manager and the former executive director of ASTM’s Institute for Standards Research. She has become, and will remain, a trusted colleague to our associates in government and government relations. She will be a fine ambassador to the global standards community.

Through its new vice president, ASTM will continue to build on its relationships with colleagues abroad, enhance them, open new dialogues, share its viewpoints, and increasingly understand and honor the viewpoints of others. By the same token, ASTM will inevitably become more accessible, open, and global in outlook and in membership, a better working partner and a truer citizen of the world standards community.

Best wishes, Kitty, and bon voyage.

James A. Thomas
President, ASTM

Kitty Kono, now the vice president of global cooperation, is new only to this particular position in ASTM. Many members of both the Society and the world standards community are familiar with Kono from her many years of valuable service on our staff.

Kono joined ASTM in 1975 as a secretary in the Developmental Operations division, and in just over a year had risen to become an assistant manager. In 1980, she took on the responsibilities of staff manager, serving committees such as D10 on Packaging, E18 on Sensory Evaluation, and E12 on Appearance. Kono became editor in chief of this magazine in 1982, a position she held for six years.

When ASTM formed the Institute for Standards Research in 1988 as a subsidiary charged with assisting ASTM committees in funding and carrying out standards-related research, Kono took the helm of that organization, serving as its manager, director, and executive director over time.

In 1996, Kono left ISR and expanded her sphere of influence in the standards world by representing ASTM in Washington, D.C. In that position, she forwarded ASTM’s interests and forged positive relationships with the many agency representatives, congressional staff, and elected officials involved in standards development policy in the United States.

Kono is a graduate of Hollins College with a B.A. in psychology. ASTM staff is pleased to congratulate Kitty as she takes on international responsibilities for the Society. //

Copyright 2001, ASTM

James Thomas President, ASTM

E-mail your comments to:

Jim Thomas
(Please specify if you would like your letter published in SN’s Letters section.)

Go to other Plain Talk for a New Generation articles.