I have heard that you know when the time is right – and it’s true. After almost a year of thoughtful and emotional consideration, I have made the difficult decision to retire and have asked the Board officers to begin the process to find ASTM International’s next president. Having spent almost 40 years with an organization that has become my passion and a community that has become my family, I told our Board Chair, Bill Ells, that I do not have a definitive retirement date in mind.
For me, I will retire once the search process is brought to a successful conclusion and a smooth transition has occurred. So I look forward to more work and fun in the months that remain.
As you can imagine, I have looked both over my shoulder and ahead as I journeyed to this decision. I feel incredibly blessed because as I reflect, I know that in a heartbeat I would do it all again if given the opportunity. I had no idea when I joined the organization in 1984 that I would find the most rewarding job that never felt like a job at all; the ability to work with others to truly make a positive impact in our world; and a community of people that I love who have inspired and supported me through life’s twists and turns.
I spent the bulk of my career in the Technical Committee Operations Division, and I developed such a respect and admiration for the work of the ASTM membership. Being with our members at meetings energized me and taught me what ASTM was all about. They truly are at the heart of ASTM. I have literally grown up with many of our members and I treasure the long-lasting friendships that have been made. I have had the chance to work with such a variety of industry sectors, which was always fascinating. ASTM is so dynamic, evolving with its environment so that “new” was always on the menu. I had the opportunity to travel around the world, see many cities, and experience different cultures thanks to ASTM. While the hotels blur a bit from city to city, I will always remember the people, ASTM’s most precious asset.
ASTM is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year. It has been quite the celebration, and it has been a joy to share it with all of you. Many of our staff gathered at ASTM Headquarters last month for a week of meetings and events to connect and celebrate. It was a dream I had to bring a global staff together and I’m thrilled to have seen it come to fruition. The ASTM staff, past and present, are the most dedicated and professional group of individuals. It has been my honor to support them, especially over the past seven years as president.
I mentioned earlier looking ahead. For me, that will be more time at home with my family. For ASTM, the future is full of promise and opportunity. The organization is well positioned to fulfill its mission and to further grow its relevance and service to a world that relies on us.
We welcome, we collaborate, we innovate, we serve, and we believe. These values make ASTM special. These values permeate the work of this organization and its people. These values provided me with the ride of a lifetime. And I’m forever grateful. ■
Katharine E. Morgan
President, ASTM International