Report on the April 2015 Meeting of the ASTM Board
(Front row) Mary C. McKiel (past chairman), Nabil A.A. Molla, Christina A. Lomasney, Scott A. Colburn, Jun Sasaki, Franceen Gonzales, Claudia V. Kropas-Hughes; (middle row) Robin E. Graves, Daniel S. Janikowski, Jeffrey S. Goldfinger, Thomas A. Schwartz (past chairman), James A. Thomas (president), Ronald J. Ebelhar (chairman), Ralph M. Paroli (vice chairman), D. Thomas Marsh (vice chairman), James J. Simnick, Brent Stucker; (back row) Steve D. Sandstrum, Lawrence D. Carbary, Bertrand Morel, Richard A. Peri, Taco van der Maten, Dale F. Bohn, Andrew G. Kireta, Jr., John R. Logar.
ASTM International's board of directors last met April 20-22 at ASTM International headquarters in West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. Following is a summary of reports made and actions taken at those meetings. For further details on any of these topics, contact ASTM President James A. Thomas (tel: +1.610.832.9598; email@example.com).
Innovation and Partnerships
Brian Meincke, assistant vice president of business development, and John Pace, vice president of publications and marketing, reported on emerging partnerships and innovations in both the development and dissemination of ASTM standards and related services.
Meincke discussed his ongoing work in creating partnerships that will help ASTM provide business and industry with not only the standards they need, but related training, certification and other services. Meincke pointed out the involvement of ASTM staff and members on key industry advisory groups, standards coordination activities, the development of industry memorandums of understanding, and new and potential ASTM technical committees and certification programs.
Pace described multilingual and other developments in the Compass® customer platform and plans for an improved Directory of Testing Laboratories. He showed a working prototype of transclusion, a content management system that will allow users to customize standards content from a variety of sources.
Global Government and Industry Relations
Jeffrey Grove, vice president of global policy and industry affairs, gave a report on initiatives of the Washington, D.C., staff that support our mission and strategic objectives, including federal legislative and regulatory matters, engagement in trade and global regulatory forums, and outreach to business and trade associations.
Teresa Cendrowska, vice president of global cooperation, reported on our Memorandum of Understanding program and MOU partner training initiatives, outreach activities in Asia and the Middle East, partnership opportunities funded through the U.S. Department of Commerce Market Development Cooperator Program in the Middle East, and a U.S. Agency for International Development Standards Alliance program that will include ASTM MOU partners. Cendrowska also noted that Maria Isabel Barrios recently began working as our Latin America representative, and mentioned recent economic and constitutional reforms and stakeholder requests that have led to positive discussions with the national standards body in Mexico regarding their recognition and referencing of ASTM standards.
In addition to Cendrowska's report involving Asia and Latin America, where ASTM has offices, reports were heard from other offices. Diane Thompson, who manages ASTM's Canada office, reported on outreach meetings she has conducted to promote awareness and increase business, industry and government agency participation in ASTM. Thompson also mentioned that the ASTM strategic plan for Canada is being updated to reflect a focus on top priority sectors such as consumer products, the environment, transportation and other specific Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council interests.
Finally, Grove discussed the activities of ASTM's Office of EU Affairs in Brussels, including discussions with European standards organizations about potential opportunities for cooperation in standards matters, his participation in a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event addressing standards issues that are part of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations, and the appointment of himself and Sara Gobbi (ASTM's European representative) to a United Nations Working Party on Standards that is making recommendations to the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade Committee on the use of international standards in legislation and technical regulations.
Positioning and Opportunities
The agenda of this meeting included time for presentations from the board's non-United States members to talk about our position and opportunities in the global market. Ralph Paroli (board vice chairman, of Canada), Nabil A.A. Molla (Saudi Arabia), Jun Sasaki (Japan), Taco van der Maten (Netherlands) and Bertrand Morel (France) each spoke about how ASTM is accepted and perceived in their respective region or industry sector; political, regional or industry-specific barriers to the application and use of ASTM standards; and ways of strengthening our global position. The board took the opportunity to explore these issues in depth during lengthy discussions after each presentation and staff agreed to follow up on the suggestions made during discussions.
Nathan Osburn, director of corporate communications, reported on initiatives in his department, including the rebranding of Standardization News and the monthly eNews member newsletter, and other recently developed promotional collateral. He also reported on our growing social media presence, other completed rebranding initiatives, recent media references and a planned strategic communications campaign on smart manufacturing.
James Olshefsky, director of external relations, highlighted several components of ASTM's ongoing outreach to students and professors in science, business, technology and engineering. Among them were ASTM's International Graduate Scholarship program, which will be presented this year to up to three graduate students; this year's Washington Internships for Students of Engineering program, for which ASTM is again sponsoring a student; the rebranding and updating of our Professor's Tool Kit; the Emerging Professionals program piloted at the June 2015 Committee Week (also see the Next Gen column); and a standards-related workshop, funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, that will be conducted at ASTM headquarters this summer with graduate students from Drexel University.
Actions of the Board
In addition to basic procedural votes, the board took the following actions:
- Approved the 2014 audit report, year-end financial statements, charitable contributions made by ASTM, minor revisions to the Resolutions Pertaining to Financial Matters and pension fund contributions.
- Approved inclusion of the new ASTM International "Responsibilities of Membership" document in the Regulations Governing ASTM Technical Committees. The new guidance is included as nonmandatory information and can be found in Appendix B of the Regulations.
- Approved Colin B. Church and James L. Seay as recipients of the 2015 Cavanaugh Award. The award commemorates William T. Cavanaugh, chief executive officer of ASTM from 1970 to 1985. Church is voluntary standards coordinator, Office of Hazard Identification and Reduction, at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in Bethesda, Maryland. He was cited for his extraordinary contributions to the safety of citizens worldwide through the development, promotion, harmonization and adoption of ASTM consumer product standards. Seay is president of Premier Rides Inc., Baltimore, Maryland. According to his citation, because of his efforts, Committee F24 on Amusement Rides and Devices maintains a strong international membership; his contributions have also helped promote their responsive development of standards for newer attractions such as ziplines and trampoline parks. Biographies of the award winners will appear in the September/October issue of SN.