14 December 2018
With the Thanksgiving holiday celebrated last month, I want to take the time to reflect upon giving thanks for the days that have passed, and also express optimism as we look ahead at what is to come. Our fast-paced lives sometimes need a holiday to allow us the time and breathing room to re-center and reflect on the simple things that have brought us to where we are. We do not succeed and move forward in a vacuum. Our industry requires each of us to have an uncommon attention to detail and sometimes spend extensive time away from the people we care about most. (Know that when I say “we,” I am also including the ASNT International Service Center [ISC] staff that commits long days and travel to maintain the infrastructure of the operations, programs, and volunteer/member support for our ASNT enterprise.) Having people in our lives that are able to help maintain a healthy balance so we can stay focused and ever present on our mission is the lynchpin to easing our stress. The support of our family, friends, and coworkers plays a vital role in our outlook and rate of achievement toward our goals. Even if you do not have a significant other or children in your home, you are likely able to look around and see the impact and inspiration of those who love you and have championed your accomplishments around you. Recognizing the holiday with a meal satiates us for a few hours, but recognizing people with your words and affection is lasting and certainly more satisfying.
We have all weathered 2018’s many seasons of change—industry, political, and economic highs, lows, and, quite frankly, many moments of “I don’t knows.” Change happens. Sometimes it is for the good and sometimes for the bad, and other times just to hold the line, but lately it seems constant. Change occurs whether we are ready or not and, by its very nature, is most times out of our control. Some great achievements in 2018 were brought about by change when we ventured into new areas, dared to pioneer, and invested in the future: the first Gulf Nondestructive Testing Expo in the United Arab Emirates organized by the United Arab Emirates Section of ASNT, the great progress towards the spring launch of the new ACCP program, and the increased momentum behind the development of the ASNT Industry Sector Qualification – Oil & Gas. This industry sector specific initiative standardizes the qualifications and respective demonstration of performance competency. Of special mention was the hosting of Kota Kubo from the Japanese Society for Nondestructive Inspection (JSNDI) as an intern for one month. The spirit of knowledge sharing and deepening the organizational relationship between our two societies has provided an opportunity for the staff at ISC as well as a number of volunteers to share in an intercultural exchange, providing a new perspective for many. Great outcomes await us when we choose optimism and activities that uplift our circumstance and those of others. Hopefully we all slow down and are able to appreciate and recognize those moments of opportunity.
Each year brings a change in the representative voices on the board. We know that although there will be new energy and points of view at the table, a single imperative will guide their charge—creating a safer world by advancing scientific, engineering, and technical knowledge in the field of nondestructive testing, our mission. At the 2018 ASNT Annual Conference, the 2018–2019 board for ASNT was installed. The ASNT board is committed to maintaining the organization’s integrity and relevance for members and the NDT industry alike while ensuring ASNT’s agility and preparedness to remain the preeminent society for NDT professionals and stakeholders throughout 2019 and beyond.
Our compassion and resolve to understand the issues that challenge both us and our neighbors are what elevates our lives from “existing” to “experiencing.” Deciding our response to change is everything. The fact that we are in this moment and able to reflect on the past is remarkable. As I said earlier, each of us has an opportunity to be the change we want to see in the world. So as we give thanks for our journey to today, let us also plan for the awesome possibility of tomorrow. We cannot predict the future with certainty, but we can make sure our steps are guided by our moral and ethical compasses and gaited by our character.
I extend to all of you a sincere wish for a warm holiday season filled with the joy and good tidings of fellowshipping with friends and building memories with family.
As always, do not hesitate to reach out to me with comments, questions, or concerns.
ASNT Executive Director