Bound by a Common Cause

The month of December is often a time in which we gather with family members far and wide in the spirit of the holidays, reflecting on the past year, and celebrating the arrival of another. At our 75th Annual Conference in Long Beach at the end of October, ASNT Past President Chuck Hellier delivered a plenary address that highlighted the lives and accomplishments of some of the most influential members of ASNT: Philip Johnson, Robert “Bob” McMaster, and Samuel Wenk. Far from a simple historical lecture, Chuck painted a rich picture of three men that he knew personally, cele-brating them as friends, as leaders, and, emotionally, as family.

As the room, rapt with attention, applauded Chuck in encouragement for his genuine display of feelings as he discussed Wenk’s battle with cancer, it was never clearer that ASNT is more than a professional organization; it is a family. Since the days of Philip Johnson, Bob McMaster, and Samuel Wenk, the family has grown and changed dramatically, now involving over 16 000 members from 97 countries in 52 sections. It was inspiring to witness the collaboration of our Society’s generations at our Annual Conference. I had the privilege of meeting with our Past Presidents Committee, a group of individuals who have, for decades, given selflessly to our Society and continue to do so. I saw the same dedication throughout so many of our other committees and councils, composed of members with 50 years of experience to those who just landed their first job, yet all bound by a common
cause. Our family goes beyond just our members too, as we have forged partnerships with sister NDT societies and related industry partners. Over the past year, we have been working to ensure that our big family stays strong.

Since the turn of 2016, we have made commitments to work closely with the Pan American Federation and Asia Pacific Federation to help them grow and have a more positive impact on the professionals that they serve. We have also continued working closely with the International Committee on Non-Destructive Testing, where I will serve on the governance committee, working to identify organi-zational strengths and opportunities to serve the world.

With the ASNT Annual Conference, we welcomed a new Executive Committee and Board of Directors with whom I am eager to work. Societies such as ours are truly families, bound together by our common dedication and purpose. As within any family, we may not always agree on everything, but we remain committed to each other to address our true purpose: our mission of creating a safer world. That mission stays as our purpose and mantra the same as it has for 75 years.

It is indeed an exciting time when new members enter the family and become a part of something special. We are fortunate to have a group of extremely dedicated officers and Board members working hand in hand with what I believe are the finest group of staff in any organization anywhere. Together, like any family, we will work tirelessly in the coming year to continue to ensure that ASNT remains the preeminent NDT organization that all of you have come to expect.

Our objectives, moving into 2017, will be to continue to create more professional resources and pathways to engagement for our members and the international NDT community. We’ve identified ways to increase participation with our committees and councils through digital means. We’ve also gathered input on how to improve our Annual Conference and Research Symposium to be more effective and generate more excitement for our profession. That said, we would love to hear from you if you have any ideas or suggestions on how we can make these meetings more meaningful and impactful to all of you.

One year ago, we introduced our Town Hall Meeting to serve two purposes of great significance to you, our members. This meeting firstly serves to inform you of new and exciting initiatives and how they relate to our Strategic Plan. Secondly, and perhaps of even greater import, it allows an open dialogue between the officers and myself with every member present. We strive to answer all questions posed and help everyone understand what we are doing and why it is being done. In the last two years, we have taken great efforts to behave as a family-oriented Society, so it is important to us to both create and maintain an open channel of communication among all our constituencies.

We’ve also renewed our commitment to delivering the important message of NDT to wider audiences, so the average person can understand and appreciate all that we do to create a safer world. The only way we can both expand membership and funding for NDT both domestically and globally is by being proactive in informing the public of what NDT is and how it impacts their lives in a very serious and localized manner. I described this initiative approximately one year ago and I am delighted to inform you that it has indeed taken hold and, through our focused programming, is working well and expanding daily.

Our family is big, our family is diverse, but our family is united by the common purpose of ensuring that we stand firmly between their safety and disaster. We are all in this together. As I stated in my last letter, I firmly believe that ASNT’s best days are ahead of us, and together as a family we will ensure that this comes to fruition. The holiday season is a time to pause and reflect on where we have been the past year and where we shall go in 2017. With the New Year on the horizon, I encourage you to take a moment to acknowledge and appreciate those in your workplace, in your sections, and where you live and play. I feel honored and humbled to have been your executive director for the past two years and thank you for your support and guidance as we move forward. Please accept on behalf of myself, my home family, and my other significantly larger family, and the staff at ASNT, our sincere wishes for a most healthy and prosperous new year and for a holiday season filled with the warmth, joy, and love of family and friends.

As always, I invite you to call, e-mail, or visit our International Service Center to share your thoughts about how we can build relationships and work together to create a safer world through NDT.


Dr. Arny Bereson
Executive Director
The American Society for Nondestructive Testing