17 April 2018
The arrival of spring tends to bring a renewed energy to be more active. Are you active in your ASNT section?
The current member-get-member recruitment campaign, Dig Deep Fly High, quoted Chicago Section member Chuck Johnson in a recent email: “The strength of our members and sections dictate the strength of ASNT.” Sections provide ASNT with the ability to effect personal relationships and connections around the world.
Chartered to further ASNT’s mission in their respective communities, there is some necessary formality to ASNT sections. By no means should that dissuade you from participating. They are structured and have bylaws governing their organization, leadership, and fiduciary duty. Even though sections are a local/regional extension of ASNT, they possess identities that are established by their respective reputations and good works, and they are a reflection of their membership and/or geographic areas.
Sections are the perfect gateway to developing a well-rounded understanding of ASNT’s structure, capacity, and reach. ASNT supports the development of section leadership skills that are transferable both within other leadership roles in ASNT as well as in work environments. Each year, ASNT hosts either a Regional Planning Meeting (RPM) or the Section Leadership Conference (SLC), where our member services department presents operational guidance, facilitates fellowship and networking, and provides an opportunity to have direct interaction with Section Coordinator Debbie Segor, who is dedicated to their success. Section leaders are invited to Columbus for two days during the SLC. It’s one thing to pay membership dues and attend conferences. It’s quite another to pull back the curtains and meet the people who keep ASNT’s International Service Center (ISC) running—technical services/certification, membership, publications, accounting/bookstore, and marketing.
Sections are a vital pipeline to supplying national leaders. As the largest active section, the Greater Houston Section has had many members who have held section positions before pursuing national roles. Chairperson of the Board David Bajula and John Iman, both members of the Houston section, illustrate this point. Prior to becoming ASNT’s Chairperson of the Board, Bajula was Section chair and director, which were prerequisites to becoming a regional director, a position he still holds. He has and still participates on national committees and councils, including the Certification Management Council, and is presently the chair of the Bylaws Committee. From his section leadership roles, Iman has served on the national board and several committees, and is presently the vice chair of the Technical & Education Council. There are many other stories of section members around the world who have achieved similar ascensions to industry-shaping roles on the national level.
Outreach and increasing public awareness of NDT is a natural opportunity for sections. Living and working in their communities, section members are more aware of local events. ISC staff often is presented with requests to have NDT professionals present NDT to students. In areas where there are active sections, ASNT’s Program Coordinator Jessica Ames reaches out to section leadership for help with these requests. One of these connections led to Greater Philadelphia Section member Phil Trach presenting to 36 high school students in an all-girls STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) program.
Sections are an accessible resource where you can learn about national initiatives, hear industry speakers, and network with your neighbors in NDT. Every member makes up our social capital, and sections bolster the value of the member experience and ASNT. If you are already active in your section, thank you and consider what more your section can do to move the ASNT mission forward in your community. If you are not active in your section, reach out today. As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions.
DR. ARNOLD “ARNY” BERESON
ASNT Executive Director