McAdams Award Honoree Remarks - 2008
ABHP Vice Chair Kent Lambert with 2008 McAdams Awardee Jim Willison
Two years ago, I had the privilege of presenting this award to Dade Moeller. Those of you who were present in Spokane for that luncheon may recall that I was the "straight man" between the comedic talents of Dade and Frazier Bronson.
In trying to decide on what to say here, I decided my choices were funny or serious. I think the safer ground is serious… in spite of my efforts over the years to encourage fun in the ABHP process.
While this in a individual award, the activities of the Board, the Panels, and the Academy are very much group activities by extremely knowledgeable and dedicated volunteers. The success of the certification program is largely dependent on the continuing recruitment and encouragement both of candidates for certification and of panel and board members.
I have always been amazed at the quality of individuals involved in the process and have often wondered how I ever got picked to be on a panel in the first place. This is especially true at those times when I have looked back over the names of past Boards; Elda Anderson, K.Z. Morgan, Fred Cohen, Bill Reinig, Dade Moeller, Lauriston Taylor, and Bill McAdams among them. The list of distinguished HPs is very long and very humbling.
When I look at this list and consider my place in it, I look at the panels and the Board as a chain of responsibility. We all owe a debt to those who came before us and who developed the program and its ideals, and we have the duty to preserve and maintain those ideals. At the same time, we have a responsibility to those who come after us in this process to be fair and to keep certification something worth pursuing.
To those of you who are new CHPs, I will just repeat a sentiment I have heard many times at these events: Get involved! The pay is low; the work is long, but you will never work with a better group of people.
I realize that in speaking at the Awards luncheon, I am "preaching to the choir" regarding the meaning of certification, but I would like to say a couple of things that most of you have probably already figured out. I was recently talking with George MacDurmon and he had made a remark about why he had never taken up golf. He said that as an HP, he didn't like to start something he could not master. This struck me as a perfect analogy for what it means to become certified.
A professional HP will prepare themselves for the ordeal and passing the exam is merely the confirmation that they did their job well. Certification is not about passing the exam, it is about the preparation to pass. With apologies to Harley-Davidson, It's not the destination, it's the journey.
I would like to thank the Awards committee for this honor.
Time does not permit me to single out everyone with whom I have had long discussions about certification. Suffice it to say it includes all I have served with on the Board and many, many Panel members.
I would like to single out a few for individual mention. I worked with Dick Bowers for a few years as I was just getting certified and before he retired. He and I had many talks about the early years and why things were done the way they were which proved invaluable.
Of all the CHPs I know, the one I have known the longest is Kathy Pryor. I worked with her at Trojan and often worked outage backshifts in her place during her rather conveniently-timed pregnancies. Regarding ABHP activities, I seem to have been following in her footsteps, which are surprisingly large considering the size of her feet.
Panel Chairs have a special bond with their chosen Vice Chair. Mostly, I think it is based on guilt for getting them to agree to serve without fully understanding what was to come. In my case, this individual was Brian Methé, whom I believe has forgiven me and who I consider one of my closest friends.
I cannot call out individuals without mentioning Nancy Johnson. Nancy is the glue that holds the program together and handles many small details that many are not even aware need to be handled.
Finally, I wish to mention and thank my family; my parents for pointing me in the right direction, and my kids for putting up with my somewhat obsessive nature regarding the Board. I also wish to acknowledge my employers, NUS and WSMS, who have encouraged me in Board activities, not that I needed much encouragement as I would have done if for no pay at all... Oh, I guess I did.
OK, maybe I can be a little of both serious and funny.