Kitty Pilarz Honored During U.S. Celebration of World Standards Day 2013

Portions of this news item are based on text provided by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

October 3, 2013 | Approximately 250 members of the standards and conformity assessment community gathered in Washington, DC tonight for the U.S. Celebration of World Standards Day 2013. The exhibition, reception, and dinner marking the occasion focused on the theme Standards for a World at Work and Play.


The event is co-chaired each year by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The Toy Industry Association (TIA) served as the administrating organization for this year’s event, coordinating logistics for the festivities and offering TIA president Carter Keithley as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies.  In his opening remarks, Keithley said:

For the past 70 years, TIA and its members have been leading the development of toy safety standards. The first comprehensive toy safety requirements were developed nearly 35 years ago and have been maintained continuously every since. A few years ago, Congress undertook a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s consumer product safety legislation. This reform was largely directed towards products for kids … so it had a huge impact on our industry. In fact, one of the main reasons TIA volunteered to serve as the Administrating Organization for this year’s World Standards Day dinner is because we wanted to share with you an important milestone: 2013 marks the fifth anniversary of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act being signed into law. TIA and its members supported the new legislation because it took that voluntary standard we were so proud of – ASTM F963 - and made it mandatory. I am extraordinarily proud to say that young consumers today are safer than they have ever been before. They are safer because of a standard.

The evening’s festivities included the presentation of the prestigious Ronald H. Brown Standards Leadership Award to Catherine (Kitty) H. Pilarz, senior director of product safety for Mattel/Fisher-Price, who was honored for her outstanding contributions to the development, promulgation, and use of standards bolstering the safety of toys played with by millions of children. Mrs. Pilarz has worn many hats and held many roles, including serving as chair of ASTM's Board of Directors, chair of a task group addressing emerging hazards under the ASTM Toy Safety Subcommittee, and chair of the ASTM Committee on Consumer Products.

During her presentation of the award to Mrs. Pilarz, Joan Lawrence, TIA’s vice president of standards and regulatory affairs, said:

… [Kitty] is a technical expert and a leader. She comes to the table with an incredible knowledge and background in mechanical engineering. And she always aspires to learn … she takes that knowledge and combines it with an incredible amount of vision, compassion, and understanding and applies it to the development of standards that can be used both domestically and globally to make consumer products – especially those intended for children – better and safer, no matter where they are sold.

Celebrated annually each fall, World Standards Day pays tribute to the thousands of volunteers around the world who participate in standardization activities and helps to raise awareness of the role that standards play in addressing national and global priorities.The global celebration is coordinated by the principal international standards organizations: the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

More information about the U.S. Celebration of World Standards Day 2013 is available at www.wsd-us.org. A selection of photos from the event is available online.