Celebrating 27 years at ASIS&T!


With mixed feelings, regret for ourselves but happiness for him, the ASIS&T Board learned that after 27 years at the service of our organization, our Executive Director, Dick Hill, will be passing the baton at the end of the year in order to retire to his rural farm, and a lengthy (and growing) “to do” list, including serving as a volunteer officer in a couple of environmental groups.

Dick Hill joined ASIS&T in 1989, having previously run a DC trade association, his own business, teaching English in several private schools, and other endeavors. He then spent the next 27 years at ASIS&T, worked with 27 different ASIS&T presidents and engineered 3 office moves. His tenure involved moving from a Control Data computer with 14 inch disk drive that had to be changed to run a complete mailing list (he still has a couple of the disk covers serving as plant saucers) to remote storage and automatic backup. Dick and ASIS&T started using e-mail in the early 1990’s courtesy of Clifford Lynch and the Coalition for Networked information, getting our own domain and service a year or so later. We went on the web with a rudimentary site in the mid 90’s.

Under his direction, ASIS&T has gone from a deficit to a sizable surplus which is conservatively invested. The contract with Wiley-Blackwell for publishing JASIST has been renegotiated in our favor twice, and JASIST has gone from 6 issues to 12 per year; the ASIS&T Digital Library was inaugurated in cooperation with Wiley-Blackwell and goes back to Volume 1, issue 1 of what is now JASIST.

Dick perhaps is proudest of two accomplishments: 1) the staff size is the same now as it was in 1989, and the same core of the team has remained in place since the early 1990’s, through all the moves, increased revenues and workload; and 2) building the IA Summit and RDAP Summits and the communities that have coalesced around those events.

After almost three decades devoted to our Association, Dick certainly deserves a break. He will be sorely missed by his staff, the Board and officers, as well as our members. A constant presence at the Annual Meetings, and a fervent advocate for the field and our organization, Dick has mentored and nurtured an impressive number of officers, and has been an incredible leader for his team at the ASIS&T headquarters. On a recent visit to the ASIS&T headquarters in Silver Spring (just outside Washington, DC), President-Elect Lynn Silipigni Connaway and I were touched by the high esteem that Dick’s team holds for him. Vanessa, Jan, Carline, and Stephan all spoke with great affection and respect about their “boss,” and it is clear that his shoes will be hard to fill.

We are all very grateful to Dick for his hard work, dedication and passion toward making ASIS&T what it is today. I know you will join me in thanking him and wishing him the best for the next chapter of his life. Dick’s retirement date is yet to be finalized, and he was kind enough to give us assurance of his commitment to ASIS&T until the new position is filled. The Board will be hard at work on this matter, and we will keep you updated regularly. The Board is grateful to Dick and his staff for their flexibility and cooperation as we turn a new page in the history of our organization.

There will be ample opportunities at the Annual Meeting to celebrate Dick’s tenure with ASIS&T. Bring your best stories or photos, and use this chance to say ‘Thank You’ to Dick and his staff.

Nadia Caidi, ASIS&T President (on behalf of the ASIS&T Board).