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I have been a member of ASIS&T since I was a doctoral student and ASIS&T has been one of my professional homes. Dick Hill has been the face of ASIS&T for me. It’s unfortunate that Dick’s retirement coincides with my year as President of ASIS&T. It will be a big change for ASIS&T and not an easy one.
However, I hope Dick enjoys many hours riding and repairing (I had to throw that in) his tractor and still has time to take in the scenery.
Good luck, Dick, and enjoy your retirement. You have earned it!
I joined ASIS&T while a doctoral student, and my first encounter with Dick goes back to those times. He has been a staple at the Annual Meetings over the years, with his reassuring presence and effective means. There were times when I wondered whether I would ever see Dick smile, but I have had a few glimpses of those smiles since then (in case you think it is not in the domain of the possible). Dick’s dedication to ASIS&T is well known and he always put the Association’s best interests above everything else. His will be big shoes to fill. I will certainly miss him, but I take solace in the fact that he is one of ours, and will remain an honourary ASIS&T member for life.
Dick Hill has been a wonderful asset for the ASIS&T community for decades. His depth of experience with professional societies and conference arrangements, his human relations skills, sense of humour and general unflappability have served the Society well for many years. It is hard to imagine our association without him, but somehow we will muddle through. Dick, you will be sorely missed!
Congratulations on your retirement Dick! I would like to thank you for your long-lasting commitment to ASIS&T and to the international community of scholars and professions working in our great field. Your 27 year term as Executive Director has spanned a period of incredible transformation and innovation. It has seen a steady emergence and evolution of fields of study allied with the information sciences. Your dedicated service to that community has been a reliable and loyal constant amidst rapid and exciting change. Thank you for your leadership Dick. It was an honor to work with you.
It’s hard to imagine ASIST without Dick. Since my days as a student member to being a paper co-chair for the AM, serving on different committees, and leading the Chapter Assembly, there hasn’t been a single phase of my involvement with ASIST that I haven’t relied on Dick. In all these years and my time with ASIST, I have found Dick to be the “default answer” to most questions. Where’s that form? Ask Dick. How do I get this done for the AM? Ask Dick. Why do we have this process in place? Ask Dick. And now with Dick leaving us, we are loosing our default answer to all these and many questions.
We will miss you, Dick. Not just because you provided us the answers, but also because you gave us the right questions to ask that led us to this strong, healthy, and strategic position that we currently enjoy. Your work will continue to be remembered and inspiring for years to come. Enjoy your well-deserved retirement and do not forget us!
Dick – you will be missed! I joined ASIS&T as a doctoral student in the early 1990’s and you have been a huge part of my ASIS&T experience since the beginning. It is hard for me to imagine the Annual Meetings without seeing you there. I hope you have a wonderful time in retirement – but know that you will not be forgotten! Your legacy during your 27 years of serving our association is an enduring part of ASIS&T’s history. We have been lucky to benefit from your expertise and from your member-centered focus. Thank you for your dedication to and stewardship of ASIS&T!
My favorite memory of Dick Hill is what occurred during the Great Recession of 2007 and 2008. Several years before this I served on the Society’s Board of Directors. The Society was in such serious trouble that the board was considering firing Dick and merging with the Special Libraries Association. With two other members, Gary Marchionini and Lou Rosenfeld, I helped develop the idea of changing the mid-year meeting from a sparsely attended business meeting to a topic-centered meeting that became the Information Architecture Summit.
This move saved the Society, because the new meeting brought in substantial revenue. Along with a renegotiated Journal contract it resulted in a newly solvent Society. In fact, it resulted in several years in a more than $1,000,000 surplus.
Not claiming to be a sophisticated money manager, Dick took the responsible position that keeping the money safe was paramount. So, he placed $100,000 Federally insured deposits in more than ten banks. I questioned this, suggesting at least some of the funds be invested in equities (stocks). But, no action was taken.
Then the great recession hit! Stocks dropped in value by up to 50%. Dick Hill ended up looking like a financial genius! The money was safe, the Society saved, and it all continued to grow. Not bad.
I have always wondered what Dick’s algorithm could be for figuring out when to appear at ASIST events and when to fade into the background. He shows up reliably for annual business meetings and for awards banquets that require choreographic expertise to get everyone on stage, off stage, and photographed. He also disappears completely when members are supposed to be enjoying themselves and letting down their hair. And he manages to have a reliable staff member available to deal with crises of the moment when a projector fails or the AC dies. I think it’s a special sixth sense that is taught in Executive Director School, a sense that Dick has honed over his many years of practice.
Back around 1990 I was living in Bloomington Indiana and commuting to the University or Illinois. A new technology, “electronic mail,” eased the challenges of keeping in touch with students and colleagues. Having seen its benefits, I encouraged Dick Hill to move ASIS onto e-mail. He assured me that this was unnecessary. ASIS had a fax machine and could handle this kind of asynchronous communication perfectly well.
I don’t think there has been and there will ever be a better steward of ASIS&T than Dick. He is a consummate professional and gentleman. On my first meeting with him, Dick left a lasting impression. Almost 15 years ago, in Philadelphia, I was a wide-eyed student attending my first ASIS&T Annual meeting. I remember I was a student volunteer and was not sure whether to ask Dick a question I had about what to do during the session I was assigned to assist. The session was about to start and there he was walking around the conference rooms making sure everything was going well. I then approached him and asked my question. He calmly answered it in his usual reassuring voice. That is when I knew that ASIS&T would be my main professional association and the ASIS&T Annual Meeting the one conference that I would go to great lengths to attend. Here I am today involved in more ASIS&T activities than I even imagined the day I meet Dick in Philadelphia.
Thank you Dick for your leadership and for making ASIS&T a welcoming, engaging, and, most importantly, a diverse and global professional community/association. I wish you all the best! Now we have to find someone to fill your shoes. We need a great deal of luck if we are to achieve that.
I’ve known Dick Hill the whole time he’s been the ASIS(&T) ED. I remember being introduced to him when he didn’t know anyone (and neither did I), and have loved seeing him lurking at every ASIST Annual Meeting since then. Eventually when it came to be my turn to chair the Annual Meeting, serve on the Board and eventually serve as ASIST President, Dick was always the helpful (but not too helpful) right hand who helped us do what needed to be done (even when it wasn’t the job we thought we were going to be doing). Meaning that Dick has been the guiding hand of ASIST for many years. We should thank him for his years of service. ASIST as we know it has evolved under his stewardship. While we have made ASIST what it is, Dick has allowed us to make ASIST what it is today.
As the newly elected president of (then) ASIS I was confronted with a vacant leadership position for the society. A search committee was quickly formed and how fortunate we were to find Dick Hill. He has provided a continuity of leadership unusual in such organizations and brought strength and financial stability to the group. Congratulations to you Dick, and best wishes to ASIS&T as they move into a new era.
You will be missed, Dick!
I had been a long time member with ASIS&T, and became more and more active during the 1990’s and 2000’s. In 2006/7, I was asked to be Chair for the Annual Meeting. I was hesitant, but Dick provided great help and support. He used to say “You do what you are good at, planning the program; and I will take care of the mundane things like color of the napkin, etc.” He does A LOT more than that! In the end, I felt I learned a lot in planning and organizing professional meeting.
Thank you and congratulations!
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