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Catherine (Kitty) H. Pilarz, senior director of Mattel/Fisher-Price product safety in East Aurora, N.Y., is 2011 chairman of the board of directors of ASTM International, one of the world's largest and most diverse standards developing organizations. Chairman of the board is the highest elected position in ASTM International.
Pilarz, who has served on the ASTM board of directors since 2006, is vice chairman of new projects for ASTM Committee F15 on Consumer Products, co-chairman of Subcommittee F15.18 on Cribs, Toddler Beds, Play Yards, Bassinets, Cradles and Changing Tables, and a participant in many other F15 subcommittees. She was honored with the 2006 ASTM Award of Merit and accompanying title of fellow for her contributions to F15, a committee of more than 900 manufacturers, end users, industry associations, regulatory authorities, health professionals and consumer advocacy groups who develop voluntary product standards to improve consumer safety.
In her professional position, Pilarz is responsible for the safety policy of the Mattel and Fisher-Price product lines. Mattel/Fisher-Price designs, manufactures and markets toys and family products sold in more than 150 nations around the world.
In 1980, Pilarz graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo with a B.S. in mechanical engineering, and that same year she started working for Fisher-Price as an engineer-in-training. While a project engineer in international operations and conducting analysis and planning for international production, she received her M.B.A. from Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1983. She additionally held positions as a manufacturing engineer and as a quality control engineer before becoming manager of product safety and reliability in 1987. She assumed her current role in 2001.
Pilarz is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the American Society for Quality. Through ASQ, she has earned the designations of certified reliability engineer and certified quality engineer.
Pilarz has served as symposium chair for the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization, and as president and board member of that group, which works to promote product safety through education and communication. She received a 40 under 40 Award in 1998 from Business First magazine.
For a full interview with Kitty Pilarz, see the latest issue of ASTM Standardization News online at www.astm.org/SNEWS/JF_2011/pilarz_jf11.html.
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