Presentation of the Association For Consumer Research Distinguished Service Award to H. Keith Hunt

Harold H. Kassarjian, UCLA
[ to cite ]:
Harold H. Kassarjian (1991) ,"Presentation of the Association For Consumer Research Distinguished Service Award to H. Keith Hunt", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 18, eds. Rebecca H. Holman and Michael R. Solomon, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 5.

Advances in Consumer Research Volume 18, 1991      Page 5


Harold H. Kassarjian, UCLA

I have been asked to make the first Association for Consumer Research Distinguished Service Award to a dear, wonderful friend. What a great honor! Thank you.

ACR does not give many awards, nor very often, making this award particularly special. It was created last year, during the 20th anniversary of the Association for Consumer Research, and its first recipient, whom we honor today, announced at that time. It was designed to be awarded very rarely only at intervals representing significant anniversaries of the association - the 20 anniversary, and maybe the 25th or 35th or 50th anniversary of the founding of ACR. However, one must wonder if it will ever come to pass that another individual will meet the standards that have been set by the first recipient.

The procedures for making the award were designed to be exactly those used for the Fellow in Consumer Research award. The selection is made by the Fellows Award Nominating Committee - a chair appointed by the current president and three members consisting of the immediate past presidents. The decision of the committee must be unanimous. The candidate is then presented to the ACR elected Board of Directors for confirmation by at least 75% affirmative vote.

However, the Distinguished Service Award is completely independent of the Fellows award and rests on independent criteria - service to the association. Let me quote from the words of the award itself:

The distinguished Service Award of the Association for Consumer Research recognizes the dedication and the devotion of a member who has served the organization with energy and generosity beyond the call of duty. This award expresses our highest gratitude to one who has helped its members in ways that have built a stronger community of scientists and scholars in consumer research.

To anyone familiar with this association, and that includes most all of us assembled here, the first recipient simply had to be, and is, Keith Hunt. The ACR Executive Secretary and the person every president and every program chair seems to publicly thank every year for doing just about everything. Keith Hunt, a very special person, but, indeed, few know the full gamut of contributions he makes to all of us.

Unlike our sister scholarly associations with professional impersonal bureaucracies, ACR is based on voluntary service. We have no paid staff. The ACR central office, the headquarters, the communications center, the mail room, the library, the publications arm, the secretariat, the accounting office, and the keeper of the checkbook is Keith Hunt. Without Keith Hunt, the Newsletter would not be mailed, the Directory would not exist, ACR programs would not be prepared, conferences would not be organized, and scholarly work would not be published and sometimes not even conceived. Keith Hunt's basement, to the everlasting distress of his family and to the gratitude of librarians and scholars, is the ACR publications warehouse. Mountains of publications - proceedings, monographs, cumulative indexes, directories, and records - extend from floor to ceiling.

It is not a random event that for as long as Keith has been executive secretary, the association has been wealthy. Dues remain at the lowest level of any professional or scholarly association, yet ACR seems to have more money than we can spend. Somehow, everything we do, every attempt made to return value to the membership, results in even more money coming in. Let me give you one example of the Keith Hunt touch. Some years ago Keith suggested I put together a cumulative annotated index of the ACR proceedings which would be distributed free of charge to our members. It was a massive, expensive task that took several of us months to complete. But for Keith, it was one more way to give even greater value for the dues we pay. Keith published and distributed the volume. Members told nonmembers and their librarians who in turn placed orders. It went into additional printings (and even a second edition), and ended up making money for the association. Once again, our executive secretary had made a "silk purse out of a sow's ear."

Keith Hunt, his warmth and caring, is the primary cause of the wonderful esprit de corps that permeates this association, the envy of all our sister societies. But he is more than just Mister ACR. Until recently he was the subscription fulfillment arm of the Journal of Consumer Research. He is the publisher and organizer of the annual Satisfaction/ Dissatisfaction Conference and editor of the Journal of Consumer Satisfaction, Dissatisfaction and Complaining Behavior. He was program chairman of the 8th annual conference of ACR (so long ago!); he was president of ACR in 1979. He is a fellow in the American Academy of Advertising, past editor of the Journal of Advertising, past president of the American Academy of Advertising, and its past executive secretary.

Hunt was a student of Sidney Levy, and Northwestern's representative to the very first AMA Doctoral Consortium in 1966. His early research on corrective advertising, counter advertising, and public policy is today a classic that was influential in spearheading public policy research in the decade of the seventies. His work on labeling, hoarding, and entrepreneurship is well known and his work on satisfaction/ dissatisfaction continues to be referenced in most every paper written in that field.

In 1973 Keith served a term at the FTC, among the first of us in that role. But he is still more. Few may be aware that Keith, in addition to being a professor and ACR Executive Secretary, is also a professional politician. Recently, he was reelected to the Orem City Council for a second four year term.

Keith Hunt; a gentleman and a scholar, past ACR president and past program chairman, executive secretary, editor, author, researcher, professor, a counselor in his church, a politician in his city, and a human being extraordinaire; on behalf of all of us in ACR who owe you so much, I present you with the Distinguished Service Award. Congratulations Mister ACR.