Distinguished Service Award Remarks

H. Keith Hunt, Brigham Young University
[ to cite ]:
H. Keith Hunt (1991) ,"Distinguished Service Award Remarks", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 18, eds. Rebecca H. Holman and Michael R. Solomon, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 7.

Advances in Consumer Research Volume 18, 1991      Page 7


H. Keith Hunt, Brigham Young University

Why would I be Executive Secretary of ACR for nine years and be planning on continuing that service for the foreseeable future? There are several reasons.

The first reason is that this is the one position which puts me in regular contact with you, all my professional colleagues, some of you my close friends. What's it worth to get five to ten phone calls a week to ask a specific question but also to exchange pleasantries and keep friendships alive. You jot notes to me on your dues notices. You send me picture post cards. I even get notes jotted on the election ballots. My life is more fun living because of my regular contact with all of you.

The second reason is the people I associate with in this position. Since becoming Executive Secretary in 1982 I have had the pleasure of working with nine presidents, ten counting next year's president, Sid Levy, with whom I'm already working: Jerry Zaltman, Ken Bernhardt, Jag Sheth, Peter Wright, Russ Belk, Jim Bettman, Rich Lutz, Morris Holbrook, Beth Hirschman and Sid Levy. Add to these all the people who have served starting with 1982 as treasurer or director and members of the nine person advisory council and you get the feel for the outstanding folks with whom I work. Then add in the newsletter editors and conference program chairs with whom I work very closely. There's not a finer group of people I could associate with in the whole world.

Being an ACR member puts me in your group. Being your Executive Secretary let's me interact with you as we all give our service to ACR.

As Executive Secretary I may offer more service to ACR than any one of you, but as a percentage of the total service rendered mine is a small part of the total.

The third reason is what I can only express as a great love for ACR. ACR was the first professional group to accept me and treat me as though I had something to contribute. I presented my first paper at ACR in 1972. My ACR friends persuaded me to take the year's appointment with the Federal Trade Commission which was the turning point in my professional career.

My ACR friends have included me in their professional schemes and have responded graciously when I have invited them to be part of my professional schemes. Through all my professional activities I have always had one foot firmly anchored in ACR as my home base.

I've never gotten over the amazement of being nominated for president of ACR. That was the great wonder. And then to win that election is still so incomprehendable that I don't pretend to understand it.

Then to be selected as Executive Secretary was a further trust which has given me great satisfaction.

The fourth reason is that I appreciate opportunities to give service.

I realize some of you think I am more than a bit strange in my willingness to render such substantial service for so long, taking so much of my time and energies. However, many of us render great service to consumer research, rendering it in different ways.

I remember discussing this with Jerry Zaltman when he was president, after he had made some comment about my service to ACR. I asked Jerry how many Ph.D. dissertations he was chairing at that time. I remember his answer being approximately ten. My point to him was that his time and excellence committed to those dissertations was far greater than the time and excellence required of me in my service as Executive Secretary.

I expect to complete my professional career at Brigham Young University. I will probably never supervise another Ph.D. dissertation or even an M.A. thesis. So my service can come in other ways.

While I get the Distinguished Service Award, and I love you for so honoring me, I openly acknowledge that many of you are spending much more time in service to the field than I spend.

Some day my service as Executive Secretary will end. It may be a political end brought on by my unwillingness to accept new directions for ACR. I may make a major mistake. Or, someone may want what I have badly enough to take it from me. Perhaps I will be fortunate enough to continue until a graceful retirement.

Until then, I cherish the opportunity for service which you give to me by letting me be your Executive Secretary.

The fifth reason is that from experience I have found that service is one of the sweet parts of life. I've found that I and you can seldom if ever give serious, substantial service without becoming happier and more satisfied with our existence. The service can be to one's community, to one's religious group, to youth, to the elderly, to the unfortunate and needy, or even to scholarship -- but all service is rewarding in ways that self-promotion and professional productivity can never be.

I love you for being scholars in the area I most like to study. I love you for your tolerance of me in my sometimes flawed service.

Thank you for honoring me today.