Ron S. Kenett, ENBIS President 2006-2007
After studies in Mathematics and Statistics at Imperial College, Stanford University and the Weizmann Institute, Ron took a teaching position at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, was a researcher at Bell Laboratory, Director of Statistical Methods for a major Israeli Telecom, Professor at the State University of New York in Binghamton and is currently Professor at the University of Torino, Italy and Adjunct Professor at Bar Ilan University in Israel. In parallel with his academic activity, he is Chairman and CEO of the KPA Group, a management consulting firm with affiliates in Italy, Norway and Turkey. This combination of academic interest, industrial experience and consulting expertise is the basis of an holistic view of statistics represented, for example, in a paper with Poul Thyregod entitled: "Aspects of statistical consulting not taught by academia" (Statistica Neerlandica, 60, 3, pp. 396-412, 2006). The paper with Poul demonstrates what ENBIS can offer: a common interest in the application of statistics, friendship and opportunities for collaborative work with outstanding people. Ron also co-authored, with Shelley Zacks, Modern Industrial Statistics: Design and Control of Quality and Reliability, Duxbury Press, 1998, Spanish edition 2000, 2nd paperback edition 2002, Chinese edition 2004. He is Editor in Chief, with Fabrizio Ruggeri and Fred Faltin of The Encyclopedia of Statistics in Quality and Reliability published by John Wiley in 2007 and author of four other books and over 150 papers on statistics and management methods.
ENBIS initiatives: Some of the initiatives I was involved with in ENBIS included developing the statistical consulting special interest group after John Shade and before Anne de Frenne, promoting the Best Manager Award, heading the Box Award nominating committee that awarded the Box Medal to Sir David Cox, planning the conference workshops and the conference program of ENBIS5 in Newcastle, establishing the Academic Publication Panel to encourage publications of ENBIS members, organizing the ENBIS-DEINDE spring conference in Turin, launching ENBIS special issues in international journals such as QREI, ASMBI, MCAP and QTQM, and promoting ENBIS special sessions in 7 international conferences. On the "business side", despite difficult times, ENBIS membership grew during my term as president by over 200 members and the number of corporate sponsors reached a record of 11. Perhaps my biggest contribution to ENBIS was to initiate the transition to turn ENBIS into a pluralistic, participative, open and transparent society. This was first discussed in a special strategic planning meeting in ENBIS6 followed by a bumpy process which was supported by many individuals including, Andrea, Irena, Alessandro, Anja, Winfried, Shirley, Anne, Fabrizio, Tony, Henry and many others. We achieved a lot, but have many challenges on our journey "from good to Great". I am glad we are moving ahead.
Personal statement: In my view, the main challenges currently facing statistics and statisticians are 1) poor communication with other disciplines, 2) low emphasis on generating added value derived from statistical analysis and 3) deriving an integrated holistic perspective that enables statisticians to tackle effectively a full life cycle, from problem elicitation up to effective presentation of findings with follow up focused actions. I believe ENBIS is a unique environment for anyone interested in addressing such challenges. I trust current and future ENBIS presidents will continue to grow and expand the scope of the society.