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30 Let Them Eat Cake! Ta Rowe wi be the fir to admit: Standards development, in genal, can be boring. It's a very firm set of rules and you must follow the rules to get where you want to go. Not always the stuff dreams are made of. Yet, as IPC's senior director of assembly and standards technology, Teresa also understands that her department— aside from IPC's customer service and membership team—is likely the most important and forward-facing within the trade association. Developing standards for the industry requires immense participation and buy-in from IPC members who sit on committees that often require many hours, weeks, or even months of review before a new document can be published. Thus, when a document is finally done, all revi- sions have been reviewed and approved, and the committee has accomplished its goals, what bet- ter way to celebrate than with a little party? "We celebrate when we finish a document," Teresa says. "My IPC/WHMA-A-620 group, for ex- ample, has been working on this document for three years and they told me that they wanted a cake. Not just any cake either, but something special. So, two revisions ago, I had our staff order a special cake so we could celebrate." During IPC APEX EXPO 2017 and 2020, Teresa called her committee into a room, where they anxiously stood by as catering rolled in a giant cake in their honor. "We literally had a 20-minute party," she says, her voice growing in enthusi- asm as she remembered the events. "It was like a birthday party or graduation party for the document." So, when the group meets again, they're already looking forward to an- other party, even asking for the same special cake. "We will be in Anaheim starting in 2024, but the next celebra- tion for this group will be in 2026," Tere- sa says. "They are already asking about 2026, and yes, the story is correct. They wanted to know if the cake can be shipped to Anaheim. They are look- ing that far into the future. To me, that's a work of passion and commitment that these volunteers are putting in." Even more, she appreciates the col- laboration among the generations of volunteers who sit on the committees— from the seasoned veterans to those who are newer to the industry and want to see what standards develop- ment is all about. "But there's fun at the end," she says. "It's not al- ways cake. Sometimes we'll go out to lunch and we'll just talk. We'll talk about other things. It just becomes a family, it really does." 30 By Michelle Te IPC STANDARDS

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