Amos E. Holt is, by his admission, “an old Texas cowboy” who is rarely spotted without his boots and hat.
If you know Amos, you know he often quips about his roots. When he does, it’s always to make a salient point—and anyway, who would dare question the imposing Texan with the deep voice and black hat who wears the badge of ASME president on his chest.
In his remarks during a luncheon yesterday commemorating outstanding achievements in engineering, Holt frequently quipped about the Cowboy inside of him. Some of his remarks left the audience smiling, but all of the remarks left them reflecting on the inspired wisdom of the man.
“I’m just a Texas cowboy now in a global race,” he said of ASME’s ambitious strategic initiatives—which are in the areas of energy, engineering workforce development, and global impact, especially as it relates to international codes and standards and humanitarian aspirations.
In one reference, Holt belted out a Chinese adage tinged with Cowboy lore: “According to Chinese proverb, distance tests a horse’s strength, but time reveals its character,” he said. “ASME, the horse, offers us a lot of strengths—it opens a lot doors. We need to feed it, keep it strong and well-groomed in order to keep it a responsive, agile thoroughbred that serves its members and remains a vital vehicle for the profession.”
The other half of the proverb, he said, “is that time reveals the character of the horse. My friends, my associates, here is where we must acknowledge that you are the rider at this time in history, and a skilled rider must know how to exercise the horse to build up its stamina.”
Toward the end of his remarks, Holt said, “It is age-old advice to ride a spirited horse with a gentle bit, though always to keep it in check. We also know that we should allow the spirited horse to gallop the straight-aways where it can ride at a good pace and this helps it relax. ASME’s improvements in operational efficiencies allow it to set a faster pace. It needs skilled and focused riders.”
Like the cowboy that he is, Holt is a strong, tireless leader, always fighting for ASME and in strong pursuit of what’s best for engineers throughout the world. It’s a good thing this old cowboy is not quite ready to ride off in the sunset any time soon.