PTC-SC History and Development

PTC’s history and development only crudely corresponds to the usual organizational life cycle stages of birth, growth and formalization. PTC’s history more closely reflects the professional growth of testing and selection and society’s growing concern with the field. PTC was launched in 1953 to meet the needs of a small group of professionals wanting to exchange ideas and information in the field of employment testing. Despite efforts to obtain dates and names, much information regarding PTC’s early years was unavailable at the time of this writing. PTC welcomes information regarding the 1953-1968 period of its history. The following reconstruction of those years rests primarily upon the memories of a few early members.

Howard Lockwood, one of PTC’s founding members, recalls contacting Steve Vopatek, and their agreeing to gather a few people to exchange information about testing. The founders met for lunch in the cafeteria of Pacific Telephone (now AT&T). Present were Vopatek, Pacific American Aviation (now Rockwell); George Mendenhall, California Test Bureau; Radine Hoag, Pacific Finance Corp. (now part of Transamerica); and James Froyd, Los Angeles City Schools (now the Los Angeles Unified School District). At that meeting, they formed and named PTC.

PTC’s first meeting was held at the Bit of Sweden Restaurant on the Sunset Strip. The speaker was Howard Lockwood, speaking on Lockheed’s testing program. About 25 people attended. From the beginning there was representation in PTC from schools, civil service agencies, the private sector, and consultants.

During the initial years, PTC was quite informal. There were no Bylaws, name tags, or membership requirements. Its activities consisted of a monthly meeting with a speaker. The President was whoever would take the job of getting out notices, arranging for the restaurant, and choosing speakers. The first President was probably Lockwood.

Someone soon began acting as Treasurer. The Treasurer basically collected the luncheon fees and paid the restaurant. The luncheon speaker’s lunch was paid for by the attendees. Non-members paid an extra $2.50 for lunch. Officer lunches later were paid for by attendees, a practice still continued. Early meetings were held at the Palms Grill, Hollywood, which was across the street from the California Test Bureau, an employer of one of the founders. Later meetings were held at the Tick Tock Restaurant, Hollywood. Attendance at these early meetings averaged about 20.

Dues were initiated to cover postage costs. Dues were $2.00 and luncheon fees $2.50 in 1960. PTC letterhead stationery was used as early as 1961 for monthly meeting announcements. A series of approximately 12 Personnel Testing Reports presenting studies conducted by PTC members were written by Edward Hane of Lockheed between 1958 and 1961.

Attendance waned in the early 1960s and PTC almost disbanded. However, attendance increased in the mid-1960s when testing became an issue in court cases and fair employment. Membership in the mid-1960s was approximately 50.

The Motorola, Inc. v. Illinois Fair Employment Practices Commission case (finally decided by the Illinois Supreme Court in 1966) triggered what is believed to be the very first fair employment testing guidelines. These guidelines were developed by the Technical Advisory Committee on Testing of the State of California’s Fair Employment Practices Commission (TACT). TACT was originally chaired by Lockwood from 1965-1967. Lockwood afterward was Co-chair of the new Office of Federal Contract Compliance Advisory Committee on Testing and Selection from 1968-1973. Later TACT Chairs included PTC Presidents Victor Tom, Patricia Pfeiffer, and Frank Ofsanko. Many other PTC members were active in TACT during its existence.

In the later 1960s, PTC was attracting 20-50 attendees to its monthly meetings. Different restaurants were used during this period, including the Mayfair Hotel in Los Angeles and the Thistle Inn in Silverlake. The meetings continued to feature speakers presenting research results or discussions on the general topic of testing.

Officer candidates were selected and announced annually by the President and were consensually approved by the membership. There was a period in 1966-1967 during which the President called no meetings. At that time Marshall “Jack” Brenner, I.A. Ryanen, and Barbara Holley assumed leadership and reactivated PTC. Brenner acted as President, Ryanen as Secretary, and Holley as Treasurer. PTC membership was approximately 30.

The reactivated PTC took several steps toward becoming more formalized and maintaining its continuity. In 1970, President Ofsanko formalized its Board of Directors as past PTC Presidents who were still active in PTC. In 1971, President Patricia Pfeiffer developed and initiated more formal officer nomination and voting procedures. President Pfeiffer also initiated PTC Topics as a periodic newsletter with Irene Tresun as the first Editor. The Membership Committee was established, followed by the Training Committee and the Research Committee.

PTC settled into a relatively permanent meeting at Les Freres Taix Restaurant, Los Angeles, meeting the fourth Wednesday of every month. After initially meeting in a smaller private dining room, meetings soon moved into a larger private room. Monthly meeting attendance grew to 60-80. At that time luncheon fees were approximately $2.00 and annual dues still $2.00.

In the early 1970s, testing took on a drastically more active and controversial role. The Civil Rights Act called attention to the testing of minorities. Tests were considered by many at the time to be biased against minorities. The Griggs v. Duke Power U.S. Supreme Court case dealing with selection was decided and widely publicized. Agencies of the United States government published sets of stringent guideline regulations on testing. “Test” took on the broader meaning of any step in an employee selection process in which a decision was made which affected the final selection.

In 1971, Richard Biddle organized and held PTC’s first conference, under the leadership of President Patricia Pfeiffer. The conference dealt with selection guideline regulations and attracted over 400 attendees. It was successful both professionally and financially.

It was the Board’s feeling that PTC, as a tax-exempt organization, should not end the year with a substantial profit. Thus, a fall conference in Twin Peaks also was held, partially to spend the profits from the Spring conference. This was the beginning of PTC policy to treat conferences as relatively independent budget items and to strive for the conferences breaking even financially on an annual basis. Because of these conferences, PTC budgets became more detailed and more formal.

PTC continued to hold two conferences a year, gravitating to an all-day conference in the spring and a one-and-a-half day conference in the fall. The Spring Conference tended to be more technical in nature and to attract fewer attendees. The Fall Conference normally aimed for a broader audience and was held at a location away from downtown Los Angeles. The location was intended to encourage attendees to socialize in the evening and stay overnight for the morning program. From the start, PTC conferences attempted to obtain the most knowledgeable speakers available nationally to speak on state-of-the-art and controversial topics.

It was during the 1970s that PTC began issuing professional positions on some of the critical proposed legislation, regulations, and professional standards concerning testing. Positions included those on non-cognitive testing, Federal and state testing guidelines, professional testing standards, and state licensure tests. The monitoring of legislation prompted the formation of the Legal Committee.
In 1974, the Board became more sensitized to its legal and financial responsibilities, and incorporated PTC and adopted its formal Bylaws. The Board at that time consisted of Floyd Ruch, I.A. Ryanen, Edward Hane, Richard Biddle, Patricia Pfeiffer, Frank Ofsanko, William Ruch, James Froyd, and Richard Neufeld. In 1976 the office of Recorder was added to PTC offices. In 1976 the PTC Newsletter publication replaced PTC Topics.

In 1977, PTC-Metropolitan Washington was formed as PTC-SC’s first affiliate organization. Anita Ford worked with Stephen Bemis on developing incorporation procedures and Bylaws for the new organization, and on agreements on the use of the “PTC” name, common purposes of the organizations, and reciprocal membership fees. Bemis accumulated a listing of over 200 PTC-MW potential members who approved the new incorporation and Bylaws, as did the PTC-SC Board of Directors.

Attendance at monthly meetings during the 1970s averaged 60-80. Conferences generally drew 75-150. Membership varied from 100-400. In 1973, dues were $5.00 and member luncheons $3.00. By 1977, dues were $10.00 and member luncheons $4.25, and by 1979, dues were up to $15.00 with member luncheons costing $5.00.

PTC Presidents continued to play prominent national roles. Floyd Ruch had already been President of the American Psychological Association’s Society for Industrial- Organizational Psychology; Anita Ford and Karen Coffee became Presidents of the Western Region Intergovernmental Personnel Assessment Council; Karen Coffee, Kaye Evleth, and Anita Ford were Presidents of the International Personnel Management Association Assessment Council; Patricia Pfeiffer was President of the International Association for Personnel Women; Frank Ofsanko the first Chair of the Edison Electric Institute’s Task Force on Personnel Research; and Mary Tenopyr President of the American Psychological Association’s Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology.

Upon Floyd Ruch’s death, PTC established the Floyd L. Ruch Award to recognize nonofficers who gave outstanding service to PTC. The first recipient was Dina Wiley in 1979. Recipients are listed in the Professional Recognition section of the Officer’s Manual.

In 1979, PTC also sponsored its first speaker at a conference of another organization (the International Personnel Management Association Assessment Council). Since then it has sponsored other speakers to other conferences on numerous occasions.

In 1980 the Vice President position was replaced by the two positions of Vice President- Programs and Vice President, Publications (now Communications). The office of President Elect was added in 1982 and discontinued in 1984. In 1982 two offices were combined into Secretary/Recorder (now Secretary). In 1985, the Vice President-Conferences was established. The Quarterly publication was initiated in 1985 as an expanded version of the Newsletter. Also in 1985, the Board established its first committee, the Policy and Planning Committee. One of its major tasks was preparing this Officers’ Manual.

During the 1980s, testing attracted less attention and eased from the national spotlight. Monthly PTC meeting attendance dropped somewhat, to about 30-50, and membership to about 200. Monthly luncheons moved to the Luminaras Restaurant, Monterey Park, primarily because the restaurant required fewer attendees to reserve its meeting room. Conferences continued to attract approximately the same attendance as previously.

When the American Psychological Association held its annual conference in Los Angeles in 1981, PTC held a social hour in conjunction with it. This was the first social hour held in conjunction with a meeting of another organization. PTC subsequently sponsored or co-sponsored other social hours with organizations whose conferences attracted potential PTC speakers.

When Steve Bemis was killed in an auto accident, a Stephen E. Bemis Memorial Fund was established to recognize individuals who had great practical impact on the field of selection. Steve Bemis was a frequent presenter at PTC and was highly instrumental in founding PTC-Metropolitan Washington, PTC-SC’s first affiliate. PTC-SC contributes to the fund and has participated in the selection of the annual winner since 1985, the first year the Award was given. Long standing PTC members who have been selected for the Award are listed in the Professional Recognition section of the Officers’ Manual.

In 1984 PTC submitted and gained acceptance for two proposals for symposia in the 1985 American Psychological Association conference. The symposium on “Employment Systems” was successfully presented’ by four PTC members and the symposium on “Test Passing Scores” was successfully presented by a combination of five PTC-SC and PTC-MW members.

In 1986, the conference paper from the 1985 PTC conference on “The g Factor in Employment” was published as an entire issue of the Journal of Vocational Behavior. PTC’s Conference Chair, Lillian Avery, was primarily instrumental in arranging for this publication.

In 1988, another issue of the Journal was based on the 1987 PTC Conference “Fairness in Employment Testing,” also chaired by Lillian Avery. The latter conference and Journal were follow-ups to the earlier ones. Lillian Avery wrote the introduction for both Journals. The 1988 Journal includes a solicited commentary from PTC member Augie Ryanen.

The 1990 Fall conference, entitled “Construct Validity: Issues and Opportunities” was published in a 1992 volume of the journal Human Factors. Its Foreword was written by then PTC President Donna L. Denning and its Introduction by Calvin C. Hoffman, Vice President, Conferences.

In the 1980s, affiliates continued to form. PTC-San Diego was formed in 1982, spearheaded by PTC members Eric Hall and Jean Welser. In 1984 PTC-Arizona was formed through the efforts of former PTC member Vicki Packman; Terry McKinney served as their first President. In 1986, PTC-Northern California was formed; past PTCSC President Karen Coffee was highly instrumental in its formation. Karen Coffee and Dennis Joiner shared the first presidency of the Northern California affiliate. A PTC-SC liaison committee was formed during this period to assist coordination with affiliates and other related organizations.

Later in the 1980s, two other affiliates formed: PTC-South Florida and PTC-Upstate New York. Linsey Craig, of Palm Beach County, was instrumental in the formation of the South Florida group, and served as their first President. Nancy Abrams, a consultant, initiated the Upstate New York group, and was its first President.

The first edition of this Manual was completed and distributed by the Policy and Planning Committee in 1988. It was updated in 1991, 1994 and 2009.

In 1988, PTC-SC established an Honorary Lifetime Membership for individuals who made outstanding contributions to PTC. The first Honorary Lifetime Membership was awarded to Howard Lockwood, the primary catalyst in the founding and development of PTC in the 1950s. Honorary Lifetime Members are listed in the Professional Recognition section of the Officer’s Manual.

In December of 1990, Executive Director Steve Magel appointed Kaye Evleth to chair a committee to revise the Bylaws; Jan Klein, Ann Friend, and Jean Marmelefsky served on this committee. Over approximately the next year, with much assistance of the existing Board, this laborious task was completed; and in March, 1992, the required two-thirds majority voted to adopt the new Bylaws.

The new Bylaws provide for six elected Board members, each of whom serves a three year term, and includes the President and the newly re-created offices of President Elect and Past President on the Board. Each year the Board elects an Executive Director from its ranks.

The first officers and Board members elected under the new Bylaws took office in 1993. For that election only, two Board members each were elected for one, two, and three year terms. This permits the election of two Board members each year from that point on, minimizing the turnover on the Board in any one year.

The other significant change enacted with the adoption of the new Bylaws was a complete revision of the nomination procedure, which includes the creation of a three member Nominations Committee, competitive elections, and a standardized format for presentation of candidate qualifications on the ballot.

It is hoped that PTC-SC’s development and experiences will be useful to its affiliates as they develop their own histories. It is expected that mutual benefits will be derived from cooperation and communication among all affiliates.