The Society of Broadcast Engineers has elevated James Leifer, CBPE, and Ralph Beaver, CBT, to the membership rank of Fellow. The SBE Board of Directors elected them at its meeting held April 24.
James Leifer, who originally joined the SBE in 1986, is the senior manager of broadcast operations for American Tower Corp. He is based in the Boston area. His broadcast career began in South Florida. From 1987 to 2017, he handled engineering responsibilities for various broadcast groups, including Paxson, Ion, and iHeart Media. In 2017 he moved to Massachusetts to join American Tower in his current role.
Jim’s SBE activities began with SBE Chapter 53 South Florida. He served that chapter as chair from 2008 to 2012. In 2009, he was elected to a seat on the SBE Board of Directors for one term, then elected secretary in 2011 for four terms. He was the vice president for two terms (2015 to 2017) and then president from 2017 to 2019. He continues to serve on the SBE Board of Directors as immediate past president.
Ralph Beaver originally joined the SBE in 1975. He moved to Tampa in 1973, and he has been an active member of Chapter 39 Tampa Bay Area for many years, including work on the chapter’s annual Chapter 39 Broadcast Engineering Symposium. He served on the SBE Board of Directors from 2002 until 2012. During that time, he chaired the EAS Committee for one year, and then chaired the SBE Frequency Coordination Committee, where he worked extensively with the SBE/NFL Game-Day Coordinator program when the two groups worked together. He started working with the NFL in 1999 as the Tampa game-day coordinator and Super Bowl coordinator in 1999. He was named NFL general manager of frequency coordination in 2011. In addition, he is the CEO of Media Alert LLC, a company he founded in 1994.
In the letters supporting Leifer’s nomination, there are several references to him being a talented, competent and technically capable broadcast engineer. More recently, Jim has been involved with projects relating to the TV repack, and nomination supports note that he goes beyond the technical duties of the project with his willingness to help in any way he can. One nomination also noted that Jim is “brilliant in the area of technical regulatory advocacy work involving the FCC.”
Several nomination endorsement letters for Ralph Beaver cite his work on EAS alerting, working with Florida on creating the state’s Child Abduction Alert system, and his extensive work in frequency coordination, first around the Tampa area and then with the National Football League. Among the nomination endorsements, one letter stated that Ralph is “not only an expert at radio broadcasting technology, [but] also a master of spectrum allocations and spectrum compatibility studies.”
“I have worked directly with Jim and followed Ralph’s accomplishments in their various capacities within the SBE, “said Wayne Pecena, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB, CBNE, president of the Society of Broadcast Engineers. “They both possess and regularly demonstrate the skill, attitude, professionalism and dedication to broadcast engineering that are the benchmarks of an SBE Fellow.”
The Fellow honor is the highest membership level in the SBE. Members must have made significant contributions to the broadcast engineering field or the SBE. Candidates are nominated by their peers. Since the Society’s founding 56 years ago, 81 members have been honored with the Fellow rank.
Leifer and Beaver will be recognized for their election to Fellow during the SBE National Awards Dinner on Sept. 23, 2020, in Syracuse, NY, during the annual SBE National Meeting, which will be held in conjunction with the SBE 22 Broadcast & Technology Expo.