SBE Awards: Recognize Excellence

SBE Awards ribbonWho will the next SBE Engineer of the Year award recipient be? It could be you, it could be someone you nominate. This will be the eighth year that the Chapter Engineer of the Year award is nominated by SBE Chapters. The chapter honorees are then entered into consideration for the Robert W. Flanders SBE Engineer of the Year award. Each chapter can establish its own criteria for the chapter award. Individuals can also be nominated directly for the national award. For the national award, nominations need to be submitted to the National Office by June 15.

There are other honors as well. The James C. Wulliman SBE Educator of the Year; the SBE Technology Award; Facility Innovation of the Year; Best Technical Article, Book or Program by an SBE Member; Best Article, Paper or Program by a Student Member; and the Freedom Award are among the accolades. There are also a series of statistical awards.

Of the 13 awards recognizing chapters that are presented each year, a local chapter or SBE member make nominations for 10 of them. Many SBE members are highly qualified and deserving of recognition. Likewise, many chapters do an excellent job promoting the ideals and goals of the SBE. Please nominate these members and chapters so they can receive the recognition they deserve.

For information about these and any of the SBE National Awards, please visit sbe.org/awards or contact Megan Clappe at mclappe@sbe.org. Recognition by your peers is the highest honor. Honor your colleagues today.

Chapter Awards Nomination Form

Individual Awards Nomination Form

James Leifer, Ralph Beaver Named SBE Fellows

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.

Jim LeiferJames 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 BeaverRalph 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.

SBE Suggests Chapters Suspend In-person Meetings

The safety of our members and their families are our utmost concern. During this time of heightened concern for public health with the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, the SBE asks that SBE chapters not conduct in-person meetings in March and April, but rather, meet virtually through any capabilities you may have available to you.

One possible source for a remote presentation is the SBE Chapter Speaker List. Several SBE Sustaining Members offer program presentations to chapters. Contact them to see if a remote presentation could be scheduled for your chapter.

SBE Cancels 2020 NAB Show Events

As you most likely have heard, the NAB announced on March 11 that it has “decided not to move forward with the NAB Show in April,” due to the evolving situation involving the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The SBE events and meetings scheduled to coincide with the April NAB Show have been cancelled. This includes the SBE Ennes Workshop held in conjunction with the BEIT Conference. The SBE at PBS TechCon educational programs have also been cancelled.

The NAB has indicated that it is looking at potential alternatives to hold the show at a later date. Like everyone else, the SBE will await further word from the NAB and consider options for taking part.

The SBE 2020 Membership Drive

Join the SBE

Going: Career Advancement
Growing: Professional Development
Knowing: Ongoing Education

Help your colleagues go, grow and know by joining the SBE.

Membership Drive 2020The SBE wants your help in recruiting new members, and you can win rewards for your efforts. Sponsor a new Member, Associate Member or Sustaining Member between March 1 and May 31, 2020, and you will be eligible for the prize drawings. For each approved new member application you sponsor you will earn $5 off your 2021 membership dues, up to $25. If you recruit three or more Regular or Associate Members, or one Sustaining Member, you will also receive an upgrade to SBE MemberPlus for the remainder of the 2020 membership period.

Each new member application may have only one sponsor. Applications must be received at the SBE National Office between March 1 and May 31, 2020, to be eligible. Drawing for all prizes will be completed by June 15, 2020.

New members are welcome throughout the year. Here’s the link to the member application: SBE Membership application

Grand Prize

A trip to the SBE National Meeting held in conjunction with the annual SBE Chapter 22 Broadcast and Technology Expo in Syracuse, NY, Sept. 23, 2020. Prize package includes round trip airfare for one from within the continental US to the meeting; all SBE National Meeting and engineering conference events on Sept. 23; and two nights at the host hotel (Sept. 22-23).

Additional Prizes

From the SBE
SBE logoed t-shirt
Two SBE logoed notebooks
A copy of SBE CertPreview
One free SBE Webinars by SBE registration
One $25 gift certificate for the SBE Store/SBE Bookstore

Donated by Sustaining Members
BGS: two $100 Amazon gift cards
BSW: Audio-Technica ATHM40x headphones
Cavell Mertz & Associates: four $125 SBE Store/SBE Bookstore gift certificates
Comark: six insulated tumber and notepad sets
Comrex: Rugged Geek RG2000 jump starter/booster/power pack
Dielectric: two Dielectric-logoed polo shirts
Fujifilm: Instax camera
Heartland Video Systems: logoed items
LBA Group: two SafeONE personal RF monitors
Orban: 1101e card and breakout cable
Telos Alliance: logoed items
Tieline: two $25 Starbucks gift cards, two Tieline-logoed polo shirts
Wheatstone: FM-55 processor

Additional prizes will be announced as they are provided.

Golden Recruiter Award
This award recognizes a chapter in each size division recruiting the most new members during the Membership Drive.

Category A and B are based on chaper enrollment, Class A represents chapers whose membership is less than the national median. Class B includes chapters with a membership greater than the national median. Plaques will be awarded during the SBE National Awards Dinner on Sept. 23 in Syracuse, NY.

Membership Drive FAQs
Where do I find new members? Prospective members can be non-members attending chapter meetings, fellow engineers at work or other stations, suppliers or educators.

How do I get credit for new members? Direct prospective members to the SBE website to join online or provide them with a copy of the membership application and ask him/her to fill in your name on the line “Sponsor’s Name/Who introduced you to SBE.” Once the new member’s membership application has been approved, your name will be placed in the prize drawing, which takes place in June 2020.

Official Rules: Only members of the SBE in good standing (national dues paid) are eligible. All applications are subject to approval by the admissions committee per the SBE By-laws. Only sponsorships of new applications for Member, Associate Member and Sustaining Members are eligible for the prize drawings. Each approved application will earn $5 off the recruiter’s 2021 membership dues, up to $25. Each new member application may have only one sponsor. Applications must be received at the SBE National Office between March 1 and May 31, 2020, to be eligible. Drawing for all prizes will be completed by June 15, 2020. Winners will be notified by mail. Grand prize winner may choose $500 cash in lieu of the trip package. There are no other prize substitutions. Winners are responsible for any taxes on prizes. Employees of the SBE and their family members are not eligible to win. Contest void where prohibited. Entrants agree that their name and likeness may be used by the Society of Broadcast Engineers, Inc. for promotional purposes.

SBE Fellow Nominations Are Open

There is still time to recognize a broadcasting peer who has contributed to the success of an SBE chapter or broadcasting. The membership grade of SBE Fellow is the highest in the society, and it honors those who have exhibited a dedication to the advancement of the broadcast engineer, the field of broadcast engineering and the Society of Broadcast Engineers itself. To date, 85 members have been recognized with the honor in the society’s more than 55 years of existence.

To nominate a member, candidates must be proposed in writing by a voting SBE member to the Fellowship Committee. The nomination must include a comprehensive professional history of the nominee and an explanation of why the candidate is deserving of this honor. The nomination must also include the written endorsements of at least five other voting SBE members. Nominations are confidential. No others besides the nominators and the members of the Fellowship Committee should be aware of the nomination. The nominee should not know that he or she has been nominated.

Nominations for 2020 must be received no later than March 27, 2020, for consideration. The Fellowship Committee will bring the names of nominees to the Board of Directors for consideration and election at the April 19, 2020, meeting. The SBE secretary will notify those elected. Recipients will be recognized at the SBE National Awards Dinner on Sept. 23 during the 2020 SBE National Meeting to be held in Syracuse, NY.

Submit your nominations in a single package to Fellowship Committee Chair Troy Pennington, CSRE, CBNT, at tpennington@sbe.org.

Candidates Sought for SBE Election

The SBE’s annual election of officers and directors to the national SBE Board of Directors will take place this summer. The SBE Nominations Committee seeks qualified candidates who are voting members (Member, Senior, Fellow or the designated representative of an SBE Sustaining Member) in good standing (dues paid). Candidates must hold an engineering level of SBE certification (CBT or higher or CBNE) and maintain it the entire duration of service on the Board, if elected. Candidates should have a desire to serve and lead as a member of the board and through service as a national committee chair or member. Members of the Board represent all members, not a specific region or chapter. It is suggested that candidates have previous experience as a leader in his or her local chapter, or other volunteer leadership experience, prior to running for the national SBE Board.

Members of the Board are expected to attend two regularly called meetings each year: in the spring, held during the annual NAB Show, and in the fall, at the annual SBE National Meeting. Other meetings may be called via conference call during the year.

The national SBE board includes 12 directors, four officers and the immediate past president. Directors serve two-year terms and officers serve one-year terms. Six director seats will be contested in 2020 as will all four officer positions. The SBE By-laws limits the number of terms for elected members of the Board.

If interested, contact SBE Nominations Committee Chair Jim Leifer, CPBE, at jleifer@sbe.org. A nomination slate will be assembled by the committee by May 1. Other qualified members may be nominated by SBE members no later than July 2 by letter to the SBE Secretary. Floor nominations require the endorsement of at least 10 SBE members.

The election runs from July 17 to Aug. 19. Those elected will be installed at the SBE National Meeting in Syracuse, NY, on Sept. 23.

John Poray, SBE Executive Director, to Retire at End of 2020

Wayne Pecena, president of the Society of Broadcast Engineers, has announced that long-time executive director of the SBE, John Poray, has shared his plans to retire at the end of 2020. Poray joined the SBE as executive director on Oct. 1, 1992. During his tenure, the SBE has seen growth in membership, and in the society’s certification, education and frequency coordination programs.

John PorayWith the announcement, President Pecena added, “John has been a fixture of the SBE since 1992 who cannot be replaced. We can only seek to find a successor!”

Poray’s entire 43-year career has been in the field of non-profit organization management. Prior to the SBE, he served with the International Headquarters of Kiwanis International, The Apartment Association of Indiana, The Columbus (OH) Apartment Association, and began his career with the Central Ohio Council, Boy Scouts of America. Poray was the first full-time executive director hired by the SBE Board of Directors, led at the time by SBE President Richard Farquhar.

With his announcement, Poray said, “I have been blessed to have had a long and productive relationship with the SBE, working with many great members, national leaders and staff. Together, we have worked to grow the SBE in size and stature and I believe the SBE is positioned well to continue to serve the broadcast and media engineers into the future. I look forward to a busy 2020 for SBE while assisting the Board of Directors with the transition.”

In the coming weeks, President Pecena plans to meet with members of the Board of Directors to begin the search process for the next SBE executive director.

SBE President Wayne Pecena Comments on the Passing of John Lyons

The broadcast engineering community was both shocked and saddened as we learned of the passing of John Lyons on Nov. 29, 2019. John was a bigger-than-life icon of the broadcast engineering community in New York City where he most recently led the design and build of state of the art TV broadcast facilities at One World Trade Center as the director of broadcast communications for the Durst Corporation. 2016 SBE Education SummitHis career accomplishments extended well beyond OWTC as his handprints were on all major New York City broadcast and communications facilities from Empire State to 4 Times Square.

John was a true friend of the SBE, having served on the board of directors from 1974 to 1978 and was elected a Fellow in 1977. My first interaction with John was in 2014 soon after it was announced that I was named the 11th recipient of the Radio World Excellence in Engineering award. When I received that award, his email to me simply stated, “Congratulations to #11 from #3.” John was the 3rd recipient of that award in 2006. His simple, no-nonsense and to-the-point email was reflective of his character.

In 2016, John hosted the SBE Education Summit at One World Trade Center. I have always felt his personal tour of the unbelievable broadcast facilities, then under construction, was a special occasion. Today, that time is to be cherished. (John is front row left in the picture of the Education Summit group above.)

We offer his family the most sincere condolences.

SBE Authorizes New Chapter: 106 Panhandle

The Board of Directors of the Society of Broadcast Engineers, the association for broadcast and multimedia technology professionals, approved the application for the newest SBE chapter, Chapter 106 Panhandle, which serves SBE members in the Florida Panhandle and southern portions of Alabama and Georgia. The action was taken at the Board of Directors meeting on Oct. 15, held during the SBE National Meeting in Madison, WI, in conjunction with the Broadcasters Clinic. Chapter 106 brings the number of active SBE chapters 115. The chapter leaders are Chair Mark Johnson, CSRE, of Linkup Communications; Vice Chair Alan Lane, CSRE, AMD, DRB, of Cumulus Media; and Secretary/Treasurer Ricky Carter of Alarado Media.

To form a chapter, a minimum of 10 SBE members must hold at least three meetings, and then submit an application to the SBE National Office. The application is reviewed and voted on by the SBE Board of Directors. Chapter 106 members met more than the required three times before submitting the chapter application. The organization process was also delayed by Hurricane Michael in 2018.

Commenting on the new chapter, SBE President Wayne Pecena, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB, CBNE, said, “The SBE members in the Florida Panhandle area have been without a chapter for some time. The efforts of Mark Johnson and others in the area to organize a chapter have paid off, and all the chapter leaders and organizers deserve the credit for their work in establishing the chapter to serve SBE members in the area.”