Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


SBE Recognizes Three New Fellows

Cummis, Russell, Trautmann honored for their industry contributions

New SBE Fellows with SBE President Ted Hand. From left: RJ Russell, Ted Hand, Andera Cummis, and Conrad Trautmann. (Photo courtesy SBE)

At today’s SBE Membership Meeting during the 2024 NAB Show, the Society of Broadcast Engineering honors three new Fellows. Fellows are elected by the SBE board of directors in recognition of having rendered conspicuous service or made value contributions to the advancement of broadcast engineering or allied professions.

On April 13, the society’s board of directors elected Andrea Cummis, CBT, of Orange, N.J.; Robert “RJ” Russell, CPBE, ATSC3, CBNT, of Magnolia, Del.; and Conrad Trautmann, CPBE, of Trumbull, Conn., to the membership rank of Fellow.

Cummis is chief technology officer at WLVT-TV in Bethlehem, Pa. She is immediate past president of the SBE board of directors and has been an SBE member since 1996. She has served on the SBE board several times between 2003 and 2019, including as president (2021–2023), vice president (2019–2021), and treasurer (2009–2011; 2013–2017). As chair of the SBE Publications Committee, she oversaw release of the SBE Engineering Handbook.

Cummis was awarded the Robert W. Flanders SBE Engineer of the Year award in 2022.

In her nomination, one endorser said she has “a breadth of expertise in the industry, holding degrees in electrical engineering, law and technology and an MBA. She has reached out to encourage and support — especially women — to enter and advance their broadcast engineering careers.”

Russell is president of Technical Broadcast Solutions Inc. which he founded in 2017, as well as frequency coordination manager for the SBE. In the latter role, he manages frequency coordination issues with the U.S. Department of Defense in shared spectrum. He has held high-level engineering positions with Fox, E.W. Scripps, BYU Broadcasting, Sprint-Nextel, as well as engineering positions at multiple broadcast TV stations.

Russell joined the SBE in 1999 and has served on the board of directors, including terms as vice president and treasurer. In 2020, he was awarded the Robert W. Flanders SBE Engineer of the Year award.

Included in Russell’s nomination letters was the comment that he is “brilliant in the area of technical regulatory advocacy work involving the FCC generally, and especially in the critical area of broadcast auxiliary spectrum management.” It went on to note that RJ has been “one of the best advocates for broadcast engineering at the FCC.”

Trautmann is the chief technology officer of Cumulus Media, a position he has held since 2021. He joined Cumulus Media’s Westwood One in 2000 as executive vice president for technology. Trautmann also serves on the NAB Radio Technology Committee.

He joined the SBE in 1985 and has served on the national board of directors several times between 2001 and 2011. He has also served New York Chapter 15 in a variety of roles, including as chapter chair, treasurer and certification committee chair.

One of his nominations described Trautmann as “an invaluable mentor and technical resource.” Another nomination wrote, “Conrad Trautmann is a true gentleman who can communicate with a group of engineers one moment and then walk into a boardroom and present such a level of confidence like no other.”

In addition to being recognized at the 2024 NAB Show, the three new fellows will be honored at this year’s SBE National Meeting in September in Madison, Wis.

[Click here for more news from NAB Show 2024.]