The Society of Broadcast Engineers threw a surprise party Thursday for departing Executive Director John Poray.
“You taught us how to be an organization,” veteran engineer Fred Baumgartner told Poray during a Zoom meeting attended by more than 75 people.
The group included numerous past presidents of the society, current and past board members and committee leaders, representatives from state broadcast associations, and friends and Poray family members.
[Related: “SBE’s Poray to Retire in 2020”]
Poray was SBE’s first full-time executive director and has been with the society since 1992.
He began his career with the Boy Scouts of America’s Central Ohio Council and went on to work for Kiwanis International, The Apartment Association of Indiana and The Columbus Apartment Association.
Among those on the call were two engineers who interviewed Poray for the job 28 years ago, Rick Farquhar and Fred Baumgartner.
Poray told the online gathering that when he joined, he figured he might stay in the job for four or five years.
“I’ve never been with a group that enjoys their work so much,” Poray said. “You like what you do, it’s part of you. That really rubs off.”
Poray noted that he is not an engineer but that he shared interests of many SBE members, having DXed as a boy and collected QSL cards.
Society veterans on the call praised Poray for his administrative abilities, good ideas and efforts to provide stability and growth for the organizations.
One said that when he became an SBE officer, his predecessor told him, “It’s an easy job. Just do what John tells you and you’ll be fine.”
New Executive Director James Ragsdale comes on board in January.