The Society of Broadcast Engineers has added two more names to its list of Fellows. At its April 24 meeting, the SBE board of directors voted to elevate James Leifer, CBPE, and Ralph Beaver, CBT, to its highest membership level. There have been 81 Fellows during the course of the SBE’s 56-year history.
Both will be recognized Sept. 23 at the SBE National Awards Dinner, which will be held in conjunction with the SBE National Meeting. This year’s meeting is scheduled during the SBE Chapter 22 Broadcast & Technology Expo in Syracuse, N.Y.
“They both possess and regularly demonstrate the skill, attitude, professionalism and dedication to broadcast engineering that are the benchmarks of an SBE Fellow,” SBE President Wayne Pecena (CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB, CBNE) said in the announcement. Pecena also noted that he had worked with Leifer and followed Beaver’s efforts at the SBE.
Leifer is the senior manager of broadcast operations for American Tower Corp. and is based in the Boston metropolitan area, where he moved in 2017 for his present role working on the TV repack. In Florida, he held engineering positions for iHeartMedia, Ion and Paxson.
Because Leifer’s broadcast career kicked off in south Florida in 1987, he initially joined SBE Chapter 53. In 2008, Chapter 53 elected him chapter chair, a role he fulfilled until 2012.
Leifer is the SBE board’s current immediate past president. He served as president from 2017–2019, and prior to that was the board’s VP from 2015–2017. Leifer was the SBE secretary from 2011–2015, first joining the board in 2009.
Several of his nomination letters characterize Leifer as a talented, competent and technically capable broadcast engineer, willing to help others. Leifer’s regulatory advocacy is also a standout, according to his peers.
Beaver, NFL general manager of frequency coordination and CEO of Media Alert LLC, is another long-serving SBE Floridian. He moved to Tampa in 1973, and joined Chapter 39 two years later. Beaver is active in the chapter’s Broadcast Engineering Symposium.
Additionally, Beaver served on the national board from 2002 until 2012, during which time he chaired the EAS Committee and then the Frequency Coordination Committee. In the latter role, Beaver worked with the SBE/NFL Game-Day Coordinator program, a position he was well suited to, since he had begun working with the NFL in 1999 as the Tampa game-day coordinator and Super Bowl coordinator for that same year. He took on his current role with the NFL in 2011.
Beaver’s nominations highlighted his EAS efforts as well as his frequency coordination work. One letter called him “a master of spectrum allocations and spectrum compatibility studies.”