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SBE National Hosted by Ohio Broadcasters

Manny Centeno of FEMA will speak at society’s annual national awards dinner

The author is executive director of the SBE.

Each year the Society of Broadcast Engineers holds its annual meeting in conjunction with an established regional broadcasters’ event. This year, we are pleased to be hosted by the Ohio Association of Broadcasters and their Ohio Broadcast Engineering Conference.

The SBE National Meeting events will be held Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, Sept. 27–28. The OAB conference, in its ninth year, will be held Wednesday and includes an equipment and product exhibition with some 40 exhibitors expected. Lunch is included in the low registration cost.

Experience Columbus/Rod Berry

The schedules for the organizations’ events have been planned to complement each other, allowing those in attendance to participate in the activities of both.

Events will take place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Columbus and the Columbus Convention Center across the street. Special hotel guest rates and discounted parking have been arranged by the OAB.

The SBE National Meeting opens on Tuesday at 2 p.m. with a meeting of the national SBE Certification Committee. This group is responsible for the development of the society’s certifications, including examination development and policies.

At 6 p.m., the national SBE Board of Directors comes together for its annual fall meeting. The agenda always includes a variety of issues, anything from operational policies to discussion of positions the society will take on regulatory issues.

On Wednesday the annual SBE Fellows Breakfast will take place, with a dozen or more members attending who have been elected to the Fellow membership rank. In accordance with tradition, the previous year’s Fellow recipients will serve as unofficial emcees. Current officers of the SBE, as well as the local chapter chairman and conference chairman are invited. The breakfast has been sponsored since its inception in 1997 by SBE Sustaining Member Kathrein Inc., Scala Division. The SBE is grateful for their continuing support.

At 1 p.m. a meeting of SBE frequency coordinators from Ohio and surrounding states will be led by national SBE Frequency Coordination Committee Chairman Joe Snelson, CPBE, 8-VSB. Snelson will bring coordinators up to date on broadcast auxiliary spectrum use and answer questions from those in attendance. Snelson will be joined by SBE General Counsel Chris Imlay.

The SBE Annual Meeting will begin at 4 p.m. This official business meeting includes brief reports from the president, secretary and treasurer, program and service updates and announcements from members of the board. The meeting will include the induction of the newly elected officers and six of the 12 directors who serve on the board. The society is making plans to stream the annual meeting live so members across the U.S. and overseas can participate in real time.

At 5:15 p.m., activities turn to recognition and fellowship with the annual SBE Awards Reception and Dinner. The reception features finger foods, beverages and live music. SBE Sustaining Member Vislink News and Entertainment, a long-time supporter of the SBE, will make the reception possible through their sponsorship.

The SBE National Awards Dinner follows at 6 p.m. and is sponsored by longtime SBE Sustaining Member Telos Alliance.

The program, emceed by the SBE president, includes a keynote presentation from special guest Manny Centeno, EAS national test project manager for FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System. He will inform participants about the upcoming first-ever national test of the Emergency Alert System that will be conducted on Nov. 9, and aspects of the new CAP-EAS.

The dinner will include the formal presentation of the SBE National Awards, including the SBE Engineer of the Year Award to Al Grossniklaus, P.E., CBNT, director of engineering for WTHR(TV), Indianapolis.

SBE Educator of the Year Award will be presented to Steve Lampen, multimedia technology managerat Belden Inc. in San Francisco. Nautel will be awarded the SBE Technology Award for its Advanced User Interface (AUI) and associated productivity technologies.

John Davis, CBNT, will be presented with the Best Technical Article Award for “Choosing a Network Switch for Audio-over-IP,” published in Radio magazine. Chapter 24 in Madison, Wis., will receive three chapter awards including Best Chapter Website, Best Regional Convention and Best Chapter Newsletter.

Other chapter awards will include Most Certified Chapter, Chapter 118, Montgomery, Ala. in Class A, the smaller chapter division; and Chapter 131, Inland Empire in Class B, the larger class division.

Awards for chapters with the greatest percentage growth of new members will be presented to Chapter 44, Shreveport, La., in Class A and Chapter 25 Indianapolis in Class B. Awards for the chapters with the highest percentage of member attendance at meetings will be presented to Chapter 136, Rio Grande Valley in Class A and Chapter 76, Eugene, Ore. in Class B.

As with every SBE program, a team of volunteers is involved. The SBE National Awards Committee does a great job reviewing nominations and selecting winners. It is chaired by Tim Anderson, CPBE, DRB, CBNT and includes members, Jim Leifer, CPBE and Frank Maynard, CPBE.

The dinner concludes with the presentation of three SBE Fellows for 2011, named earlier this year. The prestigious group includes Charles (Chuck) Kelly Jr., Arthur Lebermann, CPBE and Barry Thomas, CPBE, CBNT. With the addition of these recipients, the number of members who have been elected to the Fellow rank over the 47-year history of the SBE rises to 69.

To attend the SBE National Meeting and Ohio Broadcast Engineering Conference, registration is available at

The SBE will hold the 2012 National Meeting in Denver, in conjunction with the annual VidExpo and SBE Chapter 48. In 2013, the National Meeting will head back to the Midwest to Indianapolis, and team with the Indiana Broadcasters Association’s Broadcast Engineering Conference.