From the Chair for February 2013

Arthur Willetts, SBE Chapter 16 Chairman

What is the value of your membership? I thought that this may be a good time to ask this, since payment of this year’s membership dues are right around the corner. With the slight increase of the fee, you’ll probably want to be reminded why you continue to pay it every year. Allow me to help, by showing you some of the ways that your membership to the Society of Broadcast Engineers, and belonging to Chapter 16 is a good value for you and your career. I’ll also mention how to save on your membership cost.

Let’s start with professional development and networking. SBE offers many (too many to list) educational courses, online webinars, certification exams, and the SBE University, including the SBE bookstore. Sure, most of these can be viewed without a membership. But only members are offered these items at a discounted cost. You can discover that all these tools are available at to enhance you career. I would suggest repeated visits to take it all in and to formulate an education road map.

Networking is another valuable aspect to membership. I have met lots of members who belong to a broadcasting company or are independent contractors that are the people keeping our area’s television and radio stations humming along day after day. I have even come to know the suppliers of media and broadcasting equipment, which aids in knowing where to shop for parts.

Through the years, I’ve found that it is very helpful to know as many business-related folks in order to find out what a problem is, or even to ask where I should get those parts. And to top it off, something that I feel a price can not be put upon, is getting to hear personal reports and stories on how the rest of our area’s broadcasters and engineers are examining the past or creating the future.

Being a SBE member also keeps you aware of news and trends, from the national level to the local level. Regulatory updates and industry changes are made available from SBE National on their electronic mailing list. Chapter 16 has a similar mailing list in which all members are notified of local concerns. In fact, if you need a question answered, that is a great place to do so. But you have to be a member to get this benefit.

Job search & job advancement assistance is another valuable offering of membership. Not only does SBE National offer a job listing service, our local chapter has our very own local job board for the entire northwest. You can view job openings on the chapter online newsletter, the Waveguide. But unless you are a member, you can’t get all the details on how to apply for a particular job.

And how’s this for a benefit: Sometimes our chapter will have a host for a lunch program who will offer to buy lunch, just for attending the monthly meeting. Even when we don’t have this special feature for members, we do offer a give-away drawing for a chance to win $10, which could buy your lunch that day. And speaking of free and discounted meals, the Chapter summertime picnic and Christmas-time meetings are definitely worth the effort and time to attend these events. Do I need to mention the spectacular gifts & prizes that go along with all these gatherings?

You can see I have named just some of the things that make your membership valuable. Now let me offer a couple of ways that you can save on your membership. For every new member you get to sign up, you can get a discount on your renewal. If this is like in years past, up to $25 can be applied.

And for those who are going through a financial difficulty period, there is a hardship discount available which can be used to bring down the cost. There is some financial aid paperwork to submit with this (one time) option, but it could be the thing that keeps your membership up-to-date and I would hope that if it is needed, you would take advantage of it.

As I wrap up here, I want to remind every one reading this to make your travel plans now to attend the NAB meeting in April. SBE National will also hold the spring meeting there in Las Vegas. This reminds of one final way to save with your membership. You can get $100 off the non-NAB member for the conference Smartpass or Flexpass price if your employer is not a member. Visit for the details and to get the online registration promo code, or see the latest SBE-news member email that was sent out on January 16th by president Ralph Hogan.

See you at the next Chapter meeting! Stay tuned to the Chapter remailer and the Waveguide for all the details.

Arthur Willetts
SBE Chapter 16 Chairman