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Enhancing Member Benefits and Fostering Industry Growth

November 14, 2023

During the SMPTE Awards Gala on Thursday, 19 October, in Hollywood, CA, SMPTE President Renard Jenkins announced the Peter Wharton Scholarship at SMPTE. This scholarship began with a pledge of $25,000 from TAG Video Systems and will carry on the name and leg- acy of one of SMPTE’s most ardent supporters. Peter’s influence on the Society and the industry was incredible He was passionate about media engineering and SMPTE, and it is an honor to help establish this fund to grow and impact people for years to come. 

SMPTE’s efforts in 2023 have been laying the groundwork for the future. Our elected officers and staff leadership have been working to get member feedback to support their daily work. The data we have collected shows that SMPTE mem- bers need a tangible return on their membership investment. That is a fair request. Joining organizations for altruistic reasons or using the member directory is no longer neccessary. People join associations and societies to network and find solu- tions to their challenges.

Most members seek tangible benefits, and we are moving in that direction. Beginning in 2024, SMPTE members will have free access to the standards library and on-demand courses. Adding these to your membership allows for a return on investment. Additionally, we are working to offer a “subscription” model, with the option to pay monthly. This option will be available to many members in the new year. Additionally, we will offer the option to pay in currencies other than U.S. dollars once logistics are finalized globally. As a global Society, SMPTE aims to pro- vide ample payment choices in local currencies.

In 2024, we are also working to encourage more member voices. We need you, our members, to actively nominate people for next year’s awards. We are reviewing how we can honor not only those who have made an impact over their lifetime, but also those who are rising stars in the industry. Highlighting the difference-makers helps us high- light the industry and bring it to the attention of people who might not have considered a career in media and entertainment technology.

There is great hope for the future. More than 70 college and high school students attended our Media Technology Summit, thanks to the efforts of our Chapter leaders, especially John Shike and Linda Rosner. This effort was expanded when members of our New York Section helped me in hosting Pizza and Professionals at the All-American High School Film Festival in New York City (hsfilmfest.com). There, we met more than a hundred young people from across the nation who were excited to learn that color bars indicated more than “something is wrong.” Students were interested in learning how they could expand their careers horizons.

The pipeline of individuals entering our industry could be more robust. Part of that responsibility falls on us as a Society to partner with organizations and promote the employment opportunities that the industry offers. Some have asked me why we are focused on this, and the answer is simple. It is the future of our industry and our Society. It also represents the future of inno- vation. We must encourage young people to pursue careers in this industry rather than assuming that they will appear.

SMPTE is growing and supporting our Sections in meeting the local needs of our members. We are also working communally on a global scale to tackle issues like workforce development and continuing education. Look for more information about these initiatives as we move into 2024 and beyond. Some efforts can be completed quickly and refined later, but others require more time.

It is great to get things right the first time. Sometimes things that sound amazing in principle are terrible in practice and whispered about for years. However, we must be bold and try to find ways to serve our members. Members’ needs have changed over the past decades. The solutions may be the same or different; we will not always know until we try.

Thank you for taking the time to reply when we ask questions. Thank you for making your needs and desires known as to what you want from a Society. We will use that information to build something that serves the people of today and creates the industry and infrastructure we all rely upon for the future.

Tag(s): News

David Grindle

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