SMPTE Announces New Staff Hires

Industry Veteran Symes and Association Professional Tomko Add Value to SMPTE Headquarters

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers is pleased to announce the hiring of two new staff members for key leadership positions. Peter Symes will join the Society as Director of Standards & Engineering at the end of June. Heather Tomko recently joined as Director of Marketing.

Peter Symes has nearly 40 years experience in broadcast television and is currently manager, advanced technology for Grass Valley, Inc. In this role he is the liaison among many groups on a range of technology topics, with emphasis on issues related to industry standards and patents.

Peter began his television career in the planning and installation department of the British Broadcasting Corporation, where he led a group responsible for acquisition and installation of studio cameras and related systems. Subsequently he worked in product management roles in Philips and at Central Dynamics Limited in Montreal.

He moved to the United States in 1983, joining Grass Valley Group as a product manager responsible for products including the 300-series production switcher and the Kaleidoscope digital effects system. During his 23+ years with the company he has represented Grass Valley in a number of organizations including ATSC and SMPTE. He holds several patents and is the joint recipient of an Emmy award for the architecture of a digital picture processor.
In recent years Peter worked closely with internal and external legal teams on a range of intellectual property issues, and has contributed to the patent policies of both ATSC and SMPTE.

Peter has written and presented numerous papers at industry conferences, is the author of Digital Video Compression, published by McGraw-Hill, and has taught compression technology in many venues, including the UCLA short course program.

He has been a member of SMPTE for some 30 years and is a Fellow of the Society. During these years he has chaired numerous committees, founded the Sacramento Section, served on the Board of Governors, and as Engineering Director, Television, Engineering Vice President, and Financial Vice President.

Heather Tomko comes to SMPTE with a creative and marketing background, having recently served as Director, Creative Services for the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers. During her eight-year tenure at SCTE, she received three promotions for her outstanding service to the Society, increasingly giving her more responsibility in the marketing and communications department. Tomko graduated cum laude from Salisbury University.

About the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers
Founded in 1916 to advance theory and development in the motion imaging field, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) is the leading technical society for the motion imaging industry. SMPTE has earned a strong reputation for its work in developing industry standards, recommended practices and engineering guidelines. SMPTE also publishes the award-winning SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal. SMPTE worldwide members include engineers and other technical professionals, directors and educators working in the technical and creative provisioning of motion pictures, television and new media. SMPTE also hosts more than 200 sustaining (corporate) members. Visit SMPTE online at

Don't miss the opportunity to check out the latest technical education and peer-reviewed technical papers at the SMPTE Technical Conference & Exhibition on October 24-27, 2007 at the Marriott Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn, NY.