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About the Detroit Section

The Detroit Section is one of 28 local sections of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers. Local Sections conduct technical programs tailored to the interests of the section membership. This allows members to have hands-on input in the affairs of the Society on a local level.

Our membership is composed of film and video professionals in the Detroit area, throughout Michigan and Southwestern Ontario. Each month, September through June, we meet at a different location around the area and present a technical topic of interest to the film and television industry.

The strength of the Society is in its membership and their interests and talents. Membership in SMPTE is an important benchmark in your professional career. It is only with support from its members that the Society can perform the important work in standards-setting and technical education that moves our industries forward. Members in our area (Lower Michigan and Southwest Ontario) are assigned to the Detroit Section.

As the Detroit Section is locally run and managed, it takes the dedication of many imaging professionals volunteering their time to make the Section successful. We are always looking for interested members who wish to help guide and direct the Detroit Section’s technical program and manage its affairs. The Board of Managers consists of a Chair, Secretary/Treasurer, and six Managers, who together with the past Chair, Regional Governor and appointed officers, plan and conduct the Section technical program. Each year in the spring, Section members elect the Chair and Secretary/Treasurer, who serve one-year terms, and three Managers, who serve two-year terms. Any Section Professional, Life or Fellow member can run for office and those interested are encouraged to nominate themselves by contacting the Chair, Past Chair or Secretary/Treasurer.

Non-members are welcome to attend meetings. While there is usually no admission charge, we do encourage membership if you have an ongoing interest in the Society, its purposes and its constituency.

Past Section Events Archive 1883-Now

E-Mail Lists

SMPTE Detroit Section has two e-mail lists that we use to communicate meeting notices and other section news to members and friends.

  • SMPTE members assigned to the Detroit Section are automatically subscribed to a mailing list managed by SMPTE headquarters. These emails will have [Detroit] at the beginning of the subject line.
  • Members and non-members may subscribe to our SMPTEDetroit groups.io group where copies of meeting notices and other information are reposted. These emails will have [SMPTEDetroit] in the subject line.

If you are SMPTE member but are not receiving notices from SMPTE, please check your membership record at the SMPTE website to ensure your membership is current, your email address is correct and that you are a member of the Detroit Section. For assistance, check the Contact page on the SMPTE website.

Detroit Section Award Recipients 

Officers and members of the Detroit Section have been the recipients of many awards from SMPTE and other organizations.

Fellows and Life Fellows of the Society

SMPTE Fellows
The Fellow Grade of membership is awarded to individuals who have, by proficiency and contributions, attained an outstanding rank among engineers or executives in the (l-r) John FX Browne, Richard Painter, Fred Remley motion-picture, television or related industries. Life Fellows have attained the age of sixty-five years, an Active and/or Fellow member for at least twenty years, and at least five years of continuous membership immediately prior to nomination.


  • John F. X. Browne (Life)
  • Richard O. Painter (Life)
  • Frederick M. Remley

Citation for Outstanding Service to the Society

This Citation is intended to recognize individuals for dedicated service for the betterment of the Society over a sustained period of time. Consideration will be given for service at the Society-wide, Regional, and Section levels.

  • 2018: Charles W. Reti. For his more than 20 years of contribution to the Detroit Section as a Manager, Membership Chair, Secretary/Treasurer, and more than a decade as Section Chair. He has worked to keep the Detroit Section active by developing monthly programs and providing enduring leadership.
  • 2008: Harold Miller. Hal has been a member of the Society since 1960 and has served in several positions including Section Chair, Secretary/Treasurer (current), Manager, Membership Chair and Test Materials Advisor. He assisted with participant registration for the 20th anniversary SMPTE Winter Conference held in Detroit. He has also arranged many local Section meetings and programs. Mr. Miller has always made himself available to assist the Section every way possible and is worthy of this award.
  • 2000: Leonard W. Eden. For his outstanding service to Detroit Section. He has contributed by serving as Manager, Secretary/Treasurer, and Chairman many times in the past 25 years. Nationally, he also served as Program Chairman for the 10th Winter Conference in 1976, as well as General Chairman for the 25th Annual Conference in 1991. Eden has also arranged monthly meetings and participated on many nominating and special committees of the Detroit Section.
  • 1991: John P. Rusche. In recognition of his long-term service to the Detroit Section and his continuing leadership on a national, local, and regional level.
  • 1984: Ted H. Horn. For his services in the first and second Detroit Television Meetings. the predecessors of the present Television Conferences, and as Facilities and Projection Chairman of the 10th Television Conference.
  • 1978: Frederick M. Remley. For his involvement in all phases of the SMPTE: engineering activities, television and national conferences, editorial, Board of Governors and the Detroit Section.

Carl E. Lee Broadcast Engineering Excellence Award

First awarded in 1997, The Carl E. Lee Broadcast Engineering Excellence Award is given by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters to an engineer who has worked in, or in support of, broadcasting in Michigan, and has made contributions in development of new technologies, dissemination of technical knowledge, leadership in broadcast engineering, mentoring and coaching in engineering outside the workplace, inventions, and any other contribution which warrants consideration.

  • 2003: Eugene Wilczak
  • 2005: Helge Blucher
  • 2006: Marcus Williams
  • 2010: John Grover
  • 2012: Mike Winsky
  • 2019: Richard Grzebik
  • 2020: Frank Maynard