As befitting the “big as Texas” theme of this year’s Cable-Tec Expo, the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers didn’t skimp on the kudos hardware, handing out a slew of honors Wednesday to members at the annual awards luncheon.
The awards lunch recognizes the accomplishments of members, chapters, operators and vendors for their efforts to support SCTE and industry technology efforts.
After the traditional slide show that served as both a tribute and mild roast, ARRIS‘ Bob Foote was named the 2005 SCTE Member of the year. Foote began his career in cable in the 1980s, and through a series of mergers, came to work for ARRIS Telewire Supply. A Region 12 representative to the SCTE board of directors, Foote has been a key member of the New England Chapter.
“We certainly have looked up to him – his drive, enthusiasm and creativity have made SCTE into the world-class organization that it is,” said Dan Moloney, president of Motorola Inc.‘s Connected Home Solutions, as he presented the award to Foote.
Foote shook his head as he accepted the award, which according to tradition, was not announced prior to the ceremony.
“My wife did it to me twice,” he said of the surprise award. “She got me on my 40th birthday and now she got me here.”
Other members taking home trophies included Alan Amato of Times Fiber Communications, who came away with the Excellence in Standards award. A member of the SCTE Interface Practices Subcommittee, Amato has penned a raft of SCTE standards that have also been approved by the American National Standards Institute. He also is SCTE’s representative to two IEEE National Electrical Safety Code subcommittees.
Senior Member recognition awards went to Greg Allshouse, Herb Dougall III, Andrew Healey and John Weeks, Jr.
Charlotte Field’s position as senior vice president of national communications for Comcast Corp. earned her the Women in Technology Award. Field, who is in charge of Comcast’s voice network serving 1.2 million customers, is Comcast’s top-ranking woman in a technical position.
The System of the Year award went to Charter Communications Inc.‘s Madison, Wis. Unit. One of two Charter systems to debut simulcast digital TV service, the Wisconsin system also has successfully rolled out voice-over-IP service as well as interactive TV services.
Sean Hayes, Charter’s director of technology for the Great Lakes Division, said that in addition to the MSO’s senior leadership, “I’d like to thank every systems installer and field technician who spent countless hours to get this done.”
Individual chapters also gained recognition, including the New England chapter, which won the large chapter of the year, and the Portland, Maine-based Lighthouse chapter, which took home the small chapter of the year award.
Steven Johnson was awarded the Chapter Member of the Year. A technical trainer for Cox Communications in Yukon, Okla., he also is the secretary of the Sooner State Chapter.
The $20,000 Shapp Scholarship was awarded to Jeff Andrew Zeller, son of Bonnie and Warren Zeller, the latter a vice president of account services at Cohorts. Jeff Zeller carries a 4.0 grade-point-average and was first in his class at Cherry Creek High School in Englewood, Colo. He plans to attend Stanford University in the fall and pursue a degree in electrical engineering.
SCTE also handed out a slew of safety awards to various cable operators recognizing their efforts to cut out accidents on the job. In all, some 67 systems run by Charter, Comcast, Cox Communications Inc. and Seren Innovations received gold level awards, recognizing the fact their incident rates were 50 percent below the industry average. Another 32 systems gained silver level award nods for accident rates 25 percent below the industry average.