AES president-elect Frank Wells
By Steve Harvey.
Nashville, TN (November 2, 2012)—With the economic woes of 2008 now fading somewhat, “I’m happy that we are entering the next year with a sense of optimism and hope,” says AES president-elect Frank Wells. “The Society has tightened its belt and trimmed its operation, and been a good steward of its resources, but that’s gone as far as it can.”

Wells began a career in radio and technical engineering in the mid-1970s with the USAF, going on to become chief engineer for WMOT-FM at MTSU, then chief of technical services at Glenn Meadows’ Masterfonics production and mastering facility, both in Nashville, located in the heart of Music Row. In 1988, he made a transition to publishing, working first as editor for the U.S. edition of Audio Media, then as editor of Pro Sound News and editorial director of Pro Audio Review, Audio Solutions and The AES Daily.

The organization must begin thinking about growth again, he says. “My friend and colleague, Bob Moses, the new executive director of the Society, has been on the job since January, learning and listening and, with this Convention, beginning to experiment with new ideas. As Bob, and our now small but dedicated staff, work to model the Society’s future, customer service is a consistent focus.”

There are also considerations beyond the AES’ 14,000-plus membership, he says. “The manufacturing community needs to know that AES is committed to partnering with them to our mutual benefit, and for the benefit of the industry. New training initiatives and focused marketing are early signs of this commitment.”

As for the evolving size and format of conventions, he says, “New York in 2013 and the return to Los Angeles for the bi-annual west coast convention in 2014 will tell us a lot about the future of conventions, as well as about the ongoing marketing and content experimentation.”

He concludes, “AES plays important roles as an incubator of ideas, a clearinghouse for technology, a source for education—including continuing education, in Standards development and as a gathering point for dialog between the best minds in our industry.”