In his last days as AES president, Ron Streicher has a lot to report, with various outreach efforts yielding membership and program growth. The primary goal Streicher set out to accomplish at the beginning of his presidency has come to fruition with the development of the distinguished speaker panel.
With the distinguished speakers program, we can stimulate the local membership where most of our members are located, says Streicher. We’ll have a roster of potential speakers, professionals who are traveling for business anyway that we can link up with local sections to give technical presentations in their areas of expertise. We have members over 12,000 worldwide, but, of course, not all of them can make it to our two conventions, so this program will really get our local activities going.
To help fund the new program, Streicher has also established a distinguished speakers fund, to which people can contribute tax-deductible contributions to support the expenses of the bureau. Streicher also notes that education has and will continue to be a main focus of the AES agenda. Our strong emphasis on education is reflected here at the convention by the various student programs including the delegate assembly, recording competitions, and tutorials. Twenty-five percent of our membership is students, so we maintain a strong focus to help bring them up, get them up to full speed.
Streicher has also overseen outreach efforts in new technical topics, such as audio for security and audio for medicine. Our eyes are always open to new fields, as well as moving into different geographical areas, says Streicher. We’re growing rapidly in Latin America, we’re making inroads into China we now have 12 members in China. This was unheard of five years ago. Five years ago, being a member of the AES in China would have been forbidden by law. So, we’re advancing into all these different areas, and we have great hopes and prospects for the future.