New York, NY (October 18, 2019)—In her welcoming remarks during the opening ceremonies of the Audio Engineering Society’s 147th International Pro Audio Convention two days ago, AES President Nadja Wallaszkovits revealed her own professional history to be a perfect example of the relevance of the Society and the impact it can have upon a life and a career.
As a university student in Austria, Wallaszkovits was introduced to the Society by a professor who invited her to participate and join. “It was my first chance to meet the well-respected audio professionals of our country, to listen to their presentations, to discuss current topics with them and to become involved in the audio community,” says Wallaszkovits. The “powerful” experience of her early AES involvement, she declares, “profoundly impacted my professional life.”
Wallaszkovits delivered her first AES Convention presentation while a student, beginning a familiar pattern where the combined knowledge from her formal education, her growing experience and the continuation of her education through AES resources allowed her to then herself begin to give back.
The AES became a platform for Wallaszkovits to develop relationships with student peers who would go on to become professional peers and colleagues. As she became a leading expert in her chosen specialty—Wallaszkovits is Chief Audio Engineer at Phonogrammarchiv, Austrian Academy of Sciences—she became a mentor to a new generation of audio students and young professionals.
“AES offers a unique, collegial community,” she says. “Helping that community grow is deeply satisfying. Student membership is steadily growing; AES currently has an impressive 138 student sections worldwide. Students are our flagship, our future potential and the best place to reflect integrative thinking.”
With her history a personification of what the AES can bring to an individual’s professional growth, Wallaszkovits was the ideal AES president to work with AES Executive Director Colleen Harper as they assumed their leadership roles this past January. Harper’s deep experience in association management and member service dovetailed neatly with Wallaszkovits’ experiences as an AES Student Member, then Member, then a leader playing numerous roles within the Society’s committee structure and its Board of Governors. Harper brings a fresh, intelligent perspective to the Society, unencumbered by preconception. Wallaszkovits provides industry knowledge and insights along with historical continuity based on her Society experience.
That Wallaszkovits was embraced by the AES as a student and a professional, and within successive leadership roles culminating in her election as president, is a testimony to the Society’s increasingly open door for women. This is further exemplified by Harper’s appointment as ED, by the steady presence of second-term AES Secretary Valerie Tyler, and by the election of Agnieszka Roginska as AES President-Elect. Wallaszkovits, Tyler and Roginska currently comprise three-fifths of the AES governing body, the Board of Directors.
“We are working diligently towards expanding the membership of the AES and the participation within the Society of individuals from all geographic regions, ethnicities and gender identifications. This convention, as an example, offers a broadened base of contributors and an expanded focus on additional music genres and production specialties.
“That work will continue in the coming year,” Wallaszkovits pronounces, “with the leadership of Agnieszka, supported by myself and the rest of the Board of Directors, by the Board of Governors and by the Society’s growing and increasingly diverse membership. I am delighted to see that the benefits that AES provided to my own personal and professional growth will be even more accessible to an ever-broadening base of current and future audio professionals.”