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Audio Engineering Society names Colleen Harper as executive director

Harper brings extensive experience within similar organisations to the role, having most recently served as chief operating officer and interim chief executive officer of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition

The Audio Engineering Society has announced the appointment of Colleen Harper as its executive director, effective January 21, 2019.

In her role as executive director, Harper will report to the executive committee of the AES board of governors.

Harper most recently worked as the chief operating officer and interim chief executive officer of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN), where she led and implemented strategies for growing and sustaining the six million dollar organisation, managed its annual conference and headed the expansion and enhancement of membership service and growth.

Harper’s extensive experience also includes serving the National Investor Relations Institute as director, professional development; as association manager for the global meeting and association management firm; as assistant manager of membership for the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers; and as the director of membership and organisational relations for the Geoprofessional Business Association. She has been a Certified Association Executive (CAE) since 2012 and was an Association Forum of Chicagoland’s Forty Under 40 Award recipient in 2014.

David Scheirman, AES president for the 2017-2018 term of office, revealed: “Our executive committee’s challenge has been to find an individual with deep and broad organisational management, direct prior experience within professional membership organisations, and a unique skillset that combines operational expertise, marketing skills and team leadership capabilities.

“The Society’s executive director search team has selected Colleen Harper from a field of exceptionally well-qualified candidates. Our entire AES board of governors looks forward to working closely with Colleen from day one in her new position at the society’s world headquarters in New York City.”

On January 1, 2019, Scheirman handed over the role of AES president to Nadja Wallaszkovits, chief audio engineer for the Austrian Academy of Science’s Phongrammarchiv in Vienna. “With the addition of Colleen’s proven record of leadership, we expect 2019 to be a banner year for the Society,” President Wallaszkovits stated. 

“Education is AES’s primary mission: training and cultivating the next generation of audio professionals and members. That’s accomplished in part through our vibrant event schedule – international conventions and conferences, regional events and local section meetings – which will continue to be a focus for the Society, including further development of our presence on the west coast of the US.

“Our membership is our greatest asset, and we look forward to further improvements in our service and benefit to both our individual and sustaining membership, alongside our focus on advancing our strong relationships with our industry partners. The AES is essential to the vitality of the professional audio industry, promoting extension of innovation and learning and standards. Colleen has a crucial role to play in our vision of the Society’s future, directing our staff and working with the myriad volunteers that are so essential to the Society’s mission, including the current and incoming members of AES’s board of governors and our leadership team.”

Wallaszkovits further noted that the AES leadership team is solidified for the coming year, with the addition of the Society’s new treasurer Richard Wollrich and president-elect Agnieszka Roginska.

Harper commented: “I am thrilled to join the AES team and look forward to leading the organisation as we continue our work of uniting and educating audio engineers, creative artists, scientists, and students from all over the world. AES has an incredibly rich history and, with the support of dedicated members and staff, I’m excited to further its strong commitment to the mission of promoting advances in audio and disseminating new knowledge and research.”