Region 2 Spring Meeting

April 16-17, 2011



Director Ralph Ford – Welcome remarks and highlights for today and tomorrow’s discussions


  • Focus on engaging members R1-R6 to revitalize membership
  • Matching funds


  • Sections Congress


  • MGA, member geographic activities (formerly known as RAB, regional activities board)


  • Leaders within the region – if interested in volunteering, contact Ralph or Parviz


  • Sections – encourage young leaders


  • Budget – we are in good shape

R2 building reserves – perhaps put into initiatives

Possibility of bringing in R2 2nd face to face meeting in the Fall


Director-Elect Report – Parviz Famouri

  • Paviz is a member of the following committees:

o   2011 MGA Conferences Ad Hoc Committee

o   IEEE Conferences Committee (responsible for Ops Manual)

o   MGA Allocations and Expenses Committee

o   2011 MGA Strategic Direction and Environmental

o   IEEE Nanotechnology Council


R2 PACE Coordinator – Murty Polavarapu  

Submit PACE projects – goal is 1 activity per section


VP MGA – Howard Michel

MGA Mission and Vision (focus on the member – membership will follow)  The main message was the reinvigoration of the Geographic units to increase member engagement thereby leading to more value for the member and increasing the membership.


  • The Landscape

o   Tactical – continue to deliver value

o   In between – conferences

o   Strategic – redefine and reinvigorate

o   Layered strategy – increase value of membership



  • One of the ideas in to hold Metropolitan Area Workshops, on topics on in underrepresented markets and with potential growth sectors, i.e. new areas of business opportunity and employment.

The vision is a Multi-day, multi-track workshop in topics such as Smart Grid and Wireless Communications. Two are being held this year, one in Austin.


  • MGA is putting money into the Geographic unit revitalization effort (60k for the 6 regions, i.e., 10k/region) and a similar amount for the metropolitan area workshops (not conferences)


  • Communication campaign (IEEE staff)
  • IEEE membership at the end of 2010 was close to 400,000.  A big concern is that we are losing about 100,000 members every year.


  • Center for Leadership Excellence to develop members as volunteers and leaders.
    • There are canned modules for presentations (officer training, best practices, leadership training) – this was a recommendation from a Sections Congress


  • vTools projects, are available to make things easier for running a section.  Specifically tools are available now for
    • Meetings and L31  reporting
    • WebInABox
    • Voting
    • Student Branch reporting

The are still working on a Finance tools to make the treasurers job easier.


  • Sections Congress is being held in 2011 – they are held every 3 years

The Focus for the 2011 Congress I on Training, Feedback/Continuous engagement and Networking.  It is important for every section to have at least one officer attend this meeting.

Each section should participate in the Recommendations process at the Congress. The board listens to and acts on the recommendations.  We should part of the solution, not just complain.

Paradigm shift –  How can the IEEE to think locally and act globally in the new environment



  • The Conference Tiger Team is examining relationships with other IEEE Operational units such as the Technical societies, and broadening of conferences relevant to geographic units and working professionals.  They are looking at emerging cross-disciplinary fields of interest and broad-based issues.


  • Re-invigorate and Re-invent Geo units
    • Define success
    • Reward good behavior
    • Empower innovation and collaboration that supports the new paradigm


  • Summary — If successful;, we will have…
    • Delivered member products and value
    • SC11
    • Developed Regional Geo strategies
    • Delivered on R1-6 strategy
    • Member growth – 400k+
    • Laid the foundation so that in 2011 the IEEE member message will resonate with all geo units


Ralph’s comments on metro area workshops – These will be subsidized for a only a few years and will be focus on the Practicing engineer.  R2 may want to consider support for this as a regular activity/event


It was proposed that one technical society membership be included with a basic IEEE membership.


Note:  For information on Fellow, go to Awards, look for Fellows page for categories


Membership trends and stats –  Adrienne Hahn  IEEE staff, membership marketing and communications manager

  • Currently…
    • 400+K
    • OUS trends – India are China members are up
    • US higher-grade member retention is comparably good
    • First year members – 100 new, 65 walk out


  • Recruitment and Retention Rate for Region2 is 83 % for all higher grade members, but only 35% for first year higher grade members.   Retention rate for graduate and undergraduates is worse overall.  We need to address these first year members in order to improve the retention rate.


  • In a survey of why members join the IEEE
    • Publications – 55%
    • Remain tech current – 52%
    • Join societies 42%
    • Enhance career Opportunities 37%
    • Continuing Education 34%
    • Enhancing stature
    • Networking with other professionals
  • In the survey of non-renewing members the things that they will miss
    • IEEE Spectrum(35%)
    • Nothing (25%)
    • Technical society membership (21%)
    • Discounts on conferences (15%)
    • Opportunities to stay technically current (13%)
    • Discounts on publications (12%)
    • IEEE Educational Products (11%)

There is clearly a sign that we are not meeting their initial expectations.



  • Member needs vs. Satisfaction shows that there are several areas offer a significant opportunity for improvement, these include
    • Public Policy Issues
    • Promote professionals to publish
    • Professional Networking
    • Online Career Resources.


  • Items available for helping the sections improve the First Year Member Experience include:
    • Monthly new member e-make alerts to section chairs and membership develop officers.
    • New Member list for the Section available
    • Strategic exercises for local groups
    • Guides and Templates e.g., “Getting Started” guide to all new members (see slide 20 in presentation)
    • New member mentor
    • Monthly webinar
    • Contact Center
    • New member orientation
    • Website for new members —
    • Metrics and Benchmarking
    • Best practices
    • Greeting cards and envelops


  • There is some progress in retention from 2009 to 2010 (7.7.%) but there is a lot more room for improvement.
  • eLearning


Ralph said that all sections should have a Membership Development Coordinator


Region 2 Revitalization Ideas discussion

Metro area workshops – 2012 for R2

2011 Austin and Hunstville (R2)


Matching 10k for new initiatives


Travel for Area Chair Travel Funding – Robert Lawson, East Area Chair

  • Idea
    • Promote member engagement by increasing area Chairs’ involvement in  Sections


  • Benefits
    • Improve communications
    • Learn best practices
    • Advertise region activities
    • Help section address problems
    • Give R2 presence in sections
    • Bring suggestions back to Region


Suggested R2 budget, $1000 per area

Eligible for matching funds, GU revitalization


Ralph: focus on sections with problems on member engagement

R5 is working on something similar


Howard said – R1 budget is $1000 to $2000


Section leaders for joint meeting



# of sections visited


Ideas to be discussed tomorrow, areas have different needs

Former area chairs to share experiences


Regional Outstanding Meetings Program (ROMP) – Parviz Famouri

What can region and sections do to encourage and inspire better support of the chapters?


Identify meetings that were successful, for example, a large attendance with an interesting speaker and a topic og great interest.  Share the topics at the region level.  These speakers might be willing to give the presentation at other sections meetings.


Speaker Event Podcasting Concept – Ralph Ford

Provide electronic access to members who cannot attend meetings.  These could be created at a regular section/chapter meeting and made available on the web for our members and perhaps non-members to entice them into joining.  There followed a discussion on several options of recording content of meeting presentations electronically and posting them, e.g., facebook, VTC sites, youTube, etc.  – send ideas on this to Ralph.


R2 Awards Program Proposal – Anna Romaniuk


Survey noted that only R2 does not have an Awards Program.  Anna recommended that we  establish an R2 Award Committee and develop an R2 Awards Program.  This can be modeled on existing awards that are given by the MGA, IEEE-USA and EAB.  An advantage of having our own program is that when the annual announcements are issued for nominees from MGA etc, we can look at our own awardees and nominees for these higher level awards.



IEEE-USA Presidential Candidate Forum

Marc Apter and Nital Patel gave presentations on their candidacies.


IEEE Humanitarian Activities Review and Outlook – Peter Staecker  

This is not well defined and is still a work in progress.


Sections Congress 2011-Marc Apter & Murty Polavarapu  

All sections are expected to send at least one delegate.  MGA will pay for room, and registration for the primary delegate.  All other expenses, ie Airfare, transportation are to be covered by the section or Region.


  • Recommendations from the region are due by May 15, see below for discussion.
  • July 22 – Registration/Submission of Primary Section delegates – send to Marc Apter before deadline
  • Aug 19 Friday-Opening Ceremony
  • Aug 22 Monday- Closing Ceremony
  • Monday morning – 20 recommendations (top 5 will be in listed as action items)
  • 20 Primary delegates from the region, 1 from each section.
  • MGA will cover Registration ($525), lodging ($780) for primary delegate from the sections.
  • Any funding intended for a section delegate that is not used, can be allocated by the Region 2 director for use in the Region.
  • All other expenses are to be covered by Region or Section
  • Primary delegate criteria
    • Member of ExCom
    • First time attendee to SC
    • GOLD member or higher
    • The Section must Current in all reporting requirements to qualify for funding – R2 director can approve an exemption
  • Only one chapter within a Section with a separate L-50 has not submitted.
  • Encourage sections to send more people.  There is both IEEE  and MGA training
  • Option for Sunday night (Computer History Museum) – fee and your own dinner
  • Region may be able to send 10-15 people (limited budget)


R2 Proposed Recommendations to be submitted next month

The following were in the presentation:

Digital libraries –smaller, tiered packages (SC 08)

Membership dues payment options (SC 08)

Payment flexibility

Effective Communications Strategy across all levels

Comprehensive Strategy for K-12 outreach

Provide members visibility across geographic lines

Provide much more improved career transition support/resources/tools


The following were offered From the floor:

Integrity of IEEE (related to conferences that were bogus)

IEEE brand valued at $1B

Automatic renewal (credit card) until member opt-out

Ethics Training Module

Standards – how to use standards (how to educate) – (Ralph)




April 17, 2011 Region 2 Committee Meeting



 Ethics and Member Professional Conduct Update – Lynn Carpenter

  • Code of Ethics modified, which is covered in the presentation
  • Summary of the Handling of Member Conduct Complaints
  • The Ethics committee encourages IEEE Student Ethics Competition
    • The region 2 student Conference features an Ethics Competition
    • NoVA has competition for 6-7 years


R2 SPAC Report  – Joe Burns

  • SPAC set a new benchmark – 28 schools last year
  • 2011 goal for number of SPACS is 18.  To date, 6 but we expect to do as well as last year.
  • There are 80 student branches in R2, however only 45 appear to be active.
  • National meeting in May – Denver (Jim Watson is a speaker)


Pre-College Education Activities – Joe Burns

  • Twelve of twenty sections have reported pre-college activities.
  • Several of the sections support robot challenges
  • Science fairs are supported in many sections.
  • Sections were asked to provide points of contacts in Pre-College educational activities to Joe and provide information on their activities


Conference Coordinator – Raj Madhavan

  • Conferences in the area – local sections should  get involve
  • A complaint was that notification comes in too late to the local section to take action
  • A Best practices survey is to go out to the sections– what works/did not work
  • There will be a Workshop presentation at the 2011 Sections Congress
  • The Metropolitan Area Workshop are of interest to Raj
  • Someone in the meeting requested that it at the  Sections Congress, it should be brought to the attention of those involved with conferences that the sections need a checklist and that the conference organizers planning should include the local section
  • Marc Apter noted that this was raised at a Sections Congress a few years ago. This resulted in an IEEE policy to implement a notification to the local sections, however these notifications are a bit late. Thus, there is no time for the sections to plan on supporting the conferences.


Parviz Famouri mentioned that the next Nanotechnology conference in US is in 2013- He suggested sending in a proposal to host the conference in your section.


Information Management – Tom Starai

  • There are a number of vTools, available, web in a box, meeting, voting and more planned
  • There are other services available such as e-notice, listservs and conferencing, in addition there are free resources available such as Word Press.
  • Tom has had a number of VTC (video teleconference) with the National Capital Area Computer Society, which has included a number of sites.
  • Tom has made good use of “Second Life” which has an IEEE Island. This has been used for a number of activities.
  • SAMIEEE is the main IEEE member database.  It is available to the officers in a section and technical chapters.


Bill Semancik – Treasurer’s report (presentation by request)

  • There is an issue with funding for the Student Conference.  The expenditure this year significantly exceeded the budgeted amount.
  • The number of students expected in future years is expected to grow
  • It was suggested that an AdHoc Committee of past SAC chairs and the Treasurer to look at different financial models to address this continued growth
  • It was proposed that AB to chair committee


Parviz – Section Chair Forum  (no slides)

Bottom up



  • IEEE-USA important for members – positive
  • US down in membership, rest of the world is up in membership
  • R1-R6 – projection is for more and more life members which creates financial issues
  • There are initiative to increase membership e.g. ROMP (Regional Outstanding Meeting Program)
  • Graphing, Signal Integrity, etc.


Revitalization Ideas – Murty Polavarapu  


1) Our members are not familiar with what IEEE-USA does.  To address this he suggested holding IEEE-USA open house events running between 4-6 hours on a weekend.  This event could be used to educate and engage members in building their careers or shaping public policy.  The recommendation was that there be a minimum of one such event in each of our areas.


2) Industry Relations events

We are not connected to the needs of industry leaders.  Our local IEEE leaders should meet with local industry leaders to develop a dialog, determine the needs of local industry and determining what the IEEE can do.  This will involve our local members.


Discussion of ideas followed:

  • Gov, industry and academia collaboration
  • Problem is internal (RAB defunded committee)
  • How much time will it take from your job?
  • Go to middle management
  • Identify industry
  • Emilio suggested involving them with student activity conference, career fairs, etc.
  • Joe Burns suggested talking to local industries during lunch hour (use brochures and educational materials) need to act not just talk
  • We should highlight benefits etc. insurance, etc.
  • Need new approaches – “one-on-one”
  • Region 1 “Industry Day” is now MGA Industry Day – Murty to contact R1
  • Area Chair visits – sections – address industry relations
  • Look at Section activity report


3) Colloquia on Topics of Broad Human Interest

Murty suggested an example for a colloquium on a topic such as “Technology for the Golden Years.”  The colloquia should connect technology with human needs.  We need to replicate successful events across the region


4) Region-wide Online Volunteer Training Webinar

Murty suggested that we hold a region wide volunteer training session via a webinar, this would be based on the session that he has run in person.  It would be scheduled in mid-November so that incoming officers know what their job entails and so they can learn about the IEEE.


Additional discussion from the floor

  • Look at your professional network
  • Grand challenges
  • TAB Future Directions
  • Investment banking, etc
  • How do you build your career – changing jobs (this is IEEE-USA function) see website
  • Ralph – MGA membership engagement life cycle committee
  • Career Survival for Engineers and Scientists Century


*** Metropolitan Workshop  – Ralph – we now have a charter

3 tracks

  • Energy
  • Wireless
  • Software


Sections interested (Reps from several sections raised their hands, including Baltimore, Dayton, etc)


SC 2011 R2 Recommendations – Marc Apter & Murty Polavarapu

The following topics were discussed as potential Region 2 Recommendations for the Sections Congress.


  • There was a discussion about changing “Senior Membership” so that it would have meaning to industry, academia and government.  For example the PMI (Project Management Institute) is a non-regulated organization like the IEEE.  They have a certification for Program Management Professionals.  The Senior Member could be viewed in a similar light as a certification that is meaningful to those employing IEEE members. An example was that a senior member applicant had to be active as a volunteer in the IEEE for at least one year and that the certification would be reevaluated periodically.


  • Recognize distinguished practitioners


  • Combine effective communication strategy and across regions


  • Ralph mentioned broadcasting section/region meetings – can IEEE provide some simple tools


  • Content in geounits are lost


  • Combine member dues and flexibility


  • IEEE-USA webinars, Marc suggested that this be brought up with MGA (coordination R1-R6) vs at the Sections congress.


  • There is a need to cut down to 4 proposals


These were

  1. Payment flexibility for members
  2. Introduce new membership grade for recognize distinguished practitioners
  3. Implement an effective communications strategy
  4. Develop a comprehensive strategy for K-12 outreach


Notes taken by Carole Carey


Presentations at the Student Conference