2020 IEEE ComSoc North-America Regional Chapter Chair Virtual Congress, Austin, TX, USA

By Fawzi Behmann - Director of the NA Region, USA

The 2020 NA RCCC is the 36th North America Chapter Chair Regional Congress, but the first to be held virtually due to the pandemic situation. The RCCC was called to address feedback received from a survey that was sent to the 94 Chapter Chairs in late June. The RCC 2020 program was planned and executed, delivering 18 virtual sessions on Saturday, December 5 and Sunday, December 6 just prior to the Globecom 2020 virtual conference.

I would first like to introduce our NA Board for 2020. You can find further information on our web site at http://na.regions.comsoc.org/board/. Our Board serves 94 chapters and 10,000 members and is composed of volunteers serving seven regions (six regions in the U.S. and one region in Canada).

  • NAR Director (Chair of NAB) – Fawzi Behmann

  • Past Director – Wahab Almuhtadi

  • Vice Chair – Raed Abdullah

  • Secretary – Sana Abou-Shaaban

  • IEEE Region 1 Representative – Newman Wilson

  • IEEE Region 2 Representative – Paul Cotae

  • IEEE Region 3 Representative – Devon Gayle

  • IEEE Region 4 Representative – Tao Zhang

  • IEEE Region 5 Representative – Larry Horner

  • IEEE Region 6 Representative – Zhensheng Zhang

  • IEEE Region 7 Representative – Anader Benyamin-Seeyar

  • NAR DLT/DSP & VDL Coordinator – Tim Weil


  • Ibrahim Gedeon

  • Rodney Wilson

  • Merrily Hartman

  • T. Scott Atkinson

We also have eight Standing committees to support chapter chairs in key initiatives.

  • NAB-ISC Information Services Committee

  • Membership Development Committee

  • NAB-TAC Technical Activities Committee

  • NAB-IRC Industry Relations Committee

  • NAB-SAC Student Activities Committee

  • NAB-AFC Affinity Group Committee YP, WIE, and LM

  • NAB-SMC Social Media Committee

  • NAB-AC Awards Committee

We operate on a set of ComSoc Policies and Procedures that have been approved by the ComSoc Member Global Activities Committee and ultimately the ComSoc Board of Governors. All details can be found at https://na.regions.comsoc.org

The 2020 RCCC was announced at the 3rd NAB meeting in September. The goal of the 2020 RCCC was providing opportunities to:

  • Understand ComSoc’s vision, mission, organization, and support network

  • Equip and enrich chapter chairs with the knowledge and tools of operation for chapters to be relevant, effective, and impactful.

  • Address chapter training needs

  • Connect with and learn best practices from other chapters across the region

We are pleased that many of the ComSoc Leadership participated and supported RCCC 2020:

  • ComSoc President - Vincent Chan

  • ComSoc Executive Director - Harold Tepper

  • VP, Member and Global Activities - Nei Kato

  • VP, Conferences - Stefano Bregni

  • Director Member Services - Ricardo Veiga

  • Director Marketing and Membership - Trish Jaraicie

  • Director of Conferences - Kristine Chin

  • Manager Member Development -Cindy Tiritilli

  • Director Info Technology - David Alvarez

  • Director MGA - Vera Sharoff

  • Manager MGA - Eugene Khusid

The program consisted of 18 virtual sessions:

Day 1 – December 5, 9:30 am – 4:25 pm CST (10 sessions)

  • Introduction to 2020 NAR RCCC: Theme “Chapter vitality & Strive for diversity” (Fawzi Behmann)

  • ComSoc organization review, staff and resources (Vincent Chan, Kato Nei, Ricardo, Trish, Kristine)

  • Update on NAB Chapter Roster process, website and Listserv (Trish, Cindy)

  • Vtools Training; officer reporting, virtual platforms (Eugene Khusid and David Alvarez)

  • Chapter Officer Elections, succession plan, OU Analytics (Eugene Khusid)

  • Contribution to Global Communications Newsletter – GCN (Stefano)

  • Leveraging VDL, Program status 2020/2021, training (Ricardo, Trish, Fawzi, Tim)

  • Global Congress, Chapter Funding & Awards, NAB Exceptional Service Award (Ricardo, Trish, Fawzi)

  • Membership Development (Trish, Newman)

  • Recap, Comments, Suggestions (Fawzi, Larry)

Day 2 – December 6, 9:30 am – 3:00 pm CST (8 sessions)

  • Organize outreach programs, conferences, seminars and workshop (Wahab, Tim, Anader, Newman)

  • Chapter Best of Practices 1(Princeton-Ashutosh, Jamaica-Christopher, Dallas-Larry, Atlanta-Tamseel)

  • Website / Activity tracking /Vitality (Trish/Raed/ David Alvarez/ Fawzi)

  • Inter-Chapter Collaboration (Tamseel, Devon, Zhensheng, Anader, Messaoud)

  • NAB Policy and Procedures (Scott Atkinson, Fawzi Behmann, Ricardo Veiga)

  • Chapter Best of Practices (Seattle-Alon, Foothill-Frank, Windsor–Sahereh, Austin-Fawzi)

  • OPEN Dialog, Comments, Suggestions and Q&A (Fawzi, Larry)

  • Bonus session “Birds of Feather” (open forum for sharing ideas experiences and suggestions)

The RCCC 2020 was well attended with a total of 56 participants including eight from ComSoc leadership and 48 representing various chapters from all the seven regions.

Thanks to the commitment of 16 volunteers that provided support to the program, coordinating with speakers, moderating and handling Q&A.

  • Fawzi Behmann (R5, Austin)

  • Larry Horner (R5, Dallas)

  • Amit Patel (R1, N. Jersey)

  • Newman Wilson (R1 Rep.)

  • Kafi Hassan (R2, N. Virginia)

  • Paul Cotae (R2, Washington DC)

  • Tamseel Syed (R3, Atlanta)

  • Christopher Udeagha (R3, Jamaica)

  • Tim Weil (R5, Deveer)

  • Lee Gaspard (R5, Houston)

  • Zafar Taqvi (R5, Galveston)

  • Zhensheng Zhang (R6, San Diego)

  • Anader Benyamin-Seeyar (R7, Montreal)

  • Hossein Hassani (R7, Windsor)

  • Sahereh Sahandabadi (R7, Windsor)

  • Messaoud Ahmed Ouameur (R7, Saint Maurice)

  • Francois Chan (R7, Kingston)

Overall the program was a great success and it was the first for many attendees. Many expressed the wish to have a more frequent RCCC to keep the dialog and relationship going among chapter volunteers and ComSoc staff. Participants found out after 13 hours of zoom sessions such a gathering was like a reunion with a great sense of appreciation and unified purpose exhibiting a great collaboration between volunteers and ComSoc Staff and exploring opportunities to grow membership and serve the community.

Training was vital on various tools such as vTools, OU Analytics, Operational tips and Chapter best of practices of making a chapter vital and leveraging a great program such as Virtual Distinguished Lecture (VDL) (more than 59 VDL sessions were organized), chapter funding and awards and many others. Chapters engaged in contributing articles to the ComSoc newsletter, as well as applying for Exceptional Service Awards.

For 2020, the top three recipients of NAB Exceptional Services Awards announced during RCCC were:

  • Zhensheng Zhang (R6, San Diego)

  • Fawzi Behmann (R5, Austin)

  • Titus Kwok Yeung Lo (R6, Seattle)