IEEE ComSoc North-America Regional Chapter Chair Congress at IEEE GLOBECOM 2016, Washington, DC, USA

By T. Scott Atkinson - NA Region Director, IEEE ComSoc

We are pleased to present the activities of the recent North America Regional Chapter Chair’s Congress held in Washington, DC USA on December 3rd and 4th, 2016

The meeting was approved by our Vice President, Stefano Bregni, and the ComSoc Board of Governors during meetings at the ICC Conference held in Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia, 23-27 May 2016. Immediately thereafter, the North America Region Board began planning our upcoming meeting at IEEE GLOBECOM 2016.

I would first like to introduce our NA Board, where you can find more information on our web site: http://na.regions.comsoc. org/board/. Our Board is composed of the following volunteers:

Chair (NAR Director): T. Scott Atkinson
Vice Chair: Fawzi Behmann
Past Chair: Merrily Hartmann
DLT/DSP/MDSG Coordinator: Zafar Taqvi
IEEE Region 1 Representative: Ali Abedi
IEEE Region 2 Representative: Kafi Hassan
IEEE Region 3 Representative: Scott Midkiff
IEEE Region 4 Representative: William “Bill” Ashe
IEEE Region 5 Representative: Fawzi Behmann
IEEE Region 6 Representative: Upkar Dhaliwal
IEEE Region 7 Representative & NAR Information Technology Coordinator: Wahab Almuhtidi
Advisor (R7 DLT Support): Anadeer Benyamin-Seeyar
Advisor (Conferences): Richard Miller
Advisor: John Lyons
Advisor: Paul Cotae

Our Region is unique in that we cover seven IEEE Regions, whereas each of the other ComSoc Regions have one each, Regions 8, 9 and 10. Thus, we need to have a rather large Board to oversee the activities of the 92 chapters (42% of all ComSoc) in the seven Regions.

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.

Leading up to the NARCCC at GLOBECOM, we began by holding monthly conference calls to develop an agenda for the meeting and our approach to inviting the chapter to participate. Since we have a large contingent of the ComSoc chapters, we divide them into two areas, the Eastern Area and the Western Area, and focus our NARCCC on each separately. The last NARCCC was held in Austin at the IEEE GLOBECOM 2014 and focused on the Western Area Chapters. So in 2016, our focus was on the Eastern Area Chapters. Additionally, we included a few chapters from Region 5 plus one chapter (Houston) in the process of being reactivated. Overall we had representatives from 24 chapters: Maine (R1)–Ali Abedi; Montreal (R7)–Reza Soleyman; North Jersey (R1)–Amit Patel; Baltimore (R2)–Anna Romaniuk; Jamaica (R3)–Devon Gayle; NJ Coast (R1)–Newman Wilson; Kingston (R7) – Francois Chan; Toronto (R7)–Eman Hammad; Ottawa (R7)–Wahab Almuhtadi; London (R7)–Hao Lin; New York (R1)–Warner Sharkey; Washington (R2) – Debi Siering; Houston (R5)–Russell Roy; Mohawk Valley (R1)–Brian Spink; New Hampshire (R1)–Mary Bzezenski; Princeton Central Jersey (R1)–Ashutosh Dutta; Worcester County (R1)–Sundar Sundaramurthy; Pittsburgh (R2)–Balaji Palanisamy; Austin (R5)– Fawzi Behmann; San Antonio (R5)–Brian Kelley; Tulsa (R5)–Ali Imran; New Orleans (R5)–Richard Miller; San Diego (R6)–Upkar W; Galveston Bay (R5)–Zafar Taqvi.

Our agenda included:

  • ComSoc President’s Report: Harvey Freeman, President
  • Member & Global Activities Report: Stefano Bregni, VP MGA
  • ComSoc Financials (Treasurer): Bob Shapiro, Treasurer
  • Executive Director’s Report: Susan Brooks, Staff
  • Technical Activities & Industry Outreach: Adam Greenberg, Staff
  • North America Region Report: T. Scott Atkinson, NA Director. During this presentation, Scott passed out a copy of a Vitality Checklist for successful IEEE ComSoc Chapters. This Checklist can be found on our web site under our RCC tab.
  • Chapter Achievement Award (Outstanding Chapter): Wahab Almuhtaki, Chair
  • Austin Chapter Report: Fawzi Behmann, Chair
  • Membership Services: Zhensheng Zhang, MS Director
  • Panel Discussion: Merrily Hartmann
  • DLT/DSP Updates: Zafar Taqvi
  • ComSoc Seminars (5G, Big Data, Iot, Cybersecurity): Ashutosh Dutta
  • Second Panel Discussion: Merrily Hartmann

Also at lunch we had a special speaker, Mr. Michel Jansan, Open Net Ombudsman, U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

All presentations are located on our website:

Additionally, we announced, thru our IEEE Region Representatives, the opportunity for all chapters to nominate someone in their chapter who had provided exemplary service to their chapter in 2016. Six nominations were received and judged by five Board members not associated with those chapters. We required at least three votes for an individual to be chosen. There were three awards that could be given, which included a plaque and a check for $400.00. There were two winners: Raed Abdullah from the Ottawa Chapter, and Reza Soleymani from the Montreal Chapter. Congratulations to these two outstanding supporters of their chapters.

And finally, one of our own long term Society members was selected to become “Dirctor Emeritus” for Region 5. Ross Anderson was a ComSoc volunteer since 1977, when he was Secretary of the 1980 National Telecommunications Conference in Houston, TX. He went on to be the Chair of the 1986 National Communications Conference, now named IEEE Globecom, and became the director of the flagship conference committee and a member of the ComSoc Board of Governors as their Treasurer. Select members of ComSoc participated in recognizing him at a special dinner in his honor on January 21, 2017 in Houston, TX.