At the beginning of each year, with a new Life Members Committee (LMC) chair, we essentially have a new team to address the many functions of our LMC. Each LMC voting member is appointed for one year but generally can be reappointed for a second year. Hence, here is my first report as chair to all Life Members (LMs).
First, I would like to thank Charles Turner for his leadership for the past two years and the members of his team. Under his leadership, the focus on LM Affinity Group (LMAG) activities was raised to a new level, and he began the process of changing the qualifications for IEEE Life Membership.
Now we have a new team. I am honored to have been selected to lead the LMC this year. I served two years on the previous team (2018–2019). Before I introduce each of the LMC team members, I would like to provide a few quick points regarding my background. I have been an active IEEE volunteer since 1999, principally with IEEE Communications Society Conference Planning activities [executive chair of two Globecom Conferences (2001 and 2014)] and IEEE Region 5 Executive Committee positions (Industry Relations, Membership, Awards and South Area chair). Since then, I have been involved in the activities of the IEEE Member and Geographic Activities (MGA) Board as a vice chair and IEEE-USA awards. I just completed a total of four years—two separate terms—as a member of the LMC. I have a B.S. degree in physics from Texas A&M Kingsville and an M.B.A. degree from Pepperdine University, Malibu, California. Additionally, I served as chair of the highly successful IEEE Texas Technical Tour held in October 2019.
The LMC comprises seven voting members chosen by MGA and two selected by the IEEE Foundation. The LMC is a joint committee between the IEEE and the IEEE Foundation. The LMC also includes an LM coordinator from each IEEE Region, which is appointed by each Region director. IEEE MGA staff support is provided through Cecelia Jankowski and Rosann Marosy.
The nine voting members include:
- Charles Turner, past LMC chair, he holds the title as Emeritus Professor of electrical engineering at King’s College London.
- Howard Wolfman, currently serving a second LMC term, has been appointed vice chair. He is an IEEE treasurer, past Region 4 director, and member of both the Standards Board and the IEEE Educational Activities Board.
- Dennis Shapiro, appointed as an IEEE Foundation representative, is currently serving his second term on the LMC.
- John Harris, currently serving a second term on the LMC, is the Region coordinator from IEEE Region 7 (Canada). He has been the Canada LM chair since 2017.
- Maxine Cohen, who is new to the LMC, is Professor Emerita from Nova Southeastern University.
- Jorge E. Monzon, also new to the LMC, is past president of the Latin American Regional Council on Biomedical Engineering (CORAL) and the founding president of the Argentine Society of Bioengineering.
- John Imagliazzo is our second appointed representative from the IEEE Foundation. He previously served as a director on the IEEE Foundation Board.
- Paul Cheung is a new member of the LMC and a former director on the IEEE Foundation Board.
In addition to the nine voting members, we have ten Region coordinators, who participate in the activities of the LMC as nonvoting members.
- Region 1—Lou Luceri has served the LMC for many years. He is a past chair of the LMC and a former Region 1 director.
- Region 2—Marc Apter, past president of IEEE-USA and past vice president of Regional Activities/MGA is serving again on the LMC.
- Region 3—Thomas Bellarmine is an IEEE Life Senior Member and has served on the Florida Council, Tallahassee Area Section in various positions. He is an emeritus professor at Florida A&M University, Tallahassee and has served on the LMC since 2018.
- Region 4—Howard Wolfman is serving as a voting member in his second term.
- Region 5— T. Scott Atkinson has been the Region 5 Life Members coordinator since 2017. He is the current LMC chair.
- Region 6—Mike Andrews serves as chair of the Grants and Special Projects Committee. He is managing partner of Andrews & Associates. He is a Life Senior Member and a past director of Region 6. He previously served on the LMC as vice chair and Awards Committee chair.
- Region 7—John Harris serves as Region coordinator for IEEE Region 7 Canada and is the chair of the LMC LMAG Activity Sub-Committee.
- Region 8—Victor Fouad Hanna is an IEEE Fellow, fellow-emeritus of SEE (the French Society for Electrical and Electronic Engineers), and emeritus professor at Sorbonne University. He has been a Region coordinator since 2018.
- Region 9—Teófilo Ramos is past director of Region 9, past member of the Fellow Committee, and professor emeritus of Monterrey Institute of Technology, Mexico. This is his first term on the LMC.
- Region 10—Rajendra K. Asthana is chair of the LMC Region 10 and the ombudsman of the India Council. This is his first term on the LMC.
The LMC reports to the Member Engagement and Life Cycle Committee (under the MGA Board) and is part of the Foundation as two of their committees: The LM Grants Committee and the IEEE Foundation’s LMC.
It’s important to know who we are and what we do. Our charter is to “act on behalf of the best interests of Life Members. It [the LMC] shall consider suggestions for activities of interest for retired members…… It shall seek ways to encourage continued IEEE activity and involvement by Life Members at all levels of the IEEE. It shall participate in the raising of charitable donations for the Life Members Fund [LMF] by performing duties including, but not limited to, raising awareness of the programs supported through the LMF, soliciting donations, stewarding donors, and encouraging each member of the LMC to make an annual donation to the LMF at a level consistent with their comfort level. It shall be responsible for the management and prudent expenditure of the LMF in support of meaningful activities that are of professional concern and interest to the IEEE. It shall publish a Life Members Newsletter as a means of keeping Life Members informed of news of particular interest to them and to provide a forum in which suitable articles may be published.”
Our focus this year is to:
- serve the interests of all 33,000+ IEEE LMs, keeping them informed of IEEE activities through both electronic and print newsletters (two each per year)
- encourage the formation of new LMAGs in Sections with a significant number of LMs
- provide funding to those existing 100+ LMAGs to encourage more activities
- provide outreach to Section leaders at Sections Congress and other meetings to emphasize the value of engaging LMs in all Section activities
- offer funding for grants and special projects when recommended by Region coordinators
- collaborate with the History Committee on joint activities in support of the annual IEEE History Committee programs
- expand our awards and recognition programs
- upgrade the qualifications for Life Membership so as to drop the age 65 restriction, keeping the age plus IEEE membership to equal 100 but require continued payment of dues till each member reaches age 65
- establish the LMF Heritage Circle program for making donations at specific higher levels
- modernizing LMC and LMAG websites.
To perform all our functions, we established the seven subcommittees listed below. Most are headed by a chair, with at least three additional members from the LMC.
- Operations (composed of the top three executive leaders: chair, vice chair, and past chair) manages the functions of the LMC between official LMC meetings.
- Finance (chaired by John Imapliazzo) reviews and provides guidance on the expenditure of LMF funds.
- Grants/Special Projects (chaired by Mike Andrews): reviews and recommends the approval of grants, in conjunction with the IEEE Foundation as well as evaluate requests for special projects. In addition to chairing the annual awards and recognition programs, this subcommittee coordinates the IEEE Washington Internship for Students of Engineering (WISE) program as well as the various History Committee projects and programs.
- LMF (chaired by Paul Cheung) reviews and recommends programs to support the LMF, working closely with the IEEE Foundation.
- LMAG activity (chaired by John Harris) provides guidance and recommends policies for encouraging LMAG activities and the funding thereof. It provides direct support to Region coordinators.
- Membership (chaired by Charles Turner) reviews and makes recommendations concerning Life Membership. It submitted a motion to remove the age 65 requirement for Life Membership with restrictions. It also supports programs to raise the profile of LMs in various Sections.
- Sections Congress (chaired by Howard Wolfman) coordinates sponsorship in the upcoming Sections Congress in Ottawa in August 2020.
The activities of the LMC are conducted via one face-to-face meeting per year and with WebEx sessions as needed to coordinate all LMC functions.
We hope that you are being properly served by the IEEE LMC. Please feel free to provide any suggestions that help us serve you better. Email us at LMC@ieee.org, preferably with the subject line “LM Feedback.” We will endeavor to answer all. Enjoy the rest of the June issue of the IEEE Life Members Newsletter.