SCTE member since 1990 Title: regional technical training supervisor, Comcast, Fresno, CA Broadband Background: Roger Paul was recently named SCTE Member of the Year at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo. SCTE’s Board of Directors also recently elected Paul as the board’s new Region 1 Director. He served as the chair of the 2006 SCTE Chapter Leadership Conference, after previous stints in that role in 2003 and 2005. Paul has also served on the SCTE Operations Committee since 2004 and is the Central California Chapter’s secretary. At what point during the awards luncheon introduction did you figure out you were this year’s winner? About two seconds before my picture went up on the big screen. I had been concentrating on the other awards, many to friends and colleagues, and I had no idea who would get the Member of the Year award. The announcer said the recipient was from California, and I was trying to guess who, when he said "the 2006 CLC chair." At that point, I stopped breathing and went into shock … total surprise. You’ve been an SCTE member since 1990 and have been heavily involved with the organization over the years. How did it feel to be honored like this by your peers? This award was something I never expected to get; the names on the member of the year list are people I looked to for guidance and direction as I became more involved in SCTE and my career in the industry. I am deeply honored and do not have the words to express my feelings on joining this group. I want to thank whoever nominated me for the award and the selection committee and SCTE for choosing me. What did you take away from this year’s SCTE Chapter Leadership Conference? As chairman, I was able to "circulate." I got to see at least part of every session. By doing so, I was able to talk to participants later and get a feel for what their experiences had been. My take away from that was seeing that the day one sessions had provided the basic information needed to run a chapter. I attended the keynote session and follow-up sessions and was able to listen to our stakeholders tell us what they needed to support the chapters locally. We were then able to work the regional sessions around that and how we could support each other locally. That was the biggest take away for me. This year’s CLC boasted the highest attendance and highest number of chapter participants so far. Why the increased turnout? Teamwork and trust and targeted sessions got us the turnout. The increase to two days approved by the board gave us the time needed to cover topics that the chapters wanted covered, and support from everyone else brought in the participants. Herb Dougall along with the Operations committee the CLC and No Chapter Left Behind sub-committees and John Clark and the SCTE staff did everything required to make CLC 2006 a success – my job was easy. What can chapters in general and your Central California Chapter in particular improve upon to help members? Prove and sell the value of SCTE. We provide value to our industry at a variety of levels, from engineering to fulfillment technicians. We offer ongoing supplemental training, training on new products and "refresher" training on the fundamentals. We also offer leadership development opportunities for our members through service on a chapter board or as an officer. Local chapters need to continue to show that we support the businesses that provide our members by helping to develop those members. We need to make that same value evident to our members and prospective members. Can you tell us about the Central California Certification Incentive Program? The program was developed as an outreach to our members. Our hope was that the incentives offered would help kick-start certification. The start was slow, but it is now picking up. The chapter offers a $75 reward for passing any of the basic four certifications (BPS, BDS, BTS, BTCS). We add $150 when the technician completes the three endorsements to BPS or BTCS. Completion of either the BCT or BCE certification programs nets a technician $300.00. We added a drawing last year for a trip to Expo to the mix. Any technician completing any certification segment is eligible to enter. (We sent two technicians to Denver this year.) The board allocates funds to the program during our annual budget process; we pay out until the budget limit for the year is reached. How about this year’s Contractor Outreach Training Program? This is another member outreach program and is in its trial stages. We saw a need to help our contractor members develop better basic skills, skills that they could use on the job and transfer if they moved on. We contacted local contractors, MSOs and vendors to test the waters and received very positive feedback. We then developed a proposal, and we are now in the process of implementing the training program. Basically, we provide training modules on a monthly basis (using the NCTI/SCTE manual "Tap to Home") to the contractor community. Those taking the modules must be SCTE members and attend regularly. Once the program is complete, we will encourage the participants to take the BPS certification exam. In regards to the Contractor’s Outreach Training program, is it harder with fewer national contractors and increased demand for their services from competitive network providers (i.e., telcos) to get the right kind of help? Getting the right help, and mix, is always a challenge. Our operations people have told me that, yes, the change in national contractor availability has impacted us. Add the other providers, be it telcos, dish or others, and the challenge just gets bigger. The chapter hopes that this program will help everyone, contractors and MSOs, both of whom are a part of our membership. How did you get involved in cable? I have always believed that when one door closes, another opens. A large computer company laid me off three days before Christmas 1988, and I was looking for a job. Cox Cable put an ad in the local paper for a technical trainer; I applied and got the job. I helped start formal training at Cox, along with about 40 other new cable trainers, and built a learning center in Spokane, WA. The rest is history. Anything else in the works, or any advice you’d like to pass along to your colleagues in the cable industry? Be proactive – don’t be reluctant to volunteer in your chapter, the region or on the national level. Take what you know and leverage it to help others. Mentor technicians, work on chapter committees, take what you know to the CLC and share it. Teaching or mentoring others also teaches you and helps develop skills you can use on the job and in your daily life. Most of all, have fun, and do what you enjoy!