The Society of Broadcast Engineers has elevated SBE members Andrea Cummis of Orange, NJ; Robert “RJ” Russell of Magnolia, DE; and Conrad Trautmann of Trumbull, CT; to the membership rank of Fellow. The SBE Board of Directors elected them at its meeting held April 13, 2024.

2024 SBE Fellows with President Ted Hand

Andrea CummisRJ Russell, SBE President Ted Hand, Andrea Cummis and Conrad Trautmann in the SBE booth at the 2024 NAB Show.

Andrea Cummis, CBT, the CTO of WLVT-TV Bethlehem, PA, became an SBE member in 1996. She has served on the SBE Board of Directors as president (2021-2023), vice president (2019-2021), treasurer (2009-2011, 2013-2017) and as a director several times between 2003 and 2019. She currently serves as the immediate past president. While she chaired the SBE Publications Committee, the SBE released the SBE Engineering Handbook. She received the Robert W. Flanders SBE Engineer of the Year award in 2022.

In her nomination, one endorser said she has “a breadth of expertise in the industry, holding degrees in electrical engineering, law and technology and an MBA. She has reached out to encourage and support – especially women – to enter and advance their broadcast engineering careers.” Another nomination noted Andrea’s “you-can-do-it attitude towards her employees.

RJ RussellRobert “RJ” Russell, CPBE, ATSC3, CBNT, is president of Technical Broadcast Solutions, Inc., a company he established in 2017, and the frequency coordination manager for the SBE. In his work for the SBE, he manages frequency coordination issues with the US Department of Defense in shared spectrum. He has held high-level engineering positions with Fox, E.W. Scripps, BYU Broadcasting, Sprint-Nextel, as well as engineering positions at multiple broadcast TV stations. He has served the SBE nationally with terms as vice president, treasurer and director. In 2020 he was awarded the Robert W. Flanders SBE Engineer of the Year award. He became an SBE member in 1999. He is also a member of SMPTE, IEEE/BTS, ATSC, and the AFCCE. He is a Marine Corps veteran.

Included in RJ’s nomination letters was the comment that he is “brilliant in the area of technical regulatory advocacy work involving the FCC generally, and especially in the critical area of broadcast auxiliary spectrum management.” It went on to note that RJ has been “one of the best advocates for broadcast engineering at the FCC.” Another nomination noted that RJ has also been an “active participant within local chapters of the Society, serving several tenures as chapter chair in multiple chapters.

Conrad TrautmannConrad Trautmann, CPBE, is the chief technology officer of Cumulus Media, a position he has held since 2021. He previously served as senior vice president, technology and operations for the company. He first joined Cumulus Media’s Westwood One in 2000 as executive vice president, technology. He is responsible for the oversight of companywide broadcast engineering and information technology, as well as purchasing, real estate and facilities management across the company. He serves on the Radio Technology Committee of the National Association of Broadcasters. Conrad joined the SBE in 1985. He has served on the SBE National Board of Directors from 2001 to 2003, 2005 to 2007 and in 2011. He has also served New York Chapter 15 in a variety of roles including chapter chair, treasurer and certification committee chair.

One of Conrad’s nominations states that he has, “proved to be an invaluable mentor and technical resource. He takes pride in his craft, supports his teams and selflessly gives all of his energy and focus to his primary professional organization along with those attached to it.” Another nomination wrote, “Conrad Trautmann is a true gentleman who can communicate with a group of engineers one moment and then walk into a boardroom and present such a level of confidence like no other.”

The Fellow honor is the highest membership level in the SBE. Members must have made significant contributions to the broadcast engineering field or the SBE. Candidates are nominated by their peers. Since the Society‘s founding 60 years ago, 89 members have been honored with the Fellow rank.

All three were recognized during the SBE Membership Meeting held on April 15 during the 2024 NAB Show. They will also be recognized at the SBE National Meeting, which will be held in September in Madison, WI. A list of all those who have been named SBE Fellows is posted on the SBE website at

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