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Radiant’s Thomas Lewis Named SCTE Member of the Year

New Orleans -- Heading up this year’s Cable-Tec Expo Awards, Thomas L. Lewis, the president of Radiant Communications, was named the 2015 SCTE Member of the Year.

SCTE said Lewis, a Society member since 1999,  distinguished himself over the past year as secretary of the Maryland-based SCTE Chesapeake Chapter, where he promoted the growing value of SCTE with his devotion to its educational mission—ensuring his chapter’s success by coordinating all meetings, technical training, and communications for the benefit of the cable workforce within Chesapeake’s reach.

“Shocked is probably the only word I have right now,” said Lewis (pictured, credit: Susan Poag), who was unaware of the honor until the moment it was announced here at Wednesday's annual awards luncheon. He said his decade-plus with the Chesapeake Chapter has been a “real journey,” noting that the chapter was teetering on bankruptcy  when he joined but has since blossomed into a “very successful chapter.”

The SCTE on Wednesday also welcomed two new members to its Hall of Fame -- Andrew J. Healy, president, CEO, and founder of VerTek; and Daniel J. McKay, vice president and chief operating officer of C3 Broadband Integration.

Healy, a member of SCTE since 1977, played a key role in the deployment of some of the first fiber networks in the country , and, in the early 1990s, helped to engineer and construct more than 10,000 miles of cable plant across the country annually.

McKay, an SCTE member since 1992, was involved with CableLabs during its startup phase and prior to its move to the Denver area. As vice president of engineering for Coaxial Communications, a small MSO, in the 1990s, McKay promoted SCTE among staff and subcontractors, and persuaded the MSO to absorb the costs of membership and certification testing, which stimulated Coaxial’s strong involvement with SCTE among the MSO’s engineering staff. At Coaxial Communications, SCTE certifications were also factored into performance evaluations and career planning.

Healy said he was “humbled” to be inducted.  “It’s been a helluva ride is all I can say.”

“Today I feel honored and appreciated,” McKay said.

Additionally, outgoing SCTE board of directors chairman Terry Cordova presented his 2015 SCTE Chairman’s Award to Christine Whitaker, senior vice president of operations, at Comcast Cable Communications, recognizing her for significant support of the Society over the past year.

Cordova said that Whitaker, as board treasurer, shared generously of her experience and time in helping to oversee the financial health of the SCTE. Under her leadership, the board approved a new investment policy and implemented a reserve policy in accordance with best practices.

The ANSI-accredited SCTE Standards Program imparted its annual SCTE Excellence in Standards Award for 2015 to Dr. Paul Hearty, vice president, technology standards, Sony Electronics. Dr. Hearty, a vet of the cable industry, was the inaugural chairman of the SCTE Digital Video Subcommittee (DVS) when the group began in 1996, and he has held that chairmanship ever since. Dr. Hearty’s leadership has helped to transform the industry through advanced video standards, new video quality standards, advanced audio standards, and standards for 3D content as well, SCTE said.

Vibha Rustagi, CEO of itaas, a company she founded in 1999 that was acquired by Cognizant last year,  was recognized with The Women in Technology Award, jointly provided by Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT), SCTE, and Cablefax, and sponsored by Bright House Networks. An awardee of seven patents for her engineering proficiency, Rustagi is the founder of itaas, a provider of  video testing, integration and deployment services for traditional set-tops as well as IP-connected devices. She has been an SCTE member since 2010.

“We often hear that content is king, and to that I say technology rules,” Rustagi said.

SCTE Senior Member recognitions were bestowed upon two individuals—Jim Chartre, director of engineering technology, CCI Systems; and Robert Weaver, business process analyst III, Cox Communications. Chartre, an SCTE member since 1990, and Weaver, a member since 1978, were recognized for their demonstration of technical competence, active participation in Society and industry affairs, and high standards of professionalism.