The biographies and position statements for the 2016 IEEE Vice President, Member and Geographic Activities candidates are listed below. The sequence of candidates is alphabetical by last name and indicates no preference.
Mary Ellen Randall is founder/CEO of Ascot Technologies, Inc., an award winning company which develops enterprise applications utilizing mobile delivery technologies. Previously, Ms. Randall held a variety of management and technical positions with IBM, including an international assignment, hardware & software development, digital video encoder & decoder chips, client/server services, network management, operating systems, and test design automation. She routinely managed projects on an international scale.
Ms. Randall formerly served as Board Chair for the Women’s Institute and President of the Business & Professional
Ms. Randall’s outreach includes: Odyssey of the Mind Coach & state judge, Science Olympiad judge, FIRST mentor and judge, DARPA Urban Challenge Middle School presentations & Girl Scout outreach.
Ms. Randall was named a top Woman In Business in the Research Triangle NC area and made Business Leader Magazine’s Impact 100 List.
She has an MS Computer Science and Bachelors in Mathematics from Binghamton University.
According to the website, "The IEEE Member and Geographic Activities Board (MGA Board) is responsible to the IEEE Board of Directors, has oversight of IEEE geographic organizational units, and is responsible for IEEE membership and member development."
My experience for this position includes: running a software company and motivating technical professionals to peak performance; actively contributing to IEEE Board of Directors discussions, actions, and voting as a sitting director from 2014-2015; serving as IEEE Audit Chair, working as a manager in IBM for 15+ years, serving as Region 3 Leadership Development Chair and as region engagement leader. Region 3 aggressively assisted members in Senior Member elevation, scoring as the top region (percentage wise) in the world in 2014.
I have worked in many operating units of IEEE and have a keen sense of the breadth of operations. This will be reaching out to all units to provide synergistic improvements.
If we engage the members, the growth will surely follow. Our leaders want to excel. It is our job to make that easier for them to build the relationships. Once all members "feel" the IEEE connection that we feel, membership will be a problem of the past.
MGA is a very important operating unit in IEEE. It is through personal interactions that the relationship or engagement with the members begins and grows. This includes the effective operation of local chapters, sections and affinity groups in reaching out and helping our members find their professional home. This also includes the effective integration of member engagement across all the operating units of the institute. This also includes IEEE as a global community.
As VP of MGA, it would be my focus to help our leaders throughout the world, provide meaningful engagement to our members, outstanding support and training to our volunteers, and the ability to learn from experiences that are proven to work. Further, my many years of experience in industry, as a woman, and as a mother of Young Professionals, would help me reach out to the IEEE community to address members’ needs throughout their professional career.
Maya Angelou, poet and author said, ““I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Once our members connect with IEEE at that level, we will never lose them.
Wai-Choong (Lawrence) Wong is Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, National University of Singapore (NUS). He is currently Deputy Director of the Interactive and Digital Media Institute at NUS. He has held various management positions in NUS, including Head-Department of Electrical Engineering (2008-2009), Director–Computer Centre (2000-2002), Director–Centre for Instructional Technology (1998-2000). He was Executive Director of the Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R) from November 2002 – November 2006. Prior to joining NUS in 1983, he was a Member of Technical Staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Crawford Hill Lab, NJ, USA (1980-1983).
He received the B.Sc. (1st class Honors) and Ph.D. degrees in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from Loughborough University, UK, in 1976 and 1980, respectively. His research interests include wireless and sensor networks, ambient intelligent platforms and source matched transmission techniques with over 270 publications and 5 patents in these areas.
AD HOC COMMITTEES/OTHERS:
I have been a volunteer and volunteer leader in several positions at the chapter, section, region, MGA and Board levels since 1984. These include being elected as chapter chair, section chair and region director, appointed as MGA vice chair, and elected as vice president - MGA. As a result of my involvement and contributions in these various roles as well as other volunteer portfolios, I have the opportunity to learn and appreciate the diversity and complexity of issues relevant to the position for which I’m now nominated. Having the benefit to be exposed to different levels of geo-unit operations and activities, and the diversity of how such organizational units (OUs) are structured and the landscapes within which they operate, I believe I can bring greater value to enhancing geo-unit capacity and capabilities that will ultimately result in increased member value at the local level.
At my day job, I have taken on a number of management roles, including Executive Director of the Institute for Infocomm Research, a research organization with about 500 research and administrative staff, Head of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the National University of Singapore (NUS) (which is one of the largest departments in the university with a faculty strength of about 100), Director of the Computer Centre at NUS and Director of the Centre for Instructional Technology at NUS. These roles enabled me to contribute both in terms of managing daily operational routines as well as charting strategic and long-term directions.
Among the major accomplishments that I have brought to IEEE include:
I believe the need to enhance value to members is of paramount importance to enable IEEE to grow. Member benefits and professional content and engagement are key. In terms of member benefits, IEEE needs to be responsive to the livelihood issues of members, while on technical and professional aspirations, IEEE's quality content is a major draw. At the local level, it is the local IEEE Sections and Chapters where there are greatest opportunities to reach out to members and to provide them with tangible value and benefits. However, this is a key challenge facing IEEE volunteers. As 2015 VP-MGA, I started and supported priority focus at the MGAB on:
Exceptional member experience
Modernizing and improving volunteer experience
Improving Inter-OU Cooperation
Cohesive and coordinated global strategy
As MGA moves from the planning phase to the implementation phase, and if I am re-elected as 2016 VP-MGA, I can follow through with the programs and activities started in 2015 to ensure successful implementations in 2016. The priority focus topics aim to address the challenges and in so doing create meaningful and sustainable benefits to members and volunteers.