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For IEEE Region 4 Delegate-Elect/Director-Elect, 2013-2014; Delegate/Director, 2015-2016.


Robert C. Parro

Robert C. Parro for Region 4

(Nominated by IEEE Region 4)
Vice President of Product Development
River North Solutions
Rockford, Illinois, USA

 Mr. Bob Parro is Vice President of Product Development and Business Development at River North Solutions which specializes in providing product development process and tools expertise across a spectrum of manufacturing industries.

He has over 30 years’ experience in the aerospace, automotive and healthcare industries, with technical and management roles at Sundstrand Aerospace (now Hamilton Sundstrand), Delco Electronics, and GE Medical. He also has technical and sales experience at a leading design tool vendor, Telelogic (now IBM Rational).
Mr. Parro is the inventor of three U.S. Patents. He authored and presented a number of papers at technical conferences. He has the M.S. in Engineering from Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, and the B.S in Electrical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN.  He was the 2011 President of the INCOSE (International Council on Systems Engineering) Chicagoland Chapter, and the current INCOSE Risk Management Working Group Co-Chair.
IEEE Accomplishments and Activities
  • Served as driving force at region level for obtaining and using the voice of the customer (from sections within the region) to drive regional priorities and strategic plans.
  • Produced and delivered region-wide section officer training multiple times at region meetings and via live and recorded webcasts.
  • Invested in the next generation of engineers by mentoring high school US FIRST Robotics teams for many years, imprinting the flavor of IEEE on well over 100 high school students. Developed and delivered a course to start-up and seed other US FIRST Robotics teams.
  • Provided leadership in finding and acquiring a region-wide web conferencing solution, a high priority request from sections in the region.
  • At the section level, Bob was a key driving force at bringing in world-class speakers for technical programs, using IEEE Societies’ Distinguished Lecture Programs, to his small section of 300 members for more than 15 years, greatly increasing value to members in the section.
COMMITTEES/BOARDS: Member and Geographic Activities Board (MGAB): Member, 2010-11; Information Management Committee, Vice Chair, 2010-11; IEEE vTools Committee, Member, 2010-11; MGA Operations Committee, Member, 2010-11; MGA IT Coordination and Oversight (ITCO) Committee, Chair, 2010-11, MGA ITCO member, 2012
REGION: Region 4: Executive Committee, 2001-12; Central Area Chair, 2001-12; Region 4 Communications Committee, 2008-12; Strategic Planning Committee, 2001-12; Meeting Sections Needs Ad Hoc Committee, 2010-12. 
SECTION: Rock River Valley Section: Executive Committee Member, 1989-2012; Communications Chair, 1989-2012; Newsletter Editor, 1989-2012; Webmaster, 1989-2012; Section Chair, 1995-99; Section Vice Chair, 1993-94. 
CHAPTERS: Rock River Valley Power Electronics Society Chapter, Chair, 2010; Rock River Valley Section Computer/Control Systems Chapter, Chair, 1999-2003.
CONFERENCE: IEEE DSP Conference Chair, 1998.
Often members/sections have needs that go unmet, even when communicated to region leadership. In addition, declining membership suggests members may not be finding the relevance in IEEE that they once did.
As Region Director I will:
  • Operate Region 4 with the perspective that region committees only exist to support sections and members
  • To an extreme, respond to needs of sections and members
  • Train section officers/volunteers on the use of tools that lower the time burden of volunteer positions
  • Focus on the needs of unemployed members in the region via facilitating connections with an array of IEEE career services
  • Promote IEEE focus on bringing more value to practitioner members
  • Be an influencing force to lower member dues
I ask for your vote and support.


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Bernard T. Sander, Jr.

Bernard T. Sandler, Jr. for Region 4

Bernard T. Sander, Jr., BS, MS, DSc
(Nominated by IEEE Region 4)
Lucent/Bell Laboratories (Retired)
Naperville, Illinois, USA
Dr. Bernard (Bernie) Sander is retired from Bell Laboratories and Lucent Technologies where he spent over 31 years in the development of radar and switching systems. Bernie has held several technical and management positions with Bell Labs/Lucent, including hardware and software development in wire-line and CDMA switching, systems engineering and project management.  Projects included many successful international deliveries.  In retirement, Bernie has consulted at Northwestern and Marquette Universities in the design and construction of equipment used for research in human movement studies.
Bernie has been recognized for outstanding personal commitment and contributions to Affirmative Action at Bell Labs-Indian Hill.  Bernie and his wife Toni of 44 years have volunteered in outreach programs to couples preparing for marriage and in marriage enrichment.  They have 4 children and 7 grandchildren.
Dr. Sander has EE degrees from St. Louis University (BS), California Institute of Technology (MS) and Washington University in St. Louis (DSc).
IEEE Accomplishments and Activities
I am a Life Senior Member and have been a member of IEEE since joining the Student Branch as an undergraduate.  Positions I have held as an IEEE Volunteer:
  • Program Committee for Chicago Section Technical Conference and Exhibition, 2011-2012
  • Board Member for “Science Kits”, 2011
  • Committee on Communications Policy Member, 2012
  • Region 4 Treasurer, 2011-2012
  • Region 4 Central Area Support Chair, 2008-2012
  • Chicago Section Advisory Chair and Nominating Committee Chair, 2009-2010
  • Chair – Chicago Section, 2007-2009
  • Vice-Chair – Chicago Section, 2007
  • Treasurer – Chicago Section, 2005-2006
  • Chair – Fox Valley Subsection, 2003-2005
  • Chair – Student Branch at St. Louis University
Recent accomplishments where I have had the opportunity to contribute to our profession include the following:


  • Chicago Section First Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition-Member of Program Committee.  Program was rated very successful by members of the Chicago Section and by Exhibitors who provided a great deal of financial support.  Plans are being made to build on our successful start with a second annual conference in November, 2012.
  • “Science Kits Project” – served as Board Member for team which established this highly successful program to introduce students to STEM opportunities as they make career choice decisions.
  • Introduction of NetSuite to Region 4 by providing multiple training classes and support for all Section officers of the Region in the introduction of the improved accounting tools.
  • Rejuvenation of Fox Valley Subsection by establishing a structure that continues to provide members with technical talks and networking opportunities.
Membership in IEEE has provided me with access to current technical information, as well as learning opportunities for leadership and networking.  I have found IEEE members to be generous with their time, their knowledge and their skills. Today, I am more knowledgeable, a better leader and have a great support network.  As Director-Elect/Director, I will continue my efforts to provide all members of IEEE with growth filled experiences in building technical and leadership skills. 
Dedicated IEEE volunteers have initiated a number of efforts over the past several years focused on improving the member value and experience.  As Director-Elect/Director, I would support those efforts as they change IEEE into an ever more dynamic organization for the benefit of members.  Specific opportunities include membership growth, expanding participation in IEEE meetings and conferences, and efficiency – making good use of the resources we have available.  IEEE will continue to grow as its members grow through skills enhancement, leadership development, student engagement, professional activities, conferences, and member rejuvenation efforts.  Your support and vote are much appreciated. 



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Hamid Vakilzadian

Hamid Vakilzadian for IEEE Region 4

(Nominated by IEEE Region 4)
Associate Professor
Department of Electrical Engineering
University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL)
Lincoln, Nebraska, USA
Hamid Vakilzadian holds a BSEE in electrical engineering and MS and PhD degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) from the University of Arizona.  He worked as a design engineer, quality control engineer, field engineer, and consulting engineer in the power area before receiving his doctorate degree in ECE and joining UNL in 1985.
Vakilzadian is a tenured faculty in the EE Department at UNL, teaching courses in digital systems, modeling and simulation (M&S) of discrete and continuous systems, and conducting research in teaching areas and neural networks, informatics, and data mining.
Vakilzadian’s 30+ years of service to IEEE includes leadership roles in the region, section, and chapter and an editorial role in Education Society and Transactions of M&S.  Vakilzadian has been a guest professor at the universities of Hamburg and INSA Rouen, senior member of IEEE since 1991, and editor of the special issues of M&S in Education.
IEEE Accomplishments and Activities
Over Three Decades of Service to Regions 4 and 6.
IEEE-USA Professional Activities Committee for Engineers (PACE)
  • Contributed to development of policies/practices, Annual Meeting Organization Committee (2007-2010), sections’ XCOM training; speaker in Annual Meetings.
  • Brought additional IEEE-USA PACE funds to support more Region 4 projects.
Region 4
  • PACE Committee Chair: Organized professional workshops; recommended speakers, topics, and best practices; recommended precollege, professional, and government activities projects for Region support; promoted participation in Annual Meetings; provided training at Region meetings; supported programs benefiting K-12 students, university student branches, and professional members resulting in steep growth in the PACE project activities (2007-2010).
  • West Area Chair: Coordinated sections’ activities including training, membership growth and participation, professional development, and interaction with Student Branches (2003-06).
  • Strategic Planning Committee: Helped develop the Region’s short and long term goals, and ways to achieve them (2003-2006).
  • Technical Activities Committee Chair: Proposal to fund technical workshops for practicing engineers/technologists, helped organize five workshops during 2011, and five more this year; contributing to the growth of sections’ technical activities (2011-present).
  • Contributed to organization of regional conferences, organizer and General Chair of 2005 International Conference on Electro Information Technology (eit); organizer of Professional Activities.
  • Reviewer of technical papers (2003-2010), judge for best Paper Award (2003-06).  Organizer/chair conferences/workshops:  International Conference on Simulation in Engineering Education (1992-98), Leadership Skills Workshop (2004-09), Project Management for Engineers Workshop (2004-05), and Power Quality Workshop (2005). 
Nebraska Section
  • Served as Chair, 2003; Vice Chair, 2002; Secretary/Treasurer, 2001; Nominations and Appointments Committee Chair, 2004; Reviewer and judge of Student Senior Designs Projects, 2003-05; Computer Society Chapter Vice Chair and Chair, 1998-2000, 2012. 
  • Education Society, Reviewer, 1999-2004.
  • IEEE-USA Regional Professional Leadership Award; Nebraska Section Award for Leadership, Management, and Contribution to the Section; Region 4 Conference Committee Awards, 2003-04; SCS Distinguished Service Award, 2011.
My goals for Region 4 are:
Better Service to Members and Enhanced Member Value
  • Increase industry-oriented seminars/workshops and improve links with industry.
  • Increase the quality of the region-organized conferences to benefit academic and professional members.
  • Encourage and provide the means to conduct webinars for technical/educational activities and virtual meetings.
  • Increase awareness and recognition of IEEE members in industry.
Region Integration
  • Listen to local sections’ and membership ideas and concerns; find solutions.
  • Stimulate joint activities among sections, chapters, and student branches and promote stronger relationships among them.
  • Support more student activities through participation in national and regional meetings, contests, and seminars.
  • Expand the practicing engineer/technologist program; enhance networking opportunities and employment and career service activities for professional and student members.
  • Find new ways to engage graduates of the last decade and their participation in leadership positions.
  • Maximize sharing of “best practices” among the sections.
Integration with Society
  • Promote better participation of societies in sections’ educational activities in science, engineering and technology.
  • Enhance local sections’ involvement in university, precollege, and Student Branch activities.


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