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March 9, 2010 Newsletter


- Letter from the Executive Director
Public Policy Activities

Letter from the Executive Director
2010 got off with fast start in January with SBCA’s second annual Leadership Luncheon at the Wynn Hotel on January 7. 


Please update your records, the SBCA offices have moved:

1100 17th Street NW,
Suite 1150
Washington, DC  20036

Over 40 SBCA members and guests attended the lunch with Utz Baldwin, CEO of CEDIA providing some valuable insights into trends affecting the home theater and related channels.  His remarks were followed by a presentation from the SBCA staff on its work program for 2010 focusing on building SBCA as an information resource for the industry.  A copy of the presentation can be found on the SBCA website at

SBCA continues to work on expanding benefits available to members.  It is doing pilot work on business insurance coverage (workers’ compensation and liability coverage), and discounts on equipment and clothing (we are working with a major work boot manufacturer to provide a discount to all SBCA members). 

SBCA Chapter Meeting

2010 Satellite Professionals Regional Chapter Meeting

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Double Tree Hotel
4727 Concord Pike
Wilmington, DE

12:00 Noon - 4:00 PM

- FREE to Attend
- Learn About Issues Affecting Your Industry

- Hear about New Products

- Network with Industry Executives

- Lunch Provided

Scott Hisey
Chief Executive Officer
UniTek Global Services

 Joe Widoff
Executive Director

Steve Hill
Deputy Executive Director

Meet These Sponsors

DSI Systems

register at

The SBCA Board has agreed that beginning this year, SBCA will automatically enroll each SBCA certified technician with a complementary 1 year membership in SBCA.  After the first year, the membership fee will be $25.  Currently, over 30,000 technicians have active certifications with SBCA.  This will make our membership very attractive to vendors who have products and services that may be of value to our members in addition to giving all members access to our benefits.  Membership materials will be sent to all qualified technicians by the end of the first quarter.

In addition we plan to expand the use of webinars and other online methods of providing information and education to our members.  We plan to start a series of blogs beginning March 19th on covering topics on technology, products, licensing and tech tips. In addition members will have the ability to ask our panel of expert bloggers questions on specific topics that are of interest.  We plan to make increased use of our monthly newsletter to provide product information on technology updates from our corporate members and others that may be of interest to you.

Finally, we are planning an expanded 2010 SkyFORUM online trade show and conference. We will have dedicated pavilions for the platform providers and their affiliated manufacturers and distributors, and another pavilion dedicated to consumer electronics and related products that affect our industry.  The event is scheduled for November 18, 2010.

All of this focus on value-added services is meant, in part, to increase to value of membership to companies that directly benefit from their association with our industry, thus increasing membership and non-membership revenue through sponsorships. Expanding our membership rolls with SBCA certified technicians will result in a more dramatic “on the ground” presence for our industry to help in fighting discriminatory tax proposals and other proposals that could harm the industry.

On the public policy front, activity has already heated up since January.  We battled a discriminatory tax in Indiana which is now dead for the rest of this year.  Thank you to Tom Haywood of Applied Instruments, Bob Virden of DSI Systems and Joe Kroll of Multiband for testifying against the tax at a hearing in January.  Multiband also helped pack the audience with a number of installers showing their support for our opposition. A licensing bill cropped up in Arizona supported by the Construction Trades Coalition which would have affected our industry and others.  The group has decided not to go forward with the bill this session but will hold stakeholder meetings to develop a more acceptable bill for next year.  SBCA will monitor and participate in these meetings.  In Minnesota, SBCA is poised to get a satellite licensing bill introduced again this year.  We will embark on a grassroots campaign to garner support for the bill.  If you are in Minnesota, please let us know if you are willing to help in this effort. 

As you can see, SBCA is already actively engaged in continuing our efforts to grow and achieve world class status as a trade and professional development association that serves its members.  Thanks for your support!

Joe Widoff
Executive Director, SBCA

Public Policy Activities

The year has started out as a busy one on the state legislative front.  In the licensing arena, we are working on preemptions for our industry technicians in Alabama and Wyoming.  In Minnesota, we continue to work our proactive bill for specific

Quick Links

- Letter from the Executive Director

- Public Policy Activities

satellite licensing but have hit some roadblocks due to union opposition but we continue to work toward a solution.  Earlier this year, we saw a bill in Arizona that would have impacted our technicians but due to much negative outcry on the issue, the bill has not moved forward. On the tax front, we battled a discriminatory tax on satellite in Indiana that we managed to kill for this year and we are preparing for battle again next year.  We continue to work to keep discriminatory tax proposals at bay in California, Connecticut, New Jersey and a number of other states where the issue may arise.  In Tennessee, we are supportive of the Governor’s state budget proposal that includes a playing field leveling measure that would repeal a tax exemption that only applies to cable customers.    Back to top

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