When taking on the leadership of a 72-year-old industry association, it is hard to know if you are just
crazy for putting your hand up to volunteer, naïve to the challenges the industry and organization face,
or hopeful to continue a tradition of bringing technical people together.

Call it post-pandemic reflections, but I can definitely tell you I have thought a lot about WABE in the past
2 years. I now hide out of sight from my family when working on WABE things so I don’t have to answer
the question “What are you working on?” The constant reminder that this unpaid work seems only to
net me more work results in a constant eye-rolling conversation with my spouse—who does not attend
industry functions mainly because he sees the work as a paycheque, unlike me, who signed some kind of
unconscious broadcast technician contract that now has led to a career that is part of my core identity.

What is certain is that at the start of the pandemic 2 years go, when I was asked to be part of the WABE
executive team for a 6-year term, I spent a lot of time trying to think about what the organization has
meant to me and other people I work with. I then set out to learn its history and value to membership
while thinking of ways to sustain it in a media technology climate like Canada’s.

Serving membership, providing business opportunities for vendors, and building a roadmap for the
future of an industry association are not commonly used tools in my tool bag alongside the Phillips
screwdriver, multimeter, and soldering iron. Being a broadcast technician has taught me that you need
some hard facts, honest product reviews, and a realistic budget to find a technology solution that works
for your station, a client, or a repair. So, using these transferable skills, I have spent hours researching,
watching webinars, and calling friends who are experts at these things, trying to gather the data to try
and make the best possible impact that I can.

WABE 2022 Calgary was a huge learning experience for me with the post-pandemic relaunch, and we
are happy to report its success by the numbers.

• 35 unique media technology vendors who supply almost every type of media technology in the
• 2 days of exhibits and educational paper sessions and industry discussions
• 92 fully registered delegates
• 40 day passes
• 43 exhibitor guest passes
• 32 students
• 86 exhibit booth workers
• 293 total attendance

WABE in fall 2023 will be held in Vancouver, and early in the new year we hope to release the details
and locations. To keep the momentum going, we are going to invite new people and try new things but
not so fast and furious that we move away from the true spirit of the organization or make it hard to
recognize as the WABE family that has supported many of our careers over the years. I am really excited
to organize the convention this coming fall!

What is WABE to me?

Many of us in Canada work alone and are part of small teams, with little access to the industry outside
of our daily tasks list of repairs, installs, and maintenance. WABE to me has always been a gathering
space for technical folks working in media to share what is in their toolbox, explore new ideas, and have
an open forum to talk about our industry. I think that real experiences and in-person connections are
what help us continue to find fulfillment in our work.

What is my hope for WABE?

My hope in 2023 is that WABE can be a space for old work friends to gather and a space to welcome
new people who are ready to build a career in media technology. Seeing “behind the scenes” is kind of
magical, and being able to relate those interesting problems, solutions, and the science behind making
media can be extremely rewarding.

This interwoven industry of constant technical changes has provided me with a living wage, unique
challenges, some great adventures, and personal connections that have kept me continuing to say “yes”
when someone asks me to be a part of a team. Helping others discover this is part of what will be
driving me in these coming years.

Looking forward to talking to all of you this year—and even more to seeing you in Vancouver at the
annual convention.

Join, follow, and connect with WABE on social media, so you know what we know, when we know it.

Tessa Potter


I am a broadcast technician living in Winnipeg who has spent 20 years working for a variety of wonderful
folks in a challenging—but very rewarding—career in media. You can look me up on LinkedIn or
connect with me any time via email at tessapotter@live.ca : send me a message with any thoughts or ideas or possible ways to lend a hand to the organization!