Sept. 25, 2019 (Exton, PA)— The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE), its global arm, the International Society of Broadband Experts (ISBE), and the SCTE Foundation today announced the launch of a $200,000 five-year campaign to permanently memorialize deceased technology pioneer and industry legend Wilt Hildenbrand, starting with an initial donation of $40,000 from the YAS Foundation.
The campaign will raise $40,000 per year through 2023, with proceeds to be used to provide Wilt J. Hildenbrand Jr. Scholarships that will be administered by the SCTE Foundation. In addition, SCTE•ISBE’s annual award recognizing a rising star under the age of 40 will be renamed the Wilt J. Hildenbrand Jr. Rising Leader Award, with the nomination process to be managed by the SCTE Foundation.
Presentation of the initial donation to Yvette Kanouff, vice chair of the SCTE Foundation and a longtime family friend and colleague of Wilt Hildenbrand, will be made by Rouzbeh Yassini, founder of the YAS Foundation, during the Chairman’s Reception next Tuesday, Oct. 1, at SCTE•ISBE Cable-Tec Expo in New Orleans. Mandy Hildenbrand, Wilt’s daughter, will present the Wilt J. Hildenbrand Jr. Rising Leader Award for the first time during the Annual Awards Luncheon the following day, also at Cable-Tec Expo.
“Wilt Hildenbrand was a true visionary, a model engineer and a mentor who recognized the need to build the workforce for the future,” said Mark Hess, chair of the SCTE Foundation and senior vice president, business and industry affairs for Comcast Technology Solutions. “We’re grateful to the YAS Foundation for initiating these commemorations of Wilt’s legacy.”
“Wilt’s early recognition of the power of cable broadband helped revolutionize cable telecommunications,” said Rouzbeh Yassini, the “father of the cable modem” and the creator of the YAS Foundation. “What was equally important, however, was his unstinting guidance in my early years in the industry as we worked collectively toward the shared goal of broadband services.”
Hildenbrand passed away last year at the age of 70 after a lengthy career that included four decades in the Cablevision organization. Hildenbrand joined the company as chief engineer in 1976 and ultimately became executive vice president of technology and engineering. Among his innovations were Cablevision’s rollouts of 100 Mbps residential broadband, downloadable security for digital video services and cloud-based navigation for legacy set-top boxes.