SCTE president and CEO Mark Dzuban officially kicked off this year’s Cable-Tec Expo in his keynote address this morning.

Dzuban noted that a lot has changed since the first Expo was held in Dallas 30 years ago.

“This is a really important occasion for SCTE and this event,” Dzuban said. “Just think about it, 30 years ago this year cable engineers gathered in Dallas for the first ever Cable-Tec Expo. There were 700 attendees and 118 e exhibitors.  Last year we had 9,200 attendees and we’re on track to exceed that over the next few days. We’ve certainly come a long ways.”

Dzuban announced that the SCTE’s Smart Energy Management Initiative, or SEMI, program, has been re-branded as the SCTE Energy Management Program. Dzuban said energy efficiency and disaster recover were two areas of importance to the cable industry, especially in the wake of last year’s Superstorm Sandy.

Dzuban passed the mic over to Mike LaJoie, who is the outgoing chairman of the SCTE’s board of directors and Time Warner Cable’s executive vice president and chief technology and network operations officer.

Dzuban presented the Excellence in Standards Award to Brian Santangelo for his work on the SCTE’s 130 standard that enables dynamic ad insertion in VOD. The SCTE Excellence in Standards Award honors an SCTE Standards Program participant who has significantly contributed to both the technical standards program and the spirit of cooperation necessary for the success of voluntary standards.

Santangelo formerly worked at Time Warner Cable and is currently vice president of software architecture at advanced adverting vendor This Technology.

LaJoie presented the Chairman’s Award to Jim Hughes, senior vice president, worldwide broadband sales at CommScope. The Chairman’s Award is presented to an individual or organization or group that has demonstrated significant support of the Society.

“Time after time I’ve seen this guy step up and take on assignments that advance the causes of SCTE,” LaJoie said. “He’s always the first in line to volunteer for tasks.”

LaJoie said that Hughes has been instrumental in raising funds for the SCTE Foundation, among other work for SCTE.

Kevin Hart, executive vice president and CTO, Cox Communications and 2013 Expo program committee chair, said the cable industry needed to ask itself three questions: where will the industry go next, what will be the next game changing technology and who will be the winners? 

“Our network is more sophisticated and our services have expanded dramatically,” Hart said. “In our industry there is really just one constant and that’s change. As an example of change take the pace of product development which has gone from years to months. This truly is a new era with new products and services.”