John Battison was the early driving force behind the Society of Broadcast Engineers. After suggesting its formation, then serving as the chairman of the steering committee to organize, he became the group's first president in 1965 and 1966. National elections were held in March 1966, and Battison stepped down and Charles Hallinan took the leadership chair. In the March 1966 issue of the Journal of the Society of Broadcast Engineers, Battison shared his thoughts on the future of the organization.
"Fellow members of the Society of Broadcast Engineers, it is with the greatest pride that I hand over the reigns of office to Charles Hallinan your president-elect. For the past several years, from the time when the Society was an idea in my mind, to the time when you elected me chairman of the steering committee, and to last year when you did me the honor of electing me president of the Society, the SBE has taken the most of my working hours and spare time. At times, much to the disgust of my wife has had to put up with late hours, and preoccupation while Society affairs were handled, and the Society and the Journal have taken all my time. But now both are in fine shape, and although I shall now bow out of the role of helmsman I shall still be active in Society affairs, and as past president I hope to have a hand in stimulating our growth.
"Even though I am stepping down as president, I shall continue to edit the Journal and I hope that under my guidance - undivided this time - it will continue to grow and soon become bimonthly, and then monthly!
"I know that Charles Hallinan and the fine group of officers who have been elected to work with him, will do a fine job of promoting the SBE. And in any case it is quite possible that some time before too long in the future I shall run again for election as president as a write-in! My sincere thanks to all those members who joined with me in 1963 and 1964 to form the nucleus, and to all the members who joined subsequently and helped us build the Society of Broadcast Engineers ... and may every success attend the efforts of the new president and his officers."
Historical source: The History of the Society of Broadcast Engineer, 1964 - 1981, by Bradley L. Dick, CPBE.