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Meet District 5 Representative: Tony DeMars, Texas A&M University-Commerce

How long have you been a member of BEA?
Almost 20 years

What is your favorite book?
I tend not to have absolute favorites of anything, but three come to mind that I read years ago that were important to me at the time: Catcher in the Rye, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and Johnny Got His Gun.

What is your favorite TV show?
Again, no single favorite. Many favorites through the years, often comedies more than dramas, and never reality shows. More recently, ones like Big Bang Theory and Frasier, and all Star Trek shows.

How is BEA unique for you?
It’s the conference that’s most closely focused on education and research about the industry in which I spent ten years thoroughly enjoying being involved professionally. BEA allows me to continue to be connected to the industry.

How did you get started in the industry?
After my voice changed during junior high, people said ‘you should work in radio.’ With that prodding, and other things that made me feel a communication field was right for me, I got a part-time job at the local radio station while in high school and then worked 10 years full time in radio, working my way through college, before moving into academia. I did a little TV along the way too.

As a board member what are your goals for BEA?
Keeping it relevant and important for members. I’ve also tried to help create more international connections for the conference and worked on increasing diversity.

What is your favorite BEA memory?
Being on a panel with Norm Pattiz in one of my first BEA conventions and respectfully, but adamantly, disagreeing with him about something, that seemed important to me at the time, but probably was not. My first research paper being accepted and presented is also a pretty nice memory.