The Executive - November/December 2016 - 34


MEMBER

SPOTLIGHT

How long have you been with your current organization
and/or in your current position?
I founded Aeronet Communications in December 1995! I am
the president and majority owner of the company.
How did you hear about associations as a career choice?
What brought you to your current organization?
I originally studied music (jazz saxophone) at Long Beach
State, and then after 18 months transferred to Cal Poly SLO
where I got a degree in architecture. I soon realized the
field and I were not as compatible as we were while I was
in school. I loved communicating with people and working
with technology, so took a job as a corporate trainer at
Southern Pacific Railroad in San Francisco leading leadership
development and team building workshops. When that
company was swallowed by another railroad in 1995 and my
job was eliminated, I decided I really wanted to start my own
business. Web development was a very new field at the time,
but it was a wonderful fit for me given my diverse background.
In the late 1990s, Aeronet designed and built
database-driven websites for the California Cable and
Telecommunications Association and the Building Owners
and Managers Association of San Francisco. We loved
working with these organizations and decided to pursue
working with other similar membership-based non-profits.
I am very proud to say that some of our client relationships
have been active since the late '90s!
We are also now developing education-oriented websites.
Some of our education clients include UC Berkeley, the
Ventura County Community College District and a specialty
high school in Salinas, CA. We just launched a news website
for youth (youngzine.org) that includes an interactive,
classroom system for teachers to use the website's articles in
their lesson plans.
What do you do to relax? Hobbies?
I have a lot of hobbies!
Jazz music: I have played tenor saxophone my
entire life and continue to play semi-professionally
in Portland, OR where I now live. Listen to my jazz
quartet (Loose Wig) at loosewig.com, on Spotify
and on iTunes!
Running: I am a runner and have run seven
marathons since I turned 50!
Hosting Airbnb: I host travelers through Airbnb
in my home! I just love meeting people from all over
the world and have so much fun introducing them to
Portland.
Wine making: Over the last two years, I
have begun making wine using Oregon and
Washington grapes! I am a member of the
Portland Winemakers Club and am currently
making a Merlot/Syrah blend! This year I hope to
make about 17 cases. I love giving it to friends, family and
my Airbnb guests!

34

Ben Fajen

President
Aeronet Communications Corporation
Do you speak any languages besides English?
Yes! I speak Portuguese on a daily basis with my staff members
who live/work in Fortaleza, Brazil. I've been studying and
speaking Portuguese since about 2001! I also speak Italian,
and I have been conversant in French and Spanish in the past.
Language is one of my favorite things in life. It's such a blast to
see the world through the lens of another language and culture.
Do you have any kids? Pets?
I don't have kids, but I have two wonderful standard poodles -
Dexter and Fiona! They are now senior citizens, being 13 and 9
years old, but they are doing pretty well still.
What was the last movie you saw in the theatre
and loved?
I haven't been to the theater in a long time. But one of my
favorite movies is Woody Allen's Crimes and Misdemeanors
from 1989! I love watching movies on Netflix at this point. I
don't have cable any longer. I love being a "cord cutter."
What's your favorite singer or band?
Most of my music favorites are jazz musicians or groups: Bill
Frisell, Dayna Stephens, Joe Henderson, Joe Lovano, John
Coletrane, Billy Holiday, Joshua Redman, Diane Schuur,
Kurt Rosenwinkle and many others. I also enjoy some folk
and international music, such as Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Fiona
Apple, James Blake, K.D. Lang, the Buena Vista Social Club
and more.
What's your favorite quote?
"The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the
utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and
richer experience."
- Eleanor Roosevelt

PRESIDENT'S

MESSAGE

Continued from page 7
terrific savings after the first person joins. So, if you already
have one member, you can save big by adding more staff to
your CalSAE membership. The more folks who join, the bigger
the savings ... up to 65 percent!
We'll be rolling out this new pricing model in early 2017 with
lots more details. In addition to the new pricing for Association
Professionals, we'll be looking at options for Industry Partner
pricing during the next year.
Building leadership in the association industry is what
CalSAE is all about-at the staff, executive and governance levels.
We trust these changes will make your job easier ... and make it
easier for you to share the benefits of CalSAE membership! We're
excited to bring you these changes in 2017! Reach out to me at
916-443-8980 or jim@calsae.org if you'd like to discuss these new
opportunities.

Ca lSAE's T HE E XEC U T IV E - NO V E M B E R/ DE C E M BE R 2 0 1 6


http://www.youngzine.org http://www.loosewig.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Executive - November/December 2016

President’s Message
At a Glance
Calendar of Events
Building a ‘Foresight First’ Board of Directors
10 Tips to Experience Unlimited Success When Communicating
Media Relations: Building a Strategic and Comprehensive Communications Strategy
Associations Communications a Study in Perception vs. Reality
Destination: Santa Barbara
Advancing Associations: 9 Tips for Concise Writing
New Members
Index to Advertisers
The Executive - November/December 2016 - cover1
The Executive - November/December 2016 - cover2
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 3
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 4
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 5
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 6
The Executive - November/December 2016 - President’s Message
The Executive - November/December 2016 - At a Glance
The Executive - November/December 2016 - Calendar of Events
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 10
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 11
The Executive - November/December 2016 - Building a ‘Foresight First’ Board of Directors
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 13
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 14
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 15
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 16
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 17
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 18
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 19
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 10 Tips to Experience Unlimited Success When Communicating
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 21
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 22
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 23
The Executive - November/December 2016 - Media Relations: Building a Strategic and Comprehensive Communications Strategy
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 25
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 26
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 27
The Executive - November/December 2016 - Associations Communications a Study in Perception vs. Reality
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 29
The Executive - November/December 2016 - Destination: Santa Barbara
The Executive - November/December 2016 - Advancing Associations: 9 Tips for Concise Writing
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 32
The Executive - November/December 2016 - Index to Advertisers
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 34
The Executive - November/December 2016 - cover3
The Executive - November/December 2016 - cover4
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