NAB 2022

SMPTE Names David Grindle as Executive Director; Begins Term in July

Joins from United States Institute for Theatre Technology where he was executive director for 12 years

SMPTE has named David Grindle as the Society’s next executive director. He will formally join SMPTE in July after concluding a 12-year tenure as executive director of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, an association dedicated to performing arts and entertainment professionals.

David Grindle has been named SMPTE Executive Director.

“David encompasses for SMPTE the leadership attributes we need to move the global organization into its second century with long-term, sustainable programs,” says SMPTE President Hans Hoffmann. “He has broad experience in nonprofit organizations and working with board structures like we have, and I look forward to developing — together with the board and him and the home office staff — the strategies for the future growth of the Society.”

Grindle is a Certified Association Executive and proven leader in the nonprofit field, with a background in opera, theater, and academia. He has a strong record of success across fundraising, establishing fiscal diversity, and developing creative ideas for programmatic growth, and he has experience guiding a board — from operations to governance — while maintaining engagement with the organization’s membership and connection with its volunteer spirit.

“[The United States Institute for Theatre Technology] is not so far away from the areas where SMPTE is [focused],” says Hoffman. “He has a record of success in fund raising, fiscal diversity, developing creative ideas.”

In addition to his experience in nonprofit leadership, Grindle is a Fulbright specialist with the U.S. State Department and an honorary member of the African Theatre Association. He has served on advisory boards for multiple convention bureaus, spoken at entertainment industry events around the world, and earned a Distinguished Achievement Award from the Berry College Alumni Association.

“I am honored and excited to be appointed SMPTE’s next executive director,” said Grindle. “Building on the storied history of the Society and working with the members and staff, I am confident that we can position SMPTE for current and future service to a rapidly developing industry. The opportunities to connect people in the global media community are boundless, and one of my goals as executive director is to help SMPTE become the bridge that connects people to this industry and the industry to its own future. There is so much positive energy and momentum here already, and I look forward to meeting our members and hearing what they need and want so that we can work to continue delivering relevant and meaningful services for SMPTE members at all stages in their career path.”

Grindle says USITT serves the technical theater industry for live entertainment, speaking with designers, technicians, and engineers.

“The 12 years that I spent year were 12 years of growth through some challenging times,” he says. “USITT was able to create new educational opportunities and marketing sponsorships and new ways to develop philanthropy leveraging our non-profit status. This allowed us to grow services and something I have already been in discussions with SMPTE’s leadership about.”

As for what attracted him to SMPTE?

“I can tell you it’s not because of my engineering skills as I am not an engineer; I am association executive and my background is in the arts and serving people at a service organization and as a stage manager serving backstage and onstage. So I bring a skill set, dedication to services, and philosophy that by engaging many different perspectives we can harness a variety of talents and pull together for the progress of the association.”

Further information about SMPTE is online at


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