People & Places: AVAD Promotes Hildebrandt; Catalyst & Sony; HTSA Adds 3 Members; AVPro Hires Dustal

The latest in hirings and other notable movement within the custom electronics industry. Check back daily for updated news.

People & Places: AVAD Promotes Hildebrandt; Catalyst & Sony; HTSA Adds 3 Members; AVPro Hires Dustal
CE Pro Editors · October 18, 2017

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October 18

AVAD LLC, a national distributor serving the residential and commercial custom installation markets, has announced the promotion of Timo Hildebrandt, to the position of director of vendor business management.

The national distributor states that Hildebrandt has been an asset to the company for the past five years, working his way from a sales associate at the Van Nuys branch to branch manager and, most recently, senior vendor business manager.

In his role as a senior vendor business manager, Hildebrandt played a key role in developing and facilitating profitable partnerships for AVAD and vendor partners, as well as managing new vendor selection, including the many new vendor announcements from AVAD this year such as LG, Integra, Onkyo, Suera, Hikvision, Klipsch, Jamo and others. In his new role as director of vendor business management, Hildebrandt will lead the VBM group and take direct responsibility supporting Jon Zabel for all vendor relations with branded suppliers, promotions and training, as well as line extensions for AVAD’s house brands, ProConnect and Pro Flex.


October 12

NuTech Group/Tech Source Distributors won three Sony awards at CEDIA EXPO in San Diego this past September. .

As the Mid Atlantic member of the national distributor Catalyst AV Group, the Sony awards were handed out during the Sony Rep Firm Sales Conference with approximately 200 in attendance.

NuTech Group won for Most Consistent Rep Firm, Outstanding Sales Performance-Front Projector, and Best Field Sales Rep-East Region.


AVPro Global Holdings, home to, Murideo, and AVProConnect, has announced the addition of Jason Dustal to its team of technical support specialists.

Dustal is an ISF Specialist who has calibrated over 4,000 displays. He has worked for Best Buy as a national trainer for home theater installations and ISF calibrations. Dustal has also taught ISF certification courses for Best Buy, Geek Squad U.S., Canada and Mexico, plus the Magnolia Design Centers.

Home Technology Specialists of America (HTSA) has added three new custom integration dealers into the organization: Xssentials (Denver), Stereo Planet (Bend, Ore.), and Texadia Systems (Dallas).  

Xssentials, with offices in Denver, Aspen/Vail, Colo., and Jackson Hole, Wyo., has been in business for more than 30 years providing high-quality and reliable customer experiences with home automation technology. Texadia Systems is the fastest growing commercial and residential A/V systems integrator in North Texas offering custom A/V solutions, A/V consulting, and audio visual design and installation. Texadia specializes in both commercial and high-end residential solutions. Stereo Planet’s highly skilled team of professionals has been designing and installing audio/video systems throughout the Central Oregon region for more than 34 years, offering a wide range of solutions including distributed audio, home theater, and home automation.

October 11

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA), a national tech trade association and owner and producer of the CES tech event, has announced the election of its 2018 executive board and board of industry leaders (BIL).

"What an honor to have such a diverse and passionate team of volunteer leaders helping CTA and CES continue to grow and thrive," says Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. "The tech industry is delivering innovations that change lives for the better - and these are the executives helping guide the industry association. I congratulate each of our new volunteer leaders, and thank them for sharing their experience, energy and vision to championing our mission focused on ensuring innovation improves peoples' lives."

CTA announced the 15 new members of the association's BIL and executive board during Innovate Celebrate in San Francisco, co-hosted by CTA and TechCo.

Joseph Stinziano, executive vice president at Samsung Electronics America is the newest member of the executive board, serving as an at-large member. David Hagan, chairman and CEO, Boingo Wireless, will continue to serve as the chairman of the board. Mike Dunn, 20th Century Fox; and Steven Tiffen, The Tiffen Company, will serve as the newly elected vice chairs. 

Executive board members who will continue to serve include: Eliott Peck, Canon; John Penney, 20th Century Fox; Jim Mault, Qualcomm Life; Mike Fasulo, Sony Electronics; Randy Fry, Fry's Electronics; Bridget Karlin, IBM; Laura Orvidas, Amazon; Fred Towns, New Age Electronics; and Pat Lavelle, Voxx International.

Shapiro will continue to serve on the association's executive board, along with Glenda MacMullin, COO and CFO, CTA, serving as treasurer; and Jacqueline Black, manager, office of the president, serving as secretary.

Along with the announcement of the executive board, which helps shape the association's strategic direction and oversees its services and programs including CES, CTA also announced the newest members of the BIL. The BIL serves CTA and the Executive Board in an advisory role, supporting public policy and association activities.

CTA's new BIL Members are:

Terms through December 31, 2017

  • Richard Feller, owner, Hedgehog Technology Services

Terms through December 31, 2020

  • Eric Bodley, president and CEO, Future Ready Solutions
  • Steve Carlin, Chief Strategy Officer, SoftBank Robotics America
  • Marjorie Dickman, global director and associate general counsel, IoT & Automated Driving Policy, Intel Corporation
  • Stephanie Dismore, vice president & general manager, Americas Channels, HP Inc.
  • Bettina Experton, CEO, Humetrix
  • David Inns, CEO, GreatCall
  • Kenneth Lowe, vice president & co-founder, VIZIO, Inc.

Michael Mauser, Executive Vice President and President, Lifestyle Audio, Harman
Drew Schiller, CEO, Validic
Jack Sheng, Founder and CEO,
Bob Struble, CEO, Directed Electronics
Sonia Wadhawan, Head of Distribution & Channel Expansion, Google Hardware, Google
Skip West, President and Owner, MAXSA Innovations

CTA's continuing BIL Members are: Terms through December 31, 2018

  • Itai Ben-gal, chief innovation officer, Bluewater
  • John Bosch, president and CEO, Grand Destiny
  • Scott Burnett, managing director, global consumer electronics industry, IBM
  • Henry Chiarelli, executive vice president, industry relations, Gibson Brands
  • Matthew Diamond, chief medical officer, Nokia Technologies
  • Mike Dunn, president of product strategy and consumer business development, 20th Century Fox
  • Denise Gibson, co-founder and chairman, Ice Mobility
  • Eric Hsia, venture partner/ senior adviser, TransLink Capital
  • Bridget Karlin, CTO and vice president, IBM GTS Technology, Innovation & Automation
  • Dave Keller, vice president sales - North America, Vantage Controls (Legrand)
  • Henry Muyshondt, executive director, MOST Corp. and senior manager, Microchip Technology
  • Paul Sabbah, president, Stamford International
  • Jake Sigal, founder and CEO, Tome
  • Tiffen, president and CEO, The Tiffen Company

Terms through December 31, 2019

  • Ty Ahmad-Taylor, vice president, product marketing, Facebook
  • Jim Braun, president and CEO, Dual Electronics Corporation
  • Deena Ghazarian, senior partner, TargetPath
  • John Ivey, president and CEO, MiTek Corp. and AtlasIED
  • Henry Juszkiewicz, CEO, Gibson Brands
  • Omar Khan, president, Enseo
  • Sally Lange, vice president, National Retail, Sprint
  • Noel Lee, head monster, Monster Inc.
  • Mike Mansuetti, President, Robert Bosch LLC
  • Jay McLellan, vice president, energy management, Controls and Automation, Leviton Manufacturing Co. Inc.
  • Doug Webster, vice president, global marketing and corporate communications, Cisco Systems
  • Tim Yerdon, global vice president - marketing & communications, Visteon Corporation

Ex-Officio Members (2018 Division Chairs, Investment Committee Chair and Foundation Board Chair)

  • Melissa Andresko, communications director, Lutron
  • Brett Beveridge, president, The Retail Outsource
  • John Boris, CMO, Shutterfly
  • Henry Chiarelli, executive vice president, industry relations, Gibson Brands
  • Brian Dunfee, senior director, global product management, Best Buy
  • Robert Fields, president & CEO, Beacon Technology Group
  • John Godfrey, senior vice president, public policy, Samsung Electronics America
  • Hunter Hankamer, vice president of operations, Starpower
  • Jim Mault, MD, vice president and chief medical officer, Qualcomm Life
  • Rajan Mehta, executive vice president and CTO, World Wrestling Entertainment
  • Paul Sabbah, president, Stamford Technology
  • John Shalam, chairman and founder, VOXX International
  • John Taylor, vice president, public affairs and communications, LG Electronics


October 10

ProSource, a national audio, video and integration buying group, has announced the addition of 12 new custom integrator members and one Associate PRO level member.

Approved by the ProSource board of directors, Electronics Express, Inc. of Nashville, Tenn., joins the buying group as an Associate PRO level member.

Joining ProSource as custom installation professionals are these companies:

  • Alpha Dog Security, St Johns, Fla.
  • Apex Audio Video, Austin, Texas
  • Custom Installation & Design Inc., Hurricane, Utah
  • Elite AV, Las Vegas, Nev.
  • EOC Audio, Wheaton, Ill.
  • First Priority Audio, Pompano Beach, Fla.
  • HAAS Home Technologies, Austin, Texas
  • Pair Electronics Co, Inc., Greenville, N.C.
  • Premium Digital Control & Automation, Hollywood, Fla.
  • Rampart Security Systems, Orlando, Fla.
  • Spycom Technology Solutions, Lancaster, Pa.
  • Texas Home Theaters, Conroe, Texas

RTI, a global control and automation manufacturer for residential and commercial industries, has announced that Abbie Hill has joined the company as its director of marketing communications. In this role, she will drive the company's growth through the creation of marketing initiatives targeting new and existing dealers and distributors, while also managing RTI's public relations strategies and internal communications.

Hill comes to RTI from a marketing and advertising firm that focuses on full-model marketing attribution, supporting lead generation and engagement. As a marketing campaign manager for the company, she supported clients across multiple industries through the development of go-to-market strategies utilizing marketing automation platforms. Previously, as marketing communications manager for a SaaS company based in Minneapolis, Hill directed, managed, and maintained the marketing department through a rebrand of all content, while driving lead generation activities. During her career, she has also held leadership positions in sales communications, brand marketing, and public relations.

"Throughout her career, Abbie has demonstrated an impressive ability to develop marketing strategies that successfully attract new business while also effectively communicating with existing customers," says Ed McConaghay, CEO at RTI. "We're pleased to have Abbie join our marketing team as she will be instrumental in opening the lines of communication with our dealers and distributors, and ultimately grow our global presence in the control and automation industry."

October 9

AVAD LLC, a national distributor serving the residential and commercial custom installation markets, has announced the appointment of Gordon Isaac as its new director of sales.

Isaac joins AVAD after many years at Core Brands where he served as national director of sales. While at Core Brands, Gordon was responsible for leading the national custom installation sales team, consisting of over 50 direct and independent employees, and serving over 3,000 customers across North America. Prior to his engagement at Core Brands, Isaac worked as a regional sales leader for companies such as Crestron Electronics and Bose Corporation.

“We’re excited to welcome Gordon Isaac to AVAD," said Jon Zabel, vice president of sales and vendor management for AVAD. “We’re confident that Gordon will play a critical role in enhancing and strengthening AVAD’s sales strategy and execution as we seek to provide dealers with cutting edge solutions and market leading service. As AVAD completes its transformation since being purchased from Ingram Micro, we continue to demonstrate our investment and commitment to personnel and programs that provide our dealers with best in class products, technology and service.”

The Wireless Speaker and Audio (WiSA) Association, an industry group dedicated to bringing high resolution, wireless, multi-channel audio products to the home theater market, has announced HARMAN International as its newest member.

As a WiSA member, HARMAN will leverage the association’s wireless-enabling technology to expand its selection of A/V products, which includes surround sound and whole-home audio systems. 

“With the growing abundance of multi-channel audio systems in the home, we have the opportunity to dramatically improve the level of entertainment through the creation of powerful home theatre experiences with the added benefit of wireless audio,” says Lou Schreurs, vice president and general manager of BU Connected Home at HARMAN. “Joining WiSA is an important step and we are excited to work as partners to make the wireless audio environment more convenient and desirable to consumers than ever before.”

Luxul has announced that it has appointed Mike Grubb as vice president of marketing and Chris Kovacek as Eastern regional sales manager. In their new roles, Grubb will be responsible for creating and managing marketing strategies designed to expand Luxul's presence in IP networking, while Kovacek will help support the company's growing dealer base in the Eastern U.S. territory.

An experienced marketing and sales leader, Grubb held leadership roles with Sonos and Atlona in the custom integration, retail and commercial channels. 

Kovacek brings over eight years of experience in multiple facets of the custom installation industry to Luxul, including consumer electronics integration, management, manufacturing, sales, and distribution. He comes to the company from Clare Controls, where he served as distribution sales manager. 

"We are excited to welcome both Mike and Chris to our team," says Jeff Curtis, vice president and general manager with Luxul. "Mike's strong background in sales and marketing will be instrumental in helping us continue our growth strategy and penetrate new markets, while Chris' skills and experience will be an asset as we strive to offer our dealers the best support in the industry."

October 5

RTI announced that the company has strengthened its dealer support team with the addition of Vincent Bova and Luke Augustakis to new Senior Design and Programming Consultant positions. In their new roles, Bova and Augustakis are responsible for pre-sales and distributor support consultation, in addition to individual training and systems design programming services.

“We created the Senior Design and Programming Consultant position as part of our renewed focus on service and support for our dealers and distribution partners,” said Ed McConaghay, CEO of RTI. “With their extensive knowledge of the custom installation industry, Vincent and Luke are integral to creating the ultimate experience for our customers, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome them to our team.”

For the past 10 years, Bova has owned his own custom integration company, Total Control Remotes, specializing in dealer-to- dealer programming and design services. Augustakis has held the position of Automation Programmer for integrators such as Fi Audio Visual and Hayman’s Integrated Systems, where he was responsible for all aspects of business management, software testing, and high-level installation.

The SDVoE Alliance has announced that Cypress Technology Co., Ltd., a manufacturer of AV signal processing and home automation technology, has joined the alliance as an adopting member. The company will work toward the organization’s goals of standardizing the adoption of Ethernet to transport AV signals in professional AV environments, and creating an ecosystem around SDVoE technology that allows software to define AV applications.

“Cypress has been at the very forefront of every shift in AV technology for more than 25 years, offering state-of-the-art AV devices to industry-leading companies around the world,” says Jones Hsu, vice president of R&D, Cypress Technology. “Cypress has already designed several encoders and decoders using SDVoE technology for our customers – most of them SDVoE members - who demand the highest quality, lowest latency 4K60Hz 4:4:4 HDR video system solutions. Joining the alliance and designing SDVoE-based products is a natural progression for us as well as our customers.”

Just Add Power (J+P), a manufacturer of Ultra HD-over-IP solutions, has announced partnerships with Tandem Marketing and Synapse Sales & Marketing to broaden its product availability and service support across the U.S.

"Just Add Power has experienced high demand and rapid growth as customers look to leverage their network to meet video distribution needs," says Taft Stricklin, sales team manager, Just Add Power. "Both Tandem and Synapse are proven AV representatives with decades of experience to help us achieve our goals of providing dealers across the United States with impeccable service and support."

Tandem Marketing will represent J+P's entire lineup of solutions in Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

Synapse Sales & Marketing will represent J+P's video distribution solutions in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, and Southern Illinois. Synapse will also provide training and technical support.

October 2

The SDVoE Alliance has announced that Liberty AV Solutions, a provider of infrastructure, connectivity and hardware solutions to the pro AV industry, has joined the alliance as an adopting member. The company will work toward the organization’s goals of standardizing the adoption of Ethernet to transport AV signals in professional AV environments, and creating an ecosystem around SDVoE technology that allows software to define AV applications.

“Pro AV is in the midst of an inevitable shift away from point-to-point connectivity to AV-over-IP solutions and with this membership we are aligning ourselves with the leading platform for networked AV,” says Kevin Peterman, director of product management/development at Liberty AV Solutions. “We look forward to working with the other members of the alliance and system integrators who can take advantage of our complete range of bulk wire and cable, premade cables, bulk and pre-made fiber, connectors, adaptors, plates/panels, tools and electronics in their SDVoE system deployments.”

Manufacturer's rep company LK & Associates has been named at the new factory sales rep for Savant in Florida. 

George Katsiris, vice president, product evangelist at Savant, says,"We are truly thrilled to partner with LK & Associates. Their broad technical expertise and deep industry experience are just part of it.  Seth Kaplan and his team are focused on creating a seamlessly integrated ecosystem.  Our companies are strategically aligned and with the addition of Jason Sayen to their team as a strong Savant brand champion, we know LK & Associates will bring a tremendous amount of value to our mutual customers on everything from sales and system design to technical training and ongoing customer support.  Kelly and I look forward to working closely with LK& Associates and to a prosperous future with our Florida Savant Integrators."

"We think Savant represents the best of all worlds in the control and automation arena and we are completely in tune with their vision. We have the experience and team to get the job done," says Seth Kaplan, president of LK & Associates. "Savant offers ease of installation and ease of customization and a vast array of solutions, critical assets for our dealer base and their clients."

In other news LK & Associates has announced Jason Sayen has joined the team as Director of Business Development.  Sayen will be a key component in the firm's newly announced representation of Savant. Sayen will be pioneering new business opportunities for the LK Partners by raising awareness of its brands in the architect, design and builder communities as well as increasing the level of education we provide our dealers on a regular basis.

September 28

Just Add Power (J+P), a manufacturer Ultra HD over IP products, has announced it has partnered with Audio America. Leveraging Audio America's service and support in the professional and home AV installation market, J+P will be able to offer its full line of networked video distribution solutions to a growing dealership base in Florida and the Southeastern United States.

"We're strategically expanding our distribution network to provide dealers with wider access to our products," says Taft Stricklin, sales team manager at Just Add Power. "Audio America is a well-known distribution leader in the world of AV and offers impeccable service that our dealers can appreciate. We're excited to have them onboard as we continue to broaden our reach."

Audio America will distribute J+P's entire lineup of solutions, including its 3G Ultra HD Over IP platform, backed by quality customer service, timely shipping practices, and support to meet the priorities and distribution requirements on any job.

September 26

Capitol, a national consumer electronics distribution source for residential systems and light commercial dealers, has announced the appointment of two new business development specialists to its team.

Christopher Kane and Thomas Duggleby bring a wealth of experience to their new roles at Capitol. Most recently, Kane served as a strategic account manager for Best Buy for Business, where he implemented numerous promotional program to increase performance of key accounts as much as 25 percent.

Duggleby comes to Capitol after senior sales positions with companies as Katun Corporation, Minntek Solutions, and the regional technology specialist, Minnesota Computers Corp. 

CEDIA and IPRO (Independent Professional Representatives Organization) have announced an agreement for the IPRO membership to be integrated into the CEDIA membership under a new CEDIA IPRO affinity group. 

"I'm excited about how this agreement positions IPRO in the rep community and positions our members' organizations with the manufacturers we represent," says Bill Zidek, president, IPRO. "This integration will add needed resources and create long-term value and stability for members. CEDIA has the infrastructure that will greatly benefit IPRO, particularly in marketing, events, and member services. Our members count networking with peers as the most important aspect of being an IPRO member, and current IPRO events will continue, just with the resources of CEDIA to help plan and execute." 

As part of this new structure, Ray Wright, IPRO executive director will lead operations for the CEDIA IPRO affinity group, and an advisory council will be appointed to coordinate the activities of the group and support the mission. Additionally, the CEDIA IPRO affinity group will continue to have an annual conference in conjunction with a CEDIA hosted event. The CEDIA and IPRO leadership are currently determining the best option for the 2018 event.

HIFIMAN, a designer/manufacturer of high-performance headphones and portable audio products, announced the appointment of Andrew Regan as the company’s chief marketing officer (CMO). Regan,
who will be based at his office in Florida, will direct HiFiMAN’s sales and marketing efforts
for all worldwide markets, except China.

For over 30 years, Regan has held executive management positions with several top audio brands and most recently, was President of JH Audio, the premier supplier of Custom In-Ear Monitors.

September 22

Jobe Systems, has added Dean Callis to its team. Callis brings 23 years of industry experience to the company, and his hiring provides full time representation and coverage of the Vail/Aspen region, and the surrounding areas. 

The company adds that by incorporating this region with its corporate headquarters and experience center in Houston, along with its offices and experience center in Nantucket, as well as its offices in Chicago, and San Diego, will provide it with the local support and service that have aided its growth and worldwide reputation.

September 21

Soundcast, has announced the addition of four new partnerships out of CEDIA, with the appointment of Indigosix, Oliver Marketing, The Jarmac Group, and The Progressive Group to support its VGX series of weather-resistant portable speakers. T

Oscar Ciornei, Soundcast President and CEO, appointed Indigosix to further enhance Soundcast's existing relationships and enrich their presence in key regions for bolstered distribution in both Asia and Australia. The territories within which Soundcast will gain representation include Australia, Brunei, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

The partnerships with specialty A/V sales and marketing firm Oliver Marketing, The Jarmac Group and The Progressive Group will see Soundcast gain widespread domestic distribution. Oliver Marketing has achieved success in representing everything from car and marine AV to custom AV and will be representing Soundcast in the Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Northern California, Pacific Northwest, Southern California and Western Nevada. The Jarmac Group holds deep-rooted relationships with specialty A/V dealers, architects, designers, and builders and will represent Soundcast within Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Upstate New York and Vermont.  The Progressive Group provides manufacturers with access to high quality mobile and home electronics, and will be serving Soundcast in Arizona, Colorado, Eastern Nevada, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Northern Illinois, Ohio, South Dakota, Western Pennsylvania, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

CEDIA has announced that CEDIA Certification exams will now be available through Kryterion Global Testing Solutions, which has more than 1,000 testing centers worldwide. 

"It has been a long-standing goal of CEDIA to make our certification exams more accessible to our members around the world," said David Whitney, CEDIA Certification Manager. "Members who previously could only take certification exams at the CEDIA show or at another CEDIA training event now have the flexibility to take the exam close to home."

Wendy Griffiths, vice president of global development, CEDIA, adds, "As we look to expand CEDIA's footprint, it is very exciting to offer our certification exams on a truly global scale. In the UK, for example, we previously had only one testing location and now there are 27 available locations for individuals to take a CEDIA Certification exam."

In addition to the numerous testing locations, Kryterion also provides extensive exam development resources that will help CEDIA make more frequent and efficient exam updates while continuing to follow testing best practices. 

The certification tests include ESC (both in English and Spanish), ESC-T, ESC-D and ESC-N. Individuals looking to sign up for a certification exam will purchase a voucher to take the exam through the CEDIA website. After purchase, a link will be provided to a Kryterion login, allowing individuals to select an exam time and location. A map of all the testing locations can be found on the Kryterion website

September 20

Following the launch of its MATRIX Creator Raspberry Pi-based dev board, that allows for the fast, efficient and affordable development of simple-to-complex IoT home automation applications, MATRIX Labs, has announced that it has achieved Z-Wave Plus certification. According to MATRIX Labs co-founder and CEO Rodolfo Saccoman, the announcement marks the MATRIX Creator’s official introduction to the AV market, as it opens up entirely new possibilities for custom installers.

“Following a rigorous evaluation process, Z-Wave certification for the MATRIX Creator serves as a significant vote of confidence from the AV trade community,” says Saccoman. “It validates our claim that custom installers can successfully leverage MATRIX Creator and our proprietary MATRIX OS to build MATRIX-based IoT apps that perfectly complement any home automation system, and deliver functionality that may not be available through the large-scale automation systems.”

September 14

Screen Innovations (SI), a Texas-based manufacturer of two-piece projection and shade products, has announced the appointment of Jim Koenig as director, shading sales & marketing. In this newly created role, Koenig will apply more than 25 years of sales experience to help grow SI’s presence in the shade category. 

"Jim Koenig came highly recommended from my buddy Kim Parker," states Ryan Gustafson, owner of Screen Innovations.  "After discussing Jim with Kim at our facility, we called him and realized he was driving to Austin as we spoke. Within one hour Jim was in our building.  Within two hours, we knew Jim was the right guy. Within two weeks, Jim joined the SI team to change the world.”

September 6

Almo Professional A/V, a national distributor serving the professional audio visual industry, has named Maureen Mead business development manager (BDM), focused on Samsung consumer displays and Planar display products. 

Mead will be responsible for coordinating sales and marketing efforts and delivering technical training for Samsung consumer displays and accessories and the Planar Systems direct-view indoor LED products. She has an extensive background in various operations roles. In addition to having a Bachelor of Science in education from Springfield College, Maureen is an InfoComm Certified Technology Specialist (CTS) and a Digital Signage Certified Expert (DSCE).

The Digital Entertainment Group (DEG) has announced its incoming board of directors with commencement of its 21st year as an home entertainment industry trade association.

DEG's voting member companies elected the new board of directors to serve for the 2017-18 fiscal year (Aug. 1 to July 31). New to the board are Adam Rockmore of Fandango, which is represented on the DEG Board for the first time, Dametra Johnson-Marletti of Microsoft and Christopher Oldre of Walt Disney Studios. Returning to the board is Phil Goswitz of DIRECTV.

The Officers of the DEG Board are currently entering the second year of a two-year term.

"We are pleased with our membership's participation in electing the Board and enthusiastically welcome new Directors who represent the growth and diversity of distribution in the home entertainment industry," says Amy Jo Smith, President, DEG. "The Board of Directors creatively strives to produce deliverables that meet the needs of the industry and DEG is grateful for all of the Directors' commitment and passion."
Fiscal Year 2017-18
Officers of the Board (Fiscal Years 2016-18)
Mike Dunn, president, product strategy and consumer business development, 20th Century Fox
Vice Chair
Matt Strauss, executive vice president, Xfinity Services, Comcast Cable
Chief Financial Officer                                                                     
Sofia Chang, executive vice president, worldwide digital distribution & home entertainment
Mike Fasulo, president and chief operating officer, Sony Electronics
Ron Sanders, president, Warner Bros. Worldwide Home Entertainment Distribution
Board Members
Bill Sondheim, president, Cinedigm
Phil Goswitz, senior vice president, video, space & communications, DIRECTV
Ron Geller, vice president, worldwide content relations, Dolby Laboratories
Adam Rockmore, senior vice president, head of marketing and communications,
Fandango, FandangoNOW & Rotten Tomatoes
Jonathan Zepp, head of YouTube content partnerships, Americas & Google Play Movie and TV partnerships, Google
Jeffrey Lawrence, general manager, senior executive director, global content policy, standards and content protection services, Intel
Tim Alessi, director, new product development, LG Electronics
Ron Schwartz, president, home entertainment, Lionsgate
Dametra Johnson-Marletti, general manager, digital stores business & category management marketing & consumer business, Microsoft
Bob Buchi, president, worldwide, Paramount Home Media Distribution
Marty Gordon, vice president, Philips
Jim Kiczek, Vice President, Product Marketing for Digital Video and Audio Products, Samsung Electronics                                                                                          
Darren Stupak, executive vice president, U.S. sales and distribution, Sony Music Entertainment
Jim Belcher, vice president technology and production global digital services, Universal Music Group
Eddie Cunningham, president, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Christopher Oldre, executive vice president, pay television, digital, canada & international home entertainment distribution, Walt Disney Studios

The SDVoE Alliance, has announced that WyreStorm, a manufacturer of A/V signal distribution and control technology, has joined the alliance as an adopting member and will introduce its first SDVoE-capable products at CEDIA 2017 (San Diego, Sept. 5-9, booth 2233).

SDVoE technology enales the WyreStorm NetworkHD 600 Series the power to deliver uncompressed instant seamless switching of full HDMI 4K UHD @60Hz 4:4:4 with HDR and zero-frame latency over Cat6a up to 100m via off-the-shelf 10Gb Ethernet switches.

On joining the SDVoE Alliance, James Meredith, networkHD and control product manager, WyreStorm, points out the move underscores the company's dedication to designing and producing state-of-the-art solutions.

“Our decision to become an Alliance member manufacturer illustrates WyreStorm’s dedication to the rapidly accelerating transition to AV over IP technology, our unwavering belief in the importance of industry standardization in the adoption of new technologies and the exciting new era of AV connectivity this movement heralds.”

August 29

Seymour-Screen Excellence (SSE), has announced the appointment of Todd Sutherland as its Southern California sales rep.  Earlier this year, Sutherland was appointed to represent Northern California, and now SSE says he will maintain and build both West Coast territories for the brand. 

Sutherland is familiar with Seymour-Screen Excellence due to his previous sales management role with Wisdom Audio. He worked with integrators on a number of installs and was often involved with the system calibrations where the brand’s acoustically transparent screens were used.

“It was there that I learned of the distinct audio and visual performance advantages of using Seymour-Screen Excellence,” says Sutherland.

August 28

ATEN, a manufacturer of IT connectivity and total management solutions, announced that it has become a contributor member of the HDBaseT Alliance.

The upgraded status will allow ATEN to contribute its nearly four decades of IT management and control experience to help the Alliance accelerate the integration of A/V and IT technologies occurring in the industry. It will also allow ATEN to enhance its next generation of Professional A/V products by offering access to the latest HDBaseT technologies.

A longtime member of the Alliance, ATEN has over 30 qualified HDBaseT trainers and over 20 Pro A/V solutions powered by HDBaseT technology, including video matrixes, as well as high-definition video/KVM extenders and splitters. In addition to new privileges such as a dedicated company page in the HDBT Alliance’s Installer Zone, ATEN will also be invited to contribute its over 38 years of KVM and IT experience to define specifications for products that integrate AV and IT technologies, in turn helping both customers and solution partners to stay ahead of the curve.

August 25

Current Marketing has been named Newmarket, N.H.-based Russound’s manufacturer’s representative for the Arizona, southern Nevada, New Mexico, and El Paso, Texas territories, effective immediately.

"Russound has established itself as an industry leader over five decades, and we are excited to represent them,” says Paul Epstein, president, Current Marketing. “We look forward to presenting all of their solutions and innovative products to our dealers.”

Catalyst AV’s distributor members met at Pioneer Music Co., in Kansas City back on Aug. 9 and 10 and discussed the state of the group.  Catalyst AV’s 11-member network with 25 locations examined the possibility of new product lines, as well as pricing and other programs.

The national group of distributors also discussed the growth of its educational platform and its plans for the CEDIA Expo.

Catalyst AV adds that several members were up over 20 percent in revenue since December, and it will continue to provide industry education.

August 22

George Tucker has been appointed as director of product education for Aurora Multimedia Corporation. He is an integral part of Aurora Multimedia’s corporate initiative to increase training, improve documentation, and increase product awareness through social media of Aurora’s AV over IP, HDBaseT, and IP control categories of products.

Tucker brings 25 years of AV experience with display technologies education, social media, and system integration background. Tucker’s appointment is part of Aurora Multimedia’s corporate initiative to further grow the AV over IP, HDBaseT, and IP control categories.

Christos Desalernos has re-joined Core Brands as manager of power product management. Desalernos previously served as Core Brands’ director of pro division sales for nine years, and has returned to develop Furman and Panamax power solutions reporting to Mike Jordan, Core Brands vice president of product management.

“We are ecstatic to welcome Christos back to the Core Brands family as the product manager, power,” says Jordan. “Not only does Christos have years of invaluable experience selling, developing and manufacturing power products, he also intimately understands the Furman and Panamax brands and what they stand for in the eyes of our dealers and their customers. He is already bringing exciting innovations to both of these iconic brands.”

August 21

The SDVoE Alliance has announced that UK-based systems integrator IVC Technologies Ltd. has joined the alliance as an adopting member.

“IVC has long championed the concept of AV-over-IP networks so it is with great excitement that we join the SDVoE Alliance to further user benefits and experience,” says Chris King, business development manager, IVC. “Our vision, flexibility, expertise and position within the alliance puts us firmly at the leading edge of IP-based AV solutions and builds on our trusted advisor relationships that we hold with our clients. We will be working to share this vision with our partners and clients to deliver truly unified communications solutions for the future.”

iPoint LLC, a full-service business management software provider serving the home technology market, has announced that it is now part of Home Technology Specialist of America's (HTSA) family of elite service providers. As a proud software affiliate for HTSA, the selection of iPoint demonstrates the premier buying group's commitment to drive excellence and growth within the high-performance AV channel. 

"HTSA is one of the industry's most trusted hybrid retail and custom integration buying groups, distinguishing itself by offering a world-class toolbox of premium-quality solutions for its members," says Brian Good, VP sales and marketing, iPoint LLC. "This partnership will create an incredible opportunity to help community members streamline business operations and processes with a fully integrated platform designed specifically to eliminate wasted time and money within the AV industry. Once duplicate data entry and other tedious tasks are automated, communication is streamlined, and the process is dialed in and documented, our community members find time to work on their business in more valuable ways."

August 18

Origin Acoustics has announced the appointment of Jose Coelho as Director of Sales European Union. 

Jose was most recently managing sales for QMotion UK throughout Europe. 

“Jose’s field experience brings an amazing understanding of integrators wants and needs,” says Jeremy Burkhardt, CEO, Origin. “His extensive design experience will be a tremendous asset in helping Origin Acoustics’ partners in the EU position and grow their businesses.” 

August 16

RTI, a global control and automation manufacturer for the residential and commercial markets, has announced that Clint Forberg has returned to the company as its Central United States regional business manager. In his new role Forberg will be responsible for sales management and business development across a 16-state territory.

Forberg has almost 30 years of experience in the consumer-electronics industry, most recently as director of dealer development for Kaleidescape. Previously at RTI, he served for nine years as the company's director of training and Eastern U.S. sales manager. Before joining RTI, Forberg contributed to the growth of companies such as Bose Corporation and Clifford Electronics through sales, management, and technical positions.

"We are thrilled to welcome Clint back to the RTI sales team," says Mike Everett, vice president of global sales, RTI. "His intimate knowledge of not only our product lineup but also the broad custom installation industry will prove invaluable in meeting the needs of our customers in the central U.S."

August 15

Tom DeVesto, CEO and founder of Como Audio, a Boston-based manufacturer and designer of Wi-Fi, multiroom audio systems, has announced the hiring of Stacey Kerek as president.  Prior to joining Como Audio, Kerek served as VP Operations for the speaker company Bowers and Wilkins (B&W).

“Stacey Kerek is well respected and recognized in the consumer electronics industry, where she enjoys an impeccable reputation and extensive background. She and I last worked together at my former company Tivoli Audio,” says DeVesto. “Her leadership and managerial capabilities provide me with the confidence and freedom to continue developing innovative products and growing Como Audio globally.”

Before joining Tivoli Audio in 2012, where she became president and COO, Kerek worked for Lenbrook America for 25 years, last serving as general manager and COO.  

Core Brands, has announced the appointment of Charlotte Harris to the position of senior manager of technical services.

“We are committed to taking every necessary step to elevate the world-class technical support our dealers and their customers continue to receive whenever and wherever they need it,” Joe Lautner, director of business development, Core Brands. “Charlotte is charged with taking a great team to the next level. She has the experience required to scale up the team to meet the demands of growth, and she is already having an immensely positive impact on the support we offer our dealers.”

August 14

Two more former B&W sales reps have left the company. This time it is Eric Joy and Michael Barber, who have joined Paradigm Electronics Inc. and Anthem’s North American Sales Team.

Eric Joy is joining Paradigm and Anthem as Eastern Regional Sales Manager. He comes from Bowers & Wilkins where he was employed for the past seven years as the National Account Manager. Before that he managed Georgia Home Theater in the Atlanta metro area. Joy will manage and provide guidance to Paradigm and Anthem’s independent sales reps in the Eastern region of the United States.

Barber is joining Paradigm and Anthem as Regional Sales Manager for Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. He brings over 17 years of sales experience, most recently as the regional manager for the same territory as well as the North American Business Development Manager, Automotive, for Bowers & Wilkins.

Ui Supplies, a consumer and specialty electronics distributor for the metro New York/tri-state region, and member of PowerHouse Alliance, brought together over 300 dealers and 40 manufacturers for its fifth annual BBQ Bash and Trade Show in Clifton, N.J., on August 3.

The distributor, along with AV, security and home automation manufacturers, provided dealers the opportunity to connect to advance their product knowledge, learn new trends and plan for the year ahead. Dealers got a first look at demos including a Yamaha and Dolby Atmos theater room, JVC’s 4K projector, Samsung’s QLED and Frame TVs, and Wyrestorm’s Network HD system. LG’s video wall and two-sided OLED displays were crowd favorites, as was Ui Supplies’ brand-new wire bundling machine.

The day also included on-site manufacturer trainings including Cleerline SSF Fiber Termination, Dolby Atmos by Yamaha, Commercial Applications by Harman, MSE Audio and LG. 

“2017 represents our fifth year in business, so we wanted a standout event. It was a jam-packed day of demos, trainings, giveaways, deals, and delicious eats for our dealers that showed up in record numbers,” says Matthew Weil, CEO, Ui Supplies. “We’re proud to have accomplished a worthy celebration of our fifth anniversary thanks to our dedicated team and our vendor partners.”

Stewart Filmscreen, a high-performance video equipment manufacturer, has appointed Kevin McGlynn and Brad Tudor to the Stewart Filmscreen engineering department to assist in new product development, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) update and implementation, and process improvement. 

These individuals join the next generation of Stewart Filmscreen as the company continues to develop new projection screen technologies, enclosures, and frames. McGlynn and Tudor will work to improve current products and engineering processes while continuing the Stewart Filmscreen legacy of innovation with advancements in screen materials and technologies. 

Using his mechanical engineering expertise, McGlynn will play a role in new product development, process improvement for the Cima line, and work on special projects. His experience in machine inspection and testing will advance company efficiency and improve production optimization. 

Tudor, an experienced mechanical engineer specializing in new product development, will also focus on process improvement, cost reduction, manufacturing support, and fixture design and construction. 

Southern California rep firm I Rep Green, run by industry veteran Randy Wilson, has added Mark Mendelsohn to build a new sales rep model that will help the custom integrator market their products and services. Mendelsohn was co-founder and publisher of Robb Report Home Entertainment, Home Entertainment Interiors, Luxury CE and a member of the original Home Theater magazine launch. With  Mendelsohn's  marketing and sales background in print media, digital media and video media, I Rep Green will bring digital marketing and video solutions to the A/V integrator/retailer along with exceptional luxury brands that the custom integrator can sell.

“Our goal is to help the dealer with unique products from manufacturers that help them solve problems. With Randy Wilson’s unique position as owner of Wilson Home Theater and a custom integrator for more than 30 years and my experience in marketing and media we can bring a unique targeted marketing and sales solution to the AV industry," says Mendelsohn

August 11

Dana Innovations has appointed former Bowers & Wilkins sales managers Marc Schnoll and Dan Dusek as regional sales managers. Schnoll is an industry veteran with over 30 years of experience that includes positions in retail sales and management.  He spent the last 15 years as a regional sales manager with Bowers & Wilkins.  Schnoll joins the Dana Innovations team as a regional sales manager based out of Costa Mesa, Calif., and is responsible for relationship building, business leadership, marketing, and conducting product and sales training seminars.

Dusek is also an industry veteran with more than 20 years of experience in retail, distribution, independent representation, and management.  He spent the past seven years as a regional sales manager with Bowers & Wilkins.  Dusek joins Dana Innovations as a regional sales manager based out of Chicago, as will be responsible for relationship building, business leadership, marketing, and conducting product and sales training seminars.

“We are thrilled to add Marc and Dan to our sales organization,” says Jason Sloan, chief sales officer at Dana Innovations.  “Both Marc and Dan lead with passion and a fanatical dedication to the customer.  Their enthusiasm is contagious and we look forward to integrating both into our long-standing partnerships throughout their respective territories.”

August 10

Lode Audio, the UK-based audio company that creates products dedicated to the custom installation market, has appointed Todd Sutherland of Sutherland AV Marketing LLC as head of sales Lode Audio for the U.S.

Sutherland brings over 20 years’ experience in the luxury, high-end audio segment of the industry. Over his career, he has worked directly for a handful of the premier manufacturers, including Madrigal Audio, Kaleidescape and Wisdom Audio, and is known to bring differentiated products, professionalism, integrity, and valuable technical product knowledge to top-tier Custom Integrators in the U.S. market. His CI channel knowledge, technical expertise and sales experience make him an excellent partner to champion the high-quality audio performance and superior control system integrations found in Lode Audio products.

“We are excited to join forces with Todd. His is well respected by the CI channel across the U.S. and the top integrators know that when he brings them a product line, they should pay attention. Todd aligns himself with high-performance, differentiated products and our CI-focused team at Lode Audio is committed to giving him and his network of partners world-class tools and support to succeed and build Lode Audio’s presence in the important U.S. market,” says Alex Miller, co-founder, Lode Audio.

“I am thrilled to begin working with the team at Lode Audio,” says Sutherland. “I have been waiting, both personally and professionally, for someone to deliver a multi-zone music server platform at this level. The novelty of multi-zone music being accepted as inferior is over, at least by real music enthusiasts. The integrators I work with have been equally frustrated with the mid-market solutions to date, both in terms of poor sonic results, and also when it comes to integration with their preferred control system. Lode Audio is intimately familiar with these problems, as they come from an integrator background in the UK. Those experiences led to the creation of Lode Audio — the solution on both fronts that’s been missing. I am excited to see integrators’ reactions in San Diego at CEDIA, in Booth 1708. It all appears so logical when executed at this level, and specifically for the CI channel instead of the mass market.”

August 8

Starke Sound has appointed Desmond Fretz as U.S. sales director. A business development professional for more than 15 years and a lifelong audiophile, Fretz combines his considerable sales experience with a deep knowledge of the high-end audio industry. A student of the industry, he is familiar with the value propositions, evolution, trends, and requirements for the integration of high-value, accurate audio systems into the home.

“We are building a team of dedicated enthusiasts with strong appreciation for the power of entertainment,” said Scott DeLoache, Chief Design Director for Starke Sound. “Desmond has the passion and enthusiasm to help drive our business forward, and we are thrilled to welcome him to the Starke Sound team.”

Allnet is opening its fourth location to service the needs of the Minneapolis market in September. That will bring the total of Catalyst AV member locations to 25 throughout the United States. Allnet’s new 7,000-square-foot location is at 5250 W 74th Street, Edina, Minnesota and will feature self-shop/will call and a large training room.

Wally Whinna, principal of Allnet Distributing and board member of the Catalyst AV Distribution Network, notes, “This location is pressure tested and we are anticipating tremendous sales with a great capacity for servicing dealers in this area.”

Allnet distributes a comprehensive brand assortment with names such as Samsung, Lutron, Definitive Technology, eero and 62 more. The additional location is centrally located with easy access to a majority of the dealers, close to affluent customers and the hot new construction areas of Minnetonka and Southwest metro.

Whinna adds, “Training is an everyday activity at Allnet. We have on-site design and technical services to work with dealer/integrators so they have the resources available when needed. We have augmented our already significant training efforts with our webinars and on YouTube where our training webinars have grown to more than 50,000 YouTube minute views. Allnet experts can also work within the field, one on one with clients, to assist in closing sales and designing the perfect solution for any application. We are incredibly proud of the fact we are recognized by our dealers in the CE Pro Quest for Quality awards every year.” 

Aug. 7

Rep firm HWPco announces the addition of Savant and Wisdom Audio to the company’s Consumer Electronics Systems Group, a new unit joining HWPco's AV Systems, Pro User, Critical Systems, Systems Specialty, and Customer Sol

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