CEDIA Expo Special Coverage

5G is Home Tech’s ‘Most Impactful Trend’ in 20 Years: CEDIA Roundtable

CEDIA Expo 2018: 5G might be a year away, but smart-home integrators should start prepping now for the next-gen cellular service, with its major implications for IoT, content delivery and mobility.

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People & Places: Capitol Hires Montgomery; DEG Board of Directors; Rockies by CET

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

CE Pro Editors · September 24, 2018

CE Pro People & Places is a daily feature on CEPro.com. If you are looking for a job or to fill a vacant position in the custom electronics industry, please visit the CE Pro Job Board.

Sept. 24

Capitol, a consumer electronics distribution source for residential and light commercial systems, has announced that Jacki Montgomery joined the Capitol team as a technical sales & design specialist following 18 years as owner and president of Carroll, Iowa-based Sound and Service, Inc., an audio/visual specialty dealer originally founded in 1977 by her mother Pat.

“With business growing and new vendors coming on board all the time, we are always on the lookout for specialists who not only know how to sell, but who have a deep understanding of our customers’ business from the inside out,” says Curt Hayes, president and CFO, Capitol. “Jacki brings years of experience on the front line. She knows exactly what our customers experience day in and day out, and is in the best position to help them thrive in a changing market.”

Sept. 11

The Digital Entertainment Group (DEG), has announced its incoming board of directors with commencement of its 22nd year as the home entertainment industry's leading trade association.
The officers of the DEG Board were elected to a two-year term and include former vice chair Matt Strauss of Comcast Cable, who will now serve as chair.

Former chief financial officer Sofia Chang of HBO, will now serve as vice chair; Bob Buchi of Paramount, will serve as chief financial officer, and Jim Wuthrich of Warner Bros. Worldwide Home Entertainment & Games, will serve as secretary.

In recognition of his tenure and significant contribution as former chair, the board of directors has appointed Mike Dunn of 20th Century Foxto to serve as ex-officio. These Officers are responsible for providing leadership and oversight of DEG's agenda.

The rest of the 2019 fiscal year board includes:

  • Todd Mathers, SVP Content and Programming Group AT&T
  • Sergei Kuharsky, EVP Franchise & Digital Enterprise, BBC Studios -  Americas
  • Bill Sondheim, president, Cinedigm Entertainment Group
  • Gerald Hensley, UDN Media Sales, Ericsson
  • TBD, Fandango, FandangoNOW & Rotten Tomatoes
  • Jonathan Zepp, Head of Media & Entertainment, Android & GooglePlay, Google
  • Rick Hack, Head of Media & Entertainment Partnerships, Intel
  • Tim Alessi, Director New Product Development, LG Electronics USA
  • Ron Schwartz, President Home Entertainment, Lionsgate
  • Dametra Johnson-Marletti, General Manager Digital Stores, Category, MG, Microsoft
  • Andrea Downing, Co-President, PBS Distribution
  • Marty Gordon, VP Strategic Partnerships and Alliances, Philips
  • Chad Bautista, Director, CE Product Planning, Samsung Electronics
  • Mike Fasulo, President and Chief Operating Officer, Sony Electronics
  • Darren Stupak, EVP U.S. Sales & Distribution, Sony Music Entertainment
  • Eddie Cunningham, President, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Rockies by CET & Associates, is a new independent sales representation firm that was created through the acquisition of Sage Marketing Solutions. Now operating with a team of 14 strong based in Denver, Colo., the newly formed rep company states that integrators will benefit from the new company's expanded resources that are now supporting the Rocky Mountain territory that includes Colorado, Eastern Montana, Utah, Idaho (excluding Boise) and Southern Wyoming.

CET & Associates serves over 300 dealers, integration firms and distributors throughout the region, also leveraging critical relationships with more than 150 specification professionals and businesses in the construction, lighting design, architectural, engineering, and developer industries. 

Rockies by CET & Associates represents a range of brands that include top manufacturers like James Loudspeaker

Sept. 10

Atlona’s leadership and innovation in residential AV is about to get a significant visibility boost throughout the northeastern United States, as House of Representatives, Inc. takes the reins as manufacturer’s representative for its residential and light commercial business across New England and upstate New York.

The 35-year old, award-winning manufacturer’s representative – 87 to be exact – differentiates itself from competitive firms by emphasizing consistent local sales and support. Its experienced team will work closely with Atlona’ sales and technical personnel, and focus on direct, in-person contact and communications with systems integrators throughout the region.

“Atlona’s strength in delivering the video experience over IP goes to the nucleus of today’s integration business, where increasingly everything resides on the network,” said Martin. “Atlona is a direct fit with a wide portfoliothat clearly supports our customer base, and thus see many opportunities for interoperability across complete networked solutions. What will drive that success is our customer-first approach. We don’t telemarket; we are a viable resource for integrators, consistently in the field and on job sites to provide support and solve problems.”

Sept. 7

Key Digital, a digital video and control systems company, recently announced an alliance with Wall-Smart, a flush wall mounts company, in order to provide the best available installations with Key Digital’s versatile control system, Compass Control Pro.

Wall-Smart will join Key Digital from September 4-9 in their highly anticipated revamped CEDIA booth #3229 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA. Key Digital is excited to recommend Wall-Smart flush mounts solutions and will also offer direct purchasing of Wall-Smart products for iPad in North America.

Key Digital is a developer and manufacturer of digital video processing and video signal distribution solutions. Key Digital’s Compass Control Pro is the first fully integrated control system built from the ground up to use iOS and Android.

Compass Control Pro offers modular programming or custom design with a blank slate that is limited only by imagination. Compass Control Pro Partner Alliances pre-configured control drivers, modules, and GUI templates integrate instantly and seamlessly to save on precious programming time. 

Wall-Smart LTD is happy to announce a new partnership with Savant Systems, offering new construction and retrofit mounts available through Savant sales channels. The New Construction Flush mounts for the Savant Touch 5.5 and Touch 8 in-wall control screens integrate into any wall for unobtrusive installations that preserve the room décor.  

The Retrofit mounts for the Touch 5.5 and Touch 8 offer an ease-of-installation, allowing easy upgrades from older touch screens, without the need to do any drywall or paintwork. After installation, the mounted touchscreen remains accessible for service and maintenance while maintaining a high level of aesthetics and integration. 

Wall-Smart will show its complete range of mounting solutions at the forthcoming CEDIA show, taking place September 6-8 at the San Diego Convention Center. Wall-Smart exhibits at Booth 4155.

“We are delighted to partner with Savant, delivering together to Savant dealers and distributors a solution that combines between great technology and interior design,” says Galia Ben-Dor, Co-CEO, and Founder at Wall-Smart. 

Aug. 31

Consumer Electronics Distributors (C.E.D.), member of the PowerHouse Alliance and regional distributor of consumer and specialty electronics for the Chicago metropolitan market and broader Midwest, announces its Fall Ball Technology Summit, welcoming dealers and industry partners to join them in celebrating their 26th year in business with three events late September and early October.

The Fall Ball series will start in Illinois on September 26 from 10:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., but rather than being held at C.E.D.’s Elk Grove location as in previous years, C.E.D. is switching things up and hosting the kickoff event at Pinstripes in Oak Brook.

Aside from the traditional Fall Ball experience, dealers, vendors, and industry partners will have the chance to mingle while bowling and playing a game of bocce ball. Following the event in Oak Brook, IL, the Fall Ball will continue at C.E.D.’s New Berlin, WI, location and Bloomington, MN location from 9:00am – 7:00pm on September 27 and October 3 respectively.

“Our Fall Ball series is the perfect opportunity for dealers to get a look under the hood at all the new products for the Q4 buying season,” says Mike Baginski, C.E.D. vice president. “We are expecting a fantastic turnout from our vendor partners yet again this year, which means our dealers can look forward to quality face time, demos, and all kinds of show-only deals.”

Aug. 28

Klipsch, a global audio company, has announced four new additions to its sales team in North and South America: Mike Gatto, Mark Hittle, Alvin Klement and Angel Rivera-Reyes.

“Klipsch Group will continue our relentless pursuit to deliver world-class audio solutions, services, and support. It starts with world-class people, and we have assembled the best team in the industry,” says Paul Jacobs, president and CEO of Klipsch Group, Inc.

Mike Gatto joins Klipsch Group as New York City territory sales representative, and he brings more than 30 years of experience that includes stints with Pioneer Electronics, Denon and Russound. 

Mark Hittle has rejoined Klipsch Group as Midwest territory representative. He has more than 35 years of retail and manufacturer sales expertise in the CE industry, most of them were with Klipsch. 

Alvin Klement has also rejoined the Klipsch Group sales team in a newly created position as national accounts manager for the Jamo brand. Klement has more than 28 years industry experience, including his most recent position as national sales manager for Rockford Fosgate.

Angel Rivera-Reyes is in a newly created role as the Latin America sell-through representative. Rivera-Reyes comes to Klipsch Group with more than 20 years of retail and operations management expertise. He has led top-performing U.S. retail stores for Bose and Best Buy. 

Capitol, a national distribution source for residential and light commercial systems, has announced
that Megan Larson has been appointed marketing manager and graphic artist. Cheryl Johnson,
who until recently held the title of vice president of marketing is now Capitol’s E-commerce
and website manager, and she oversees all web content, communication with web developers, and
related responsibilities.

“Megan’s extensive background covers all the bases, with a track record of one proven success
after another,” says Curt Hayes, president and CFO, Capitol. “The depth of her professional
experience is matched only by her interpersonal skills. She ‘gets’ people from the moment she
meets them.”

Aug. 24

CEDIA has announced that Omar Hikal will assume the role of vice chair on the executive committee of the CEDIA board until his term ends in January of 2019. 
The vice chair role was recently vacated by Giles Sutton as part of his transition to becoming a member of the CEDIA staff as senior vice president of industry engagement. 

Hikal has previously served on the executive committee as Secretary from 2016-2017.

“Omar has been an incredibly dedicated member of the CEDIA board,” says Dave Humphries, chairman, CEDIA. “We are fortunate to have someone with his vast industry experience stepping in to serve in this leadership role for the association.”

Aug. 23

DTS, a global developer of high-definition audio solutions, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Xperi Corporation, has announced its newest hardware partner in the DTS Play-Fi whole-home wireless audio ecosystem: International Audio Group (IAG). IAG will integrate DTS Play-Fi technology in its amplifiers, soundbars and speakers across the Audiolab, Mission, QUAD and Wharfedale brands.

DTS Play-Fi technology enables lossless multiroom wireless audio streaming on any supported product from popular music services, including Amazon Music, Deezer, iHeartRadio, Juke, KKBox, Napster, Pandora, Qobuz, QQ Music, SiriusXM, SoundMachine, Spotify, and TIDAL, as well as thousands of Internet radio stations, and personal music libraries. In addition, DTS Play-Fi features advanced streaming functionality like wireless surround sound, stereo pairing, music station presets, and audio/video synchronization.

“We are excited to announce that IAG is the latest company to join DTS Play-Fi, the world’s largest ecosystem of premium wireless audio products,” says Dannie Lau, general manager, DTS Play-Fi. “IAG has some of the most respected hi-fi brands within the audio-visual industry, and we are proud to have them as part of the DTS Play-Fi ecosystem.”

The Wireless Speaker and Audio Association (WiSA), an industry group supported by Summit Semiconductor, and dedicated to bringing immersive sound experiences into the home through high resolution, wireless, multi-channel audio products, has announced the addition of two members. Sound United is returning to the association’s roster with Eastech also joining as a member. Both companies join WiSA as it continues to experience significant membership growth with major suppliers, manufacturers and speaker brands in the audio industry.

Sound United is comprised of Denon, Marantz, Polk Audio, Classé, Definitive Technology, Polk BOOM, HEOS, and Boston Acoustics. As a WiSA member, Sound United’s brands will have access to WiSA’s specification, technical support, testing protocols and manufacturing partners to bring interoperable, wireless home theater products to market. The membership will allow its brands to take advantage of the growing wireless home theater market on a global basis and launch wireless home theater products from a variety of brands.

“We are thrilled to welcome back Sound United, who served as one of the founding members of WiSA, and to add Eastech to our diverse member roster,” says Tony Ostrom, president of WiSA. “It is an exciting time as we continue to experience unprecedented member growth. These new relationships with Sound United and Eastech are important steps in furthering the adoption and availability of the perfect wireless home theater experience for consumers around the globe.”

Aug. 22

The global audio manufacturer Alcons Audio continues to migrate into the consumer audio market. Strengthening the company's presence in the residential custom electronics market, Alcons has named I Rep Green as its manufacturer's rep for the territories of Southern California, Arizona, Las Vegas and Hawaii. 

CEDIA has announced the 2018 volunteers of the year. Each year, CEDIA recognizes three members: a new volunteer, a training volunteer, and an overall volunteer. These volunteers are nominated by staff for their efforts and contributions that help develop and refine CEDIA programs and offerings.

Amanda Wildman, Volunteer of the Year, TruMedia
Wildman joined CEDIA, attended her first CEDIA show, and became a CEDIA Outreach Instructor all in 2013. She also frequently volunteers her time to help onboard new CEDIA members. 

Sam Woodward, Training Volunteer of the Year, Lutron
Woodward has been an active CEDIA volunteer since 2016: He has been a member of the CEDIA Technology Council and the co-chair of the joint CTA/CEDIA R10 Standards body which develops standards and recommended practices for the installation of technology in the residence. In April Woodward was promoted to chair of the R10 standards body. 

Lina Maria Villa, New Volunteer of the Year, Audio Concept
Lina Maria joined CEDIA in 2016 and has been active with the association ever since. This year she has volunteered to teach two classes per month in Colombia alternating between Bogota and Medellin, and she will continue teaching these classes over the next 10 months, providing unprecedented access to CEDIA education in the Colombia market. 

Aug. 21

Atlona has announced that Ed Grabscheid has joined its executive team as chief financial officer (CFO) effective immediately, following a successful three-plus year run as Atlona’s vice president of finance and administration. Reporting to CEO Ilya Khayn, Grabscheid is now responsible for driving all aspects of Atlona’s strategic investments, reporting functions, human resources, and tax and treasury requirements.

“We are seeing the climate and the industry changing for the positive, and Atlona is ahead of the game in making the right investments in people and technology,” says Grabscheid. “We have the product portfolio to compete at any level and for any opportunity, and it’s an exciting time to help lead Atlona into its next phase of growth.Atlona is a world-class organization, and I am excited by the opportunity to take on an expanded financialleadership role while collaborating with all of the other functional groups that contribute to our continued success.”

Aug. 17

Trinnov has launched a U.S. subsidiary, Trinnov Audio, Inc., that is headquartered in East Hampton, Conn., and includes a warehouse and repair facility. Trinnov has appointed its own network of manufacturers’ representatives and is managing inventory, service, and sales directly. Purchase orders from existing dealers should now be directed to orders@trinnov.com and companies interested in learning more about Trinnov’s products can contact jon.herron@trinnov.com or chuck.back@trinnov.com.

Trinnov has also announced that industry veteran Chuck Back has joined its team as international sales manager - Americas.

Trinnov will be exhibiting at CEDIA Expo in booth #5247. Other manufacturers using Trinnov Audio products in their demonstrations include B&W (Pendry Hotel, the Pendry Suite, about a block from the convention center), Golden Ear (#SR5) and Kaleidescape (#booth 3329).


Vanco International LLC, a manufacturer of AV distribution and electronic accessory products, has announced the hire of new director of audio products—Randy Blanchard—to oversee its Pulse Audio and Beale Street Audio brands.

In his role Blanchard will handle overall audio brand strategic planning for Vanco, including strategy development, monitoring and reporting on performance, communicating brand strategies to internal and external stakeholders, and managing support of audio in other Vanco lines of business. He will also continue to elevate Beale Street and Pulse Audio’s presence in the market, leveraging his strong industry relationships and expertise to reach new audiences and create new business opportunities.

“We’re excited to bring Randy and his expertise to our fast-growing speaker and audio brands, as we see them as a point of extensive growth for Vanco,” says Mark Corbin, president of Vanco. “His role is important as we look to expand our audio and speaker business and develop relationships in new segments of the market. We’re thrilled to have him on board.” 

Aug. 15

In a new development, Transformative Engineering products are now available through Future Ready Solutions (FRS). Transformative Engineering caught the attention of Eric Bodley, CEO and president of Future Ready Solutions, when they earned the DPL 18Gbps Seal of Approval for the company's HDBaseT Full UHD4K copper extenders.

“Future Ready Solutions prides itself in offering the best solutions for every connectivity situation,” notes Bodley. “Although the future is fiber, there are thousands of installations with Cat5e / Cat6 copper installed, and we realize that pulling fiber in an existing installation is not an option. That’s why we’re excited about the Transformative Engineering HD-4K and HLE-4K. They’re DPL Labs Certified, which gives our customer peace of mind that they won’t be installing a service call.”

Aug. 14

Pro Audio Technology (PRO), a manufacturer of high-output loudspeakers and DSP-programmable amplifier systems, has announced the appointment of Victor Holloway to the role of vice president.

Holloway brings 30 years of experience working in middle market organizations serving the professional services, marketing, and software industries. 

“I am thrilled to be joining the talented Pro Audio Technology team,” says Holloway. “The performance of the products is exemplary and is renowned to dealers around the world as the best home theater and distributed audio solutions available today. I intend to amplify this message and work with the sales team to introduce the brand to new markets throughout the U.S. and beyond.”

Aug. 10

Roon Labs, Inc., has appointed Atlantic Integrated as its exclusive manufacturer’s representative for the New York metro area.

“We’re excited to bring Roon and their best-in-class music servers and software solutions to the market,” says Mike Pawlowski, vice president and co-owner of Atlantic Integrated. “Roon’s innovative approach towards creating an interoperable solution for the industry is something that we see as long overdue.”

Roon is a rich and engaging way to browse, organize, and listen to music. With over 60 premium audio brands using Roon’s streaming technology in their products—and new partners joining the program monthly—Roon allows products from different brands to play and be grouped together through one intuitive interface. Roon also streams to Sonos, Chromecast, and AirPlay devices.

Roon is not limited to just the music owned by homeowners; it integrates with TIDAL to provide over 40 million streaming songs, many of which are in high resolution. The advantage of Roon is having streaming music combined with files – like WAV, FLAC, AIFF, MQA, DSD, and other hi-res formats – and playing them to any device

DMP International has initiated a new structure to enhance its service to the global electronic security market. As a major part of this strategy, Joe Hurst, previously senior vice president of DMP, will move to the new role of president of DMP International.  

DMP has also supplemented its existing engineering capability with substantial international engineering experience provided by the addition of Jim Stevens as senior engineer.

“This combination of DMP market leading intrusion products in the USA commercial market segment, combined with the strong international market and technical knowledge resource available with Jim Stevens and Joe Hurst, will allow DMP to make a significant push into this growing market opportunity,” says Rick Britton, president of DMP. 

Aug. 9

Skywalker AV Supply, a national distributor serving the custom integration industry, has named
Tim Childers as a regional sales manager. As Skywalker’s business expands in the U.S., Childers’
experience in A/V technology and sales will strategically strengthen Skywalker’s
position in the CE industry the company says.

Childers will be responsible for pursuing sales opportunities surrounding Skywalker’s O’Fallon location,
expanding sales of Skywalker’s custom integration products into new markets across Missouri, Kansas,
Oklahoma and Nebraska.

“We’re very excited to welcome Tim to the Skywalker team. He brings years of AV experience to the
table.” says Randy Criebaum, president of Skywalker AV Supply. “He'll be focused on expanding our
presence in the KC market by connecting with dealers and extending our platinum-rated customer

Aug. 6

AVAD, LLC, a national provider of solutions to the residential and commercial custom installation markets, has announced a deeper partnership with Nationwide Marketing Group that will expand AVAD’s reach of services to Nationwide’s dealer base. AVAD and Nationwide will launch this new program at Nationwide’s upcoming Primetime event that takes place from Aug. 5 to Aug.9, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

At the show, AVAD will unveil a custom program exclusively for Nationwide dealers that will grant members access to restricted lines, specialized pricing & freight specials, while also providing them with the ability to tap into to AVAD’s, technical support, system design and a dedicated Nationwide concierge. AVAD’s personalized program designed for Nationwide dealers includes access to over 100 brands and a custom VIR & incentive program. With AVAD’s three-tier partnership program, dealers can qualify for free freight, special Nationwide pricing, rebate dollars, and more.

“We’re excited to grow our strategic partnership with one of the industry’s largest and most recognized groups,” says Jon Zabel, vice president of sales and merchandising for AVAD. “We believe that Nationwide dealers will be able to further take advantage of their program benefits by what AVAD brings to the table in terms of brands, service, and logistics.”

Aug. 2

Just Add Power (J+P), a manufacturer of Ultra HD over IP video distribution solutions, has announced the company has joined the PowerHouse Alliance as a brand member. This partnership enables J+P to leverage the buying power of the alliance's nationwide distribution network, with 13 distributor member companies representing 850,000 square feet of warehouse space in 44 locations across the U.S. 

"J+P's philosophy is to engineer video infrastructure that is dependable and scalable well into the future. That means making it incredibly easy and effective to build a UHD over IP pipeline for any project and budget," says Taft Stricklin, sales team manager at J+P. "Our partnership with PowerHouse Alliance adds another building block for customers to do that. We're incredibly excited to expand our sales reach and give customers additional training opportunities that they can leverage."


July 31

CEDIA has announced Larry Pexton will be inducted to the CEDIA Fellows program at CEDIA Expo 2018. The CEDIA Fellows program honors longtime CEDIA members and volunteers who have contributed significantly to the association's success. Pexton will be recognized at the CEDIA Awards Celebration hosted at Petco Park on Wednesday, September 5, 2018.

"During his tenure as Chairman of the CEDIA Board, Larry oversaw a number of important projects and initiatives that have had a lasting impact for the CEDIA community, including the CEDIA rebrand in 2015, the expansion of CEDIA into new global markets, and initiating the research process for the new global headquarters," says, chairman, Dave Humphries.

Pexton is well-known as the founder and only CEO of Triad Speakers, Inc., based out of Portland Oregon. The company is a founding member of CEDIA and has been manufacturing custom loudspeakers since 1982. The company grew out of Aspen Recreational Products which manufactured a pre-Walkman cassette player designed for skiing.

After many years at ADI, Randy Blanchard has joined Vanco as the Ill.-based company's new director of audio products. 

July 24

The PowerHouse Alliance 13 distributor members assembled in Pittsburgh for their ninth year as a distributor alliance during their sixth annual national sales meeting alongside over 30 vendor partners. The three-day sales meeting included vendor meetings, one-on-one distributor discussions and unique team activities to refocus group goals as they prepare for CEDIA in September.

A keynote address from NFL veteran Chris Hoke, who spent his 11-year professional career as a defensive lineman with the Pittsburgh Steelers, kicked off the annual sales meeting. The former athlete made connections between the struggles he faced as a professional in the NFL to those in the world of business and sales. Hoke encouraged the regional distributors to take advantage of every opportunity that comes their way in each aspect of their business and to continue looking for innovative ways to grow and prosper in their individual regions. 

“This is a very special time of year for our members,” says Dennis Holzer, executive director, PowerHouse Alliance. “Our annual sales meeting is where our regional distributor members come together to discuss new vendors, new products, performance, sales objectives, additions to our house brand, A2V, and training initiatives with vendors and other members. Because our members are all over the country, it is vital for us to meet in person and discuss strategies and goals for CEDIA, the rest of the year and objectives we want to accomplish in 2019.”

July 18

HEGEL Music System AS, a global manufacturer of high-performance residential audio electronics, has appointed Brad Paulsen as its new national sales manager for the U.S.

Paulsen will add to the existing team, working closely with Hegel senior sales management Eileen Gosvig and Anders Ertzeid to grow and expand the company’s presence in the U.S. Market.

High-performance audio products tailored for the CI market space is one of Hegel’s main focuses. This will be a focal point for Paulsen, along with further development of the classic stereo components.

“Brad’s long experience and vast network in the audio and integration spaces offers a unique asset for Hegel. We are committed to investing in more resources in the US market and see Brad as the perfect fit for Hegel,” says Anders Ertzeid, vice president of sales and marketing, Hegel.

July 17

Metra Home Theater Group  (MHTG) is hosting a Lunch n’ Learn Session featuring Jeffrey Boccaccio, president of DPL Labs, one of the industry’s leading experts on digital signaling solutions such as HDMI  from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6 and Friday, Sept. 7, at its Booth # 1715 at the 2018 CEDIA Expo being held at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, Calif.

Boccaccio will lead a discussion entitled, "Moving Up the Ladder to 8K: Some Tools to
help you get there in your brain and on your belt." According to Boccaccio, more bandwidth along
with more software control will bring more challenges for 8K preparation. 

“Metra Home Theater Group has a great working relationship with DPL Labs. We look to them for
their expertise and distinct leadership in the field,” says Jessy Crabb, general manager, MHTG.

MHTG invites CEDIA attendees to join them by registering for the educational event, which includes lunch. Following the presentation, integrators will have the exclusive opportunity to
participate in a brief Q&A session that will end at 1:30 p.m.

Access Networks, a national enterprise-grade networking solutions provider for the smart home, has promoted Ben Jurow to the role of national sales director, effective immediately. On the 18-month anniversary of his appointment as territory sales manager, East, for Access Networks, Jurow is excited to step into a new role where he will be supporting Access Networks reps and dealers across the country.  

In his new position, Jurow will focus on dealer training and support, as well as sales, along with representing Access Networks at trade shows and buying group events throughout the U.S.

“I’ll continue giving our dealers and reps in the Eastern states the attention they need, but I will continue that outreach westward to Access Networks dealers and reps everywhere in the U.S. except Southern California and Minnesota,” says Jurow. 

July 16

CEDIA has announced that Joel Silver has been chosen as this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. Silver will be honored at the CEDIA Awards Celebration hosted at Petco Park on Wednesday, September 5, 2018.

The CEDIA Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an individual who has exhibited outstanding, creative, innovative, and visionary leadership in the growth and advancement of the residential technology industry. Nominations are submitted by industry professionals and evaluated on the basis of achievement and service within the industry.

“We could not be happier to recognize Joel for his contributions to the industry. Anyone who has worked with him knows that his credentials are extensive, and his expertise is highly sought after,” says Dave Humphries, chairman, CEDIA.

In 1994, Silver founded The Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) which introduced video image quality calibration services into consumer electronics, and he has been a pillar of the industry ever since. His work in advancing HDTV image quality has been covered in the New York Times, the LA Times, Popular Mechanics, Wired, and numerous A/V publications in the United States and abroad. He has managed research projects for the California Energy Commission documenting how video calibration produces significant energy savings. 

Silver has been a consultant for the high-end video, high-end audio, telemedicine, and medical management industries, as well as for Microsoft Media Center Edition PCs and the Venture Capital and Entrepreneurship program at the W. Averill Harriman School of Management. He is the producer of the HDTV Calibration Wizard DVD and is a co-inventor of the patented Microsoft Windows Display Calibration Wizard, which is now on over 111 million PCs.

AMETEK Powervar, a supplier of power conditioning and uninterruptible power supply (UPS) solutions, has opened a new manufacturing facility in Knightdale, North Carolina. The new facility expands the company’s U.S. manufacturing and distribution in the Southern and Eastern United States, and allows it to enhance service to its growing customer base. 

AMETEK Powervar’s Waukegan, Ill., facility will continue to serve as the company’s
headquarters providing sales, customer service, engineering and service to its global account
base. It also will continue to manufacture and ship its core power conditioning, three-phase
UPS products, and specialized product lines from this location.

LumaStream, a manufacturer of low-voltage LED lighting systems for residential and commercial applications has appointed Ryan Jordan as vice president of sales. Jordan will be responsible for developing the sales channel and establishing relationships with key A/V integrators across the U.S. He will be based at the company headquarters in Saint Petersburg, Fla. 

“LumaStream is a company that is poised to transform an entire industry with their low-voltage LED lighting solutions,” says Jordan. “I am truly excited to present a meaningful market opportunity that has the potential to create significant new revenues for residential and commercial A/V integrators.”

JL Audio, a manufacturer of home and automotive audio products, has announced the appointment of Marian Liu to the newly created position of communications manager. 

In her new role with JL Audio, Liu will manage a team of marketing specialists and support staff working directly with the marketing team to support campaigns and communications with consumers, dealers and representatives for the automotive, marine, powersports and home audio divisions.  She will also develop, support, and provide content for JL Audio’s social media channels, and measure and analyze digital media marketing programs. 

 Liu brings to JL Audio a wealth of experience as a journalist and editor working for The Sun Sentinel, The Seattle Times, San Jose Mercury News, and Source magazine.  Her most recent position was with CNN where she worked as a senior multiplatform editor. During her career she also served as an adjunct professor for the University Hong Kong where she taught a multimedia mindset of the basics of SEO, social media and digital writing for various platforms.  

"The outlets for consumers to connect with the brands they love are growing at a staggering rate, which means – what once worked, might quickly change. The addition of Marian and her diverse background will play an integral role, as we look to pivot how we engage with our consumers and provide the best possible customer satisfaction, to continue to nurture the brand loyalty that has made JL Audio so successful over the years," says Bryatt Fischer, marketing director, JL Audio. 

July 11

CEDIA has announced the full lineup of CEDIA Talks. The 20-minute sessions dive into hot topics with some of the industry’s most influential professionals. All CEDIA Talks are free to attend and will be hosted in the CEDIA Booth (#1527) at CEDIA Expo 2018. 

“CEDIA Talks have become a staple for CEDIA Expo attendees – it is easy to pop into the CEDIA Booth and learn about some of the emerging trends, technology, and business practices that could be a game changer for the industry,” says Dave Pedigo, vice president of emerging technologies, CEDIA.  

As part of the 2018 lineup 12 CEDIA Talks will take place over Thurs., September 6 and Friday, September 7.

The lineup for these free 20-minute sessions is as follows:

September 6


  • 11:00-11:20 a.m.: What Does Autonomous Vehicle Tech Mean to You? Peter Aylett, president & CTO, Archimedia will lead the discussion  


  • 11:30-11:50 a.m.:What The Hell Is A 'Blockchain'? Busting The Lid On The Future Of Money Geoff Meads, managing director, Presto will be presenting this discussion


  • 12:00-12:20 p.m.: Leaving your Company with a Voice that Lives Long After the Sale, Joe Whitaker, co-owner & president, The Thoughtful Home, will present this topic 


  • 12:30-12:50 p.m.: ATSC 3.0 is Here: Why This Matters to You, which will be presented by Michael Heiss,principal Consultant, M. Heiss Consulting  


  • 2:00-2:20 p.m.; How AR and VR are Impacting Design and Why It’s Great News for the CEDIA Channel, Jonathan Law, President, REAL AV, will present this topic 


  • 2:30-2:50 p.m.: Multi-Dimensional Light, Sam Woodward, Customer Education Leader, Europe and Africa, Lutron, wil lead this discussion 

September 7


  • 11:00-11:20 a.m.: Improving Your Service Area with Virtual Locations and Local Phone Numbers, Rusty Deeble, owner, Digital Installers will deliver this presentation 


  • 11:30-11:50 a.m.: The Wellness Movement: What Science Says about Lighting, Audio, Air Quality, VR, and More, Julie Jacobson, founding editor, CE Pro & EH Media, will lead this discussion


  • 12:00-12:20 p.m.: Robots in the Home: AI Gets Physical, Rich Green, owner, Rich Green Designs, will discuss this topic 


  • 12:30-12:50 p.m.: The Human Factor, Heather Sidorowicz, president, Southtown Audio Video, will deliver this presentation 


  • 1:00-1:20 p.m.: Why You Should Add Fiber to Your Electronics Diet, Buzz Delano, director of business development, Celerity Technologies, will deliver this presentation    

Crestron, a global manufacturer of residential control and automation technologies, has unveiled its newest Design Showroom in Houston, Texas. Located in the Decorative Center Houston (DCH), the Design Showroom provides another location in which interior designers, lighting designers, builders, technology professionals, architects, and clients of Crestron dealers can experience Crestron automation technology invisibly blended into elegant real-world residential settings to provide the ultimate luxury lifestyle.

“We create these elaborate, immersive spaces with our clients in mind, and work to ensure that each location is of the highest quality and provides the same elegant, world-class experience worldwide,” says Michael Short, global residential marketing manager, Crestron. “We constantly maintain them so that all the very latest Crestron technology is on display, and provides clients with the best way to ‘see the future’ as they interact with the world’s most intuitive and innovative home automation technology.”

Ui Supplies a regional distributor of consumer and specialty electronics for the metro New York/tri-state region, and member of the PowerHouse Alliance, is celebrating its anniversary and sixth annual BBQ Bash and Trade Show at its new Plainview, N.Y. flagship location on July 26.

“We are very excited to host our annual BBQ Bash and Trade Show for the first time at our Plainview, NY location,” says Matthew Weil, CEO of Ui Supplies. “Ui Supplies is looking forward to continuing the tradition of our anniversary festivities at our Long Island space and are honored to celebrate our continued growth with industry partners and our valued customers.”

Extending the invitation to vendor partners, Ui Supplies expects over 60 audio, video, security and home control manufacturers to attend. “We are fortunate to work with reliable brands that are incredibly supportive of our training and educational efforts,” says Alan Malowitz, executive vice president, Ui Supplies.

Beginning at 10:00 a.m., manufacturers will be available to offer demonstrations and to discuss the hottest products featuring Samsung’s QLED and Frame TVs, a video wall, multi-zone HEOS system and more. A Vanco International ‘Party Room’ equipped with popular Vanco cables, extenders, and Beale Street Audio speakers, plus a Dolby Atmos theater room including a Yamaha 11.2-channel AVENTAGE AV Receiver, 77-inch LG Wallpaper OLED TV, KEF surround sound speakers and Fortress theater seating, will be open and running all day. Partnered with Google products, the LG ThinQ will also be on display.

Back in July 1968, two cousins walked through the doors of Draper for their first official day of work at the family business.

John Pidgeon and Mike Broome are the great-grandsons of company founder Luther O. Draper, today John is Draper’s president and Mike is vice president of manufacturing.

“I believe that John and Mike have had more impact on Draper’s success than anyone else,” says Chris Broome, architectural market manager of Draper and Broome’s son. “Their vision and leadership have helped the company grow at an aggressive pace. When they started, Draper was a small company. We now have over 700 employees.”

“We were a small company, fewer than 40 employees,” adds Pidgeon. “We were hands-on involved in every single detail.”

A few things have changed since then. Where in 1968 just about everything was done by hand, computerization, electronic communication, and automation have made a huge difference in efficiency, capacity, and delivery times. Draper has also increasingly become solution-driven rather than being a mass producer of standard products.

Over the time of their tenure Draper has added sales offices in Placentia, California and four wholly-owned subsidiaries: Draper Group Ltd., a sales and warehouse facility in Corby, Northamptonshire, United Kingdom, and three manufacturing companies in Sweden: Draper Europe AB, a leading European projection screen manufacturer; SMS Smart Media Solutions AB, a leading European provider of video projector and flat screen mounts; and Evoko, a provider of conferencing collaboration tools.

Klipsch, a global audio company, has announced the promotion of Vince Bonacorsi to vice president of sales and marketing for Asia Pacific, China, Australia and New Zealand. Bonacorsi previously served as general manager for the same region. He has been at Klipsch Group, Inc. since 2007.

Since 2016, Bonacorsi has developed Asia-Pacific into one of the fastest growing business segments for the company, in addition to defining the senior level financial process for the organization. He will continue to increase market penetration for the Klipsch and Jamo brands, and set the strategic direction of sales, marketing and product development in the region.

July 10

ProSource, a national audio, video, and integration buying group, has announced 14 new additions to its Power and Custom Integrator (CI) member levels. The new additions represent nearly $60 million in new revenue for the group, and their addition brings the total of new dealers year to date to 26.

In addition, two ProSource CI members have been elevated to the Power membership level in Q2, adding a total of eight members to the Power level so far in 2018.

Here are the new Power and CI members:

  • Audio Dimension, Oklahoma City, Okla.
  • Audio Video Innovations, McKinney, Texas
  • DC Home Systems, Portsmouth, N.H.
  • Safe & Sound Inc., Chicopee, Mass.
  • Starr Systems Design, Baltimore, Md.
  • BCG Concepts Inc., North Hollywood, Calif.
  • Carolina Custom Sound, Advance, N.C.
  • Connect Tek, Brentwood, Calif.
  • Integrated Home, Van Nuys, Calif.
  • IR Tech Inc., Sherman Oaks, Calif.
  • Multimedia Solutions Group, Farmers Branch, Texas
  • Quicksilver Audio Ltd., Kennewick, Wash.
  • Refined Systems, Spring, Texas
  • Sterling Sound & Vision, Owings Mills, Va.
  • Artisan Systems, Scottsdale, Ariz.
  • Lewis Audio Video, Portland, Ore.

MSE Audio, parent company of SoundTube Entertainment, Soundsphere, dARTS, Phase Technology, Induction Dynamics, SolidDrive and Rockustics, has announced the temporary move of manufacturing for Soundsphere following a structure fire at the company's Stratford, Connecticut facility. MSE Audio will transfer Soundsphere manufacturing to Jacksonville, Florida with plans for the facility to be fully operational within the next eight to 12 weeks. 

The Soundsphere facility is deemed a complete loss following an early morning fire on July 9. The 12,500-square-foot building broke out in flames around 6:30 a.m. local time and 23 firefighters responded to the scene, with an additional 27 firefighters from Milford and Bridgeport being called in to help. As of 9:15 a.m. EST, all firefighters have been accounted for and no injuries were reported. A cause has not yet been determined. 

“We are absolutely devastated by the loss of our Soundsphere headquarters but we’re happy to report that no one was injured,” says Laura Waldon, president for MSE Audio. “We’re thankful for the timely response of our first-responders who battled the fire throughout the early morning hours. We want our dealers to know that we’re working quickly to rebuild the Soundsphere manufacturing and product stock, but in the meantime, we’ll do all we can to ensure our dealers have the product they need to complete their jobs on time."

July 9

AVAD, LLC, a North American provider of solutions to the residential and commercial custom installation markets, has joined Home Technology Specialists of America (HTSA), which is a national retail and custom integration buying groups.

Through this strategic alliance, HTSA members will have access to AVAD’s 20 branch locations and warehouses throughout the nation. HTSA members will have the opportunity to consolidate their distribution purchases with a single program that provides them with benefits by being a member of HTSA. AVAD will provide HTSA members with additional resources, including an in-house Account Manager, and value-added services to provide an extra level of support to all members.

“As one of the leaders in value-added distribution, we are pleased to welcome AVAD to HTSA," says Jon Robbins, executive director of Home Technology Specialists of America. "AVAD's influence in the industry has grown through their addition of valuable services along with their inventory and logistics management. We believe our members will benefit from the availability of these services as well as acquiring the ability to instantly address rush inventory needs on HTSA brands."

Nominations for the 2019 - 2020 CEDIA Board of Directors are open. CEDIA's Board of Directors is put together to help influence the direction of the industry, while governing the association's activities, and representing the residential technology profession to the outside world.

"Every year CEDIA members have the opportunity to shape and drive the direction of the association by helping identify leaders and visionaries for the CEDIA Board of Directors. I would encourage every member to thoughtfully consider nominating someone," says David Humphries, chairperson, CEDIA. 

There are six open board positions for the 2019 - 2020 term. Positions will be filled in two ways:
Elected Directors: CEDIA members will vote to fill five elected positions. Home Technology Professional members who are employees of a member company may be nominated, vetted by the Governance Committee, and proposed as candidates for the global membership vote. The vacancies this election cycle may be filled by one CEDIA member in the EMEA region and four from the rest of the global membership. Elected board members will be announced immediately after the election and seated on January 1, 2019.

Appointed Directors: All other member types (manufacturers, service providers, etc.) and additional Home Technology Professionals are eligible for appointment to the Board of Directors. There is one open appointed position open for the 2019-2020 term to be filled from the EMEA region. The CEDIA Governance Committee reviews candidates based on the skills needed and makes a recommendation to the Board, who vote to approve the appointment. This process runs in parallel with the election, with the appointments occurring at the January 2019 board meeting. 

To nominate a candidate for the Board of Directors, individuals must fill out the nomination form, and nominations will be accepted until August 6, 2018. The Board election process is governed and outlined by CEDIA's bylaws. Voting will be open from September 6 to October 19, 2018: All member types, whether integrator, manufacturer, service provider or other, may vote and each company has one vote.

July 2

Classé Audio co-founder Mike Viglas passed away peacefully on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. He was 85. Viglas, a Greek immigrant who made his way to Canada as a young man, became a successful entrepreneur. For many years he was recognized as the world’s largest Ford truck dealer, and audiophile, which led him to create Classé Audio alongside engineer David Reich in 1980.

For 30 years Viglas was at the helm of Classe that includes a partnership with Bowers & Wilkins’ Chairman Joe Atkins in 2001. In 2002 he brought Dave Nauber aboard as part of a long-term succession plan.

“Mike was the consummate entrepreneur with a huge passion for his brand and the business. He was a great partner and even better friend,” says Atkins. 

In 2010 Viglas stepped down when Nauber was named president in 2010 of Classe Audio, an  in the succeeding years he served as chairman.

“I owe so much to Mike,” states Nauber, now brand director of Classé under Sound United.

“He was a fun, energetic and charming man who built the brand that I and tens of thousands of audiophiles around the world love. He treated everyone in the company like family and though some have moved on, that’s what we have all become.” Both current and former Classé employees, dealers and distributors worldwide remember Mike with great affection.

In tribute to Mike’s Greek heritage, Classé uses Greek letters Delta, Sigma and Omega as the names for its product series.

June 29

Howard Gladstone is a singer-songwriter and co-founder of Torus Power. His latest album Hourglass is being released in the U.S., and worldwide on June 15, 2018.

Recorded in high-resolution audio, Hourglass is available to the mailing list of the company's subscribers through a special discount offer from HDTracks, which is an online high-resolution audio retailer. 

Gladstone in partnership with Laura Fernandez founded Sonic Peach Music, an independent record label specializing in HD recording. Hourglass was recorded at 192kHz/24bit resolution by Peter J. Moore who is a Grammy-winning recording and mastering engineer. All future releases on Sonic Peach Music will be offered in HD as well as SD resolution.

June 27

The PowerHouse Alliance has welcomed a new distributor member: Pioneer Music Company. An established family owned and operated business, Pioneer Music Company has been fulfilling the needs of dealers and integrators in the Midwest for nearly 150 years.

Founded in 1869 as a hardware company, Pioneer exists today as a wholesale business-to-business provider of high-quality consumer electronics products, Pioneer Music Company has grown to service many other industries including residential AV, automation, network distribution, surveillance, installation accessories, car electronics and more. 

“We are beyond excited to join the PowerHouse Alliance and are honored to be in the company of its twelve other distributors. The group shares our dedication to the consumer electronics industry and is consistently pursuing ways to strengthen customer relationships,” said Dan Haight, president and CEO for Pioneer Music Company.

Catalyst AV, an network of independent consumer electronics distributors, has reinforced its board of directors.

Effective immediately, the new board members are:

  • Brett Neiderman of Tech Source located in Pennsylvania and serving the Mid-Atlantic.
  • Ron Perron of HCA Distributing with locations in Colorado and Utah and serving Wyo., Idaho, Mont., N.M. and El Paso, Texas.
  • Chris Gentile of Aim High Audio with locations in Georgia and Florida and serving N.C., S.C., Tenn., Ala., Miss., and Puerto Rico.

In addition to the board, Woody Taylor of Electronic Lane in Texas, and serving Okla., La., and Ariz., has assumed an advisory position and Helge Fischer is the executive director.

A territorial change has also been made with Mid-State Distributing handling the Mo., Iowa, Neb., Kan., Minn., N.D. and S.D., territory through its four warehouses and impressive 28 sales people.

Paradigm and Anthem have announced that both brands’ range of home theatre products are now available within the cloud-based design software, The Cinema Designer’s (TCD) online database. Using TCD, integrators can quickly design technically accurate home theatres and media rooms using Paradigm and Anthem’s prestigious product lines, confident in the fact that the room will have predictable results based on industry standards.

“Paradigm and Anthem products are high performance tools that enable specialty AV professionals to deliver amazing experiences for their clients—of course, the better the home theater speakers and electronics, the greater the potential for an exceptional experience. However, that potential can only be fully realized when products are properly positioned, set up, and performance optimized. The Cinema Designer software is a great tool to help our dealers achieve that goal,” says Keith Dowd, director of sales, Paradigm & Anthem.

June 26

ProSource, an audio, video, and integration buying group in the United States, announced today the appointment of 12 ProSource members to the new Lighting and Shading Committee. The committee is responsible for assessing opportunities and solving issues that uniquely confront custom integrators in the area of residential lighting and shading.

Their mission is to review and approve the adoption of vendor partners for use by the general membership of ProSource. In addition, the group will assist in developing educational opportunities for all members of the organization.

The 12 member appointees are:

  • Jonathan Wesco, Allegro Home Entertainment
  • Tony Calero, Arracal
  • Davis Tyson, DB Media Solutions
  • Vince Sanders, Design Media Group

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