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People & Places: FIBBR Joins PVA; Legrand Acquires Kenall; StormAudio Joins Azione; Lau Wyrestorm

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


People & Places: FIBBR Joins PVA; Legrand Acquires Kenall; StormAudio Joins Azione; Lau Wyrestorm
CE Pro Editors · December 20, 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.

 


June 10

Azione Unlimited will host its third incentivized trip for dealers and vendors with an escape to Italy. The goal of the trip is to encourage Azione Unlimited dealers and vendors to invest within the group, rewarding those who make the most significant commitments with an all-expense paid getaway.

"Not only does a contest like this get people excited, but it helps build better relationships within our group and make the group more profitable," says Azione Unlimited president Richard Glikes. "Azione Unlimited provides a host of extensive offerings like training and deep vendor programs that make businesses grow. We always encourage our dealers to take advantage of that. In turn, our Italy trip further highlights those offerings and benefits the members that are taking full advantage of what we have to offer by rewarding them with a destination trip."

The trip provides five vendors and five dealers to bring a guest on a six-day, five-night journey through cities including Rome, Florence, and Siena.

Candidates for the trip are measured in four categories - adoption, engagement, excellence, and growth. Satisfying criteria such as adding new lines, attending training sessions, or achieving specific growth milestone earn dealers and vendors more opportunities to attend the trip.


June 5

Headphone manufacturer beyerdynamic announces an expansion at their Farmingdale, N.Y., office with five key hires, including Maureen Chowdhury, marketing manager; Angela Lodico, sales and marketing coordinator; Laura Marrin, online sales manager; Nicole Gregory, technical applications specialist; and Marc Greck, operations manager.

“We’re thrilled to announce development in our United States office with the addition of three key hires and two promotions,” says Alan Feckanin, Director Americas for beyerdynamic. “beyerdynamic continues to invest in resources to expand the reach of our highly successful product line. We’re looking forward to the benefits of the additional knowledgeable staff in our time of growth, an exciting time for beyerdynamic Americas.”

With over eight years of marketing experience, Chowdhury most notably served as the creative services operations manager for Altice USA and creative services project manager for ESPN.

Lodico joins beyerdynamic with 15 years of marketing and events experience. Angela has previously served as the marketing assistant at Fairfield Properties, marketing specialist at EtQ and marketing associate at Burmax.

Following a six-year tenure at Canon USA, Marrin comes to beyerdynamic with more than eight years of ecommerce sales and public relations experience.

Gregory and Greck have been promoted from their previous roles as sales support specialist and operations manager, respectively.


Atlona, a Panduit company, has expanded its sales force in North and South America. The new appointments include Vince Schuster, Jason Parson, Paul Beals, Brian Montini, and Manuel Pineda.

Schuster joins Atlona as director of sales, covering the North America commercial and residential AV markets. Previously, he served as vice president of sales at Prysm, as well as director-level sales positions at Planar Systems and Panasonic.

Parson joins Atlona as regional sales manager, Pacific Northwest, having started his career with Pioneer New Media Technologies, a division of Pioneer Electronics. He also launched Invision Technologies, a leader in eTail that later launched a commercial and residential AV integration business.

Atlona’s appointment of Paul Beals (North East USA), Brian Montini (South Central USA) and Manuel Pineda (Latin America) as sales engineers will flesh out the company’s growing team of regional sales engineers.

“Atlona continues to grow and flourish, and these appointments will allow us to expand our reach and support in the Americas,” said Ilya Khayn, CEO, Atlona. “Most importantly, ourcontinuous team expansion demonstrates Atlona’s commitment to growing our partners’ businesses, and service all of our customers with extensive systems design and engineering support. 


May 21

Nortek Security & Control LLC (NSC announces that its ELAN Intelligent Home Control brand has been awarded with ProSource’s Specialty Technology Vendor of the Year. The award was presented at ProSource’s annual Spring Meeting, April 29 - May 3, at the La Cantera Resort and Spa in San Antonio, Texas.

The award is determined by vote, with nominations cast by over 500 custom installation dealers in a variety of technology categories.

“We are honored to accept this year’s award from ProSource,” states NSC director of sales Jeff Costello. “It’s especially important as the nominations and votes come from the dealers themselves.

Adds ProSource CEO and president Dave Workman, “The ELAN platform is pushing the boundaries of home automation. With the recent introduction of its Intelligent Touch Panels and Surveillance cameras – both of which are enhanced with face recognition – dealers have more options than ever before to please their customers.”


May 16

Just Add Power has appointed Taylor Wolf as its new director of branding. In her new role, she will have a wide range of duties, guiding J+P's branding experience via marketing communications and being the face of the company at on-site dealer events, training sessions, and more.

Before joining J+P, Wolf served as a graphic designer for companies in the consumer tech and social media industries.

"Taylor has a unique vision and the ability to deliver a compelling brand experience both on and off the screen," says Ed Qualls, CEO and founder of J+P. "As we move into an exciting new chapter in the evolution of our brand, we're thrilled to welcome her to the Just Add Power team."


Driven by its continuing national shade dealer onboarding, Screen Innovations (SI) announces a major facility expansion, adding 50,000 square feet, including warehouse and office space at their international headquarters in Austin, Texas. 

“Our dealers’ acceptance of our new product designs has been very rewarding. We invest in our company because we’re here to change dealers’ lives, as they have changed ours.  We are truly thankful for them and how they continue to contribute to our success,” says Ryan Gustafson, Founder and Visionary at SI. 

Included in the expansion are investments in screen and shade manufacturing machinery which will more than double production capacity, reduce lead times, and enable faster order throughput via programs such as 3-day quick build.  


 

Kaleidescape announces that it is partnering with the Home Technology Specialists of America (HTSA), to be a vendor sponsor and provide member integrators with exclusive programs and training. 

"Our mission to deliver the most delightful home cinema experience is simply not possible without excellent custom integration companies," says Cheena Srinivasan, founder and CEO of Kaleidescape. "Kaleidescape is proud to be working with HTSA and it's members." 

Adds Jon Robbins, executive director of HTSA, "Our members are always looking to give their clients a truly extraordinary experience, and none more so than with home cinema projects. Our collaboration with Kaleidescape allows our residential integration companies to enhance overall customer satisfaction by complementing the ordinary streaming sources that have proliferated over the past several years with a complete cinema solution based on Kaleidescape's unique combination of movie players and online content delivery." 


 

May 2

Industry experience: there’s no shortage of it on Robert Keeler’s vitae. As CEDIA’s newly appointed senior director of sales, sponsorships, and partnerships, he joins the organization as the former vice president of sales at Stewart Filmscreen. Keeler has also held roles at Screen Innovations, Pioneer Electronics, BDI, Hitachi, and others. All told, he has spent two decades involved in the consumer electronics and custom integration channel.

His new position at CEDIA, says Keeler, gives him the opportunity to pursue his passion of helping dealers become more successful. “With each role I’ve had, I’ve maintained an ‘I work for you’ mentality as it relates to the dealer, rep, or business partners,” he explains. “Working for CEDIA further advanced that notion. Although my paycheck says ‘CEDIA,’ I truly work for every CEDIA member. Plus, CEDIA allows me to achieve a personal satisfaction in my day-to-day activities.”

What exactly does Keeler hope to accomplish? Senior director of sales, sponsorships, and partnerships is a completely new position created by CEDIA, so he expects his specific duties to morph over time. However, there’s one overarching goal: “To sell CEDIA.” More specifically, Keeler says he will focus on aligning sponsorship opportunities, provide value to CEDIA members, and more sure CEDIA members are engaged.”

Of course, Keeler recognizes the challenges the come with joining a new company and taking on a completely new role. “I know I have some hard work ahead of me. Being in front of clients, customers and the like energizes me and fuels me. I see CEDIA as an opportunity to fulfill my passions and goals professionally and personally.”


Dec. 20

FIBBR, a manufacturer of long-run HDMI cables using fiber-optic technology, has joined the Professional Video Alliance (PVA) as a charter member. The move demonstrates FIBBR's commitment to the video industry by working with other members of the PVA to benefit everyone interested in high-quality video performance.

Founded by master calibrator Gregg Loewen, the PVA is an alliance of video-product manufacturers and video professionals, such as integrators, installers, and calibrators, who understand that collaboration and cooperation are far better—and more profitable—than working in isolation. PVA members share best practices and offer support to each other at trade shows and other events.

In addition, the PVA offers product certification by independent testing labs to assure integrators and consumers that certified products perform as advertised. The PVA also offers calibrator training; those who complete the training become PVA Certified Video Professionals listed in a worldwide locator database on the PVA website.


Legrand, North and Central America (LNCA), has announced that it has acquired Kenall, a manufacturer of energy efficient and sustainable specification grade lighting and control solutions for commercial, industrial and institutional buildings. LNCA has a strong presence in the lighting market and adding Kenall to its portfolio gives the company the ability to participate in additional market segments, with products that customers demand, while appealing further to the lighting specification community.

Since its founding over 55 years ago, Kenall has experienced consistent growth to become a clear leader in the specialty lighting segment (dedicated to specialized applications and to critical non-residential environments); providing intelligent, durable and sustainable lighting solutions for high abuse environments such as hospitals, schools, public building, food processing, transportation and correctional facilities. Their unique solutions, combined with LNCA’s other lighting entities and business lines, will enable the company to deliver more innovative, tailored products combined with the best customer service in the industry.

“We’ve seen tremendous growth in the specialty and architectural lighting segments through commercial, industrial and institutional channels,” says LNCA President & CEO, John Selldorff. “With the acquisition of Kenall, Legrand expands its ability to bring innovative, intelligent, and solution-oriented products to new market segments enabling us to meet our customer’s evolving needs.  Kenall’s unique products, customer focus, and innovative technology align perfectly with Legrand’s strategic market approach.” 


Dec. 19

StormAudio has announced that it has joined the Azione Unlimited buying group.

Azione Unlimited consists of 201 dealers and select participating manufacturer-partners that work together to collectively grow their businesses. 

“Azione Unlimited is the most selective group when it comes to vendor partnerships. The addition of StormAudio into the Azione ranks was an easy decision. Storms’ processors are best in class, with a reputation of superior sound quality and unparalleled flexibility. Our dealer members’ desire to sell the finest brands make this a cherished marriage and a recipe for amazing success,” says Richard Glikes, founder and president, Azione Unlimited.


WyreStorm has announced several personnel announcements. 

Derek Hulbert has stepped down as CEO, and Arthur Lau has been named the company's new chief executive officer. 

According to the company, Lau brings decades of market experience with him to serve the company as its new CEO, and it is looking forward to a new year in 2019. 
 


Dec. 18

JL Audio has promoted four individuals within the company:

Jeffrey Thomas, employed with JL Audio since 2005 has been promoted to vice president, manufacturing.  

Jorge Olivero, has with JL Audio since 2006, and he has been promoted to director of manufacturing. Olivero will be responsible for leading theses departments: production support, production technical, speaker production and home products departments, and manufacturing engineering.

Julio Hernandez has been with JL Audio since 2015, and he has also been promoted to  director of manufacturing  In his new role Julio will lead these departments: production technician department, wood shop, KOMO and fiberglass production, and manufacturing engineering.

David Leon has been promoted to production manager for speaker production. He joined JL Audio in August 2014.  


The PowerHouse Alliance, announced the addition of KOA CCTV Inc., as its newest distributor member, adding to the group’s total of 800,000 square-feet of space across 43 locations, with seven warehouse facilities across Southern California and Nevada.

KOA CCTV is a leading distributor who has been serving dealers in its territory for the last 12 years, specializing in CCTV Cameras, DVRs, audio video, home automation, networking etc. for residential and commercial projects.

“The KOA CCTV team is excited to start off 2019 as the newest member of the PowerHouse Alliance, and we’re looking forward to a great year with them,” says Anton Tomassian, CEO, KOA CCTV. “Joining PowerHouse, we’ll expand with their lines to give our dealers more extensive product selection. Joining the group is mutually beneficial, as we’re aiming to lend our expertise as well as learn from this powerful family.”


MSE Audio, the parent company of Phase Technology, Induction Dynamics, dARTS, SoundTube Entertainment, SolidDrive, Rockustics and Soundsphere; announces Media Delivery Strategies (MDS) as its Northern California and Northern Nevada manufacturer representative, covering each product line for the residential market.  

MDS is a California-based IPRO Member Manufacturers Representative firm with extensive experience in representing audio and video brands within the residential and installation industry. Founded by industry-veterans Glendon O’Brien and John Bolin, MDS brings its manufacturers products and services to Northern California and Northern Nevada area dealers.  

“We’re pleased to add MSE Audio’s full product line to our roster after working with their dARTS line,” says Glendon O’Brien, president of Media Delivery Strategies. “Each of MSE Audio’s product lines offer feature-rich, high-quality audio solutions and we’re certain our dealers are going to have great success working with their lines. We look forward to strengthening our relationship with MSE Audio through this new partnership.”


Dec.17

Duane Paulson, Dan Quigley, David Kaplan, and Avi Rosenthal have launched CE/IoT Partners, LLC, a full-service consulting partnership. The industry veterans came together to launch the company as a go-to resource for manufacturers in the AV and security markets looking to venture into the connected home space but that do not know where to start. 

The partners have decades of high-level experience in home security, home control, and audio/video across multiple disciplines – manufacturing, sales and marketing, channel development, software and hardware engineering, systems integration, wireless technology, standards development, strategy, and corporate finance and valuation.

Three other industry veterans: Helen Heneveld, Jim Black and Charles Durant, JD join the firm as associates. They each bring key credentials to the group with particular expertise in strategic planning, training, regulatory compliance, intellectual property, mergers and acquisitions, and financial operations.

CE/IoT Full-Service Offerings:

Product Development: Product requirement specification, product development and ongoing product management, BOM development, industrial design services, value engineering, and manufacturing.

Business and Channel Development: Connecting with the industry, creating relationships, finding opportunities, closing deals, and training.

Marketing: Strategy, branding, messaging, digital, and social media. 

Market Research: Analysis of sales and trend data, justification of projects and products, validating proof of concepts, competitive analysis. 

Software & Cybersecurity: Cloud/Infrastructure development, cyber security audit and evaluation, software development, firmware development, documentation.

Regulatory and Certification Assistance: UL, ETL, FCC, CE, ZigBee, and Z-Wave.

Business Strategy: Business and contract rules, intellectual property rights, M&A strategy, pitch deck creation, due diligence, financial proformas, investor presentations, and legal framework of entities.


Nortek Security & Control LLC (NSC), a global manufacturer of wireless security, home automation, access control and health and wellness technology, has announced that Miguel Alonso has joined NSC as vice president of product management, with global product responsibility for NSC’s Control, AV and Perimeter Access businesses. 

“We are excited to have a product and business leader like Miguel head our product strategy and initiatives moving forward, as we bring forward the solutions that deliver on the promise of the intelligent home,” says Joe Roberts, executive vice president of marketing & innovation, NSC. “The opportunity is now for us to transform the smart home industry by combining our artificial intelligence and software analytics technologies with our innovative and growing portfolio of smart connected devices and systems for residential smart home.”


Dec. 14

OWI Inc., has announced that SG Western as its new manufacturer’s reps for California , Ariz., Nev., Hawaii and New Mexico. 

SG western has 47 years of combined experience and numerous awards with team members:

Steve Gorski: Rep Principal Arthur Tang, sales rep 

Laurie Valenzi-Buell: marketing & sales 

Felicia Kraft: customer service/inside sales


Dec. 13

The SDVoE Alliance has announced that AV LINK GROUP LTD, a Taiwan-based manufacturer of AV solutions, has joined the alliance as an adopting member. 

"We've been searching for various solutions for 4K AV over IP over the past few years. Of course we've looked into SDVoE technology, and have gone through some evaluation. We believe that SDVoE can lead the whole pro AV industry to the next level with its flexible hardware and software platform which enables many applications including matrix switchers, video wall controllers and image processors,” says David Hsu, general manager of AV LINK GROUP LTD. “We're glad to be a part of the SDVoE Alliance.”


Dec. 11

Middle Atlantic Products, a brand of Legrand | AV, has announced today that Rob Atkins has joined the company as regional brand sales manager, Southeast. In this position, Atkins will work closely with sales teams and product management to foster relationships with local integrators and consultants by providing brand expertise relative to the Middle Atlantic portfolio of solutions including racks, technical furniture, and power.

"As Legrand | AV continues to strengthen its partnership with customers, we're investing to expand our teams with deep knowledge of the independent brands in each region across the U.S.," says John Stenzel, director of sales for Middle Atlantic Products, Legrand | AV. "Rob has more than 20 years of AV experience, including six with Middle Atlantic. His experience and proven track record will help drive strategies that will strengthen our industry relationships and sales."


MSE Audio, the parent company of Phase Technology, Induction Dynamics, dARTS, SoundTube Entertainment, SolidDrive, Rockustics and Soundsphere, has selected James McManus, a 12-year employee of MSE Audio, as international sales director. 

McManus has been with MSE Audio for 12 years. In 2006, McManus was hired by MSE Audio as a residential sales manager. McManus later moved into a position as commercial sales director, a position he most currently held. In 2017, and in addition to serving as a commercial sales director, McManus assumed the position of consultant account director, where he actively manages the interaction between consultants within the industry and MSE Audio’s internal commercial audio division. 

“We’re very excited to have James working with our international customers and continuing our commitment to exceeding our customers’ expectations,” says Laura Waldon, president, MSE Audio.


Dec. 5

Lowell Manufacturing Company, a U.S. manufacturer of professional A/V
products since 1947, announces new representation for commercial A/V and/or security
accounts in the Eastern U.S.

  • Lienau A/V Associates in the mid-Atlantic region, HWPCO in the Southeast
  • C.L. Pugh & Associates for inland areas including Western Penn., Ohio, Mich., and W. Virginia.

"We're very pleased to welcome these highly experienced professionals to the Lowell
sales team," says Jeff Garstick, business development, Lowell Manufacturing. "Their broad-based knowledge and expertise will continue to serve customers well as they present the right mix of quality products for each application."


Dec. 4

Seymour-Screen Excellence and Audio Excellence has announced the appointment of several additional manufacturer sales rep firms. 

These firms are managing sales for both brands in their respective territories: 

  • i Rep Green, Southern California: Randy Wilson, Scott Wilson and Simon Spears
  • Media Delivery Strategies, Northern California: Glen O’Brien and John Bolin
  • BrandRep USA, Southeast: Howard Borsa
  • Audtek Marketing, Metro-New York - Wayne Dolnick
  • Power Marketing, New England (Audio Excellence): David Cohen


Created to serve North America, Seymour-Screen Excellence is a joint-venture between US-based Seymour AV (Chris Seymour) and U.K.-based Screen Excellence (Patrice Congard). 


Dec. 3

Randy Wilson, owner of I Rep Green, has announced that custom home theater expert Simon Spears has joined his team.

“Simon brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience. As a Founding Member of CEDIA UK, presenter of the Home Theater Workshop, and recipient of the Dedicated Service to the Industry award, he is the ideal person to strengthen our team,” says Wilson.

Spears previously ran his own rep company in Europe managing sales for brands such as Runco, Triad, Lexicon and ADA. Recently, he managed international sales at Core Brands and is a senior editor at Widescreen Review magazine, where he manages the Custom Home Theatre and Design section.


“Since I left college, I have immersed myself in the audio and video industry. Whether as an educator, salesman, or marketing specialist, I have successfully navigated the CE and CI industry. What a joy it is for me to now be working alongside Randy Wilson, representing some of the greatest products ever made for the custom home theater market and in the epicenter territory of Southern California,” adds Spears. 

 


Nov. 30


Josh Willits has been promoted to president of Portal’s audio/video business.

The company states the promotion of Willits will help focus Portal's efforts across the board on improving the dealer experience and maximizing profit for Portal's partners.
 


Nov. 27

Premier Mounts, a manufacturer of audiovisual mounting solutions, has announced the addition of Steve Pedroza to manage the Premier Dedicated Solutions (PDS) Division. In this role, Pedroza will be responsible for managing all day-to-day operations of PDS.

Pedroza will work on developing new Direct View LED & custom business substantially over the next several years.

“I look forward to working with the team at Premier Mounts to further enhance the innovation and growth within the company,” says Pedroza. “By keeping our eyes on the future and constantly striving to serve our customers at the highest level, I am eager to see what we can accomplish.”


Nortek Security & Control LLC (NSC), a global manufacturer of wireless security, home automation, access control and health and wellness technologies, has announced a changing of the guard in its access sales team: 26-year company veteran Larry Foisie will retire at the end of the year and Joe Schenke has been promoted to vice president of sales, reporting to NSC senior vice president of sales and business development, Bruce Mungiguerra.

“Larry has been instrumental in the success and growth of the Linear and Mighty Mule brands during his amazing 26-year career here,” says Mungiguerra. “I can’t thank him enough for all he has done to help lead NSC, and how he has significantly contributed to my own understanding of the category. While he’ll be greatly missed, all of us wish Larry the very best of good fortune in the next great chapter in his life.”


Lone Mountain Audio, the importer of ATC Consumer Hi Fi Loudspeakers from England, has announced Chris Neumann as its new U.S. vice president of sales, consumer products for ATC’s HI Fi and Home Audio range of Loudspeakers.

Neumann brings with him more than three decades of consumer electronics market experience that includes executive sales roles with brands as Audio Design Associates (ADA), JBL Synthesis, Datasat Digital Entertainment, Artison, and others.

“We searched for a sales VP to align with ATC’s performance philosophy of custom design, engineering and in-house assembly using handcrafted drivers from their own factory," says Brad Lunde, president of Lone Mountain Audio  "His background, approach and stellar record make Chris the perfect choice. We are happy to have Chris leading our U.S. consumer products sales team.”


Nov. 26

StormAudio has selected Gary Blouse as its new national sales manager in the U.S. In this role Blouse will manage StormAudio’s sales, marketing and training, reporting directly to StormAudio France-based managing director Olivier Thumerel.

Blouse has worked with home theater dealers for many years, having previously served as regional sales manager for Wisdom Audio, Lenbrook and AVC Group. His experience includes both regional and national sales and training. 

“During my tenure with Wisdom I helped dealers create systems for theaters ranging from modest to luxury private cinemas and along the way I witnessed the good, the bad, and the ugly of the surround processor market,” says Blouse. “StormAudio offers something remarkably different here. By combining high-fidelity audio and solid video performance, flexible system architecture, an easy-to-use programming interface, and robust system management, they have achieved what many processors fall short of. For these reasons and many more I am thrilled to be working with StormAudio and their dealers. Together we will take home cinema’s to new heights.”


Nov. 20

MantelMount has moved. The new location, which encompasses almost 50 percent more square footage, is located in theBressi Ranch area of Carlsbad, California.  Along with the move to larger accommodations is a significant increase in staff: The company says that it will be doubling its current employee count to cover the ongoing buildup of demand for all models of its popular pulldown TV mount.

According to Lee Marc, CEO of MantelMount, the relocation is a reflection of the popularity of the company’s flagship product, among both consumers and the pro channel. 

“We’ve experienced a 50 percent growth rate in sales since the company’s inception in 2015,” says Marc.  “Consumers have obviously embraced our unique yet simple solution to a very common problem.  And our dealer base has grown substantially as well, with an almost 500% growth increase in the past year. Clearly, our product has resonated within the public and within the industry.  And with that success comes the need to expand.”

The address of the new location is 2647 Gateway Rd., Suite 105–435, Carlsbad CA 92009.  The phone number is 1-800-897-9755.


Nov. 15

Séura has announced Tom Vintzel as its new vice president of sales. Vintzel will lead Séura’s residential and commercial sales divisions to achieve company sales growth objectives.

In Vintzel’s role, he will assume a leadership position within the company to develop strategic sales plans and mentor team members to execute to their full potential.

Vintzel joins Séura after spending the past 15 years building and leading teams in the commercial construction industry, with over seven years serving in executive sales roles. In 2011, Vintzel served as vice president of sales for MBA Building Supplies, a manufacturer in the building products industry.


Nov. 9

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA), inducted 14 people into the Consumer Technology (CT) Hall of Fame during its annual awards dinner. The event held at Capitale in New York City, introduced the Hall of Fame in 2000 to honor industry pioneers and entrepreneurs. 
  
This year's honorees include John Briesch, the Sony executive who led the launch of the compact disc (CD); Dr. John Cioffi, the father of Digital Subscriber Line (DSL); Robert Cole, founder of World Wide Stereo; Richard Doherty, an influential technology journalist and industry analyst; Peter Lesser, smart home pioneer and founder of X-10 USA; Mike Romagnolo, founder of DOW Stereo/Video; and Edgar Villchur, inventor of the acoustic suspension speaker.
 
In addition, two teams are also part of the 2018 class. First, the co-founders of Thiel Audio, Kathy Gornik and Jim Thiel; and the co-founders of Skype, the person-to-person video phone platform: Janus Friis, Ahti Heinla, Priit Kasesalu, Jaan Tallinn and Niklas Zennström.
  
Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CTA, praised the inductees for their contributions that have helped to grow the U.S. economy. 

"Tonight, we honor the leaders that inspire us and motivate us to think outside the box. The entrepreneurs in the CT Hall of Fame are an extraordinary group. They inspire us to be better and encourage us to reach for the stars," he stated.  
 
Highlighting some of the comments from the honorees, Gornik explained how the CES trade show allowed her company to compete in a global market. 
 
"We were a little company in a garage in Kentucky and if it hadn't been for CES, I really don't know how we would have grown this company to become a worldwide player. We were not huge, but plenty big enough for us," she commented. 
  
Early smart home entrepreneur Peter Lesser shared his respect to the industry he participated in for more than 40 years.

"Just to be on the same list as so many industry greats is a bit crazy, certainly gratifying but above all very humbling," he said. "I will never forget this night, this industry and the great people in it," he added.
 


Nov. 8

 

The Dynamic Spectrum Alliance (DSA), which is a global organization focused on obtaining access to unused radio frequencies, has announced that RADWIN, Federated Wireless and Saankhya Labs have joined the group, as it continues to advocate for laws and regulations that will lead to more efficient spectrum utilization.

“The DSA is always looking for organisations who share our vision, so I’m thrilled to welcome RADWIN, Federated Wireless and Saankhya Labs to the Alliance,” says Kalpak Gude, president, Dynamic Spectrum Alliance.

“These three organisations are all dedicated to implementing alternative ways to enable service providers to reach remote customers all over the world. It’s important to remember that this is a global issue that affects millions of people, from the U.S to Mozambique to India.”


Nov. 7

WiSA LLC, the (Wireless Speaker and Audio) or WiSA Association, is industry group comprised of over 40 leading brands that include founding member Summit Wireless Technologies, and the group has just announced Foxconn Technology GroupInnovo Audio Designs and System Audio as its newest members. 

"Our newest members bring meaningful experience, versatility and scalability to our member roster,” saysTony Ostrom, president of WiSA. “Given our explosive member growth this year, we have gained critical mass and are eager to assist our members in launching a broad range of innovative products that support a global movement in support of wireless audio. The recent momentum is also a testament to the success of our WiSA Ready certification.”


Nov. 6

Bowers & Wilkins, has announced the appointment of Gregory Lee as chief executive officer. Lee will officially assumed the position on Nov. 1, and he will also serve on Bowers & Wilkins’ Board of Directors.

“I am extremely excited for Greg to join Bowers & Wilkins as our new CEO and lead the company forward in our next phase of growth,” says Gideon Yu, co-executive chairman and former CEO, Bowers & Wilkins. “Greg has extensive leadership experience in consumer electronics, a deep knowledge of brand building, and a passion for our products. Bowers & Wilkins is in great hands with Greg, and I could not be more energized about our future.”

Lee has served customers throughout his career beginning with sales and marketing leadership roles while representing top tier brands at Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson. His more recent experience is rooted in the consumer electronics industry, with North American and global leadership positions, including president & CEO of Samsung Electronics North America, as well as global chief marketing officer of Samsung Electronics. 


Nov. 5

Channel Vision, a manufacturer of technology products for the Well-Connected Home, has announced a partnership with Custom Plus Distributing as a stocking distributor of its structured wiring product line. 

As a stocking distribution partner, Custom Plus has inventory of the company's complete structured wiring product line at each of its six branches. 

“We are extremely pleased to have Custom Plus as a new distribution partner and how they demonstrated their commitment to supplying the demands of the custom installation market,” states Darrel Hauk, president and CEO, Channel Vision.


The SDVoE Alliance has announced that Niveo Professional, a global provider of AV-focused networking products, has joined the alliance as an adopting member.

Niveo Professional networking products are not sold online, but only through specialized integrators worldwide. The product range provides installers the opportunity to deploy basic systems for small private residences to the most diverse network infrastructure for large commercial installations.

“With the industry moving from analog infrastructure to full IP-based 4K integration, the need for AV-focused networking products and expertise is clear,” says Arthur de Jager, managing director at Niveo. “Our 10G switches are a natural fit with SDVoE and we look forward to working with other alliance members and SDVoE Design Partners on projects around the world.”


Nov. 2

Rachio has announced Sarah Heitzman as chief revenue officer and Julie Reeves as chief marketing
officer. With these appointments, Rachio is making a bigger commitment to bringing technologies to consumers that are looking for easy ways to take the guesswork out of caring for their yard.

“We are thrilled to welcome Sarah to the Rachio team and recognize Julie’s expanded role at such an
exciting time of growth,” says Chris Klein, co-founder and CEO, Rachio. “Following a tremendous year of expansion in 2018, Sarah and Julie will play pivotal roles in planning the future growth of Rachio as we continue to innovate and delight customers.”


Nov. 1

SVS, a manufacturer of high-performance speakers, subwoofers and audio accessories, has announced the promotion of Nick Brown to the role of vice president, marketing. Brown, who previously served as director of brand communications, is a veteran consumer electronics professional who has a wealth of PR, social media strategy, content development, senior management and digital marketing experience from over 15 years in the industry, including the past five years with SVS and he will be a formidable presence for the rising audio brand.

“Nick has been a huge part of our success the last several years and I’m incredibly grateful for his contribution in making SVS one of the fastest growing audio brands in the world,” says Gary Yacoubian, president and CEO, SVS. “The team is thrilled about his advancement to the next phase of his career and I know he will be a powerful force in driving SVS to even bigger things worldwide.”


James Loudspeaker, designers and manufacturers of décor-friendly entertainment products for both residential, commercial and marine applications, has appointed the MRL Company as its independent sales representation covering North and South Dakota, Minnesota and Western Wisconsin effective November 1, 2018.

"We are excited to work with the team at MRL and have every confidence that James Loudspeaker products will be an ideal fit for integrators throughout the region,” says Keith Parke, national sales director, James Loudspeaker. “MRL is a highly professional organization and we anticipate enhanced brand visibility with key accounts as well an introduction to important new customers in this territory.”


Oct. 31

The SDVoE Alliance has announced that HPC Technology Inc., a Taiwan-based OEM/ODM supplier of AV connectivity solutions, has joined the alliance as an adopting member.

“Over the past two years at HPC, we’ve closely followed the evolution of SDVoE technology and the alliance with great interest,” says Samuel Hsieh, general manager at HPC. “The powerful capabilities of the platform to deliver zero-latency, artifact-free transmission of true 4K60 (4:4:4) video and its wide-ranging applicability to many applications including matrix switches, KVM extenders, video wall controllers and image processors make it the ideal choice for our next-generation professional AV products.”


Atlona has expanded its domestic partner network with the addition of The HWP Company (HWPco)—a professional sales and marketing firm based in Atlanta, Ga.,—as its new manufacturer’s representative in the Southeastern U.S. The six-state territory covers Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee.

HWPco’s sales team will promote Atlona commercial AV products as part of its broad portfolio, with a goal toward supply complete solutions to systems integrators that can serve the AV needs of entire facilities. 


Oct. 30

WiSA LLC, the (Wireless Speaker and Audio) Association, an industry group comprised of over 30 leading brands including founding member Summit Wireless Technologies, has named Scott Taylor vice president of marketing.

Taylor will support the Association’s rapidly expanding ecosystem that includes furthering its footprint in the retail marketplace. He will work closely with WiSA members across the audio, TV and gaming categories to educate consumers, retailers and partners about the association’s mission to make immersive, uncompressed, wireless audio a standard in every home. He will also be integral in ensuring the success of WiSA's partner launches in 2019, while helping WiSA take its place alongside other international standards like HDMI, Bluetooth and others.


Oct. 25

Brilliant has announced three strategic hires: chief financial officer Laurie Chan, vice of business development Lisa Petrucci, and vice president of marketing Michael Williams.

Chan comes from Hewlett Packard Enterprise where she held various leadership roles most recently as segment CFO for the Communications Solutions Business. During her 11-year tenure at Hewlett Packard, Chan oversaw multiple multibillion-dollar lines of business, including their strategic planning, and mergers and acquisitions.

Petrucci has spent more than 20 years in a variety of leadership roles, including channel management, marketing, and sales at companies large and small. Most recently Petrucci led the Global Strategic Alliances team at Dun & Bradstreet where she was responsible for partner revenue, channel strategy, and go to market planning.

Williams brings 14 years of consumer marketing and product experience to lead marketing, communications, and branding. Williams was previously a member of the founding team at Jawbone, where he led marketing, product strategy and partnerships, helping to conceive, develop, and launch eight award-winning products.


Atlona has hired Kathryn Cordina as business development manager for the Western United States. Reporting to director of business development and strategic alliances Michael Crisci, Cordina is responsible for building and strengthening relationships and partnerships to cultivate business opportunities in the region, with an emphasis on the award-winning OmniStream AV over IP platform.

Cordina’s experience in the AV industry began more than two decades ago with her first of two stints in progressively senior sales roles at AMX. She most recently served as a business development manager at Barco, and has also worked on the channel side of the business as a regional sales manager for manufacturers’ representative firm Sapphire Marketing. She will continue to be based in the Dallas, Texas area.


James Loudspeaker, designers and manufacturers of décor-friendly entertainment products for both residential and commercial applications, has appointed Online AV as its independent sales representation covering Ohio, West Virginia, Western Pennsylvania, Indiana, Kentucky and Michigan effective November 1st, 2018.

“Online AV is an impressive organization with a tremendously skilled team covering significant markets for us, and we look forward to establishing the James Loudspeaker brand as a highly valued, top tier vendor partner with this firm," says Keith Parke, national sales director, James Loudspeaker. 

"We are confident that Online AV will increase visibility for James Loudspeaker with residential integrators throughout the region while showcasing our growing stable of fully customizable commercial loudspeaker solutions as well.”    


Nortek Security & Control LLC (NSC), a global manufacturer of wireless security, home automation, access control and health and wellness technologies, has announced that industry veteran Quinto Petrucci has been appointed vice president of product management to lead the company’s combined security and commercial access control product management teams. He reports directly to NSC Executive Vice President of Marketing and Innovation Joe Roberts.

“Quinto brings a strong customer focus and industry knowledge that is a great fit for NSC,” says Roberts. “He is already accelerating the development of innovative solutions that meet the real world needs of our customers across our portfolio of products.” 


Oct. 24

MSE Audio, parent company of SoundTube Entertainment, Soundsphere, dARTS, Phase Technology, Induction  Dynamics, SolidDrive and Rockustics, has announced a partnership with Bistream Media and Cinema Design Group International a showroom in Rochester, New York. The Rochester, a dealer-neutral facility showcases an array of home cinema solutions, and it will host a grand opening on Nov. 9, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. 

“We chose to partner with MSE Audio, because their Induction Dynamics speakers not only sound amazing, but don’t require DSP or EQ filters to sound great,” says Richard Fairbrother, principal for Bitstream Media. “Our experience with Induction Dynamics means we can count on superb clarity and dialogue intelligibility, no matter the volume. No matter what's being fed to them, they handle it with precision and detail. Performance systems do need calibration, but Induction Dynamics lends itself to trouble-free tuning. The systems integrate so tightly with low end, that customers are always amazed how cohesive the system is from high to low frequencies. Induction Dynamics leads to a great emotional experience.”


Oct. 23

Pioneer Music Company (PMC), a regional distributor of consumer and specialty electronics for the Midwestern market and PowerHouse Alliance member, expanded its 149-year-old business with a new, fifth location in Des Moines, Iowa.

According to the company, PMC locations are designed with integrators in mind, and the Des Moines location carries this experience with just-in-time inventory, one-day shipping to anywhere in the territory, and same-day courier service to anywhere in the local metro area. 


Oct. 22

Paul Barton, founder and chief designer for PSB Speakers, received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Toronto Audio Fest.

Recognized for his decades of research and numerous contributions to the loudspeaker industry, Barton was feted at an open reception on the last night of the event. The award is the “Inukshuk” a sculpture depicting a human made of piled stones. 

The award was presented to Barton by Gord Simmonds, president and CEO of Lenbrook and owner of the PSB brand, who commented, “Paul Barton is a true pioneer in every sense of the word. His decades of research at the NRC has helped shape the loudspeakers we know and enjoy today. Even more remarkable is that Paul is still the chief designer of PSB, breaking new ground and doing his best work ever.”


Oct. 18

Nortek Security & Control (NSC), the global manufacturer of smart connected devices and systems for residential security, smart home, access control, and digital health markets, has announced the promotion of Horacio Morales to director of international sales, CI & security. Morales reports directly to NSC vice president of sales Jeff Costello, and is responsible for leading all international sales efforts across the company’s custom installation and security brands.

“As our International Sales Manager for the Latin America and Asia-Pacific regions, Horacio had a substantial impact on our growth,” says Costello. “Recently, we created a new role to leverage the synergies between our control and security business internationally, and are confident that Horacio is the right sales leader to grow ELAN, 2GIG and other brand sales in all regions.” 


DVIGear, a supplier of digital connectivity solutions for professional display applications, has announced that Matthew Pulsipher has been appointed as its product manager for its full range of digital signal distribution products, including its DisplayNet product line.

Most recently, he worked at General Motors where he helped develop and deploy a global document
management system and a media archive system, providing users with instant access to decades of
historical content. Pulsipher has more than six years’ experience in the IT industry and has worked for Brigham Young University and Intermountain Healthcare.


Oct. 17

RTI, a global control and automation manufacturer for residential and commercial settings, has announced that Cyrille Vergely has joined the company as its dealer experience manager, Europe and Middle East. In his new role, he will ensure an exceptional experience for the company's dealers in the region by providing training, technical support and project design assistance.

Vergely has 24 years of experience in the CE and custom installation industry. He began his career with Ciné Laser, where he served as an installer for five years before opening his own business: Home Cinema Services. 

"In my time in the custom installation industry, I've had the opportunity to become very familiar with RTI's products, programming software, and the benefits provided by both," says Vergely. "As a part of the company, I look forward to working closely with our dealers and leveraging my knowledge to help them deliver the best experience possible for their customers."


Oct. 16

AMETEK Electronic Systems Protection (ESP), a leader in advanced power protection solutions has signed a distribution partnership with Amber Technology, a large distributor of high technology equipment to the professional broadcast, film, recording, live production, residential and commercial installation and home entertainment markets in Australia.  

With a head office and warehouse located in Sydney and offices and representatives in all major capital cities supported by a dedicated web of authorized dealers and service agents, Amber Technology has established a nation-wide network to provide a range of brands for broadcast technology, professional audio, commercial and residential AV and consumer electronics across Australia and New Zealand. 

“We are very pleased to be introducing the SurgeX brand to Australia in our portfolio of commercial and residential installation products,” comments Peter Amos, managing director of Amber Technology. “The company and its products have an established history in markets around the world and are renown for their award-winning surge protection technology.”


Oct. 15

Parasound's high-end amplifiers and products for architectural audio will now be available in Canada for the first time in 5 years thanks to a distribution agreement with Gemsen Distribution.

"We have received hundreds of calls and emails from enthusiastic Parasound fans in Canada, demanding our prompt re-entry into the Canadian market," said Parasound's president Richard Schram.  "We are happy to announce that Gemsen Distribution will be Parasound’s new, exclusive distributor for all of Canada.  Gemsen shares Parasound’s same core value of integrity in quality, service and support. We could not be more pleased with this new partnership."

"Gemsen is very excited to represent such a brand as Parasound exclusively in Canada” Stated Mike O’Connor, SVP of Gemsen group of companies.” Rarely do opportunities like this come about."


JL Audio has announced the appointment of Silvio Pupino to the post of Director of International Sales. 

Pupino joins JL Audio with more than 20 years of business experience developing international markets and driving sales in the competitive consumer electronics industry for key audio manufacturers.  Earlier in his career Pupino worked with Pioneer Electronics and Geneva Labs.

Most recently he was with Tivoli Audio where he was responsible for the creation and advancement of the company’s overall international distribution and sales channels.

George Jenkins, JL Audio’s vice president of international sales, says, “Silvio’s strong relationships with dealers and distributors combined with his proven business processes and strategies will be instrumental to JL Audio as we expand and strengthen our global position as a brand leader.”

Pupino’s appointment with JL Audio is effective immediately. 


Oct. 11

Pro Audio Technology (PRO), a supplier of high-output loudspeakers and DSP-programmable amplifier systems, has announced the appointment of Hank Finke to the role of director of sales, overseeing domestic and international markets.

With nearly 30 years of experience in the AV industry working in executive positions for well-known brands, including JBL Synthesis, KEF, Genelec and Lexicon, Finke brings extensive knowledge of AV, a reputation for substantially growing sales, and success introducing brands into new markets.

“Hank is a natural fit and brings a much-needed skill set to the Pro Audio Technology team,” says Paul Hales, founder, president and product designer, Pro Audio Technology. “Since launching Pro Audio Technology 14 years ago, it has grown and matured. Our products continue to be recognized as the ultimate choice for dedicated home theaters, but we have a lot more to offer and exciting things to come in 2019. Adding Hank will bring renewed excitement for the brand with our existing distributors, reps, and dealers, and allow us to introduce PRO into new markets around the globe.”


Oct. 10

The high-performance, luxury audio company Dan D'Agostino has announced that it has moved into a new facility. 

D'Agostino's new facility is located at 5855 East Surrey Rd, Cave Creek, AZ 85331. The new headquarters is triple the size of the company's previous location, and it will house the engineering, production and its sales departments. Some of the new building's features include several engineering workstations, a dedicated wave soldering facility, multiple circuit and product testing locations, and space for future training and sound rooms.


Oct. 9

ProSource, a national audio, video, and integration buying group, has announced the addition of 14 new custom integrator members representing nearly $34.7 million in new revenue for the group and bringing the total of new dealers year-to-date to 40.

The new members are as follows:

  • Absolute AV Design, San Diego, Calif.

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    Don’t miss your chance to enter to win a 2019 BEST Projects Award. We’ll be announcing winners at a special Gala event at CEDIA EXPO. We can’t wait to see what you’ve been up to this year! Enter your projects now.





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