It’s CE Pro Masters Nominating Time

CE Pro is seeking nominations for 5th annual CE Pro Masters recognizing ‘unsung heroes’ of the industry. Deadline for nominations is October 31, 2017.


As certain as the Vernal Equinox and a New England Patriots beat down of the New York Jets, it’s time to nominate true unsung heroes from our industry: CE Pro Masters.

This year is a little special. It’s the 5th Anniversary of the process that began as a little award idea dubbed “Old Farts” back in 2013Once again, we are asking our readers to help the cause. For the past four years you have responded with terrific nominees from every corner of our industry. We’re counting on you to do it again.

We are looking for career CE folks, pretty much right around 50-years-old or so, who quietly moved up the ladder of success over the past three or four decades, made an honest living and made it well. We are not looking for people who already get more than their share of ink. Some of these people have intentionally stayed out of the spotlight while others have concentrated on their jobs rather than endless self promotion. You know who we mean.

Check out last year's list: 14 CE Pro Masters of 2016

Remember we now consider posthumous nominations if the person being considered left us in the past year.

This year we are asking you to scour the landscape a bit more broadly. On the vendor level, think about career customer service, tech support or credit managers who fit the profile. Also, in addition to rep principals and CI business owners, consider long time salespeople and other employees.

As in years past, we reached out to the past CE Pro Masters (now 70 members strong) and asked them to give us their thoughts as to who should join their exclusive club. These prior inductees took their task seriously and offered up some great nominees. Here are a few for your consideration.

Jeffrey Boccaccio, President, DPL Laboratories, Inc. It’s an honor to introduce one of my fellow freelancers as a CE Pro Masters nominee. Like most of us, Jeff began in retail at a family owned audio store in greater Boston. An accomplished speaker and writer, he now makes the show circuit as well as writing a monthly column for CE Pro. The subject? All HDMI, all the time. At his DPL Lab, he is constantly testing and certifying the latest in cable. Maybe it’s time for Jeff to be certified.

Coleen Sterns Leith, President, Marketing Matters. Starting a marketing company is one of those ventures, like opening a restaurant, that looks easy from the outside. They’re not. To celebrate 20 successful years as owner of a marketing firm, especially in a tumultuous niche like Consumer Electronics–with a client list of impressive brands–is a true phenomenon. A frequent blogger, Coleen is also author of an Amazon listed book, Ultra Hi Def Marketing: The 5-Step Guide to Total World Domination in the Tech Industry.

Kevin Zarow, Vice President, Audio/Video Specialty & Custom Integration, Sound United. Zarow flew in to visit my territory to do some Marantz training shortly after he joined the company as training manager in 1996. When I dropped him at the airport, I shook his hand and presciently told him “Someday you’re gonna run this company.” Surviving more management changes than your local 7-11, Kevin persevered and quietly moved up the ladder to the top. With the D+M/Sound United merger now complete, there are even more A-level brands under his direction.

So, we begin with three really terrific nominees. If you know any of these notable individuals and think them worthy, then by all means please vote for them.

But, like every year, we want your best candidates. Below is a ballot to fill out and get back to us by Halloween. Nominate a friend, a co-worker, a boss, an employee, manufacturer, distributor, rep, retailer, integrator, owner, management, sales, marketing, engineer, designer, installer, customer service or finance. Foreign or domestic. Nominate yourself if you want to!

Here’s the ballot:

The CE Pro Masters Nomination Form

  • Person You Are Nominating
  • His/Her Current Position
  • His/Her Other Positions of Note
  • His/Her Years in CE
  • Why the Person Is Worthy of Recognition (50 words or less)
  • Your Name
  • City/State
  • Occupation

You may nominate as many people as you’d like. One per ballot/email please. Send your completed ballots to Jason Knott at

Deadline for nominations is October 31, 2017.

Winners will be featured in the December 2017 print issue of CE Pro and on page in early December. 

About the Author

Chuck Schneider
Chuck Schneider:

Chuck Schneider is a freelance writer with a long history in consumer electronics. He started and restarted his award-winning manufacturer’s representative firm - Value Added Marketing - and was also a vice president and general merchandise manager for a multi-regional CE chain, as well as a buyer for Lechmere's (a division of Target). Today, he is a freelance writer.