ESPA Names Jeff Gardner as Executive Director

The Electronic Systems Professional Alliance (ESPA) has named Jeff Gardner as its first executive director. Gardner has been director of technical training and industry certification at CEDIA for nine years.


The Electronic Systems Professional Alliance (ESPA) has named Jeff Gardner as its first executive director. He takes this position after nine years on staff at CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association), directing both technical training and industry certification.

“Due to the huge demand for technicians in the electronic systems industry, ESPA has been expanding fast, in the number of certifications as well as academic partners. The time is right for the program to have full-time professional leadership to ensure that the growth continues,” says ESPA Board of Directors Chairman Chuck Wilson, NSCA executive director.

Gardner’s responsibilities include managing the certification process and supporting resources, bringing on schools as Authorized Training Partners, raising awareness of the EST career path among students, and gaining additional support among other industry stakeholders.

“I am very excited about this opportunity,” says Gardner. “Finding qualified people is the number one challenge facing systems integrators today, and ESPA can play a key role in addressing that problem.”

ESPA is a not-for-profit trade association whose mission is the training and certification of entry-level technicians in any of the low-voltage trades (commercial, residential, cable, satellite, security, and more). It is a collaborative effort of three major associations: National Systems Contractors Association (NSCA), Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA), and Consumer Technology Association (CTA, formerly CEA). Its curriculum and testing is delivered primarily through career centers and post-secondary tech schools. The ESPA Certified-EST credential is the only professional certification which is common to both residential and commercial installed systems.