Excellence Compels Recognition: Time to Nominate CE Pro Masters

CE Pro Masters nominations are being accepted for career CE folks who quietly moved up the ladder of success over the past decades and made an honest living, but haven’t occupied the corner office or focused on self promotion. Nominations due by October 30.


Even though a good part of what our industry is all about goes by the tag “home theater,” we probably have more of a relationship with television than we do the silver screen. That occurred to me as I was watching last month’s broadcast of the Emmy Awards.

To bolster my contention, I offer up the “Technology and Engineering” Emmys, which have been a part of the group since 1948. You likely don’t recall many of these. Ironically they aren’t even televised. These awards are given out in a separate ceremony before the glitzy statues in the prime time telecast. They are usually relegated to a brief mention at the main event by some declining TV star while you take a bathroom break.

Many of the Technology Emmys have been won by companies we deal with on a regular basis. Going back to just the start of this century, Sony leads the pack of consumer companies with a half dozen statues. Panasonic, Apple and Microsoft are multiple award winners with old school firms like Dolby, Philips and Sharp racking up a couple each. Second wave tech companies like Netflix and GoPro also have Emmys in their corporate lobby showcases.

These are the “unsung heroes” of the television industry. That’s the same idea behind the CE Pro Masters, now in its third year. 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 and made an honest living and made it well. Some of these people have intentionally stayed out of the spotlight while others have concentrated on their jobs rather than endless self promotion.

We are not looking for CEOs of national chains. Those people get enough ink. Nor are we seeking anyone else in the biz that already gets more than their share of pub. And please, no self-promoters. You know who we mean.

For the past two years you, the CE Pro readership, responded with terrific nominees from every corner of our industry. We’re counting on you to do it again. Excellence of any sort demands recognition and it’s time to recognize once again.

CE Pro Masters: Class of 2014 CE Pro Masters: Class of 2013

As in 2014, we reached out to the past CE Pro Masters (now 40 in all) and asked them to give us their thoughts as to who should join their exclusive club. These prior winners took their task seriously and offered up some great nominees.

In alphabetical order, here are a few folks for your consideration as possible 2015 inductees to the CE Pro Masters:

Rich Black, Lutron, Director Residential Product Management and Business Development: In addition to writing numerous whitepapers on Lutron protocols and applications, Rich has done more than most know to lead and develop many of Lutron’s most successful products and core competencies related to product design, RF protocols, and process/system engineering.

Brad Paulson, U.S. National Sales Manager, Totem Acoustics: Like so many CE Pro Masters nominees, Brad started his career running a high-end stereo store. Praised by some as an evangelist, he’s done his preaching at speaker maker Bowers & Wilkins along with the music server company Sooloos. Today Brad is chief road warrior for emerging speaker brand Totem Acoustics.

Dave Tkachuk, Symbol Logic, Founder: Dave’s roots stretch back to the late 1970s when he started making custom high-end mixing consoles. Along the way he struck up a relationship with Peter, Paul & Mary; touring with them as their audio engineer. When Dave wasn’t on tour, he ran his own custom installation shop. Now he designs for others as owner of Symbol Logic.

So, we begin with three truly 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 to hear from you. 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. Last year we had our first credit manager Master in addition to our initial international inductee.

Nominate yourself if you want to! (This year, for the first time, we will also consider posthumous nominees if that person has passed away within this calendar year.)

Here’s the ballot:

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: (Please 50 words or less):
  • Your Name:
  • City/State:
  • Occupation:

You may nominate as many people as you’d like. One per ballot/email please. Please send your completed ballots to Jason Knott at jknott@ehpub.com. Again, the deadline is Friday, October 30, 2015.

Winners will be featured in the December 2015 print issue of CE Pro and on CEPro.com.page.

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.