Nominate an Industry Hero: 4th Annual CE Pro Masters Induction Ballot

A CE Pro Master is an unsung industry hero who quietly moved up the ladder of success, bettered the CE industry and deserves to be recognized. Nominate someone today. Deadline: October 31.


Ah autumn! It’s my favorite season of all. And research shows I’m in the majority as there are scores of Internet surveys out there conducted by people with too much time on their hands confirming my choice.

Just warm enough days and cool, no A/C nights. Football almost every day plus baseball playoffs and the World Series.

And then there’s pumpkin spice. It’s now so much more than lattes, muffins and candles. It’s just a matter of time before gift shop shelves will be stocked with pumpkin spice caulking compound, topical pain ointment and Meow Mix.

I live in a suburb of Plymouth, Mass., a New England tourist area where autumn is nearly as important to the local economy as summer. We locals stay away from the waterfront until after Halloween lest we dodge cars with unfamiliar license plates and buses full of folk with odd accents looking for cranberry wreathes and real maple syrup.

After dining on clam chowda and a boiled lobsta it‘s time for some serious leaf peeping with selfies next to trees that haven’t yet turned color. Before boarding the bus, there’s the “must see” Plymouth Rock, also known as our local goof on all the tourists. Spoiler alert: If you ever visit us here in “America’s Home Town,” skip it. It’s really nothing more than a rock.

Autumn also brings an event that no reader of CE Pro should ever skip, voting for inductees to the CE Pro Masters. Now it its fourth year, this highly anticipated award salutes the unsung heroes of our industry.

Know an Unsung Industry Hero?

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 three years you, the CE Pro readership, have 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.

Last year we began to accept posthumous nominations if the person being considered had died in the past year. This year we are also asking you to scour 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.

As in years past, we reached out to the past CE Pro Masters (now 55 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.

Here are two folks for your consideration as possible 2016 inductees to the CE Pro Masters:

Joe Finn, NEAR, Director of Sales: For over three decades Joe has held management positions for sales and/or training for the A-list of CE Vendors. An accomplished public speaker, Joe has spoken at shows and conferences worldwide.

Jim Ristow, AVB/Brand Source, CEO: Jim has been in the CE business since right after college. After stints at Radio Shack and Best Buy, he started his own shop and joined AVB as a dealer. Shortly thereafter, he sold his stores to devote all his energy to the group.

So, we begin with two truly terrific nominees. If you know either 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. 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

The deadline is Monday, October 31, 2016.

Winners will be featured in the December 2016 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.