Over the past five years, I have volunteered for CEDIA on multiple levels, yet have never had much interaction with its board of directors. I have, however, seen the photographs of past board chairmen/presidents on the wall at headquarters and after not realizing that there is not one female face in the group, I thought, this needs to change. (Disclaimer: There have been four women on the board since CEDIA’s inception in 1989.)
Two years ago, I presented an award at the show and met a member of the board. After some conversation, he asserted, “You need to be on the CEDIA board.” This year he nominated me.
My company is busier than we have ever been, and my two girls are still young; I had to step back and contemplate if I could afford to be on the board, too.
To be frank, I believe that CEDIA is in a precarious position. Between e-commerce giants gobbling up sales, and the lack of a CEO since Vin Bruno’s abrupt exit early this year has given the association a bit of a black eye. Without the right people on the board, it is my belief that that CEDIA will be in trouble. We are at a precipitous and must step forward carefully; we cannot afford to stand still. If I ran and won, I would be walking into the storm, and yet, I have adopted Gandhi’s great words to “be the change you wish to see in the world,” and I do believe in CEDIA.
After soul searching and speaking to my family, I have decided to run, and here is why I think I would be a powerful addition.
To Provide Perspective: I am a woman, and CEDIA’s board has lacked direct female perspective for several years.
Women and men think differently, and both sexes should be on every board and in every work place to create a cohesive environment. Otherwise, we are only getting one side of the story. It has been proven that women tend to perform better at tasks involving the bigger picture and situational thinking, while men tend to excel better at singular tasks. You need both sides!
My perspective also comes as a small business owner running a successful company in upstate New York. I personally work with clients daily as I grapple with the other extraordinary facets of running a small business. This “front-line” experience would be a valuable point of view.
Writing for Residential Systems over the past few years has also afforded me a perspective that not all of my colleagues have experienced. I am not just studying what brands, models, and problems I have, but what is moving the trade along. Writing reignited my interested in our AV world and has continued to be one of my favorite outlets.
A Chance to Give Back: In past articles, I have spoken about how my tech career was elevated through the CEDIA show. Year after year I would attend CEDIA and take a different educational track, from accounting to audio and everywhere in between. Since I would not be who I am today without the association, I would like the opportunity to give back to the CEDIA community. Being a volunteer is something I have already been a part of for years, and this would just bring me to the next level.
I See the Potential: Throughout my years in this industry — especially over the last five — I have had the opportunity to meet amazing people. There’s so much potential, if we work together. With the right people at the table, I do believe that there is more to accomplish if given the opportunity.
Today, CEDIA is a global trade association of 3,700-member companies that represent every facet of the ever-evolving technology market. The goal of the organization is to power integrators’ passion by providing development pathways that move them to the next level through education, community, resources, and vision.
We are a passionate group that can overcome our speed bumps.
My hat is in the ring.