2015 CTA Hall of Fame Inductees
The Consumer Technology Association (CTA), formerly the Consumer Electronics Association, has inducted eight industry leaders into its CE Hall of Fame, including Crestron founder George Feldstein and pioneering psychoacoustic engineer Dr. Floyd Toole.
CTA created the Hall of Fame in 2000 to honor industry visionaries. With the 2015 class, the Hall of Fame swells to 217 inventors, engineers, retailers, journalists, and entrepreneurs who conceived, promoted, and/or wrote about the innovative technologies, products, and services that connect and improve the lives of consumers around the world.
In addition to Feldstein and Toole, this year's honorees were Robert L. Borchardt, president and CEO of Recoton; Tom Campbell, retail executive and consultant; Vic Hayes, founding chairman of the IEEE 802.11 Working Group and the "father of wi-fi"; Noel Lee, founder of Monster; Bernie Mitchell, president at Pioneer; and Wilfred Schwartz, founder of Federated Group.
"The Hall of Fame recognizes the innovators in the consumer technology industry and celebrates the vibrant history that we share,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CTA. “These leaders create, promote, merchandise, and advance the products, services and technologies that often bring about disruptive change that ultimately improves consumers' lives. Each of the 2015 inductees had a strong vision and the tenacity and drive to bring their ideas to market."
Recoton's Robert Borchardt also was honored as a former CEA chairman in the 1990s. His son Greg accepted his award and noted, "He was passionate about new technology and he truly believed that innovation is the key driver to economic growth and opportunity in our country and worldwide."
Borchardt also talked about his father's excitement for the industry. "He looked forward to the first day of CES every year like many young children look forward to Christmas morning," he added.
Retail executive and technology evangelist Tom Campbell said during his acceptance remarks. "Retail is not dead; it's evolving.” He added, “What we have now is not an electronics store, it's a digital technology store. The consumer is embracing tech like never before."
A love of music inspired several honorees in their careers. Harman's Dr. Floyd Toole explained his career path. He said, "Anyone who gets involved in audio is there because they enjoy participating in the appreciation of music, and that was true of me."
Noel Lee affirmed those sentiments. He said, "It's really hard to imagine that you can build an industry on a piece of wire, but that was a dream that I had, being an audiophile."
The inductees were chosen by a panel of industry judges from nominations submitted online. Judging for the 2015 Hall of Fame took place in February in New York.