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Dealing with Change

I have never been a big fan of change. I practically lived in the same place for 18 years growing up. I attended one university, studied one academic major, chose one basic career path, and then stuck with them. Yep, Im a really wild guy.

The craziest thing I ever did was move to New York City at the age of 25 with a brand-new job and no place to live. Now after 11 years and three apartments (somebody stop me!), having added a wife, a dog, and a daughter (in that order) to my life, Im cashing in my big city chips to return home to the family-friendly Indianapolis area.

For the most part, I am embracing this newest change in my life. It will mean moving from a noisy, 600-square-foot Manhattan one-bedroom apartment to a beautiful 3,300-square-foot house on a lush half acre piece of property. It will mean no morning or evening subway commute to my spacious home office each workday. And, it will mean more space for my daughter to run and get into trouble (ditto for my wife and dog). And, yet, it makes me sad to think about saying goodbye to the place and people that have become part of my life over the past 11 years.

Ill miss New York for all of the same reasons that most people prefer to visit, and not live there. I love the city for its unique character and its unique characters, for its unnatural beauty (even my favorite hangout, Central Park, is manmade), and for its conveniences. Yes, its noisy and the living space is cramped, but a short walk to the subway or out to the store can take your mind off whatever is bothering you. You cant beat the people watching and the pace keeps you mentally sharp.

In the end, however, I know this big change in my life will be good for me. Most of them are. Change helps us to grow and forces us out of ruts and into new ways at looking at the world around us.

I recently spoke with an original CEDIA member who was lamenting the changes to the almost 20-year-old custom installation

industry. This person said that CEDIA and the industry were not like they used to be. I didnt argue with this individual, but was reminded again of one of my dads favorite small-town expressions, People want progress, but they dont like change.

I have observed the changes that CEDIA has undergone since I joined the association back in 1996. Even in that amount of time, Ive seen the industry undergo major alterations, leaders come and go, and standards rise up where none existed. It is easy to get annoyed with the cost of CEDIA membership and the evolving rules of membership, but there is no ulterior motive at work. Your industry peers, who make the major decisions that affect your CEDIA membership, have your best interests in mind. They know that standards are lacking in our business and that your membership in the association needs credibility.

What once was a collection of like-minded hobbyists trying to find a voice within a much larger consumer electronics industry, has grown into a serious business that is often the key to success or failure when it comes to leading-edge technology development.

Some of you may miss what this industry used to be, but change has enabled this industry to survive and grow. Without change, I may never have a backyard for my daughter and you might still be selling tube televisions and 2-channel audio systems.