The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) announced the 2015 class of inductees into the Consumer Electronics (CE) Hall of Fame at its annual Digital Patriot’s Dinner. The CE Hall of Fame, created in 2000, honors visionaries in the consumer technology industry who have advanced innovation and developed a foundation for the consumer technologies we enjoy today and others yet to come.
“The 2015 class upholds the best tradition of the CE Hall of Fame program, inspiring us with their vision, passion and dedication,” said CEA president and CEO Gary Shapiro. “I am honored to recognize this group of leaders that has brought innovative products and services to consumers, thereby changing our world.”
The 2015 CE Hall of Fame honorees include company founders and inventors, those who promote technology, and the retailers that market and deliver products to consumers. Here are the 2015 inductees:
As president and CEO of Recoton, Robert L. Borchardt helped elevate accessories to a profit center for retailers. He grew his company’s revenue from $3 million to just under $1 billion, establishing Recoton as a global leader in the CE industry.
Tom Campbell began his career in the early 1970s doing radio ads for Cal Stereo, becoming a leading consumer electronics retail executive and consultant who helped many retailers grow and succeed, as well as launch numerous new technologies and products.
One of the early pioneers of the modern connected home, George Feldstein, brought together integrated system controls for audio and video distribution, lighting, HVAC, home theater systems, intercom and video security through the company he founded above a New Jersey delicatessen, Crestron.
As founding chairman of the IEEE 802.11 Working Group for Wireless LANs, Vic Hayes led the seven-year effort to tame the wild west of incompatible and competing wireless protocols and shepherded spectrum allocation issues to establish the Wi-Fi standard, earning him the nickname the “Father of Wi-Fi.”
Noel Lee, the founder of Monster Inc. and the self-described “Head Monster,” established the high-end audio then high-end video interconnection market, as well as introducing the Beats headphone line. He has been arguably the industry’s most enthusiastic evangelist for improving consumers’ audio and video enjoyment through accessories.
As its first director of marketing and later president, Bernie Mitchell helped build Pioneer America into one of the largest marketers of audio products in the U.S., growing from $2 million in sales a year from selling seven products to selling 125 products and generating $238 million per annum.
Pioneering psychoacoustic engineer Dr. Floyd Toole proved via measurements and scientific methodology what constituted “good” sound. As a result of his work, several generations of speaker makers changed how they designed their wares, and his measurement methods have been codified into an industry standard.
Wilfred Schwartz founded and built one of the nation’s largest regional consumer electronics retail chains, the Federated Group, which grew from a single store in Southern California to more than 90 locations across four states in less than 20 years.
The new class of inductees was selected by a panel of media and industry professionals, who judged the nominations submitted online by manufacturers, retailers and industry journalists. The eight new honorees will be inducted into the CE Hall of Fame in New York in conjunction with CEA’s Innovate! conference. CEA will host an awards dinner to honor the new class on Monday, November 9, at Gotham Hall. Information about registering for CEA’s Innovate! and attending the Hall of Fame dinner is available at CE.org.