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Women in CE Reveals 2014 Legacy Award Recipients

Women in Consumer Electronics (CE), an industry organization that promotes the advancement of women in the CE industry, has revealed the recipients of its 2014 Legacy Awards.

Women in Consumer Electronics (CE), an industry organization that promotes the advancement of women in the CE industry, has revealed the recipients of its 2014 Legacy Awards.

The 2014 honorees are top-level executives from the entertainment, consumer products, market research, and retail sectors. In addition, the organization will be recognizing the Carol Campbell Inspiration Award honoree as well as the newly added “Woman to Watch” recipient.

“Our members continue to inspire us with their remarkable contributions to the consumer electronics industry,” said Carol Campbell, founder of Women in CE. “The 2014 honorees are leaders that have displayed a sustained commitment to innovation, growth, and continuous improvement within a broad range of industry areas. This year we’re also excited to celebrate a young rising star with our ‘Woman to Watch’ distinction, as well as pay tribute to our Inspiration Award recipient for her immeasurable contributions to our organization.”

The Women in CE Class of 2014 will be honored at a reception during the 2014 CES in Las Vegas at 8:00 p.m. on January 7, preceded by a cocktail hour at 7:00 p.m. The Master of Ceremonies will be Tara Dunion, senior director of communications at Consumer Electronics Association. Tickets to the event can be purchased online.

The recipients of the 2014 Women in CE Legacy Awards:

Sandra Benedetto — Director of Product Management at THX Ltd.
With over twenty years of senior management experience in the digital video and interactive multimedia industries, Sandra has worked in product management, applications engineering, marketing, and sales, as well as software development and content production on Web, Blu-ray Disc, DVD, and CD-ROM titles. In her current role at THX, she heads app technology development on mobile and smart device platforms. 

Sandra holds a graduate degree in communications and technology from New York University and attended the Electrical Engineering program at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. In addition, she holds a technical certification from the Institute of Audio Research and an undergraduate degree in sociology from Ramapo College. She is often invited to speak about new technologies and products at industry conferences and events.

Deena Ghazarian — Vice President of Global Sales and Strategy for Monster Cable Products, Inc. 
Before joining the consumer electronics industry in 2000, Deena worked in the world of fashion for 10 years. Deena has worked for ReplayTV, AVAD, and Monster, and from the day she came to the world of consumer electronics, she has paved new paths for many people in the industry. Deena is one of the biggest supporters of Women in CE and believes that servant leadership is the most effective way to lead, practicing it every day by helping her direct reports succeed in their own careers. 

Deena is a proud graduate of Claremont McKenna College with a triple degree in politics, philosophy, and economics. She is an even prouder mother of two beautiful daughters, Ella and Chloe, and wife to Artin Ghazarian, a VP of operations with Macy’s department stores.

Tricia Parks — Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Parks Associates
Tricia leads Parks Associates, a market analysis and research company dedicated to providing meaningful information and counsel to companies offering technology-based products aimed at improving people’s lives. She presents worldwide on consumer trends, market requirements, and industry structure. Parks Associates hosts CONNECTIONS, an international conference and showcase for the digital home held in the United States, and CONNECTIONS Europe, which focuses on market opportunities for digital products and services in European countries.

Tricia has served on a variety of industry boards including CEA’s Home Networks Committee, the National Research Council’s committee for the Partnership to Advance Technology In Housing (PATH) program, the AMD Global Consumer Advisory Board, and CABA. Tricia has a bachelor’s degree from Sweet Briar College and did graduate studies at the University of Texas.

Kathleen Thomas — Vice President of Domestic Sales, AudioQuest
Kathleen was raised in the consumer electronics industry, and her first “legitimate” job was as an AV salesperson at HiFi Buys in Atlanta, and later at Magnolia Audio Video in Seattle. In 2000 she moved to Berkeley, CA, to work at Sumiko, an importer and distributor of fine European audio — initially as technical and dealer support, and eventually as a regional sales manager for the Pacific Northwest. In 2007 she joined AudioQuest, earning the Regional Manager of the Year award in her first year, even though she was on maternity leave for part of it. In 2010 she was made National Sales Manager, and became VP of domestic sales for AudioQuest in 2011. 

Kathleen lives in the Seattle area with her husband and her two young daughters, who share her love of technology and music.

Carol Campbell Inspiration Award: Deb Kassoff — Senior Manager, Member Programs CEA
Deb has been in the consumer electronics industry since 2000, overseeing programs that increase engagement and participation in the Consumer Electronics Association’s member activities and policy initiatives. In her current role as senior manager of member programs, Deb manages professional education programs offered through the CEA Small Business Certificate Program and continues to grow the CEA Mentor Program. She also focuses on involving CEA members in the association’s policy campaigns. In 2009 Deb was recognized as one of the “Top 40 Under 40” by the editors of Dealerscope magazine.

Woman to Watch: Nicole Yelland — Director of Marketing and Communications, Livio
Nicole Yelland ditched the corporate grind in 2010 for a chance to play by her own rules at Livio, which she has succeeded in growing into an award-winning and visible brand in the automotive infotainment technology space. Her scrappy style and tenacious efforts have resulted in co-founding Social Media Day Detroit in partnership with Mashable, securing millions of media impressions worldwide annually, and developing a brand internship program with 100-percent job placement upon graduation at Livio. Prior to joining Livio, Nicole worked as an account executive at Airfoil with clients such as Starbucks, PayPal, and Syneron. She then went on to manage social media for the Detroit Red Wings and was behind the launch of quick response (QR) codes in arena programs, establishing the franchise as the first professional sports team to use this technology and earning national media attention for this effort. 

Nicole earned her undergraduate degree in integrative public relations at Central Michigan University. She now sits on the CMU’s Integrative Public Relations advisory board. She is also a member of the Consumer Electronics Association’s (CEA) Communications Committee, Women in Consumer Electronics, and the GENIVI Alliance Marketing Team.

Women in CE provides women in the CE industry with a community in which to share essential resources and connect with others who are focused on the same vision of empowerment, building networks, and supporting career opportunities. Member benefits include a mentoring program, online resources, and live events.