Vincent Bruno, CEDIA CEO
Once he officially assumes the role of CEDIA CEO and the dust clears from EXPO next month, Vin Bruno will begin to put his goals in place for the trade association. For one, he wants to help the entire CEDIA staff become more proficient in the technologies sold and installed by the association’s members. His method? Turning CEDIA headquarters in Indianapolis into an “experience center” by installing various technologies from the industry throughout the CEDIA office. But, more important, Bruno plans to “get in front of CEDIA members,” worldwide, becoming a “forward-facing CEO.”
Bruno, who spent the last seven years as marketing director of Crestron (most recently in charge of building and updating that company's Experience Center and demo spaces worldwide) says that while he loved his time at Crestron, his career aspiration was to become a CEO somewhere.
“I never wanted to leave Crestron, but I aspired to run an organization,” Bruno said.
He said that he was taken aback when he was contacted in May by Los Angeles-based recruiter Korn Ferry.
“First of all, I was surprised because it was from the most world-renowned recruiting firm in the world, and they recruit executives for Fortune 10 companies, and then it was to become the CEO of CEDIA. I thought, ‘I can do this.' This is a nice-size organization. I’m in my third job here at Crestron, and in my entire 31-year career all I’ve done throughout those years is serve the members of CEDIA. You know what that is? Thirty-one years is longer than CEDIA has even been in existence. But I never worked for an organization that didn’t sell our products through dealers and our member integrators are the same people in which I served when I started my career 31 years ago.”
In essence, Bruno noted, he’s “served thousands of integrators, helping them get in and out of jobs, helping them be as profitable as they can be in jobs, and providing technical support, product support, marketing materials.”
Bruno said that he’s also “passionate about CEDIA” and very closely connected to the organization.
“I’m good friends with the previous CEO [Utz Baldwin], and I’m very friendly with the current board members,” he said.
Since that Korn Ferry call on May 13, Bruno said, he’s essentially had two jobs; that’s how intensive this process has been.
“To come away with this [job] after investing my entire summer on it, I can’t tell you how elated I am,” Bruno said. “The people at Korn Ferry told me that by the time I got the job (if I got the job), it would be as if I had been in the job, already. They were right. I feel that I am more than prepared to hit the ground running.
Bruno’s final day at Crestron is September 30, and he will be at work “bright and early” on October 1 at the CEDIA offices where, he said, his first order of business is to “get the heck out of their way as they do the hard work to prepare for EXPO.”
After CEDIA, Bruno’s strategic planning initiatives will become the focus, “doing all of the necessary things for our operation, leadership, and advocacy.” In this area, he said, he is confident in his ability to instill core values for his team’s success.
“We require flawless execution, a sense of urgency, decisiveness, accountability, and teamwork,” he stated. “Then our guiding principles for CEDIA will be providing leadership and a clear direction, inspiration, making people feel valued, providing an environment of continuous improvement, and that the executives of CEDIA and I provide opportunities for people to grow personally and professionally, and that we act with compassion and care and always behave ethically.”
Regarding his plan to be a forward-facing CEO, Bruno says the best place for him is out in front of our members all over the world, while COO Tabitha O’Connor manages the day-to-day operation at headquarters.
“Every opportunity we have to engage the member is the most important thing that we do,” Bruno said of his own role and that of his support staff at HQ. “One of the core values for success that I talk about is sense of urgency," he said. “No one ends their day (and that goes right up until 11:59 p.m.) until they’ve returned every last email or every last phone call. Members in our organization need to know that they have people in the association that care and that whatever request they have is urgent for us. It’s a discipline, and it’s an opportunity. If a member engages with us, there’s nothing more important than for us to engage back with that member.”