AV Industry Loses Another Icon as John Stiernberg Passes

John Stiernberg, 66, president and founder of Stiernberg Consulting, passed away Nov. 11, 2017, after a months-long battle with cancer.

A Chicago area native, John was deeply committed to his college sweetheart and wife of 45 years, the former Jeanne Broughton. Together they founded Stiernberg Consulting in 1993, a seminal business development consultancy within the music, audio-video, and entertainment technology industry. Despite his influential role as a guiding force behind many of the industry’s success stories, John maintained an intentionally understated, behind the scenes profile to keep the spotlight on his clients.

An accomplished bluegrass and gospel musician, John was an ardent music lover and aficionado, with an encyclopedic knowledge that spanned multiple genres and eras. He embraced technology with equal fervor, cultivating a keen insight and understanding of consumer and professional technologies. But it was John’s business acumen that informed his work, guiding the CEOs and business trajectories of the industry’s dominant players and rising stars.

A fervent supporter of music and technology education, John was active in numerous trade organizations including NAMM, InfoCommNSCA, and CEDIA. A dynamic keynote speaker, he was a frequent contributor to industry publications, creating hundreds of white papers and reports, and authoring the acclaimed music industry guidebook, Succeeding in Music: Business Chops for Performers and Songwriters.

John was an amazingly thoughtful man – very humble and unassuming, yet brilliant. I had an opportunity to work directly with him on a long-term-strategy committee for NSCA years ago and it would be hard to name another person as customer-focused or as respected as he was

John is survived by his wife Jeanne; his mother, Myra Stiernberg, of Tillamook, OR; brother Donald Stiernberg and sister-in-law Ilene Stiernberg of Skokie, IL; niece Bonnie Stiernberg of Brooklyn, NY; nephew Charlie Stiernberg of Chicago, IL; and brother-in-law Matthew Broughton of Ripon, WI.

In lieu of flowers, the family has suggested a donation to one of many charitable causes John was committed to, including the NAMM Foundation, as well as Bay City United Methodist Church, Bay City, Ore.

Memorial services are pending. Please share your memories of John below in the comments.

Gary Kayye

About Gary Kayye

Gary Kayye, founder of rAVe Publications, is one of the most prominent personalities in the audiovisual industry. He has been a contributor to WIRED magazine and a technical advisor and columnist for Sound & Communications magazine as well as an opinionated columnist for rAVe [Publications] since 2003. In addition to his writing and market analysis, Gary has been a product, marketing and business operations consultant to dozens of AV companies in the U.S. and overseas. Clients have included companies such as Sony, Sharp, Epson, Lutron, InFocus, Sanyo, Mitsubishi, NEC and Philips.   Gary, who has been involved with the audiovisual market for over 20 years, was the recipient of the InfoComm 2003 Educator of the Year Award and the 2007 NSCA Instructor of the Year Award. Over the years, he has donated much of his time as an active volunteer in the AV industry’s trade association and served as chairman of InfoComm’s Professional Education & Training Committee (PETC), chairman of the ICIA Design School Committee and chairman of InfoComm’s Installation School Committee. In addition, he has served on the InfoComm board of governors. He also helped grow the InfoComm Projection Shoot-Out as the premiere AV industry trade show special event serving on the committee from 1991 through 1997, and was instrumental in launching the Shoot-Out in the European market at the Photokina Expo in 1994 and 1996 as well as the Asian market at the 1995 and 1997 INFOCOMM Asia shows.   Prior to founding his own company, Gary was vice president of sales and marketing for AMX Corporation (www.amx.com), a manufacturer specializing in professional AV and residential AV control systems. Prior to AMX, Gary spent nine years at Extron Electronics (www.extron.com), rising to the position of vice president of sales and marketing. Gary earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1987 from the University of North Carolina and is currently Adjunct Faculty at UNC in the School of Journalism teaching a class on how future technologies will affect the future of advertising, PR and marketing.   He is also the founder of Swim for Smiles, a non-profit that raises money for the N.C. Children’s Hospital through swimming and other fitness-related events for kids. You can contact him at gary@ravepubs.com..