AV Industry Mourns Death of One of Its Founding Members

CEAVCO Audio Visual just shared the news that CEAVCO’s founder, Jack Emerson, passed away on July 11 after a courageous five-month battle with cancer. He was 90 years old.

CEAVCO put out a statement via LinkedIn that said, “Jack was a man of integrity and exacting standards who believed in service, accountability, and a job well done. He was also one of the warmest, most genuine, and most compassionate people you would ever meet.”

Jack built CEAVCO in 1961 with the goals of creating a great workplace and providing exceptional customer support.

CEAVCO’s post went on to say, “He developed a lifelong reputation for honoring his vision and doing the right thing. He was immensely proud of CEAVCO, our team, our clients and partners, and the work we do. Jack lived life with great passion and joy. This time last year, at age 89, Jack rode his bike 50+ miles a week and skied 30 days. Last year he also took his family to Sweden to visit the land where his great-grandparents farmed before emigrating to the United States.

Our thoughts go out to Jack’s wife, Ann Daley, to Jack’s children, Sara, Lisa, Nina, John and CEAVCO President Matt Emerson and to their entire family. The entire AV industry will miss him.

To give you a feel for Jack’s impact, I’ll quote AV-veteran Nelson Brough’s 2010 post about Jack on LinkedIn, “Jack is without exception one of the smartest and genuine business customers I have had the opportunity to work with in my 25 years in the Audio Visual industry. He is respected not only by his vendors, but also by his employees and customers. He and his sons have built an enormously successful company and I do believe it comes from the philosophy of Jack that he treats all with dignity and honesty. He is sincerely respected by all his business contacts, whether vendors or customers. Any manufacturer in the AV business would be well served if they can gain his respect. I consider him not only a customer but more an example of how to conduct business and more importantly, how to treat all with integrity.”

I echo Nelson’s comments. When I traveled for Extron in my early industry days in the late 1980s — as a completely unknown college graduate new to AV — he not only invited me to his home, but he was also genuinely supportive of my interest in the industry technology. His reputation was earned. RIP Jack.

Memorial contributions may be made to The Denver Hospice, National Sports Center for the Disabled or to the Grand Foundation.

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..