AVIXA Announces 2018 Award Winners, to Be Honored at InfoComm 2018 in Las Vegas


AVIXA has announced the 2018 recipients of its annual awards. Honorees will be recognized in a ceremony on InfoComm 2018’s Center Stage at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Wed., June 6, at 4 p.m.

Each year, AVIXA recognizes outstanding AV professionals for their contributions, leadership, and commitment to excellence. In 2018, the AVIXA Awards Committee received a record number of nominations from across the AV industry and named winners for the Adele De Berri Pioneers of AV, Mackey Barron Distinguished Achievement, Fred Dixon Service in Education, CTS Holder of the Year, Educator of the Year, Women in AV and Young AV Professionals awards. The Harald Thiel Volunteer of the Year Award is bestowed by AVIXA staff.

“AVIXA remains committed to honoring accomplished AV professionals who support not only the industry itself, but also the users of audiovisual solutions,” said David Labuskes, CTS, CAE, RCDD, Chief Executive Officer, AVIXA. “Their significant contribution, innovation, mentorship, and volunteerism have helped set the bar for AV experiences and impacted positively the way people and organizations communicate, entertain, learn, and more. We are gratified by the number of great nominees, and we thank the Awards Committee members for their hard work.”

The 2018 AVIXA Award winners are:

Adele De Berri Pioneers of AV Award:

Pat Quilter
Founder and Chairman of the Board, QSC

Barry and John Andrews
Founders, QSC

What started 50 years ago as Quilter Sound Company became QSC under founders Quilter and the Andrews brothers, leading technological advances across several audio product categories. One of the honorees’ lasting legacies, since the time Quilter personally led QSC’s original development team, was in the advancement of power amplifier technology. QSC also drove innovation in powered loudspeakers, and recently, the founders saw to fruition their almost-20-year vision of software-based processing.

Mackey Barron Distinguished Achievement Award

Mike Weems, CTS
Retired, Harman

As the professional AV industry began to take its current form, Weems, whose career included positions at Sony, InFocus, NetStreams, Sanyo, and Harman, understood that without training, certification and standardization, the industry couldn’t grow and reach its potential. Starting almost from scratch, Weems and a team of industry volunteers created the framework that still exists today and helped advance the careers of thousands of AV professionals.

Fred Dixon Service in Education Award

Scott Sharer
Owner and Senior Consulting Engineer, Communication Design Group

A past Educator of the Year, Sharer has been a pioneering, influential and popular instructor at InfoComm shows and other industry events around the world. Sharer created some of the industry’s first videoconferencing training, made engaging through his use of digital technologies so that students could experience as they learned. Sharer pioneered many of the best practices that define modern unified communications and collaboration. The author of hundreds of articles and books, he is recognized worldwide as an expert in videoconference system and network design.

Harald Thiel Volunteer of the Year Award

Rodrigo Ordóñez, CTS-D
Principal, K2 Audio

Ordóñez is a longtime AVIXA volunteer, serving currently on the Certification Steering Committee. Over the last seven years, he has also served on the CTS-D Item Writing, CTS Renewal, and Appeals subcommittees, as well as the CTS Scheme Review subcommittee, which has been active in re-evaluating the CTS structure and recommending changes to the exam. Ordóñez is also a veteran AVIXA instructor, teaching network technologies at the InfoComm show in the United States and in-language AV content at InfoComm events in Latin America.

See also  InfoComm's Most Wanted

Dick Tollberg, CTS-D
Senior Design Engineer, AVI-SPL

One of AVIXA’s most widely accepted standards is AVIXA V202.01:2016 Display Image Size for 2D Content in Audiovisual Systems (DISCAS). One of DISCAS’ earliest developers and ongoing champions is longtime AVIXA volunteer Tollberg. He played a critical role on the task group that created the standard and spearheaded the creation of the DISCAS “calculator” – an online tool for crunching the numbers necessary for creating an optimal viewing experience.

CTS Holder of the Year Award

Michael Pedersen, CTS-D, CTS-I
Senior Staff Engineer, Mechdyne

In 1999, Pedersen was the sixth full-time Mechdyne employee. In 2012, he became one of only about 300 AV professionals worldwide to hold both CTS-D and CTS-I certifications. He is a consummate volunteer and educator. In addition to being an AVIXA adjunct faculty member, he gives his time and expertise to the local Marshalltown (Iowa) High School, Marshalltown Community College, and nearby Iowa State University. Committed to STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education, Pedersen is also a member of Iowa’s STEM Advisory Council.

Educator of the Year Award

Hope Roth, CTS
Lead Programmer, Riordan Brothers

Roth was a member of the inaugural class of AVIXA/IMCCA Emerging Trends Fellows at InfoComm 2017, where she presented on the future of control systems programming. She also taught the three-day CTS Prep course at the 2017 show and continues to spearhead a CTS study group to help women in commercial AV attain their industry certification.

Women in AV Award

Maricel Cruz
Audiovisual Engineer, ASTAD

Cruz is a talented, committed AV engineer based in Doha, Qatar. In her 10 years in the industry, she has worked on more than 30 major projects across the Middle East, including the Meydan Racecourse in Dubai, the Qatar National Library, and the National Museum of Qatar. At ASTAD, she is a driving force behind the implementation of company standards, best practices and specifications. Colleagues call Cruz a role model for other women in the region, demonstrating ways to impact the workplace and make significant contributions to business outcomes.

Samantha Phenix
Vice President, Research and Development, Leyard and Planar

Phenix’s 20-year career has spanned engineering, business development, and corporate leadership. She has been named on various technology patents, innovated display technology across multiple demanding vertical markets, and maintained leadership roles at companies such as Leyard and Planar, Intel, Dell, and Barco. Phenix serves on the Board of AVIXA, as well as the AVIXA Foundation. In 2017, she was recognized as an Industry Innovator by NewBay Media.

Young AV Professionals Award<

Annabelle Gazzo
Director of Marketing, Media Vision

Gazzo’s multidisciplinary and multicultural background helps break down silos and advance the AV industry in an integrated fashion. She operates in nine global markets, developing localized content marketing strategies in three languages. Gazzo is an advocate for diversity in the workplace and uses her legal studies to support improvements in AV business practices and human resources.

Luke Jordan, CTS-I
Account Manager, Electro Acoustics

Jordan was the 2016 CTS Holder of the Year and serves as Chair of the AVIXA Integrators Council. He is a champion of AVIXA certifications and led Electro Acoustics to attain the designation of AVIXA Audiovisual Provider of Excellence (APEx). Jordan and his team at Electro Acoustics have created a farm system, partnering with local community colleges to identify qualified individuals, offer training, and guide them toward rewarding AV careers.

AVIXA is here and InfoComm is here.

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..