A Very Special AV Power Up: Call It -Another- WIN for the Industry

A show which began in March of 2015 and has covered the gamut of technologies, influencers and issues in as well as outside of the industry, has just revisited a topic of discussion that first took place in May of last year – the first time we have done so. This time with a new Crew and new guests, we talked about something that has been a long time issue, that being the challenges women face in the audio visual industry, as well as the world of technology in general. While things have gotten somewhat better, there is still much work to be done.

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In the May 2015 AV Power Up! Episode 6: “We’re Talking a WIN for the AV Industry” the Crew of myself, Chuck Espinoza, Christa Bender, Hope Roth, Stacy Kringlen, Johnny Mota and Rich Prevete welcomed guests Erin Bolton – then Chair of the Women of InfoComm Network (WIN), Jane Johnson (who was working closely with Erin on WIN efforts) and InfoComm’s Brad Grimes to discuss, as part of the writeup stated: the Women of InfoComm Network and the great efforts being brought forth to help further empower and bring community to women who work in the audio visual industry.

In this episode we explored the issues that women have faced in the AV industry and how InfoComm had put together this organization and the Council’s mission and intentions. We also talked about the upcoming InfoComm show and the WIN Breakfast and Council Meeting that would be taking place there. During the show Erin asked Hope if she would like to speak at the Council meeting and for me it still represents a tremendous moment in the short history of AV Power Up, as I took great pride in the fact that this occurred on the show that I co-created and produce. In fact Christa being a part of the WIN/CTS efforts with Hope adds to that pride as well.

As I told Erin I would do during the podcast, I attended both the WIN Breakfast (which was a packed sold-out room of women and men) and Council Meeting at the show – and here are the two blogs that I wrote:

Covering InfoComm 2015 – The Women of InfoComm Network: Part 1, The WIN Breakfast

Covering InfoComm 2015 – The Women of InfoComm Network: Part 2, Inspiration and Aspirations (which includes a video of Hope’s speech)

Weeks back, I noticed something that made me stop what I was doing and send an immediate e-mail to my very good friend Penny Sitler, whom I’ve known since mid-2014 as we (along with others) were deeply involved in a controversial situation concerning the InfoComm show that year and the usage of “booth babes,” something we both wrote on. I reached out to Penny back then to ask her if she would do an interview as part of a major piece I was writing that included other industry women as well, which Penny very graciously agreed to take time out of her weekend to do the interview (writing this one was a story in itself). This all proved to me Penny’s deep involvement in the industry and its issues, and I’m thankful that she agreed to do this interview:

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AV, Women and A Bright New Day (quotes from Gina Sansivero with FSR Inc, Victoria Ferrari with Synergy CT and Karen Smidt with Milestone AV Technologies also appear in the blog)

(In fact after this I was inspired to do a series called “Women in AV – The Three,” a three-part series which Penny assisted me with as she interviewed a woman whom she considered highly influential in the industry. My interview was with Cory Schaeffer whom I had also just met at the time, to this day another very important friendship for me).

Back to my e-mail – I noticed that Penny had been named the new Chair of the Women of InfoComm Network Council and while I of course congratulated her, I also invited her to be a guest of ours on AV Power Up and she did immediately agree. I had informed Brad Grimes and he asked if Betsy Jaffe, Sr. VP of Member Services at InfoComm International could be on with us as well and of course I agreed. Our third guest on the show came at the request of Penny – and that was Hope, an almost full circle for her not only being a major part of WIN now, but also her first guest appearance on a show that was hers for a long time along with the rest of us original members.

Here it is, a show that I’m very proud to present, with the new Crew – myself, Johnny Mota, Stacy Kringlen, Katye McGregor Bennett, Victoria Barela and Deron Pinchback, and our guests Penny Sitler, Betsy Jaffe and Hope Roth:

AV Power Up! – Episode 46: We’re Talking -Another- WIN for the AV Industry

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Please also read: Penny Sitler: Moving Forward With the Women of InfoComm Network

To join the Women of InfoComm Network Council (women and men) go here to fill out the form (you or your employer must be a member of InfoComm International to join).

If you haven’t already joined the Women of InfoComm Network group on LinkedIn go here.

On Twitter use #ICWomen when tweeting about the Women of InfoComm Network as well as women in the AV industry.

See the Women of InfoComm Network website for more information on the organization and upcoming events (including registering for the InfoComm 2016 WIN Breakfast).