Anatomy of the Podcast – Part 2: AV Power Up (A Great Year in Review)

I pick up in Part 2 with the show that has certainly been a large part of my year in 2015, working with some of the best and most dedicated people I have ever come to know. When you talk about a team, the AV Power Up crew embodies that term – in fact so much so we’re known as The Power Crew.

The show itself was designed to be a variety show in itself – tech, discussion, humor and more. It starts in a certain way (with the Crew intro), ends in a certain way (with my sign-out) – and everything in between just goes as it does each week (the Tier PM Hot Jobs have become a staple at the end as well). We do have an outline presented by our host before doing each week’s show which will include the intro, guest list, segments each member of the group will be doing that night, and more. We never really know what to expect in any particular show though in short – with tech talk, terrific insights and the humor – we always end up with a great show.

It all starts with a record-button push and the point:

Me point

And with that Christa Bender (center), in all 34 episodes, takes it from there as the host of AV Power Up.

The Power Crew (whichever members are present that particular night we record) all go on to do the show after Christa’s intro, and on each show we’ll usually have two to three guests – we’ve even had four on a podcast at times, either on video or on a call-in. I use Zoom to record AV Power Up, a cloud collaboration application I’ve used reliably for videoconferencing for a long time, and we’ve gone upwards of 8-10 people at times in a show.

The Power Crew are (or have been) comprised of:

  • Host Christa Bender (@AVChrista) – center square in the picture above
  • Co-host Chuck Espinoza (@madsoundguy)
  • Co-host Stacy Kringlen (@Vaddio_Stacy)
  • Co-host Hope Roth (@BeerAndPie) – lower row square
  • Co-host Johnny Mota (@JMOTA3) – upper row right square
  • Co-host Rich Prevete (@hotjobsrich) – upper row left square
  • Co-host Jeremy Caldera (@jeremy_caldera)
  • and myself as co-host/producer (@Cbmoss) – upper row middle square

We’re dispersed across the country – Virginia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Illinois and California. Each brings a certain industry and tech knowledge to the podcast, as well as humor, wit and more. It has been a successful formula from episode #1 and we are about to record our 35th episode this week.

I want to do a recap here of the year in AV Power Up and while I’d really like to do every show, I’ll focus on those that stood out for me, although all of course were great. With 34 episodes to choose from this may become a bit of a novel.


The first episode of AV Power Up appeared on rAVe Radio in March simply titled “Power It Up.” Our guests were two well-known women in the AV world Cory Schaffer (then with Listen Technologies) and Jane Johnson with Pivot Communications, who we also found out are the best of friends. Here’s the description:

In our very first show, we bring you the latest and greatest in technology, news and movie reviews. We talk to Cory and Jane about what’s going on in business as well as the Women of InfoComm Network. Cory promotes Jane and her many talents (and she’s waiting for her endorsement check to come in the mail). Corey, in his segment “The Collaboration Space,” brings information about Enterprise Connect and the UCC environment (as well as defends his EC rAVe blog), Chuck in “The AV PowerUp” talks about the Projected Image System Contrast Ratio (PISCR) ANSI standard (and we ask Jane to run a PISCR marketing campaign), Hope Roth “Blows Up the News”… 

AV Power Up! – Episode One: Power It Up!

The fourth episode brought about the first serious collaboration between Christa and myself in terms of prep for a show as this one was recorded during the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show in Las Vegas in April. We had industry guests – all call-ins at the show from Applied Video Technology, Video Corporation of America, Marshall Electronics, Sennheiser and Fujinon. The show went like clockwork and it was an excellent job by the Crew and in particular Christa who truly made this one happen. And a little Star Wars to go with it.

AV Power Up! – Episode IV: A New Hope – The NAB Show 

Episode 6, in short, was all about a win for the industry. Or actually call it a WIN. One thing I have revealed to a few people about this one, and I will reveal to all here is that during this show in which our guests were Erin Bolton with MRM//McCann, Jane Johnson, and Brad Grimes with InfoComm, Erin asked Hope to speak at the Women of InfoComm Council Meeting at the show in June – a very special moment. I watched Hope as Erin was telling her this and I could see the true emotion on her face. Hope did accept and yes, she knocked that presentation out of the park at InfoComm (I was there). 

You talk about seeing people, faces, gestures and emotions in a videoconference – it’s why I like as many as possible to be present on video in the show to see faces, gestures and more. We’ll see each other get serious and even break into laughter at times.

Me Christa AVP 33

AV Power Up! – Episode 6: We’re Talking a WIN for the AV Industry

The eighth episode was special in the fact that we had two of the InfoComm award winners on this show – Women in AV award winner Heather Callaway and Young AV Professional award winner Jeremy Caldera. Jeremy eventually joined us as a member of the Power Crew. A great show with two bright and dedicated industry innovators.

AV Power Up! – Episode 8: And the Award Goes To…

I mention episode 10 due to my editor Sara Abrons seeing the title (I title all of the episodes as well as collaborate in the writeup), and having a bit of a reaction. Maybe it was all of those industry buzzwords? Actually she told me at InfoComm that she almost lost it – until she realized it was a joke. This one had Paul Zielie and Kyle Davis of Harman/AMX and Mike Shinn of IMS Technology – in one of AVP’s classic moments.

AV Power Up! – Episode 10: Gamechanging the Revolutionary Disruptive Convergence of AV/IT 

This next episode is the show from InfoComm in Orlando with Chuck, Johnny Mota and myself. As for “the story” of AV Power Up and InfoComm 2015 – here it is 

AV Power Up! – Episode 11: Live, Loud, And #DoubleAwesome At InfoComm 2015

PowerUP_logo0708 (1)

(This new enhanced logo appeared in July)

Episode 14 was noteworthy due to the fact that I considered it a podcast that  essentially “drove” itself as our guests Julian Phillips, Executive VP at Whitlock and Board Director at InfoComm along with TJ Adams with QSC essentially carried what I considered to be one of the most insightful conversations we’ve ever had in an AV Power Up episode.

See related  Joe Pham of QSC/Q-SYS Will Deliver Keynote at InfoComm 2024

AV Power Up! – Episode 14: We Let the Podcast Do the Talking

Episode 16 saw the first of numerous guest appearances by Katye McGregor Bennett with KMB Communications and along with the requisite tech and PR discussion (and humor) we also talked about one of tech and life’s greatest mysteries – the Microsoft Surface Hub. Tim Bigoness of D-Tools was also on this show with us.

AV Power Up! – Episode 16: Pardon the Unexpected Delay, We Now Return You To This Show

In episode 18 we talked with Daryl Hutchings CEO of Collaboration Squared about his company’s cloud collaboration software platform as well as his big win at InfoComm – the Innovations Showcase. And a certain software engineer pops in unannounced talking Python, Facebook (and does his best to try to outdo our Chief Nerding Officer Hope Roth).

AV Power Up! – Episode 18: To The Cloud (and Pythons Too)!

Every once in a while we’d do a “special” show with just a few of us giving the rest of the Crew the week off. Here’s one Christa, Johnny and I did with George Fournier of FSR.

AV Power Up! – Episode 19: Talking Shop, Shows… and Donuts (A Special)

Episode 20 is a special one. Every year SCN publishes “The Nine” and Commercial Integrator the “40 Under 40” – all who are recognized are of course highly worthy (Christa, Hope and Jeremy were all recognized as 40 Under 40’s) and on this show we had one of “The Nine” Victoria Barela who was one of Jeremy Caldera’s students at Columbia College in Chicago (and eventually went to work for his company ZDI) and Tier PM’s Marika Acquino – a 40 Under 40 – who is of course the provider of the Hot Jobs that Rich reads at the end of every show.

AV Power Up! – Episode 20: The Future of the Industry – We Salute You

OK so we had a birthday show for me (the only episode in two parts) as we recorded it on September 16th (yes I’m a Virgo). Our guests were Gina Sansivero of FSR and Bradford Benn of Harman and rAVe’s Sara Abrons who appeared fashionably late (in part 2) and yelled a classic line.

AV Power Up! – Episode 23: Surprise! It’s a Birthday Show (Part One) 

AV Power Up! – Episode 23: Surprise! It’s a Birthday Show (Part Two)

Episode 24 was a very special show with Sam Horn, CEO of Intrigue Agency, well-known author and public speaker who was the main speaker at the Women of InfoComm Breakfast at InfoComm. Carol Campbell of NAPCO and Founder of Women in CE as well as Erin Bolton joined us on this one. Sam is truly electrifying.

AV Power Up! – Episode 24: Women of Technology and Intrigue

Episode 25 brought about the unlikeliest of trios in one that Christa and I did together – DC Metro dance/rock band Drunk Naked Pirates Lead Guitarist (and the composer/performer of the AV Power Up theme) Mike Loss, Lead Singer Jason Perry — and Matt Scott. The connection? Matt and Jason are both Canadian, eh.

AV Power Up! – Episode 25: Rocked by Pirates and Canadians

The 27th episode was one designed for Hope to lead as it focused on AV programming. Again since I do the episode titling this was an easy one for me. Our guests were Chris Tatton of HB Communications and Billy Silar of Visual Sound. Jeremy who had left the show in September to go back to teaching at Columbia College called in after teaching that night – from a train no less – to be on this one (now there’s a dedicated educator!).

AV Power Up! – Episode 27: Hey, Get With the Program!

Episode 28 had two great people in the industry on with us – Cory Schaeffer (now with QSC) and someone who we all got to meet and instantly became fans of, Jonathan Brawn of Brawn Consulting. This was a special one in many ways in that we got to know a lot about Jonathan and one of the most incredible individuals in AV – his father and business partner Alan.

AV Power Up! – Episode 28: Contribute. Support. Lead. It’s The Only Way

In episode thirty, two people from opposite ends of the tech spectrum get to meet – AV PR professional Katye McGregor Bennett and drones expert Christina Engh with UAS Solutions Group who is also an Army Reserve Blackhawk Pilot.

AV Power Up! – Episode 30: So a Drones Expert and a PR Professional Walk Into a Podcast…

Episode 33 brought back that software engineer who tried to out-nerd Hope in episode 18, Alan Vezina along with his partner Ben Hackett with Jydo. Justin Watts with Google also joined us on this one. So Alan wrote a blog, thus the title…

AV Power Up! – Episode 33: If Your AV Programming Sucks – Don’t Blame Us

Episode 34 brought the ultimate – Star Wars (with the upcoming Episode VII – The Force Awakens), a mistaken identity and one of the most epic Hot Jobs moments of Rich’s run with the show. Our guest was Sean Brown, Sr. VP with Sonic Foundry (and a huge Finn fan).

AV Power Up! – Episode 34: Star Wars, The Boss and the 444

One more episode to come – this Thursday.

I want to thank all of our terrific guests and our great listeners for without you – we can’t be The Power Crew. And of course a giant thank you to my Crew – without each and every one of you none of this could have been possible.

Here are all of the shows. I did talk about how I like to have people in-video on shows and next year you will be seeing AV Power Up video shows as well.

See you in 2016!

* Note: 12/18 – here is that last episode AV Power Up! – Episode 35: Great Year Ender Where These Women of the Industry Rule and the Guys Agree