AV People: Mike Blackman of Integrated Systems Europe

March 2, 2016

It’s quite possible that Mike Blackman is one of the most interesting men on the planet. His name is synonymous with the Integrated Systems Europe expo in Amsterdam, but many people in the AV industry around the world don’t know all the history that led Mike to where he is today. Originally born in Guyana […]

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AV People: Debbie Sausville of InfoComm International

January 26, 2016

Debbie Sausville has been a staple at InfoComm International for 22 years. She’s made such an impact on the AV industry as a whole, but how often do we get a chance to know more about the woman behind the name? A graduate of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia with a double major in […]

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AV People: Gina Sansivero of FSR Inc. and Project Green AV

March 19, 2015

Like so many of us, as a young girl, Gina Sansivero was a little unsure of “what she wanted to be when she grew up.” Coming from an Italian family, she knew she loved the language and she knew she enjoyed children, so she went to study at Fordham University. She started out with a […]

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AV People: Mark Coxon, AVPhenom

February 27, 2015

A zoologist, an amateur fighter and an AV systems designer all walk into an InfoComm reception… No, that’s not the beginning of a joke, and it’s not three separate people — it’s our friend and blogger Mark Coxon, all rolled into one smart, dynamic person. Mark is all over the AV industry. He’s a dedicated […]

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AV People: Anthony Coppedge

January 22, 2015

“I’ve tried to escape the AV industry multiple times… but I just can’t,” laughed Anthony Coppedge as he talked about his life in AV. Anthony needs no introduction, but instead, deserves one. For nearly 20 years, Anthony has worked in the secular world of AV, the ministry world of church staff, and the para-church ministry […]

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AV People: Penny Sitler of Draper

November 21, 2014

Penny Sitler is a staple of the AV industry… but working in AV wasn’t something she originally thought she’d do! “I really did fall into the industry,” Penny explained. “ I went to DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. My passion was for languages and business and I was a romance languages and international business major. […]

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AV People: Chuck Wilson of NSCA

October 21, 2014

Chuck Wilson’s story of how he got into AV is a little different than, well, a lot of people. Not many people can say that they’ve only held two jobs their entire life. Chuck, executive director of NSCA, however, can. “I started out in the AV industry in the late ‘70s,” said Chuck. “I came […]

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AV People: Marla Suttenberg of Sapphire Marketing

September 17, 2014

Although she is very much what we would all consider to be a seasoned AV veteran, Marla Suttenberg of Sapphire Marketing didn’t go to school with the notion that she’d eventually end up working in the AV industry. According to her, it was a total fluke. “I went to Clark University in Worcester, which is […]

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AV People: Joel Rollins of Everett Hall Associates

August 19, 2014

Joel Rollins has been a staple at rAVe [Publications] for years. You’ve read his columns, you’ve heard his voice on rAVe RADIO, and you’ve seen his face in our booth at InfoComm and ISE. He’s the epitome of an AV industry veteran. He embodies all that an AV veteran should be. But, do you know […]

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AV People: Len Dozier of Premier Mounts

July 31, 2014

Len Dozier, founder of Premier Mounts, is arguably one of the hardest working people in the AV industry. Starting from the ground up, getting experience any way he could, Len has made a name for himself, and his company, over the last four and a half decades. It all started in 1967. Len was born […]

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AV People: Betsy Jaffe of InfoComm International

June 18, 2014

If you’ve ever been to an InfoComm show, you probably know or have heard the name Betsy Jaffe. While her title says Vice President of Communications for InfoComm, Betsy really is so much more for the organization. And it’s no surprise, because Betsy has always been one to work hard and give of herself for […]

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AV People: Bill Mullin of Starin

May 22, 2014

Like many people who work in AV, Bill Mullin of Starin backed his way into the industry. As a child, Bill was always interested in anything that flickered an image or made a sound. Having grown up in the 1960s as a product of the British invasion, music and the technology behind it always intrigued […]

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AV People: Kevin Nelson of Zealth Audio

April 24, 2014

At the age of 12, Kevin Nelson’s mom bought and brought home a brand new organ. It was making this noise in the house and Kevin wanted to know why. So he tore apart the organ, took the speakers out, and figured out what made it work. Needless to say, he was grounded for it. […]

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AV People: Nigel Brent of Nigel B. Designs

March 25, 2014

Nigel Brent is arguably one of the most interesting and innovative people in the AV industry today — and he’s been in the industry for over 48 years. At the age of 78, Nigel is as sharp and driven and motivated as ever (if not more so). However, his journey to the AV industry happened […]

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Looking and Seeing – The World through AV Eyes

March 21, 2014

Before my AV career I did a few other things, including telephony and the unparalleled horrors of residential cable installations. One interesting thing about these three fields is each has lead me to a greater focus on parts of our world the rest of us take for granted and fail to notice. If you drive […]

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AV People: Ike Eckstein of Visual Word Systems

February 27, 2014

Forty-two-year AV industry veteran Ike Eckstein is one of those rare breeds who isn’t afraid to speak his mind, isn’t afraid to work overtime, and believes in the core value of taking care of your customers. “I never wrote a resume in my life,” said Ike as he recalled his early days in the industry. […]

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AV People: Andrew Brickman of Logic Integration

January 22, 2014

Sometimes people just end up working in the AV industry by accident. Maybe their family has worked in the industry for years, maybe they came in through the guidance of a trusted friend or mentor, or maybe they had a passion for something related to AV. For Andrew Brickman, service department manager at Logic Integration, […]

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AV People: John Pidgeon of Draper, Inc.

December 19, 2013

To say that the AV industry is in the blood of John Pidgeon, president of Draper, Inc. is an understatement. He got into the industry simply by being born. Draper is a family business through and through. It was established 111 years ago by Pidgeon’s great grandfather, Luther Draper. It’s been managed, in turn, by […]

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AV People: Alexis Bryant La Broi of AVI-SPL

November 21, 2013

Eventually, we all learn to glean from those who came before us or those who are ahead of us. No matter the industry. No matter the field. No matter the purpose. We can learn only so much on our own, but the help of others, the guidance of a boss or the mentorship of a […]

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AV People: Malissa Dillman

July 24, 2013

Have you ever started talking with someone and the more you spoke with them, the more you liked them? The more you listened to them, the more you learned? The more you became like a sponge for their every word, the more you felt like you left the conversation a better, smarter person? That’s how […]

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AV People: Ed Matthews of Visix, Inc.

June 26, 2013

Everyone knows Ed Matthews. Ed is the CEO of Visix, Inc. and well-respected, much- loved, long-time AV veteran. He’s pretty much a staple in industry. But not many know of his past and all that Ed has accomplished. “I went right into the Navy out of high school,” remembered Ed. “I spent two out of […]

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The Cable Diaries: Watch ESPN and HBO Go Added to the Apple TV! Game Changer?

June 19, 2013

And the saga continues in my quest to decide whether or not we are canceling cable at the end of July (when our contract with Schmime Schwarner Schmamble is up). It was announced today that the Watch ESPN and HBO Go apps have been integrated into the latest Apple TV update! I’ve mentioned before that […]

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AV People: Marty Schaffel of AVI-SPL

May 23, 2013

For over 34 years, Marty Schaffel has been one of the hardest working men in the business. In 1979, he started his first business with $2,000 selling Kroy lettering machines — machines that created black letters on scotch tape type material, transparencies and slides. He’d successfully convinced them to set him up as a dealer, […]

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AV People: Loyd Ivey of MiTek Corporation

April 15, 2013

If you’ve been in the AV industry for any length of time, you know Loyd Ivey. Maybe you haven’t met him in person, but you know his name. You know his work ethic. You know the respect everyone has for him. Currently the president and CEO of MiTek Corporation, Loyd has been been living, eating, […]

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AV People: Sam Taylor of Almo Pro A/V

March 21, 2013

Sam Taylor: Now, that’s a name people know in the AV industry. Sam, who is the current COO and executive vice president of Almo Pro A/V, is one of those people that you just can’t help but like and respect. Sam started in AV in 1987 as a regional sales manager for Electrograph Systems. He […]

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AV People: Joe Hillis of ITDRC

February 20, 2013

By Molly Stillman You may or may not know Joe Hillis. He’s been a systems engineer who spent most of his life working IT in public safety before retiring in 2004. He then went to work for himself as an IT consultant for small businesses. He knows technology, he lives technology and he breathes technology. […]

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AV People: Steven Emspak of Shen Milsom & Wilke, LLC

December 19, 2012

By Molly Stillman Steven Emspak, partner at AV consulting firm Shen Milsom & Wilke, LLC, wasted no time when I asked, “So, how did you get into the AV industry?” He said, “The industry is so obtuse, there is no direct path. You don’t go to school and come out with a degree in AV […]

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AV People: Chris Huston of Rives Audio

November 14, 2012

By Molly Stillman The year was 1963. Chris Huston, the lead guitarist for The Undertakers, voted the third-best rock and roll group in Liverpool at the time, was hanging out with the rest of his band near the back of the Cavern Club where they were having a lunchtime playing session. They hanging out with […]

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AV People: Pierre Richer of NEC

October 17, 2012

By Molly Stillman Everyone knows Pierre Richer as the creative AV industry guy who is the president and CEO of NEC. (He also wears great shirts.) Pierre is a naturally born French Canadian who started in the AV industry working for InFocus in 1996 selling LCD tablets even before projectors were part of this industry.  […]

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AV People: Randy Pagnan of rp Visual Solutions

September 19, 2012

Most everyone in the AV industry knows Randy Pagnan. Well, it’s easy for everyone to know him when he’s been in the industry 25 years. Rewind just a few years… to when Randy was in eighth grade growing up in Canada. He met a girl named Teresa. After asking her out just a few times […]

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AV People: Laurie Englert of Chief

August 22, 2012

Laurie Englert was a normal woman working in the AV industry — at the top of her career, married and a mother of two great kids. In June of 2004, everything changed. Her husband committed suicide. He had suffered from mild depression and had gotten to a point where it all got to be too […]

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WAVEcast Episode 4: Young WAVE!

July 31, 2012

Episode 4: Recorded on July 20, 2012 Listen to the young Women in AV discuss what it means to be starting out in their career and what the futures holds for being a female in our industry. Jessica Spicer, AVI-SPL, Olivia Dumanovsky, Pakedge Device and Software, Molly Stillman rAVe [Publications], and Amy Fulton, Advanced AV share their thoughts and experience about everything […]

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