AVIXA 2019 awardees announced
Nine industry professionals are to be honoured at a ceremony in Orlando next month, when they will receive AVIXA 2019 annual awards.
They will be recognised on InfoComm 2019’s centre stage at the Orange County Convention Centre on 12 June. Every year, AVIXA recognises outstanding AV professionals for their contributions, leadership and commitment to excellence.
A number of the awardees are nominated by industry members while the Harald Thiel Volunteer of the Year Award is selected by AVIXA staff.
AVIXA chief executive David Labuskes congratulated all winners, saying: “This industry continues to be lifted and enriched by the many creative, innovative, committed professionals who devote their time and expertise. AVIXA is especially fortunate to benefit from so many of their contributions.”
The winner of the Adele De Berri Pioneers of AV Award is Tom Danley, co-founder and designer with Danley Sound Labs. Interested in radio, electronics, loudspeakers and ‘hi-fi’ from a young age, he went to work for Intersonics, a NASA contractor, in 1979. There, he invented an acoustic levitation sound source 100 times more efficient than previous technology.
He was awarded 17 patents for acoustic and electromagnetic levitation devices and designed and built major portions of the hardware flown on space shuttle flights. In 2005, Tom and Mike Hedden founded Danley Sound Labs, where, among other inventions, he created the Synergy Horn, which combines the output of multiple drivers into a single horn.
Steven Somers is the winner of the Mackey Barron Distinguished Achievement Award. The former vice president of Extron, now retired, helped to lead the company from 1988 growing the company’s catalogue to more than 5,000 products. He played an integral role in developing the InfoComm Projection Shoot-Out, an industry event leading up to the trade show, from 1992 to 2001.
Steven was named AVIXA’s Volunteer of the Year in 2009, having served the association in various capacities.
Current president of Lectrosonics Gordon Moore is the recipient of the Fred Dixon Service in Education Award. Known as ‘Mr Audio’ by AVIXA staff, Gordon joined Lectrosonics in 1971. He has enjoyed a decades long involvement with AVIXA’s audio curriculum. In 2017, under his guidance, Lectrosonics’ engineering team received an Academy Award for Technical Achievement. Gordon himself was an AVIXA Senior Instructor and was honoured with AVIXA’s Educator of the Year Award in 2000. He served as chairman of PETC in 2015.
The Harald Thiel Volunteer of the Year Award will be presented to international advanced application engineer Jose Carselle from QSC. A CTS holder since 2006, he began volunteering at InfoComm shows in 2011, teaching CTS Prep and CTS-D Prep courses at AVIXA’s Colombia and Mexico based events. He was a founding member of AVIXA’s Mexican Advisory Group.
In 2013, Jose translated training material for AVIXA’s Networking Technology class into Spanish, ensuring the important coursework was available locally within just months of its English debut. He currently chairs AVIXA’s Content and Learning Committee.
The CTS Holder of the Year Award will be awarded to Rob Ziv of Almo Professional A/V. Currently the company’s director of business development, he is the only dual CTS-D/CTS-I at Almo and is dedicated to mentoring other employees through the certification process. He runs prep classes and also serves as an adjunct instructor at Anne Arundel Community College. He has held other such advisory roles for the Community College of Baltimore County and the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.
Level 3 Audiovisual president Jeremy Elsesser will receive the Educator of the Year Award at the event. Described as a ‘born educator’, he has taught AVIXA’s CTS-D Prep coursework and, this year, added CTS-I Prep to his repertoire. He is known to teach AVIXA classes at the company’s Mesa, Arizona, headquarters not just to Level 3 employees, but also to anyone wanting to improve their craft, raising the bar for excellence throughout the AV industry. Jeremy currently serves on AVIXA’s Content and Learning Committee.
The Women in AV Award will be presented to two industry professionals at the ceremony: Legrand vice president Laurie Englert and Thorburn Associates president Lisa Thorburn.
Laurie was a driving force behind her company’s focus on customer experience. She launched Community Connections, an employee-driven committee that organised company volunteer opportunities and continues as its executive sponsor.
Lisa cofounded Thorburn Associates, specialists in acoustical consulting, technology engineering, and lighting design, in 1992. She has been dedicated to sharing technical knowledge across all industries. While leading her firm of five national offices through 3,000 projects across all markets, she has shared her insight with related industry groups such as the Themed Entertainment Association, Society for Marketing Professional Services, and Construction Specifications Institute.
Finally, the Young AV Professional Award will be presented to Idibri senior consultant Ben Boeshans. After completing his bachelor’s degree in Audio Production and Technology at Michigan Technological University in 2010, he joined the team that would become AV design firm Idibri.
His clients have included the Circuit of the Americas Formula 1 Race Track, Trinity Church Wall Street, and US Bank Stadium, home of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings. A freelance audio engineer, Boeshans serves on the AVIXA Standards Steering Committee and the Audio Coverage Uniformity Task Group. He has also been an instructor for three consecutive InfoComm shows.