By Corey Moss
I’ve been in the AV industry for over 20 years as many know now (and for those who don’t – 15 in commercial integration sales and 5 on the press/media side) and my thoughts on women in the AV industry are fairly well known. In my integration days I had come to know some great and highly visible women executives in the industry – Marla Suttenberg – Owner, Sapphire Marketing, Jan Sandri – President, FSR, Inc., and Nancy Knowlton – CEO, SMART Technologies (at the time) are some of those names. I worked with some terrific women that were with manufacturers whose products I sold (I did all of my AV furniture design with Marshall Furniture, I worked with women at the company on the projects). I guess I never did think about how few women there were in the industry, as I had dealt with a number of them in my own realm of commercial integration sales – and I hadn’t really noticed when attending InfoComm since at that time I was more about looking at the products than the show itself.
In 2013, I got to know about the Women in AV group – and I tell a story of Gina Sansivero, being the first ever #AVTweeps person I met – it’s a story of going to a Mets game in 2013, and there we got to talking about #AVTweeps in the AV industry (as I had no idea what Twitter or that hashtag was in my integration days). She in turn introduced me to a number of them, and if not for Gina, I have no idea how this all really would have gone. Next was Cory Schaffer, and for those who know I wrote for rAVe Publications, this is the story that began my relationship with her. I joke with Cory when a Starbucks barista misspells my name (leaving out the ‘e’), I post the picture of the cup on Facebook and say “Cory, I’ve got your coffee.” Or this –
My relationships with Cory and Gina have been very special, as they’ve been there for me a number of times when I needed someone to listen. It’s led to knowing more incredible women in this industry – like Brandy Alvarado, who works alongside Cory building the AVIXA Women’s Council groups across North America (Canada as well now). This was truly a great moment for so many at the AVIXA Women’s Council Breakfast at InfoComm 2018, as Cory, Gina and Brandy took the stage in front of a huge turnout there.
Yes, I do have AVIXA Women’s Council Group shows on ‘The AV Life’ podcast – here is the latest, Meet More of the AV Women of the AVIXA Women’s Council Groups – Including Canada!
I always point to Katye McGregor Bennett as being my podcast partner (and even partner in general in so many respects), as she’s been doing it with me since early 2016 on AV Power Up. I asked her to host the show back then, she flat out refused – but finally, along with hosting ‘The AV Life’ along with me, she now has her own show AV Trade Talk. Michelle Loret, who has been with me since January on Convergent AV, has made great strides in doing interviews in the industry at trade shows and conferences, along with hosting her own show AV Talk+. Brittney Lanni just recently joined as my Live Events host on ‘The AV Life’ – here’s an excellent show (her first, with co-host Rachel Schwerin) with Jon 9 at Holonyne and Cynthia Austwick at Green Hippo as their guests Episode 79: Live Events and Immersive Environments with Green Hippo Innovations and AV’s Techno Shaman.
Women hosting podcasts – damn yes (or hell yeah – however you look at it).
For those who didn’t know, and want to hear about a great moment – here is Hope Roth delivering a speech at the Women of InfoComm Network (WIN) meeting (that came after the Breakfast) at InfoComm 2015, as she talked about Taking Your Lane (Erin Bolton – WIN Chair, Jane Johnson and Kelly Perkins are seated in order to Hope’s right).
Hope’s is one of the greatest speeches I’ve ever heard delivered at any InfoComm event, and it actually happened due to Erin being on my former podcast ‘AV Power Up’ prior to InfoComm, where she asked Hope if she would do it.
The fact that I have women who are hosts and co-hosts on my Convergent AV podcasting team (and I did on previous podcasts that I did as well) is no mistake – trust me. They are dedicated, they work hard, and they are team players through and through. And they are always up for a challenge.
One more thing, I have known and more recently come to know some incredible women executives – two of them: Nancy Knowlton, CEO at Nureva, who I talked with at InfoComm 2018, and Mary McDowell, CEO at Polycom, with women as a major part of the executive team.
For those who think my support of women in the industry is just a “thing” (as well as others who support) – you’re dead wrong, as is partly evident here, and I’ll talk more about it in Part 2 Speaking.
Important social media sites:
(Header image: Women of InfoComm Network (WIN) Breakfast at InfoComm 2015 – a picture that I took).
With over 20 years in audio visual integration and IT/computer sales and consulting, Corey Moss is the owner of Convergent AV. Corey writes for the publication and hosts/produces podcasts – The AV Life, Convergent Tech Talk and Convergent Week. He has written for numerous industry publications about AV, IT, unified communications and collaboration (UCC), cloud and software, IoT, cybersecurity and more. He has also conducted interviews with AV and IT executives and global influencers. Find him talking about a whole lot of things, tech and otherwise. On LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/mosscorey/.