Women in Consumer Technology (WiCT), an organisation promoting the advancement of women in the consumer technology industry, has announced the six recipients of its 2021 Legacy Awards. The annual awards program honours remarkable women who are changing the landscape of the consumer technology industry through their leadership across all sectors including manufacturing, research, communications, and custom integration. Winners will be recognised during WiCT’s annual networking event – taking place Feb 18 at 8pm GMT – held virtually this year for the first time.
“The past year has been exceptionally challenging, and one thing that it has taught all of us is the importance of staying connected with each other,” said Carol Campbell, founder of Women in Consumer Technology. “So, while we wish we could honour this year’s Legacy Awards recipients in person, we’re also grateful that we can continue the proud tradition virtually and provide these amazing women with the recognition they deserve. We are so proud of you all; congratulations.”
The WiCT Legacy Awards networking reception is free to attend and will be held using InGear’s LIVE! event solution. Unlike conventional video conferencing platforms, LIVE! consists of a main room and multiple break-out rooms that participants can freely visit, with real-time lists allowing them to see who is in each one. The result is real interactivity that enables meaningful engagement among participants. For the WiCT networking reception, attendees will be able to interact before and after the event, and will have the opportunity to mingle with sponsors, who will each have their own exhibit spaces. Special prizes will also be given away.
The Feb 18 virtual WiCT Legacy Awards Networking Reception features master of ceremonies Megan Pollock, vice president, strategic communications at Samsung Electronics America and 2020 Carol Campbell Inspiration Award Honouree. To register for the event, visit: https://be-live.live/events/WiCT/signup.
Installation plans to highlight the achievements of women in the AV industry – pro and residential – in the coming months, starting with a look at Women in Skilled Trades: Leadership in Action, an article by Samantha Ventura, senior vice president, education and training at CEDIA, in the February edition of the magazine, available from Feb 28.
Women in Consumer Technology 2021 Legacy Awards Honourees:
Michelle Guss, director of residential business development for North America, Crestron
Michelle joined Crestron in 2007 and has grown to become the Director of Residential Business Development for North America. She works closely with architects, interior designers, builders, developers, realtors, estate managers, and lighting designers. She is responsible for analysing key residential market segments to acquire new sales opportunities for Crestron. In addition, she oversees the business development team and Crestron’s design showrooms throughout the US. Michelle is a CTA Smart Home Division Board member and is an active member of several design build groups. She is also a CEDIA-Certified Outreach Instructor and teaches technology education courses for Crestron to the AIA, ASID, NKBA, and several real estate groups. Michelle is a 2020 Dealerscope 40 Under 40 Honouree.
Andrea Hogan, senior director and head of NA and AU marketing, Qualcomm
In a career spanning over two decades, Andrea has focused on marketing, partner marketing, channel marketing, and consulting in the consumer technology industry. She was previously a principal at Corrib Consulting, marketing and sales operations lead for Flo TV (a subsidiary of Qualcomm), and senior consultant at IBM. At her very core, Andrea is a big believer in people. Her approach to building and developing high powered teams and relationships is to understand individual strengths, interests and aspirations, and empower, coach and establish authentic relationships by championing diversity so everyone succeeds. Her core values are curiosity, accountability, integrity, courage, positivity, and humour. She applies each of these values in her approach to effective marketing, where they help her create an exceptional work environment where people thrive and have fun working together. She is board member of Elderhelp San Diego and serves on the Executive Women’s leadership team of the American Heart Association.
Elizabeth Lafontaine, industry analyst and director of thought leadership, The NPD Group
Elizabeth serves as the director of thought leadership, focused on uncovering insights about the retail consumer, and crafting stories using The NPD Group’s robust data assets to provide strategic direction to retailers and manufacturers. She works closely with NPD’s senior leadership, industry advisors, and analysts to drive thought leadership initiatives across the organisation. Elizabeth joined NPD in 2017, transitioning directly from the retail industry. Prior to joining NPD, she held buying roles at Macy’s and Stein Mart and has a B.S. in Retail Management from Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management.
Roberta Lewis, president, Roberta Lewis and Associates
Roberta Lewis has over 40 years of experience in the consumer electronics and pro AV industry. In 2005 she founded Roberta Lewis & Associates LLC to support the broad range of electronics and technology businesses with public relations, marketing, advertising, and consumer technology strategic sales consultancy. She holds the distinction of being the only woman ever to be elected as the president of the Professional Audio/Video Retailers Association (acquired by the Consumer Technology Association), and has served on CTA’s Audio Board, High-Performance Audio Sub-Division, and Audio Promotions Committee. Additionally, she has held executive positions at audio, internet marketing, and specialty retail chain organisations, has served on CEDIA’s Management Conference Committee, and is a CEDIA SME (Subject Matter Expert) and Certified Instructor.
Woman to Watch: Kristin Reinitz, director of business development and sales, Admit One Home Systems
Kristin launched into the consumer technology industry when she joined the Admit One team in 2018, taking on all marketing, sales, and process objectives. Kristin has a bachelor’s degree in interior design, and her career within the building industry has helped her develop an extensive network of builders, designers, and architects. She genuinely loves learning about people and has an innate ability to open new doors. Kristin currently sits on the board of directors for Women in Construction (WINC), is working on her Lighting Certification, and continues to mentor other women in her market.
Carol Campbell Inspiration Award: Heather Squire, global account director commercial organisation, Logitech
Heather has had an extensive 20-year career in consumer technology and is currently serving as global Account director, commercial at Logitech. She got a start as a buyer at Circuit City, and also served as account manager at Kensington. She moved to startups with tenures at Flip Video and then GoPro in 2011, where she spent six years leading the Americas and global accounts sales teams.
Though she is very proud of her professional career, it’s her passion for colon cancer awareness that has driven her the hardest. During the height of her career at GoPro, her husband was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer at the young age of 41. After her husband passed away at 46, she founded Cartwheels4ColonCancer to promote early screening and spread awareness that colon cancer can happen to anyone at any age.
In addition to being faced with raising her high school daughter as a single mom, Heather opened her heart and home to another teenage girl that needed a family and love. After three years together, in July 2020, she made it official and adopted her.