Greg Jeffreys, founder and director of Visual Displays Ltd and current chair of the AVIXA Standards Steering Committee, is being honoured by the 2020 AV Technology Awards with its Outstanding Contribution award.
Jeffreys is a much admired and respected executive within the AV community, who formally started his audiovisual path with Paradigm AV back in 1988. Like many of us in this industry, he is a failed musician (the AV industry owes a great debt to the past whims of record companies) who got ‘hooked on making rear projection displays’ while in a part-time job. The resume that this initial fascination would lead to is quite remarkable.
It is a career that has seen a long-standing association with InfoComm/AVIXA; from being appointed to the InfoComm board of governors and as chair of InfoComm’s European council in 2007, to becoming the organisation’s first president from outside of North America in 2012, to the present day where he chairs AVIXA’s Standards Steering Committee.
He is also a previous award winner, having received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2015 InstallAwards, and his ongoing contribution to the marketplace since then has resulted in today’s recognition of his towering service to the betterment and advance of the AV community.
On receiving his honour, Jeffreys told Installation: “This is a very happy surprise for me. I’d be over the moon at the best of times, but there’s something especially poignant about receiving this during such life-changing times for our industry. Like so many others, it’s been tough for my business. Some of our team are furloughed. But the ‘Visual Displays Lockdown Crew’ have really stepped up to the plate; they’ve adapted so well and I’m very proud of them.
“Lockdown has been a positive experience in some ways. It’s given me the chance to spend more time on my main volunteer activities in standards. I’ve also been prompted to turn many of my teaching and academic work into a series of webinars, the response to which has been inspiring. Zoom fatigue or not – it’s a good friend to me these days!
“When I was appointed to chair AVIXA’s Standards Steering Committee at the beginning of the year I was expecting another year of various trips to America and to be returning from InfoComm in Vegas this weekend (with a hangover, no doubt). Our group instead met on a video call. Listening to the lockdown experiences from many countries was both sobering and inspiring. However it was also a time for me to realise how blessed I’ve been to get to work with so many smart and kind people over the years – and I’m not done yet!
“The awards comes at a time when we can begin to see some small but definite signs of recovery as we’re gradually allowed out, blinking into the sunlight, to start installing kit again for our resellers. I’m so very happy to accept this award, but also mindful of our friends and colleagues who are facing tough times. I’m hoping I can get to celebrate face to face with some of you before my hair gets too out of control.”
Everyone at Installation, the AV Technology Awards, and Future’s global AV network would like to congratulate Greg on what is a profoundly deserved and well earned honour.
And it’s not just us that would like to congratulate Jeffreys’ achievements. Testimonials have been reaching us from across the industry and we’ll post a selection of them here.
Owen Ellis, chairman of the AV User Group
“I’ve known Greg personally for around 10 years now and I’ve found him to be incredibly supportive and willing to share his vast knowledge and experience, he’s also now become one of my best friends within the industry. It was Greg who first introduced me to Dave Labsukes and Terry Friesenborg at AVIXA back in 2013 (when it was still InfoComm) and this was the beginning of a very important and fruitful relationship for myself and the AV User Group. Greg understood the need for AVIXA to connect with more end users and, as he heard from me many times, we needed AVIXA to include the end users needs in their strategic goals, and we’ve started to see that happen over the subsequent years. That wouldn’t have been possible without Greg’s help.
“Greg was also very influential in some of the work we performed at Morgan Stanley during my time there. He came in at my request to help us implement tests using the AVIXA PISCAR standard and to help define a strategy for modifying many of our existing front and rear projection systems that weren’t achieving the desired contrast ratio and that we were getting client complaints about. Greg slipped into our team very easily and was very quickly looked up to and admired by our team for what he brought to the table and how he went about it. That doesn’t happen easily when outsiders come into a team that works closely all the time and Greg does that incredibly well because he also respects them, their knowledge and their roles.
“The project wasn’t necessarily about upgrading screens and/or projectors, it was about what cost effective modifications could we make to the rooms or systems themselves to maximise the contrast ratio and performance. It was during this project that the topic of room lighting, and its impact on the projected image came up, and it was then I found out about Greg’s past qualifications that we had no idea about.
“This then rolled into a longer term discussion about the meeting environment, and how it’s too often forgotten about as the focus is on the technology. Greg has subsequently produced some great material about the meeting environment and how it should come first, both the physical environment and the people/behavioural element. He has presented this a couple of times at AV User Group meetings in the UK and it’s been very well received. I believe he’s still modifying it into a larger piece of work around room design standards. It dovetailed in nicely with the AVIXA UX Design Standard he was also participating in and developing. And remember if it wasn’t for Greg AVIXA might not be producing standards today!
“I’m often flabbergasted at Greg’s work ethic. I remember the 7 years I ran the AV User Group as a volunteer whilst still in my full time role at Morgan Stanley and know how tough that was. I’m always amazed at what Greg fits in with his volunteer work on the Standards Committee at AVIXA, running his own company, his family and then volunteering for one of his kids’ schools, and he travels so much. I honestly don’t know how he fits it all in.”
Jo Boyd, Ripple Media
“Greg has offered an outstanding contribution to the AV industry. His first company, Paradigm AV, were champions and pioneers of rear projection systems long before anyone else. Added to which, through the troughs as well as the peaks, Greg has always maintained his very chirpy demeanour and cheeky, off-the-wall humour. He deserves this award for all he has put into the AV industry.
“He was the first ever president of InfoComm to be elected from outside North America and once there he established himself as lead writer on the PISCR ANSI/InfoComm Standard, developed to define minimum contrast ratios for projected images. His in-depth understanding of standards saw him recently elected as chair of AVIXA’s Standards Steering Committee.
“Meanwhile, Greg has acted as an audiovisual and displays consultant at the highest level of multinational blue-chip industry. Locked down as we all were due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Greg took it upon himself to write and develop a series of webinars based on AVIXA and related building and environmental standards for university technology managers in the LTSMG (Learning and Teaching Space Management Group).
“Without ceremony, Greg has quietly persisted in his quest for the furtherment of high standards in the AV industry.”
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