Today we continue our countdown to AV Technology Awards week, 23rd to 25th June, by unveiling the next five positions in the inaugural Pro AV Power 20 list. To recap, the brand new initiative celebrates the most influential individuals in our marketplace who are demonstrating leadership in areas such as innovation, market influence, commercial/business performance, contribution to good causes, education, professional development, diversity and inclusion, and general industry betterment.
Everyone at Installation and Future would like to congratulate all those nominated for this prestigious list, and for all those involved in helping to identify and recognise this marvelous roll call of influential industry leaders.
So, without further ado, here are numbers 10-6 in the Pro AV Power 20…
10: Justin Kennington, president, SDVoE Alliance
Justin Kennington joined the AV industry in 2009, as the world was just waking up to the idea that video would not be analogue forever. At the time, he was working in Google’s hardware platform group, developing new servers for the datacenter environment. With a passion for AV, he contacted a friend who put him in touch with Fred Bargetzi, of Crestron. He was hired virtually on the spot to help launch a new product line called DigitalMedia. In six years he took a fledgling product that no one wanted (analogue was easier!) and turned it into the biggest video distribution product line in the world, completing the AV industry’s transition to digital video along the way.
During his time at Crestron, Kennington was also a big proponent of standardisation and openness. He championed Crestron’s early membership in the HDBaseT Alliance, and helped drive interoperability and certification testing for that technology.
He was honored with InfoComm’s Young AV Professional of the Year Award in 2014.
In 2016 he joined a start-up called AptoVision, makers of a solid but not-yet-widely adopted technology for moving digital video over Ethernet networks. There he conceived of and founded the Software-Defined Video over Ethernet Alliance, for which he has served as president since its founding in late 2016. The purpose of the SDVoE Alliance is to push the AV industry to embrace powerful and affordable IT technology, by driving a single standard that interoperates between manufacturers. Today the SDVoE Alliance counts 51 members, including some heavy-hitters from both inside and outside the traditional AV world.
9. Chris Neto CTS, market development manger – experience and engagement, Starin
Christopher Neto CTS is a 20+ year industry veteran, currently working as a market development manager at Starin. He is best known for creating exciting and innovative social media brands. Early in 2018 he launched the Sunday morning twitter event #AVintheAM. His hashtags creations includes #AVSelfie and #AVintheAM have earned millions of impressions. His promotion of #AVTweeps online community has resulted in huge engagement numbers.
He currently hosts the Rebels & Flux podcast for Starin, where he helps the industry get to know thought leaders on a more personal level. His tireless work promoting the industry and moving it forward earned him the coveted AV Person of the Year in 2017.
Chris is passionate about coaching others how to better evangelise their AV message by blending social media, industry expertise, and with a light hearted personal touch.
8. Robin van Meeuwen, CEO, Technological Innovations Group (TIG)
Robin Van Meeuwen joined the AV industry 25 years ago, setting up TIG in the UK, followed by similar satellite offices in Germany, Paris, Dubai, and Milan. In 2005 he became sales director for Crestron EMEA and built the organisation to 15 offices and over 200 sales and support staff across the territory. During this time he further expanded Crestron in countries such as Russia, Eastern Europe and South Africa. TIG also invested in experience centers and a residential showroom in London where it could showcase the technology in situ.
In May 2014, van Meeuwen became CEO of TIG and in January 2019 Crestron EMEA became Technological Innovations Group (TIG), the exclusive sales agency for Crestron, and added a handful of other complimenting vendors to the portfolio shortly thereafter.
He says that the experience gained during his 25 years in the business has helped him to re-think current AV needs and has inspired him to offer an ecosystem of smart space solutions to better answer the specific requirements end users have. This will result in TIG experience centres in Frankfurt, London, Paris and Dubai with an innovative virtual experience space on TIG’s website.
7. Owen Ellis, chair, AV User Group
Owen Ellis‘s career in AV began in 1984, serving 15 years at the Metro Group in various roles including service, sales, event hire and installations. He spent one short year at Electrosonic in 1999 as senior project manager in its corporate and retail division. He then served 17 years as an end user at Morgan Stanley, which culminated in the position of executive director as global head of multimedia project delivery, engineering and maintenance. He delivered many large projects at Morgan Stanley, including the migration of video conferencing services to IP, the implementation of advanced remote support tools, and the fit out of many new offices including London Canary Wharf at 20 Bank Street, their Hong Kong offices in the ICC tower and Tokyo at Otemachi Financial City.
Owen became a member of the AV User Group in 2004 and was asked to serve as volunteer chair at the end of 2009. He transitioned the group to a professional not for profit organisation and into a full-time role running the group in December 2017.
During his time as chair he has extended the AV User Group into Scotland, New York, San Jose, Hong Kong and Sydney. The Group remains the only independent, international end user community that represents all vertical markets. Although focused on delivering value to its members the group helps promote quality, standards and standardisation in the industry.
6. Chris Miller, executive director, PSNI Global Alliance
For the past 45 years, Chris Miller has been involved in the radio and television industry. With a degree in telecommunications he started in television broadcasting and video production working as a director, technical director, and camera specialist before building one of the largest video production companies in Oklahoma. After selling the business with his partners, he moved into a sales role for a national integrator that started a 35-year commitment to the AV and broadcast integration business.
He has served in various capacities including president of InfoComm (AVIXA) and president of the InfoComm Foundation. Miller has served as CEO of multiple AV companies and served on the board of local education foundations and charitable organizations. During his time as an integrator he was instrumental in growing Professional Systems Network Inc. (PSNI) during its early years and served as president of the network before selling Fairview-AFX. With his previous PSNI association he engaged in a short consulting agreement that turned into a third career as the executive director of PSNI Global Alliance. Over the past 16 years he has focused on growing the organisation from a US-based best-in-class network of integrators, to the largest select global commercial network of integrators in the world, now known as PSNI Global Alliance.
Countdown to the AV Technology Awards
The rankings are being announced weekly with the top five positions to be announced during Awards Week: position 5 on Tuesday 22nd June; position 4 on Wednesday 23rd June; with the top three announced on Thursday June 25th. The person ranked number one will receive the Power 20 award for Most Influential Person of the Year.
You can read exclusive interviews with all of the Pro AV Power 20 members in a special ebook which will be released on Thursday 25th June.