Access the most comprehensive pro-AV resource in the industry to explore audiovisual equipment catalogs, compare prices, locate service providers and review case studies.
Go to AV-iQ
InfoComm International Awards in 2013:
- Adele De Berri Pioneers of AV Award — Dr. Joseph Kramer
- Adele De Berri Pioneers of AV Award — Mike Tsinberg
- Distinguished Achievement Award
- Educator of the Year Award — Malissa Dillman, CTS-D, CTS-I
- Sustainable Technology Award (formerly Green AV) — Middle Atlantic Products
- Sustainable Technology Award (formerly Green AV) — Milestone AV Technologies
- Women in AV Award — Aneeta Gupta
- Women in AV Award — Penny Sitler, CDT, LEED AP
- Young AV Professionals Award — Hong Cheng, CTS-D, CTS-I
- Young AV Professionals Award — Ilya Khayn
- Fred Dixon Service Award in Education
- The Harald Thiel Volunteer of the Year Award — Rodrigo Ordóñez, CTS-D
Dr. Joseph Kramer
Since founding Kramer Electronics more than 30 years ago, Dr. Joseph Kramer has fostered many audiovisual technology innovations that impact users in various ways. He has given them the ability to perfect audiovisual systems image quality to the highest level possible; offered pro-AV solutions that simplify the design and installation of effective audiovisual systems; and offered system designers, installers and users easy-to-operate, value-oriented and reliable products that conform to the highest specifications available in the market.
Dr. Kramer's innovations have simplified the jobs and lives of designers, installers and users, giving them more functionality at lower cost. With a presence in 23 countries worldwide, Kramer Electronics has created innovative products such as video-correction processors, presentation switchers, scaler/switchers, and compact solutions such as the Kramer TOOLS line. Such developments generate opportunities for more and newer visual and audio presentation applications. Today, Dr. Kramer is developing and promoting the concepts of wireless signal distribution and IP-based video systems that are expected to fuel the digital signage and overall pro-AV marketplace.
Over more than 20 years, Mike Tsinberg, Founder and President of Key Digital, has helped pioneer both DVD and HDTV technology. Known as the father of DVD, Tsinberg is an icon in the audiovisual industry, where he has earned acclaim as an Emmy Award winner and SMPTE Fellow.
Tsinberg has been defined by his groundbreaking work in creating the MPEG-2-based DVD authoring system, as well as co-creating the necessary technology for viewing and transmitting HDTV signals. He has managed both domestic and international technology development efforts through his work for both Phillips and Toshiba. During his years at Philips (1987-1991), and subsequent years at Toshiba (1991-2000), Tsinberg amassed 40 U.S. patents for his HDTV and DVD work. Through his diligent efforts, Key Digital has grown and won multiple technology awards worldwide — the result of the company's robust product portfolio of digital video products.
Individuals eligible for this award have made significant contributions to the association. Submit a nomination
2011 Award Winner: Kevin Collins, CTS, Diversified Systems, Inc.
Educator of the Year Award
Malissa Dillman, Kramer Electronics USA's Training & Education Manager, has more than 12 years of extensive experience in the AV industry and brings her diverse skills and experiences to the classroom. In one 11-month period, Dillman prepared 212 people to take their Certified Technology Specialist (CTS) exam and trained roughly 200 other professionals on key industry subjects. She developed a successful road show program, which offers regional opportunities for AV professionals to spend a full day earning up to eight CTS renewal units while gaining the most current and topical technology education available today. In addition, Dillman has created a popular webinar Analog Sunset, Digital Sunrise and authored a condensed version of Kramer's introduction to digital technologies for today's pro AV professional, which serves as introductory-level training on today's complicated transition from analog to digital.
Dillman has been active on several InfoComm Committees, including the Certification Committee. While on the Professional Education and Testing Committee, she also served as Chair of the CTS Subcommittee and was recognized as a subject matter expert for test development. She has owned and operated an AV installation company, worked as both a regional sales manager and division sales manager at the dealer level, and served as a regional field sales engineer for a prominent communications company. A recipient of InfoComm's Women in AV Award, Dillman was one of the first four women in the world to achieve both the CTS-D and CTS-I credentials.
Middle Atlantic Products
Shortly after its founding in 1979 — and well before sustainable AV became an industry priority — Middle Atlantic Products and founder Bob Schluter made their first environmentally-friendly decision: to finish their AV products using a powder-coat process, instead of using standard, solvent-based paints. The powder-coat process doesn't involve harmful chemicals or release toxins into the air or water. In addition, unused powder can be reclaimed and reused.
Thus began more than 30 years of devotion to sustainable practices, from initiating Middle Atlantic's electronics recycling program in the 1990s to Mr. Schluter's involvement with the InfoComm International Task Group that developed the INFOCOMM/ANSI 4M:2012 Audiovisual Energy Management System Standard. Along the way, the company achieved Greenguard certification and became an ISO 14001-certified manufacturer. It created the RackLink Power Management System in support of the InfoComm energy management standard, and introduced heat recycling and cogeneration in its manufacturing facility.
Middle Atlantic's 425,000-square-foot world headquarters in Fairfield, N.J., is built on a brownfield site that the company rehabilitated. Through its sustainable practices, the company recently reduced water consumption by 48 percent, natural gas consumption by 34 percent and electricity use by 4.6 percent.
Milestone AV Technologies
Milestone AV Technologies is home to the Chief, Da-Lite, Sanus, Projecta and Procolor product brands. Many Chief products qualify for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) credits under Materials & Resources or Innovation in Design. Da-Lite operates a quality and environmental integrated management system that complies with ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 140001:2004 requirements and its front- and rear-projection screen fabrics are Greenguard-certified. Sanus has only used recycled paper for assembly manuals since 1986, created a scrap-parts recycling program in 1991, and invested in a new, near-100-percent recyclable powder-coating process for wood in 2001.
But the crowning jewel in Milestone AV's sustainability efforts may be its new headquarters in Eden Prairie, Minn. The company chose to renovate rather than build new, in order to reduce its environmental impact. The updated interior was designed to incorporate natural lighting for 95 percent of regularly-occupied seated spaces and ENERGY STAR ratings for 95 percent of the equipment in the building. Water use was reduced 30 percent and energy consumption cut by 5 percent. In recognition, Milestone AV's headquarter recently earned a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Commercial Interiors (LEED-CI) Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
Aneeta Gupta started her business, Visonaire, in 1995 with just two employees. It has since grown to become one of the largest systems integrators in the Middle East, with more than 600 people supporting the organization and its customers. Gupta is an astute leader with tremendous vision, which has driven Visionaire's growth from its beginnings in box sales to an end-to-end service provider of integrated technology solutions. Her perseverance has led Visionaire to embrace the opportunities of early networked AV solutions, multisite videoconferencing, central control, leading-edge digital signage, IPTV, telepresence and, most recently, unified communications and collaboration. Visionaire has earned recognition locally in Middle East and internationally by winning many industry publisher awards.
A natural leader who is passionate and determined to bring success to those around her, Gupta believes in the empowerment of women, which has led to her nurturing several leadership positions in Visionaire. Currently, the heads of Program Management, Procurement Management, Marketing and Human Resources are women. And in 2012, 80 percent of people in Visionaire's internship and trainee engineering intake program were women engineers.
Apart from her leadership role at Visionaire, Gupta mentors young entrepreneurs. She plays a leadership role as a charter member of TiE, a nonprofit dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship worldwide, with 57 chapters in 14 countries.
Penny Sitler, CDT, LEED AP
With more than 30 years of AV industry experience, Penny Sitler has built a marketing program at Draper Inc. worthy of recognition, launching all web and social media initiatives and overseeing many product launches. Starting at Draper as an intern, Sitler eventually became the company's first female salaried employee. Over the years, she has mentored, trained and supported other women — both at Draper and at other businesses — in professional and management roles, has hired and mentored many female student interns and has presented in-house leadership classes for women at Draper. Continually seeking to learn, Sitler became a LEED AP in 2007, making her one of the first women in the industry to earn this important accreditation.
In her community, Sitler has been an active volunteer in Business & Professional Women for 20 years, served on the state board of directors for over 10 years, and conducted dozens of classes as a certified trainer in BPW's Individual Development Leadership course. For the past six years, she has also served as the volunteer editor of a statewide magazine for women, Hoosier Business Woman. She has served on the Board of Trustees for Earlham College, and is currently the president of Indiana United Society of Friends Women.
Hong Cheng, CTS-D, CTS-I
Over the last seven years, Hong Cheng, AV designer for the Karcher Group, has excelled at providing cutting-edge professional AV solutions while adhering to strict governmental security requirements. Cheng managed an AV maintenance contract within the Pentagon and was personally responsible for over $2,000,000 worth of federal equipment in 27 AV spaces, including the historic Marine Barracks Washington parade ground. He designed and deployed the Commandant of the Marine Corps' personal conference room, which included a Planar videowall, Crestron DigitalMedia distribution and Cisco Telepresence infrastructure.
Cheng has engineered and implemented large scale ($1,000,000 +) Crestron DigitalMedia solutions for the Marine Corps Information Operations Center (MCIOC) and the Marine Corps Network Operations and Security Center (MCNOSC), both of which serve as the back bone of the United States Marine Corps secure and non-secure networks. His outstanding initiative, vision, leadership and devotion have escalated Karcher Group to a new standard of professionalism and have solidified the company's position as an elite audiovisual integrator.
Cheng graduated with honors from ITT Technical Institute in 2006 and was hired by the Karcher Group as an audiovisual technician. He received his InfoComm Certified Technology Specialist (CTS) certification that same year and received his Installation specialization (CTS-I) in 2007. His work ethic, professional drive and obvious potential soon separated him from his peers and he took on control system programming responsibilities. By 2008, Cheng became a fully-certified Crestron programmer. By 2009, his record of success elevated him to an engineering-level position and he achieved his InfoComm Design (CTS-D) specialization in 2010. He has designed enterprise-level audiovisual solutions ever since.
Hong Cheng has received a letter of appreciation from the acting Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James F. Amos, and was awarded the Ambassador of Quality award by the Administration and Resource Management Division of the United States Marine Corps. He takes pride and ownership in every solution he designs and has gained the trust and respect of everyone he comes in contact with.
Ilya Khayn founded Atlona Technologies in 2003 with his brother, Michael. As the President and CEO, he has steered the company's growth by keeping Atlona focused on solutions customers need to meet the industry's challenges, while offering the best possible service and support.
Khayn received a technical education in mechanical engineering in Russia. Inspired by Silicon Valley's innovations, he immersed himself in retail electronics and began selling electronics out of his apartment.
Khayn began his pro-AV career by co-founding AV distributor Lenexpo. In just a few years, despite the challenge of limited resources, he established himself as a distributor of professional AV equipment and accessories. Lenexpo's early success came from listening to customers, understanding their needs and demands, and making quick and effective decisions to meet those needs.
Eventually Khayn decided to use what he had learned from his customers to design and deliver innovative products himself. In 2005, Khayn decided to invest the company's resources in the development of its first integrator-centric product under the Atlona brand. Within a year he became prolific, working with manufacturing, design, and integration partners to deliver first-to-market AV and IT connectivity solutions. Atlona quickly gained industry recognition, brand awareness and media attention by introducing products that featured new technologies, such as DiiVA and HDBaseT, to installers and integrators worldwide.
Awarded to individuals who have made significant contributions to education in the audiovisual industry. Submit a nomination
Rodrigo Ordóñez, CTS-D
Based on his deep commitment to advancing the industry through his pro-bono creation of exceptional experiences and teaching industry professionals through InfoComm University programs, Rodrigo Ordóñez, CTS-D, of K2 Audio, has been selected to be the Harald Thiel Volunteer of the Year.
In 2010, InfoComm International was approached by American Institute of Architects (AIA), the leading professional membership organization for architects and design and construction industry professionals, about organizing a major upgrade to the audiovisual systems at AIA headquarters in Washington, D.C. The project was the result of collaboration between InfoComm and the AIA in which InfoComm members donated products and services to address the AIA's changing technology needs.
The project provided an opportunity for the audiovisual and architectural associations to work together and demonstrate the types of professional collaborations that our members are capable of. Technology solutions that are coordinated closely among AV professionals, architects, and clients consistently outperform systems that are not and result in exceptional experiences.
Due to a variety of factors, scheduling of the project became complicated and a lot was demanded of K2 Audio, which agreed to design this AV system at no cost. Ordóñez spearheaded the effort and kept up with the many changes to schedule and scope, donating countless hours of time. When it was finally determined that the project had to be completed quickly, in time for a December 2012 AIA Board meeting, Ordóñez made sure it met the client's high standards, on time, using donated equipment.
The AIA was very pleased with the quality and timing of the project, as well as the effort and professionalism shown by Ordóñez. Despite his focus this project and others, Ordóñez still found time to teach several classes for InfoComm University at tradeshows around the world. Because of his commitment to the industry and the association, Rodrigo Ordóñez, CTS-D, has been selected as the Harald Thiel Volunteer of the Year.