CEDIA has revealed the 14 candidates who have put themselves forward for the CEDIA Board of Directors, with each revealing their manifesto.

Members who are eligible to vote are being encouraged to make their voices heard ahead of the November 20 deadline.

CEDIA EMEA’s Board of Directors is charged with defining the strategy and direction of the association. The board plays an important role in how CEDIA supports its members, making it vital that members choose their candidates wisely.

“We are looking for board members who would bring strong leadership to the table” explains Wendy Griffiths, executive director of CEDIA EMEA.

“We are pleased with the members who have put their names forward this year, as they each bring with them a wealth of knowledge and different ideas that will be of benefit to the industry.

“We are delighted that so many candidates have put themselves forward and would urge all members to exercise their right to vote.”

CEDIA chairman, Kris Hogg, Giles Sutton of James and Giles and Christiaan Beukes from Sphere Custom Design in South Africa will continue their term in office. 

A total of seven spaces are available on the CEDIA Board this year, with five positions to be filled by HTP (Home Technology Professional) Members and two slots by Trade Supplier Members.

CEDIA Board Candidates 2016 – 2017

HTP Members Trade Supplier Members
Omar Hikal – Archimedia (UAE) Tom Butler – Artcoustic (UK)
Melanie Malcolm – Bespoke Home Cinemas (UK) Hamish Neale – Barco (UK)
Alister Smith – DLUK (London) Ltd (UK) Jason Girardier – Control4 EMEA (UK)
Ashley Shorey-Mills – Hughes (UK) Daniel Adams – HD Connectivity Ltd (UK)
Rob Sutherland – Inspired Dwellings (UK) Rafal Borek – Home of Technologies Ltd (UK)
William Stewart – Kensington Audio Visual (UK) N/A
Sawan Nichani – MacBee (India) N/A
Philip Turner – Philharmonic AV LTD (UK) N/A
Laura Lazzerini – Studio LGL (Italy) N/A

Voting is open to both CEDIA HTP Members and Trade Supplier Members.

A total of seven nominees can be selected from the list, but only one person per CEDIA Member Company can vote.  Voting closes at 5pm on November 20, 2015.

The results will be announced at the CEDIA AGM, which takes place on the November 25, 2015 at the British Library, London.

Board Members are elected to serve as volunteers for a two year period from January 2016 until December 2017.

To find out each candidate’s manifesto, click through to the next page.

Candidate Manifestos

Omar Hikal – Archimedia (HTP)

Omar Hikal became the CEO of Archimedia in 2010. Prior to that, he was the COO from 2004. His role involved overseeing the day to day running of the company’s operations, the technical standards used by Archimedia’s engineering teams and the development of the Archimedia brand.

His primary focus continues to be on ensuring that Archimedia is consistently delighting and impressing its clients with solutions that are thoughtfully designed and flawlessly executed.

Before joining Archimedia, Omar held various positions in Information Technology, Sales, Marketing and General Management.

Omar holds a Business degree from Boston University’s School of Management and, subsequently, attended executive management programs at INSEAD and the Senior Executive Program at Harvard Business School.

In addition, Omar is a CEDIA Certified System Design Professional and has attended training at Crestron’s Technical Institute in programming and system design.

Melanie Malcolm – Bespoke Home Cinemas (HTP)

“I’ve been involved in the AV industry since 1995, building our business Bespoke Home Cinemas.

We’ve been CEDIA members since 2007, with a lifelong passion for the industry, its education and future developments; it’s not just a job to us.

My involvement at Bespoke has been valuable to the growth of our business using my sales, marketing and networking skills to win new business, whilst making invaluable contacts to build our team.

I believe you have to build a brand, connect your product to your audience and communicate by creating conversations.

My time is divided between Bespoke and my business networking and charity organisations which keep me highly motivated, determined to succeed and make a difference in whatever task I’m given.

As Bespoke enters into its 21st year, I’d love the opportunity to join the CEDIA board using my experience and knowledge to grow a solid support network of AV professionals to the highest of standards.”

Alister Smith – DLUK (London) Ltd (HTP)

“With many years’ experience within technology, from manufacturer, distributor and integrator, I have a wealth of experience to offer.

Having started up a new company from the ashes of a well-respected ‘old timer’ I now consider myself an ideal candidate to support CEDIA EMEA in its mission to develop and encourage high standards within the market place.

My skills include thinking outside the box and viewing challenges in every way possible.

I can be outspoken, but only to challenge the norm. Playing Devil’s Advocate is a role I enjoy, if to ensure all avenues are explored & the best solution is presented.

Within a constantly evolving marketplace, CEDIA must stay ahead of the game.

I believe my addition to the board can aid its members and industry as a whole. This is why I believe you should re-elect me to the CEDIA board.

Having already dedicated over four years voluntary work for CEDIA, Alister is keen to build on the time given and assist CEDIA become the global association the industry requires moving forward.”

Ashley Shorey-Mills – Hughes (HTP)

“I feel I would be the correct candidate to be elected to the board, as I bring a totally new angle to the CEDIA group. I bring an electrical retail viewpoint with 16 years’ experience that will help CEDIA broaden its spectrum and appeal and also assist in developing the smart home aspect of CI.

It is my belief that CEDIA should diversify to help increase growth in members and remain relevant to the industry and I come from part of the retail world that is forever developing and changing to suit its customer.

Gaining attention from the whole industry that is related to the smart home will be key as we look forward and I feel I can help unite these multiple avenues.”

Rob Sutherland – Inspired Dwellings (HTP)

“I set up Inspired Dwellings eight years ago, after seeing opportunity to bring corporate standards of infrastructure to the burgeoning home technology market.

Inspired Dwellings has grown steadily and now has 20 full time members of staff, delivering a wide range of project sizes and types.

Membership of CEDIA was always a key objective when we started.

We first joined in 2009. I became an Outreach Instructor and sometimes deliver 3 CEDIA CPDs a week.

I really appreciate the sharp end of outreach and what it is like to talk to specifiers.

I currently sit on outreach committee and feel that I can contribute CEDIA’s development on the Board.

I believe that CEDIA has a key role to play in leading the industry, at a time of rapidly changing advances in technology and an ever expanding market.

It will need to provide guidance in order that stake holders understand the benefits of the skills that CEDIA members deliver.”

William Stewart – Kensington Audio Visual (HTP)

“I have been within the AV industry for nearly 10 years.

Prior to AV I was an Officer in the RAF, starting as an accountant and then transferring to Intelligence; I therefore know my way around money, leadership and hitting targets (quite literally) in adverse conditions.

My vision for CEDIA is simple; a brand synonymous with outstanding service delivery and protection of its members against undercutting and sub-standard workmanship.

Clients should only ever look at employing CEDIA companies; they would only ever employ NICEIC (or equivalent) electricians as they know they are qualified; the same should apply to CEDIA. We need to achieve this collectively.

Finally, I believe that Board Members should promote CEDIA and not their company within CEDIA.”

Sawan Nichani – MacBee India (HTP)

Sawan has very quickly immersed himself in all that is CEDIA – not only backing the Indian training initiative, but also exuding all that is looked for in a CEDIA individual.

He maintains a good business, has great insight into his marketplace, has a strong ethical understanding and stance in his market and shows without a doubt how CEDIA can benefit his industry – his clients’ home cinema won the entry for Best Home Cinema this year at the CEDIA Awards.

Philip Turner – Philharmonic AV LTD (HTP)

“My first introduction to the world of AV came as a client, when I discovered a passion for home automation technology, which was somewhat tarnished by poor customer experience.

I decided to found Philharmonic Audio Visual (attending as many CEDIA courses as I could) as a company that would provide both exceptional installations and exceptional service.

Working primarily with interior designers and architects, we have been continually surprised by the lack of AV education and knowledge of what fantastic things can be achieved in the home with CI technology.

We have focused on being an educator to the specifiers we work with and would now love to jump in and help carry forward CEDIA’s great work in this area.”

Laura Lazzerini – Studio LGL (HTP)

“The main challenge for CEDIA Region 1 is to become a truly international association, able to provide benefits to all the members, wherever they are.

Considering the increasingly international nature of our industry and of our clients, this is achievable through:

*Financial investment across all the region and based on the advice of the local CEDIA members

*Organisation of training courses for members and events for consumers and interior designers to forge alliances across all the region

*Marketing strategies to reach consumers and interior designers across all the region.

I would like to sincerely thank the professionals I have met in CEDIA that have trusted me and have given me a lot from a human and professional point of view.

I hope that this trust will be renewed again for the next CEDIA board term, as we strive to overcome the main challenge of becoming ‘truly international’.

Thank you very much in advance for your support in the election procedure.”

Tom Butler – Artcoustic (TS)

“Since joining the Board two years ago, I am proud and delighted to say that we have made great progress!

As a trade supplier, I have the luxury of meeting members on a daily basis. Their input as to what they need and want from CEDIA has assisted me in understanding what we should be doing.

Their biggest gripe is that very few clients know who CEDIA is. In response to this, we as the Board made the decision to invest heavily in a strategic marketing campaign to ensure that people recognise the name ‘CEDIA’.

Two years have passed very quickly and with your vote, I hope to extend my tenure so as to finish the great work we’ve started.”

Hamish Neale – Barco (TS)

“I am extremely passionate about the CEDIA channel, comprised of manufacturers, distributors and integrators and the positive impact that we have on the lives of homeowners around the world.

Having served on the board of directors for EMEA for the past three years, I am proud of the steps of progress that we are making, a renewed focus toward our members and the benefits made available to them, prioritising our resources to be used to raise awareness with architects and designers and providing new training platforms across our region.

As the business development manager for Barco Residential EMEA, I am lucky to be able to interact with CEDIA members from across EMEA, India and Russia on a daily basis.”

Jason Girardier – Control4 EMEA (TS)

“Having worked in the CI industry, for Control4, for the best part of a decade, I have seen technology in the home becoming increasingly the ‘new normal’.

In my role with Control4, I have spoken to hundreds of custom install companies, both members and non-members, all across the country and I really understand what kind of support they are looking for from a trade association.

By voting for me, I will look to bring some ideas to the table that I have been hearing from the industry, that will increase membership as well as making being a CEDIA member more valuable for the installer and desirable for the end user.”

Rafal Borek – Home of Technologies Limited (TS)

“Rafal is a great visionary with exceptional knowledge about the building automation industry.

Not many people in my opinion match his skills and abilities when it comes to hard work, leadership and envisioning the next great trend in the industry.

He has been in the industry for over 10 years and has run many successful businesses that have made him the great entrepreneur he is today.”

Daniel Adams – HD Connectivity Ltd (TS)

“Working at HD Connectivity, I see a lot companies performing custom install (CI). I hear what they want from CEDIA first hand and having previously been an installer, I understand the challenges. That feedback, paired with my beliefs, has given me these primary goals:

Community – I want CEDIA to better understand the changing face of CI, involve and embrace more of the “new breed” i.e. expand the awards categories to reflect the wider demographic.

Standards and knowledge – I want some real action on raising the bar in project work industry wide. A huge challenge, but something I am very passionate about.

Students – I want CEDIA to engage with higher education. Grow the student membership and bring more talented young individuals to the industry.”

Vote here.

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