CEDIA announces 2006/07 board and enlists new members

By Sarah Falson

SYDNEY: Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association (CEDIA) Australasia has announced a new board of directors and executives, to advise and organise the company’s industry activities for the next two years, and urges retailers to join its association.

The members were chosen from the 190 installers, retailers and suppliers who are members of CEDIA Australasia, to ensure a “perfect mix of valuable and diverse industry knowledge in the strategic decision-making process,” a CEDIA press release stated.

"It is crucial for CEDIA as an association to provide the best possible advice to its members, and it is the board’s role to do so", said CEDIA Australasia general manager, Stephen Miller, in the press release.

"Just like with any association that grows as quickly as we do, the board needs to make lots of big decisions. I feel very confident that our new board members will manage this responsibility well, guaranteeing the best possible outcomes."

According to CEDIA, throughout the remainder of 2006 and into 2007, the board will oversee the development and smooth-running of the CEDIA education courses which focus on developing the skills and knowledge-base of new and existing CEDIA members.

A new CEDIA education centre was recently launched near Sydney’s airport in Botany, and new certification education courses were initiated for CEDIA members and their staff.

The new facility, which was launched on 17 October, offers practical training areas, 14 new E-learning courses, a boardroom and an education room, all decked-out with the latest AV hardware and construction materials, where small groups of installers can learn custom installation processes to heighten the skills of the industry at large.

The board will also organise the annual 2007 CEDIA Expo on the Gold Coast, “which brings the entire CI [custom installation] industry together for a three-day combined product/service display, and knowledge sharing workshop,” according to CEDIA.

This year, the association will focus on the ‘fourth trade’ initiative, which brings together the four crucial contractors involved in the residential design/building process.

“Traditionally, there have been three trades: plumbing, electrical and building. These days, with networking, multiroom audio and electrical systems so prominent in households, there is a fourth trade,” Audioworks marketing manager, David Small – who has been part of the CEDIA board for the past four years – told Current.com.au

"The ‘fourth trade’ remains a strong focus area for CEDIA globally this year and our dedication to this will be demonstrated through the CEDIA Electronic Lifestyles Expo in Las Vegas in April", said Miller in the release.

"We need to ensure a seamless integration with the other contractors to ensure the best possible customer experience to the end user. This will be the sole purpose of this new Expo."

The executive board for 2007 consists of president: Chris McGowen from Advanced Living, vice president: Don MacKenzie at Home Theatrix and treasurer: Neil Somers from Amber Technology.

The board of directors includes secretary: Peter Greentree at Len Wallis Audio, public relations: Rob Sanders from TotalQ, events: Jefferson Dowley at Custom Home Electronics, expo: Don MacKenzie at Home Theatrix, suppliers: Neil Somers at Amber Technology, membership: Peter Greentree from Len Wallis Audio and education: Tim Gentile from The Directors Chair (Brisbane).

According to Small, any member company can nominate a person for the board, and all designer members (installers and retailers) are given a vote. This excludes supplier members, such as Panasonic, Altronics and Fujitsu General.

Retailers who are interested in joining CEDIA are urged to contact the CEDIA office on (02) 9666 1677 to obtain an information pack. Membership costs $1000 which goes towards running CEDIA and the annual expo.

To be eligible for membership, retailers must have on their team at least one staff member who has been performing custom installation work for 12 months and can supply references from three preferred customers, plus a public liability fund of $10 million.

“While we look for this standard, we also recognise that beginners might be looking for the education CEDIA provides, in which case he/she can become a provisional member, move through the training process, and become a full member from there,” said Small.

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