We consistently hear from Business & Leadership Conference (BLC) attendees that one of the best parts of the event is the fact that integrators from across the country can come together to talk business strategy and tactics – sharing secrets to success without worrying about competition.
This year was no exception.
In sticking to tradition, we honored integrators in six categories with Excellence in Business awards during the opening reception at this year’s BLC:
- Customer Experience: AV Solutions, Baton Rouge, LA
- Talent Development: Hillman AV Inc., Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
- Differentiating Strategies: CEC (Communications Engineering Company), Cedar Rapids, IA
- Employee Engagement: HB Communications, North Haven, CT
- Business Performance: Corbett Technology Solutions, Inc. (CTSI), Chantilly, VA
- Strategic Transformation: Constant Technologies, Inc., North Kingstown, RI
In addition to presenting them with hardware to display in the office, we also invite the winners to participate in a panel discussion. (We had a particularly impressive group this year.)
What stood out during this discussion is how much we can learn from other people’s success.
This year’s group of winners included two companies that found success with as-a-service models – CEC (Communications Engineering Company) and Corbett Technology Solutions Inc. (CTSI) – something the industry has traditionally struggled to implement.
Kim Lehrman, CEO of CEC, and Gino Ruta, CEO of CTSI, did a great job of sharing insights and spending time telling people about their success. For example: Lehrman says the decision not to shift technical staff members into sales roles has been “a transformational change” for her company and talked to members about why CEC chose to go that route when not many do.
We also honored two individuals who have given very much to our organization and the industry. Michael Hester – a former NSCA president who also served on the NSCA Board of Directors – received the 2020 Per Haugen Lifetime Achievement Award.
Steve Emspak, partner at global consulting firm Shen Milsom & Wilke LLC and an NSCA Education Foundation Board of Directors member, is the recipient of the 2020 NSCA Education Foundation Founders Award.
The Per Haugen Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes someone’s body of work over an entire career. We think long and hard about our candidates and what we want to recognize them for. Business success is one thing. The more important elements are character, ethics, and core values, which humanize this award.
What you’ll find with people like Mike Hester is that success isn’t measured in terms of wealth or company value. It’s about how they make other people feel through every engagement they’ve had. I’ve known Mike Hester for over 30 years. I’ve observed his positive interactions, whether he’s delivering good or bad news. The people he interacts with feel great about what transpires.
Meanwhile, it’s difficult to overstate Emspak’s contributions to the NSCA Education Foundation. He has been a driving force behind the Drunk Unkles, raising over $1 million for the Foundation through charity concerts. He has worked tireless for many years as a fundraiser and board member, and his contributions will leave a lasting mark on this industry.
Lastly, we recognized manufacturers in seven categories for creating new technology that positively impacts integrators. Our Excellence in Product Innovation award winners included:
- Ease of Customization: Roland VR-50HD MK II
- New Revenue Potential: Da-Lite Parallax® Stratos 1.0
- Recurring Revenue Potential: Crestron Flex
- Retrofit/Installer-Friendly: FSR Smart-Way Raceway System
- Technology Platform: BrightSign BSN.cloud
- Trail-Blazing Innovation: Digital Projection INSIGHT 4K HFR 360
- Overall Grand Prize Winner: Mersive Technologies Active Learning System
The manufacturers and products we recognized gave BLC attendees an inside look at the technology available to them to help customers take business and collaboration processes to the next level. –Chuck Wilson, NSCA Executive Director