Geoff Meads, CEDIA's 2019 Volunteer of the Year (photo by PWP Photography)
After honoring Mitch Klein with the 2019 CEDIA Lifetime Achievement Award at the Expo opening keynote on Wednesday, Thursday night saw recognition given to CEDIA volunteers and the 2019 CEDIA Fellow at the annual Social event.
The 2019 CEDIA Social – held in a high-rise lounge with spectacular view of the host city of Denver – was hosted by Dave Humphries, CEDIA’s Chairman of the Board of Directors. Humphries accepted the first award on behalf of the UK’s Michael Robinson (Perfect Integration), who was unable to attend.
Next up; Jamie Briesemeister (Integration Controls, St. Louis). Briesemeister noted that she’s often asked why there aren’t more women in the integration biz. “When women see other women in positions of leadership, that’s something that goes a long way toward fixing that lack of representation,” said Briesemeister.
“Visibility is everything.”
Humphries then introduced the Volunteer of the Year, Geoff Meads. In the introduction, Humphries shared a few of the comments from peers that accompanied Meads’ nomination, all from Geoff’s peers:
“An amazing volunteer and person.”
“I don’t believe I have ever heard him say no to helping when he can.”
“He will spend time with other volunteers explaining topics, coaching them and even going on morning runs.”
“He’s been instrumental in firming up the Awards procedures, helping with EMEA and US communications, selecting and coaching instructors, and he’s an amazing musician to boot.”
Meads’ remarks were brief, but heartfelt. “I’ve made so many lifelong friends through CEDIA,” he said.
Humphries then turned his attention to the 2019 CEDIA Fellow, Jeremy Burkhardt:
“The CEDIA Fellows program honors longtime CEDIA members and volunteers who have contributed significantly to the association's success. Jeremy fits the criteria perfectly.”
Humphries noted that during the entire time Burkhardt built and sold his firm SpeakerCraft – only to then build another brand, Origin Acoustics – he’s been volunteering, writing, speaking, advancing and promoting the industry, and even serving on the CEDIA Board.
“I came to Expo in 1994 as a punk kid,” said Burkhardt when Humphries handed him the mic. “And Frank White and Bill Skaer invited me to sit down, have a drink, and talk shop.
“I only had six speakers with me!” laughed Burkhardt.
“It’s that kind of vibe, that kind of thing that I love about these people,” he said.
“CEDIA is awesome.”