30 Years of Connection, Part 2

Ed Wenck | Feb 19, 2019

As CEDIA approaches the 30th anniversary of its founding (it became an association in November of 1989), we are speaking with a variety of members on CEDIA’s history and impact.

On memories of CEDIA Expos past

Eric Bodley, Future Ready Solutions and Bodley and Associates (CEDIA Fellow, 2017 CEDIA Lifetime Achievement Award Winner and CEDIA Fellow):  When I was with Sound Advice, a gent named Barry Faske came to me and wanted me to sign off on a trip. There was something going on in Amelia Island in 1989 and it was $500 and was the first conference for something called “CEDIA.”
I said to Barry, “What is a CEDIA?”
Long story short: I wound up going.
And that weekend I would say changed my life. I met 400, maybe 500 companies, business owners and manufacturers. It was at a little resort called Amelia Island Plantation and no one who was there will ever forget the tent: It had to be 200 degrees inside this tent.
And on the ride back, I really thought about what I saw and I realized this is where the industry is going to go.

David Humphries, Atlantic Integrated (CEDIA Chairman of the Board): I was at the Expo in 1998 in New Orleans that got hit by a hurricane. There was a foot and a half of water on Bourbon Street. It was funny because I was doing training for the manufacturer I worked for at the time, and it was completely sold out. We got there by canoe, but we all got there.
Marilyn Sanford, LincEdge (CEDIA Fellow): The first one I went to was in Dallas (I think it was 1994). So, you've probably heard the stories about that, where there's the big field and the open forum, lots of great music. It was a celebration essentially of sharing a great industry. At the same time, you could connect with suppliers; understand a little bit about where the technology was going and learn from some of those great personalities that we all know — it was so personality driven then.

Hal Clark, Commercial Electronics (Founding Member): Some of my favorite memories: Having a chance to work for some of the finest CEDIA Award-winning companies, with Mitchell Klein’s Media Systems in Boston; Russ Goddard’s Audible Difference in Palo Alto, Randy & Bob Stearn’s Engineered Environments in Oakland, and Commercial Electronics in Vancouver. Interacting and learning from some of our industry’s major innovators: Tom Holman, Ray Dolby, Sam Runco, industry influencers like Maureen Jenson, Joe Silver, and Dave Humphries.
Winning awards at CEDIA were great affirmations. But probably the most meaningful events were at the early CEDIA Expos in San Francisco in 1991 and especially Dallas from 1992-1996 where you could get a small group of fellow integrators in a bar, a niche, or small enclave and talk for hours about our work and how to get better at it!
David Graham, Grahams (Former Chairman UK): The highlights of my CEDIA membership were really being the chairman of the UK chapter, being thrown off the stage at our Brighton Expo while I was trying to sing Mustang Sally and nobody appreciated it, which was a great opportunity missed by many. Seriously, though — the annual Expos, many of which I've attended in the U.S., were vital to developing my knowledge and my staff's knowledge as well. Now of course, we have ISE here in Europe – yet another great opportunity to meet other like-minded people and make some good friends.