It's been a rather interested few weeks for the organization that represents the custom integration industry. In a matter of weeks CEDIA announced that both CEO Vin Bruno and VP of Business Development Ron Fleming left the organization. In each case, the association said the departures were the result of each individual wanting to "pursue other opportunities." It remains unclear if the moves were related.
This, of course, comes just a few months after the association announced it was selling the tradeshow portion of its annual meeting to Emerald Expositions. That move was described, at the time, by Bruno as a way for CEDIA staff to return their focus to education and professional development for technology integrators.
On Tuesday, though, CEDIA decided the time was right to address all of the recent changes at the top of the organization. In a letter sent to members, a copy of which was obtained by Dealerscope, CEDIA Board of Directors Chairperson Dennis Erskine did his best to reassure members and the public that the organization is on steady ground moving forward.
Here's Erskine's letter in full:
If the business of residential integration teaches us anything, it's that change is inevitable. Anyone involved in the technology industry knows that the constant evolution of machines - and their interaction with humans - is not only expected, it's necessary.
Many of you have likely read that CEDIA has been evolving of late as well. I'm well aware that to some, recent organizational changes may appear sudden and disruptive.
As you know, the governing body of the association is its board of directors, volunteers elected by the membership. As the Chair of that board, I'd like to offer these thoughts and points of clarification regarding the current state of the association:
- Personnel changes occur for a broad variety of reasons. Employees come and go in every company. We are extraordinarily grateful to everyone who is currently or was formerly employed by the association as they have shaped the organization with the interests of members at the core. Current CEDIA staffers are among the most talented, thoughtful, and hardworking individuals I've ever had the pleasure to spend time with.
- The current position of the association - both financially and organizationally - has never been stronger. The sale of the show means that CEDIA will redouble its efforts to focus on education and workforce development.
The board is steering this ship with precision and thoughtfulness for the long-term best interests and profitability of its members. I can assure you that the work we're doing right now alongside CEDIA's staff to develop a clear, concise, and effective strategy for the association is moving forward brilliantly, and the assistance of Dr. Rebecca Homkes, a strategy expert and fellow with the London School of Economics, is invaluable.
The board is in the beginning stages of a strategy to appoint new leadership, and we will continue to keep you updated. In the interim, Tabatha O'Connor, an association expert with over 15 years' experience with CEDIA, most recently as COO, will take over the duties as acting President/CEO.
Lastly, I'd urge any member with concerns or questions to contact me or any member of the board directly. We are happy to talk about the association, its people, and our future - which, to my eyes, looks very bright indeed.
CEDIA Board of Directors
We'll continue to follow the moves of the association and provide updates as they become available.