Powerful Women in Consumer Technology 2019: Jamie Briesemeister
To see the full 2019 class of Powerful Women in Consumer Technology, please check out the program's home page.
Title: CEO, Co-Founder
Company: Integration Controls
Tell us a little about your career history.
While I worked in high school and throughout college, I began my professional career as a Speech-Language Pathologist. After burnout set in (too quickly), I put that career on pause while I helped my husband start Integration Controls. He always made technology simple in our home, so I knew what was possible. I had no idea how it all happened, however. I dove in, head-first, and learned how to run wiring, make connections, program systems, sell to clients. After 15 years, I’m now CEO of a tech company I never considered when studying linguistics in college!
(Jamie has spoken at a number of conferences and seminars, advocating for home technology considerations in the design/build process, as a guest speaker, as an instructor, or presenting CEUs to architects and designers... Jamie is a Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association [CEDIA] Outreach Instructor [COI] and volunteers for CEDIA as a member of the Industry Relations Advisory Council and as chair of the Business Working Group. Her commitment to the design community has been recognized by her local ASID MO-East chapter.)
What attracted you to a career in consumer technology?
I married an attractive, intelligent, capable craftsman who constantly sought solutions to problems that made people happy. He was inspired to create Integration Controls and I wanted to help him accomplish his goals.
What are the best initiatives available to attract women to careers in technology—and what hurdles are left to overcome?
The best initiatives are those that are aimed at our youth and those which provide awareness that tech careers are available to anyone, regardless of gender. One of the biggest hurdles left to overcome would be overall awareness of the varied (and fun) careers in technology. A huge population of people know nothing about what’s possible.
What accomplishments are you most proud of in your career?
I enjoy helping others help themselves – or – helping a mission along its path. My volunteer efforts with CEDIA have provided opportunities where I could meet with fellow integrators and we could share business successes and business blunders. The Xchange was a result of these opportunities and I have won some volunteer awards because of my efforts; the real accomplishments, however, come from knowing I helped others on a person level.
Any closing thoughts you’d like to share?
If you are a woman in tech – or in any predominantly male industry – understand your voice is equal to those around you. Be empowered to stand up and speak up: the next generation is watching.