The systems integration industry has changed dramatically in the last dozen years, and helping spearhead that change has been InfoComm executive director and CEO Randal A. Lemke, Ph.D.
Since he took the reins at the turn of the millennium, both the organization and the industry have grown exponentially; now Lemke is retiring at the end of the year, and InfoComm feted its leader yesterday at its VIP Reception.
Looking back at the last decadeplus, Lemke says that InfoComm’s two greatest accomplishments under his direction were “our move to the major leagues with ANSI accreditation of our certification; that’s a big thing because it gets us into new places where our people can work. The other accomplishment has been the international shows. We had two events in 2000 — we sponsored an event in Europe and were a sponsor in Japan.” Since then, InfoComm has launched an extensive international expansion, creating a series of localized Info- Comm shows and Integrated Systems shows around the world, giving the organization a strong foothold in every major continent.
Lemke notes that, while he fostered other organizational priorities—securing accredidation of the CTS certifications, developing industry best practices, acquisitions and more—much of that happened because he “hired the best staff possible, because what they’ve done is put into place the accomplishments that I’ll get credit for, but they should as well.”
So how has his last InfoComm Show as executive director/CEO been? “It’s a chance to see people that I’ve worked with for 12 years and be able to talk a bit with them,” he says. “It’s bittersweet because there’s a sense of accomplishment, and yet it’s not easy leaving.” That said, it’s been an upbeat experience as well: “When I became Executive Director I had a responsibility to help the industry make a change, and now, looking back, we can say, ‘We got a lot of people educated, people who now successfully integrate systems; we got our certification going; and more.’ It’s a nice look back.”