Raising Tomorrow's Leaders

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John Holland, system designer for Crescent Communications stands outside the For the Kingdom Camp and Conference Center, which recently updated its system capabilities.MEMPHIS, TN-The For the Kingdom Camp and Conference Center facility, an effort of the Memphis Leadership Foundation-a Christian non-profit outreach that ministers to the holistic needs of the urban poor-is a versatile, multifunction venue. Designed to provide world-class training/presentation facilities on a rental basis for schools, churches, corporations, and others, the center sought the assistance of Crescent Communications, a design/build firm headquartered in Kenner, LA, to coordinate the installation of the venue's new AV infrastructure.

According to John Holland, system designer for the project and a member of Crescent Communications' Memphis-based team, "Many organizations-particularly those in the corporate environment-are placing more and more emphasis on the team approach as part of their training efforts. For the Kingdom Camp and Conference Center represents an ideal environment, as the facility enables people to gain much needed recreational activity while developing greater camaraderie among the participants."

While the conference facility always has a staff member on-site to assist guests, a high degree of automation exists. The system includes a Crestron Isys TPS-4000LB flush-mount touchpanel with five programmable hardbuttons for rapid access to the most commonly used functions. A Crestron CP2E Ethernet control processor serves as the system's engine, which, as an IP-based device, facilitates remote access via the internet for control, monitoring, and related tasks. "By automating the system," said Holland, "we made operating the AV equipment as easy as possible, and should difficulties arise, staffers have access from anywhere-as long as they have an internet connection."

A Lectrosonics DM1612 Digital Automatic Matrix Mixer governs the conference center's audio provisions. To accommodate a variety of room setups, a series of mixer presets are programmed into the mixer, which is then controlled by the Crestron via RS232. "With all mixer levels, etc., set in the DM1612's memory and reinforced with commands from the Crestron, the client can walk into the conference room, turn the system on from the touch panel, and the audio settings will be consistent with the ones we programmed during installation," said Holland. "This minimizes the chance for problems by people who attempt to make changes without knowing what they're altering-usually with disastrous results. Operation becomes transparent to the user."

With the new system having just been completed and placed into service, For the Kingdom Camp and Conference Center stands at the cutting edge for both its capabilities and its ease of operation. "I've been extremely encouraged thus far," said Holland. "With any system of this complexity, there's always a learning curve, and I'm certain we'll be fine-tuning it as we move forward. Everyone seems quite comfortable with the system's operational aspects and is equally enthusiastic about it. This facility has what it takes to be a first-rate presentation/training space and, of equal importance, it serves as an important vehicle to aid underprivileged kids. In my mind, that's a win-win scenario."

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