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The Nine: Meet the New Class of AV Innovators

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Meet The Nine, exemplars of talents we’ll need to move this industry forward. After consulting our top peers in the industry, we selected the folks you see below because they had the most vibrant new ideas in business and a passion for every aspect of life. The Nine are a new class of AV innovators who live to the fullest at work and in all aspects of our constantly changing times. 

In the coming days, we will feature a profile for each of The Nine. Make sure to check back here later today and tomorrow.

Alex Mayo

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Title: Consultant
Company:Shen Milsom & Wilke
Why You Should Know Him: No stranger to the soldering iron, and unafraid to shoot in 35mm film, Mayo brings analog tone to digital everything. He has seen the future, but he operates with a firm understanding of human elements that will remain ever unchanged. He’s an accidental coolhunter with a Midwestern equanimity sharpened by New York connections. Oh, and he also designs AV systems for some pretty major projects over there at Shen Milsom & Wilke.

Read The Nine: Alex Mayo, The Human Touch ... 

Anne Guthrie

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Title: Acoustic and AV Consultant
Company: Arup
Why You Need to Know Her: She uses phrases like “auralizations of ballet footfall” in her daily work, and we all secretly wish we could be scientific about art all day. She is a musician and a composer, she’s on a record label, and her latest releases came out on audiocassette (super hip) and vinyl (still quite respectably hip). Oh, and her first project as an intern at Arup had her spatializing the audiobook recording of Nick Cave’s The Death of Bunny Munro, and her career has only gone up from there.

Read The Nine: Anne Guthrie, The Sound Artist ...

Chance Turner

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Title: Director of Recruiting
Company:Whitlock
Why You Need to Know Him: After Whitlock established and built with a consulting AV veteran, the company placed the continuation of its rapid growth strategy into the hands of Turner. Previously employed by an outside staffing firm, Turner had worked with Whitlock in the past, and was ready to be a dedicated in-house talent. As growth continues and Whitlock integrates its Xerox AV acquisition, Turner is building a larger recruiting department.

Read The Nine: Chance Turner, The Relationship Builder ... 

Elizabeth Kelson

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Title: Senior Consultant
Company: Charles M. Salter Associates
Why You Need to Know Her: Equal parts passionate musician and technologist, Kelson offers the prototypical consultant package with a twist—she planned a career in AV from the start. She entered a Master of Arts in Audio Sciences at Johns Hopkins University with a concentration in Acoustics, which she knew would translate into a career in AV. Her course load combined classical music training topped with science classes populated by pre-med students and engineering majors, which presented opportunities to compare and learn across applications.

Read The Nine: Elisabeth Kelson, The Technologist ...

Gregory Rushton

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Title: Associate
Company: Mulvey & Banani International
Why You Need to Know Him: When a major electrical engineering firm decided to expand into AV consulting, they hired Rushton to launch the division. He was 21 at the time, and nearly seven years later it’s apparent he was the right choice. “They took a chance on me, and within six months I was going up against the biggest guys in the city,” he recalled.

Read The Nine: Gregory Rushton, The Natural ... 

Kari Rae Seekins

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Title: Area Technical Director
Company:RIVA Creative U.S.A.
Why You Need to Know Her: A true artist and composer with an approachable demeanor and insatiable curiosity, Seekins translates visual metaphors into sonic cues in film, theater, installations, exhibits, and theme parks. She started on the art and theater composition side and is now gaining an understanding of the AV systems side in her role as technical director for a themed entertainment company. She is continuing to work across this spectrum, investigating the ways in which atmosphere and environments—and even human emotion and wellbeing—can be enhanced by carefully deigned audio content.

Read The Nine: Kari Rae Seekins, The Creative ... 

Kelly Perkins

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Title: Marketing and Communications Manager
Company: AVI Systems
Why You Need To Know Her: She translated an interest in computers and technology into a marketing role that had her terminating cables at trade shows as well as creating advertising creative. She raised the cool factor of AV marketing while at Vaddio, with a series of witty t-shirts and hilarious videos like “Vaddio Does Audio”. Now she’s working on the integrator side of marketing to help solve the elusive “selling services instead of products” question at AVI Systems.

Read The Nine: Kelly Perkins, The Cool Factor ... 

Morteza Ghazi-Tehrani

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Title: Systems Integration Analyst
Company: A Defense Contractor
Why You Should Know Him: He was the kid that set up the household’s fancy new VCRs, video game consoles, and DVD players. His dad was a software programmer, but the youth is the one who finally put the family PC on the internet with one of those 56k promo discs there were in endless supply of in everybody’s mailboxes in those days. “That day opened me up to a whole new dimension—one that travels long distances over just copper cable.”

Read The Nine: Morteza Ghazi-Tehrani, The Business Savvy ... 

Tory Holmwood 

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Title: Services Sales and Project Manager
Company: Advanced AV
Why You Should Know Her: Holmwood was destined to be a huge influence on the AV industry before she ever knew it existed. Focused on client experience since before it was cool, she joined Advanced AV immediately after completing college and quickly translated her communications skills into project management. After a brief sojourn in the manufacturing world, where she launched a project management division within Scala, she returned to Advanced AV to focus on the rapidly changing and growing service department. Now her interest in client experience is combined with application knowledge for the ultimate ambassadorship to usher in the new era of AV.

Read The Nine: Tory Holmwood, The Connector ... 

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