Best in Class by Christopher Maione -

Best in Class by Christopher Maione

Publish date:

So we are back from InfoComm, playing catch-up to the week’s worth of work that slipped by while scouring the floor at the Las Vegas Convention Center. We searched for new knowledge, new technologies, and made time to meet up with colleagues and old friends. As a whole, the show was a resounding success—and despite the difficult economic times, the attendance was good and the manufacturers all were very optimistic about the outlook for the AV market in the upcoming year.

Off of the trade show floor in a not so publicized event, InfoComm co-sponsored the 2010 Pro AV Spotlight Awards. These awards recognize the “best in class” for AV excellence in the following categories:

· • Corporate

· • Education

· • Entertainment/Arts

· • Government

· • Health Care

· • Hospitality / Restaurant / Casino

· • House of Worship

· • Museum

· • Residential

· • Retail

Each year hundreds of AV System Integrators and Consultants submit their high profile projects for consideration for these awards. Once all of the project applications are received, a panel of independent AV industry experts is selected to judge the entries. On the face, I support these friendly competitions and I think it’s a great means of spotlighting interesting and innovative AV projects. In many instances these projects “raise the bar” for all of us and provide a certain level of awareness with regard to the types of high quality, high caliber projects being completed by our counterparts within the industry.

My small bone to pick with these awards is that they primarily highlight the project and the AV technologies, and only mention to a limited extent the AV firms involved. But firms, although the framework from which great work can be produced, are made up of talented PEOPLE who are truly the key ingredients to a project’s successful outcome. That’s right, it’s the people that make or break the success of any project.

If you are an end-user client with an upcoming project, take note:

You cannot simply base your selection solely on the reputation or caliber of any firm; it’s about the team of people on YOUR project which counts.

So I’m going to take this opportunity to give credit to the project team and all those involved with the AV facilities / systems – the BofA project was one of the biggest and best AV projects in NY history. This was a “ground up” 54 story tower project, and now completed, shapes the New York skyline as the second tallest building in NYC (second only to the Empire State Building).

The AV facilities included throughout the tower are extremely sophisticated and include:

. A 300 seat Auditorium

· A Broadcast TV Studio

· (50) AV Conference Rooms

· An Executive Conference Center

· (3) Divisible Training Rooms

· (63) Videoconference Rooms

· (6) Flat Screen Video Walls

· (2) Morning Meeting Rooms

· (4) Trading Floor Press Cameras

· A Fiber Distribution Backbone

· Building Wide Cable TV System

· Fitness Center

· Cafeteria

The firms and the teams of people working on this project are experienced, dedicated professionals and truly the best in their field at what they do. Hats off to my colleagues which were part of this great project:

What’s a project without a great client? These folks not only have to maintain their “day jobs” but also become part of the project team for the build out of the tower. Well done, David Bricknell, Elaine Cahill, Jeannie Choi, John Conroy, Dave Cohen, Louis Demonte, Kelli Fleischacker, Linda Geis, Richi Lodato, Melissa Madura-Altman, Corey Mock, Greg Patterson, Chris Morris, and Brian Primack.

Jones Lang LaSalle
The overall owner’s representative and project management firm responsible for managing and overseeing ALL design and construction work of all disciplines. Congratulations Jerry Alpern, Corrine Barnett, Amy Brien, Andy Bush, Tom Cavananugh, Angela Kwan, Susan Hoagland, Brenda Munson, Johan Reyes, Greg Rutherford, Jean Savitsky, and Dara Slack.

The interior space architect with a great flare for design. The Gensler team designed, developed and detailed every inch of occupied space for BofA. Congratulations Christopher Baglino, Robert Federico, Keiko Kato, George Fowler, Rocco Giannetti, EJ Lee, Shirley Lee, Elizabeth Norman, Matt Read, Rina Parado, Robert Sickeler, and Ryan White.

CS Technologies
The technology consulting firm which supported the banks in-house IT / Cabling implementation group, did peer review of the various disciplines designs, and assisted with the scheduling, implementation and project management.
Congratulations Robert Caputo, David Puentes, and Dan Suric.

Supported all efforts pertaining to the videoconference systems and technologies implemented throughout the tower. Aces to Wayne Goggin and Richie Lodata.

Provided all Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing and Telecommunications engineering for not only the BofA (interior) facilities, but for the entire core and shell of the building. Aces: Elaine Buczynski, Walter Mehl, and Roger Schultze.

Cerami & Associates
Provided overall acoustical consulting for all spaces including all AV facilities. Well done, Bruce Manning and John Longman.

AV Services
Responsible for the AV integration and installation of all the typical AV conference rooms throughout the tower. Well done: Ralph Capria, Greg Cummings, Ricardo Duran, Mike McCoy, and Jim Sibrel.

Responsible for the AV integration and installation of the Auditorium, Morning Meeting Rooms, TV Studio and all Broadcast Distribution Systems throughout the tower. Spotlight on Dave Berlin, Ricky Bronstein, Ramon Bruno, Saul Martinez, Tommy Santana, and Craig Tepke.

Excel Media

Responsible for the AV integration and installation of the elevator lobby media wall. Well done: Mike Kipp and Robert Menell.

This is only a small representation of the overall tower project team – persons which interfaced with the AV teams on a regular basis – and I’m sure there were others, so if I have missed anyone, apologies. I’d also like to recognize Structure Tone (the construction manager) and all the numerous sub-contractors which helped construct this great building.

Finally, to the dedicated folks I had the pleasure to work alongside for over five years as we designed, engineered, coordinated and managed every aspect of the AV systems which entered into the BofA tower.

Thank you: Laurence Ferraro, Tom Licameli, William T innel, and Nancy Trefny.

To Everyone
No man is an island, and for that matter, no one firm – in addition to great vision, it takes a team of talented individuals working together to make great things happen and this was certainly the case with the BofA project.
Congratulations to all. Consider this blog recognition to the entire project team for a great project (and award) we can all be proud of.

Christopher Maione, CTS-D, is president of Christopher Maione Associates, a firm specializing in all aspects of AV business, technologies, and marketing strategy. He also serves as an Infocomm Adjunct Faculty member and frequent speaker at global AV industry events. Reach him at


Impressive #WomeninAV by Christopher Maione

This blog is not one of my usual technical blogs – instead the focus will be around Women in AV and in particular about an individual who I have known for over 7 years.  Yet the blog isn’t really just about HER, or her accomplishments, but rather it is about what she stands for and how she has made an impressive mark o

AV Millwork Management by Christopher Maione

I frequently get asked what is the most difficult portion of managing an AV project – and believe me – I’ve managed several very large scale projects, including ground up skyscrapers packed with 40-plus floors of AV systems, a Conference Center, Trading Floors, TV Studio, Cafeteria, and Fitness Center – projects which

2011 AV Review by Christopher Maione, CTS-D

As the New Year begins, part of knowing where we’re going is knowing where we’ve been. Let’s look back at the big events that affected end-users, integrators, and consultants in the commercial AV world in 2011. IT Continued to Take Over AV More and more we saw “AV” being migrated into the IT department and with th

Do You Get It? by Christopher Maione

The phrase “Get It” has been adopted in the AV industry, so I will make an attempt to provide a definition in context.   Get It: To understand the matter or issues at hand as well as the situation and circumstances surrounding the matter or issue and to comprehend the pressures and expectations associated with the p

Where are We Going in AV in 2012? by Christopher Maione

If I could predict the future I assure you I would be picking lottery numbers, not forecasting the ever changing trends in technology and business - however when it comes to AV I’m probably a reasonable source to peek into what this year may bring.  So let me shake up MY crystal ball and see what appears. First, the

AV Done Properly by Christopher Maione

AV Done Properly: Professional Quality Work, Attention to Details, Relentless Follow Up   During my humble career, I have designed, engineered, and project-managed literally thousands of AV projects – large and small — and I will share with you the most important aspects of a successful project: quality work, attent

Will AV Systems Become a Commodity? by Christopher Maione

I had a meeting last week with a long time colleague, friend, and client who works as the in-house AV engineer/project manager for a global investment banking firm. Here, in the middle of New York City, with an abundance of large and small AV integrators to choose from, he tells me he is using Best Buy to purchase and

The AV industry is due for a change by Christopher Maione

“There can be change without progress, but not progress without change.” - Anonymous Over the last three decades, despite the changes in the names and the faces of the AV “players” and the “play time” that they’ve had in the industry limelight, there has been very little innovation or change in the general structure