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Thankful for #AVTweeps

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and my social media feeds are filled with people letting the world know who and what they're thankful for this year.

I, for one, am thankful to have an amazing group of friends who have gone above and beyond in what turned out to be a very tumultuous year for my family. Whether it was leaning on a co-worker to help edit the latest issue of SCN (thanks, Matt!) or just knowing I could pick up the phone any time to call an #AVTweep when times got tough, I'm blessed beyond measure.

That's what I'm thankful for this year, but what about everyone else? I asked AV pros and here's what they had to say:

"For someone like me who only ever wanted to be a Rockstar when they didn’t grow up, the AV industry is the only place where I can have rockstar hair and wear rockstar clothes, and still be considered a professional. In all seriousness, I’m thankful that the AV business is open to any kind of person, if they have the passion to participate and create. I’m grateful for this industry because of the community, innovation, and heart.  Our sales leadership, service and support techs, and our distributors are artists in the AV industry and that makes it easy to go to work every day."

—Taft Stricklin, Sales Team Manager, Just Add Power

"We are thankful this year to have the privilege to work with the latest technology while spending time with great peers and friends. We live in an industry with so many changes, always growing and evolving, we never get bored. We are also lucky to work with all types of companies and locations and get to experience other cultures that allow us to continue to grow both personally and professionally."

—Bill Chamberlin, Vice President of Global Sales, Verrex

"I am thankful for the variety of worlds that AV allows me to work in, and places it’s allowed me to travel. The AV industry reaches far and wide into so many industries and art forms. Being one of the AV industry’s many servants has allowed me to not only help make events and shows sound better at my kid’s schools, but also provided me an opportunity to work across many worlds like corporate spaces, Broadway theaters, houses of worship, live music festivals, and community organizations.  It intersects with and brings together so many worlds and interests."

—John Monitto, Director of Business Development, Meyer Sound

"I am thankful that I get to go to work just about every day and learn something new. Any I'm thankful for industry friends like you!"

—Hope Roth, Lead Programmer, Riordan Brothers Integration

"I’m grateful for the relationships I’ve developed at Legrand, with other manufacturer partners, and, of course, with our amazing customers. The technological advances, the initiatives such as Women in AV, the experiences, and the people will keep me here for years to come."

—Kalee Luke, Territory Sales Manager for Commercial AV Brands of Legrand - AL, MS, TN, Legrand

"The AV industry is full of inspiring and uplifting people. I feel very grateful for the opportunity to work alongside them.”

—Lindsay Bull, Technical Writer, Luxul

"I really enjoy working with our team and manufacturer partners to solve clients’ communication/collaboration issues; the creative process and witnessing—firsthand—the fruition of our efforts through improving our clients productivity and profitability through better communication. I’m most thankful for the amazing people in this industry…my DPI Family, our customers, our partners, and even our awesome competitors!"

—Robbie Turner, CTS, EVP Sales & Marketing, Data Projections

"I am thankful to be in the AV Industry because of the AVIXA Women’s Council. It is so wonderful to work with incredibly talented, caring, and dedicated women that encourage each other and volunteer their time to create meaningful events that encourage leadership and communication in the AV industry for all people."

—Christy Ricketts, Vice President of Operations & Marketing, Contemporary Research

“This year, I’m thankful to be in an industry that is constantly pushing the innovation envelope to deliver solutions for our customers. For example, our NEC ALP solution was made possible through partners sharing our vision for creating a top-flight business intelligence platform. With emerging technologies like AI and machine learning beginning to make an impact, it’s an exciting time to be in the AV industry and I’m thankful to be part of it.”

—Richard Ventura, Vice President of Strategic Management, NEC Display Solutions

“To me, our industry is akin to the wonderful culture of Spinitar, only bigger…a family! Sure, the AV family has its quirks as any family does, but as our industry grows and the next generation assumes more responsibility, the friendships and partnerships fostered only seem to deepen and expand! Every industry training, event, and tradeshow feels like a reminder of how good I have it—friends and family with a little bit of technology mixed in. And to me, that’s a recipe worth being thankful for."

—Scott Kroeze, EVP Enterprise, Spinitar

"This is a wonderful time to be in the AV Industry because it’s playing a critical role in corporate and educational development where a company can truly make a difference.  Our team is especially thankful to help bring down the costs and increase the effectiveness of education worldwide."

—Terry Cullen, CEO and Founder, 1Beyond

"I’m thankful for the collaborative nature of our industry, especially at Verrex. As account manager, I have a team I can rely on from sales engineers to project managers to project engineers to field technicians to the service desk—all focused on delivering quality solutions and experiences to clients. To be successful in our field, you don’t have to “go it alone”. I’m thankful to work in an industry, and company, that thrives on that dynamic."

—Sabino Petruzzelli, Senior Account Manager, Verrex

The AV industry appreciates where it came from and actively shapes the future—one AV experience at a time. Being part of this community enables me to not only build great relationships with colleagues and customers, but also challenges me to create unique solutions that solve complex installation issues. Working in AV allows me to combine my life-long passion for music and entertainment to create those new innovations that will provide better experiences for the next generation of AV pros. I’m thankful for the great sights, great sounds, and the excitement of this industry, where I can work this hard having while as much fun as possible!"

—Scott Lowder CTS, Director of Product Management, Power, Middle Atlantic

Megan A. Dutta
Megan A. Dutta is the content director for Systems Contractor News (SCN) and Digital Signage Magazine, both Future U.S. publications. Dutta puts her passion for the audiovisual industry on each and every page, whether print or digital. Prior to Future U.S., Dutta was the marketing communications manager at Peerless-AV, where she led the company’s marketing and communications department. In this role, Dutta was an active supporter of the AVIXA's InfoComm Exhibitor Steering Committee; she chaired the committee for the 2017 show, a prestigious honor that allowed her to provide leadership and support to both the InfoComm tradeshow and its exhibitors. Dutta is the recipient of AVIXA's 2017 Young AV Professional Award and Women in Consumer Technology's 2018 Woman to Watch Award. Dutta is co-founder of Women of Digital Signage, an organization designed to provide a pathway to promote networking, mentoring, and personal growth.