AVIXA Foundation Updates Mission, Hosts 5K

AVIXA Foundation Name Scholarship Recipients

On Fri., June 14, the AVIXA Foundation will host its first-ever 5K Walk/Run. Proceeds from the 5K will go toward fulfilling the AVIXA Foundation's mission of attracting and developing students for careers in AV.

The 5K Walk/Run will kick off Friday morning before the show floor opens at the North/South building of the Orange County Convention Center. The top three women and top three men for best race times will receive awards. In addition, groups of five or more individuals can register as a team and compete for the Best Team Spirit Award.

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"InfoComm is such a great time every year. The AV community assembles for a week of exploring new technologies and solutions, learning from each other, and celebrating how AV impacts our lives," said Heidi A. Voorhees, MBA, CAE, chief operating officer, AVIXA, and executive director of the AVIXA Foundation. "We're excited to bring another fun, social experience to the week's lineup: our first 5K Walk/Run. Participants will not only get their strides in, they'll support the Foundation's new and focused efforts to develop future AV professionals."

Voorhees worked with the AVIXA foundation board and AVIXA Foundation program director Joseph Valerio to create a new mission for the foundation and a strategic plan for the next three years. The new mission of the AVIXA foundation is to provide "access to quality skills education, builds career pathways, and encourages valuable hands-on experiences to inspire the next generation of leaders in the audiovisual industry."

"The next three years will focus on developing a workforce pipeline for the audiovisual industry," Voorhees said. There will be three key factors involved in this plan: awareness of AV as a viable career path; recruiting and enabling development of non-audiovisual professionals?; and connecting individuals to their first work experiences in the industry.

"Our initial focus is for building awareness of AV as a desirable way to earn a living. We will achieve this goal through an emphasis on high school-aged students and students in vocational/technical schools and community colleges," she said. The Foundation has partnered with community and youth organizations like The Loop Lab, EnventU, and Integrate Baltimore to introduce students to the AV community.

"Our intense focus in these areas is ultimately so our members can have access to an ample, qualified workforce with entry-level skills, and an eagerness to hit the ground running," addeed Vorhees.

The Foundation is planning to launch a comprehensive tool kit for AVIXA members that will provide resources for doing outreach to local schools and youth organizations. "It is key to provide ways for companies to connect the dots for students to the workforce," Vorhees comments. "It will include items like a how-to guide for making initial introductions, collateral to tell the story of AV and integrated experiences, hosting job shadowing or apprenticeships, and how schools can implement a Tech Crew on their own."

Vorhees also encouraged those interested in getting involved with the Foundation to participate in the 5K Walk/Run. "Not only will it be a fun time for the whole family, the proceeds will be used to support all the initiatives the AVIXA Foundation Board has developed on behalf of the industry," she concluded.

For more information on the AVIXA Foundation 5K Walk/Run, sponsored by Crestron, Epson, NEC, and Synnex, visit infocommshow.org/5K.

Megan A. Dutta

Megan A. Dutta is a pro AV industry journalist, and the former content director for Systems Contractor News (SCN) and Digital Signage Magazine, both Future U.S. publications. Dutta previously served as the marketing communications manager at Peerless-AV, where she led the company’s marketing and communications department. 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.