L. William (Bill) Nattress III, CTS-D, CTS-I, has a passion for helping others advance their skill set. In fact, he’s built a whole career around it.
Watch the video below to learn more about Bill Nattress.
“When I began in AV, there were individuals within pro AV who took the time to advance the industry’s knowledge. Fred Dixon, Ray Wadsworth, Kim Milliken, and Scott Sharer are only but a few of these individuals,” he said. “What I learned from them were not only best methods and practices, but also the need to pass that knowledge on to the next generation.”
Named AVIXA’s (then InfoComm’s) Educator of the Year in 2009 and CTS Holder of the Year in 2015, Nattress is one of the elite few to earn both AVIXA certifications. His focus is on educating others. “Pro AV technologies will always evolve, but no matter what that technology is, the first and last mile will always be analog. Thus, an understanding of the physics of sound and light will never end for us. My passion comes from being able to put those concepts into the framework that AV professionals need to be successful and watching them become excited when it all works.”
Nattress’ thirst for AV knowledge began in high school, where he worked on the tech aspects of theater in what he calls a “very advanced media services department” at the school. It was there that he learned audio editing on reel-to-reel tape. After that, Nattress worked as a roadie for a time but decided the lifestyle didn’t suit him. It was not until he joined an integration firm, where he installed and serviced foreign language labs across the Midwest, that he discovered his love of engineering.
He attended university and worked in the institution’s media services department. “I simply fell in love with it all, and have never regretted it,” he said.
“The AV industry has provided me so many things that I probably never would have experienced otherwise,” he said. “I have travelled the world and overseen some very interesting and advanced technology deployments. Those experiences ran through many aspects of our industry.”
Throughout his career, Nattress has worked on interesting and prominent projects, including designing two college campuses in Saudi Arabia (including one that contains one of the world’s largest medical simulation facilities), working on designs for Wynn Resorts, authoring the remote control system basics of design chapter for The Basics of Audio and Visual Systems Design: Revised Edition, and leading the technology design for the famed Crown Fountain at Millennium Park in Chicago.
Nattress is currently the director of consultant relations as Biamp Systems. He spearheads the Biamp Consultant program, which was introduced in May of 2018 to address the needs of the specifier community. Like everything else in his life, Nattress’ favorite part involves serving others: “My love of this activity is that I am still able to design solutions, but I am also able to mentor a new generation of AV design professionals. Besides, I also get to avoid generating the drawings and specifications.”
As for the future of pro AV and his career, Nattress concluded with this point: “We simply need to look at what has evolved in the last 50 to 100 years to realize that it will all be very different in five to 10 years. Opportunity comes to those who can see how the evolution will impact them and adjust accordingly.”
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