The Nine 2021: Mike Slamer, CTS

Mike Slamer, CTS, SCN: The Nine
(Image credit: Future)

Title: Strategic AV Engineer

Company: Discovery Inc.

Location: New York/New Jersey

Twitter: @MikeSlamer

Overtime: Slamer, a self-proclaimed “gadget geek,” channels his love of tech and pop culture into his podcasts We Are Starfleet: A Star Trek Podcast and Gotham University: A Batman Podcast. And in his spare time, he’s recording an album.

Why You Need to Know Him: Mike Slamer’s mission as strategic AV engineer at Discovery Inc. is to help people communicate more effectively. His biggest job challenge is with communications and standards, and how we use technology to connect with a digital handshake. He emphasizes the importance of people being able to clearly hear your message as foundational in creating a great user experience.

“I love working with the Discovery Communications team. Their vibe, commitment to social justice, and culture of ‘doing good’ is what I value most,” he said. “The company culture surrounding COVID-19 is one of protection and protocols. Keeping staff safe so they can focus on doing the job is essential, and they make it easy with the measures they’ve put in place.”

Early AV Beginnings: From schlepping heavy road cases with sweaty roadies, to stage management, to production for the Discovery Channel, Slamer, 34, has seen his share of live events. Having watched his father perform in smoky jazz clubs from a young age, Slamer has long been fascinated by music and audio. He recalls watching his dad perform on stage and recording as a session musician. Back then, his father always sat Slamer with the sound guy, where he could keep an eagle eye on him. Seeing the sound board and the stage lights was mesmerizing for Slamer. “Gimme those buttons!” he’d think. The experience led to many hot summers of loading in and out at festivals. Inspired, Slamer eventually started his own band.

Leveling Up: Although he only recently obtained his CTS credentials, he thinks of them as just “a couple of letters, but also an equalizer of sorts. It says I can talk the talk and walk the walk in all things AV. I leveled up,” he said. Slamer discovered that math was part a big part of the test, as well as the section on interpreting site drawings. Thankfully, the universe was on his side. He said he had a feeling at the last minute and reviewed that section of the study guides before the exam.

The Future: “Find your niche and grow,” Slamer advised. “AV is the future. Just watch an episode of Star Trek with me on your viewscreen and you’ll see. I can totally see holograms and VR/AR use increasing in corporate environments. I’m excited to be a part of this tech wave.”

Get to know the rest of The Nine 2021.

Brandy Alvarado
Brandy Alvarado is the business development manager for Mad Systems and 2019 chair of the AVIXA Women’s Council.