Name: Meg Sciarini Smith
Title: AV Systems Engineer
Company: A major Silicon Valley corporation
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Overtime: Sciarini Smith loves hockey. Raised in Toledo, OH, just a short drive from Detroit, she grew up a huge Red Wings fan. “Hockey is probably my number one favorite thing, next to my husband and cats,” she said. “They are equally as important, but hockey is definitely right up there with them.”
Why You Need to Know Her: “I’m plucky comic relief!” Meg Sciarini Smith, age 31, chuckled. “I have ideas, and I have stories I want to tell, and I want to use the coolest, best, and right technology for the solution.”
A Dramatic Entrance: Like most in the industry, Sciarini Smith’s road to a career in AV had its roots in different pursuits. She developed a passion for video, film, and photography in high school at Toledo School for the Arts. Then, at the University of Toledo, she began working on interactive multimedia theatrical programs. “I started really moving into immersive environments as a field before it was really classified as that,” she said, noting that she became involved in “a lot of installation art, projection mapping, and interactive video. I wound up knowing a lot more about programming video for playback than I ever thought I would.”
This experience led her to a job right out of college as a video technician for Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas, working on Viva Elvis and Zarkana, as well as the philanthropic event One Night for One Drop. “That’s where I really cut my teeth on AV,” Sciarini Smith said. “I was really lucky to have the managers that I did because they let me be green and they taught me a lot, and they were incredibly patient with my learning curve. They had to teach me a lot of the AV basics, like how to use a meter to read electricity, how to focus a projector, understanding mapping…. That was also where I got my first real deep dive into media servers, which inevitably became one of my biggest passions.”
After she departed Cirque, she found her way to a job with the Criss Angel show The Supernaturalists, where she was exposed to Barco’s LED wall and media server products. She got to know the company’s support team well while working on LED wall builds and system design during this time, and when a position on their team opened up, she jumped at it. She spent two and a half years at Barco as a support engineer and as a product specialist in image processing, working with media servers, the E2 presentation system, and the image processing line.
Early last year another opportunity arose, and she left Barco for her current role as an AV systems engineer, where she maintains and operationalizes AV systems for the retail division of a major Silicon Valley company.
An Exciting Horizon: Sciarini Smith is excited about the future of AV for a number of reasons. “Control systems and alliances like SDVoE are really interesting to me, and understanding the interoperability of AV making this shift into networking is incredibly fascinating,” she said. “How do we control entire campuses, how you control a whole school—that stuff’s really interesting to me.” The evolution of display technology also keeps her on the edge of her seat. “LED technology is astounding; I’m super excited about that field. That’s just changing so fast, it’s hard to keep up, but it’s amazing.”
With an unmissable zeal for her work, it seems certain you’ll be hearing more about Sciarini Smith in the future. “What I love about this industry is that everything changes every year by leaps and bounds,” she said. “I’m definitely ready and willing to push what those boundaries are, and see where we can take audiovisual equipment down the road to tell the best story that we can.”