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The Nine: Samantha Taczynski

Name: Samantha Taczynski

Company: NEC Display Solutions

Twitter: @NEC_SAT

Location: Chicago, IL

Overtime: In her spare time, you can find Taczynski working with her husband for their company Marcsa Creative Studio, which provides CGI, creative retouching, and animation. She also loves to travel and read, especially romance novels.

Samantha Taczynski, NEC

Why You Need To Know Her: Taczynski has hit the ground running since joining NEC and the AV industry in mid-2018. She has earned her DSDE, DSCE, and DCME, is a co-leader of the Chicago area chapter of the AVIXA Women’s Council, and is a member of Women of Digital Signage.

The Road to AV: After working in social media at Sears Holdings for about a year, Taczynski became restless. “It was starting to become challenging working at a company that was not going in the right direction,” she said. (Sears filed for bankruptcy on Oct. 15, 2018.) “Every day was tense and it kind of was a monotone, day-to-day, no change type of job.”

During her job search, she found the listing for NEC. “When I saw the NEC position, I thought it was a perfect way to actually have a bigger impact and to actually be able to think of innovative ideas,” she said.

As she learned more about the position, she got more excited “about how much change I could help bring to the company and how much I could learn and how much this industry constantly changes.”

Even though Taczynski hadn’t worked in the AV industry before, she said that once she joined NEC she realized that AV is everywhere. “You go to the airport and see all the screens. You see all the way-finding signs. Any concert you go to [you see] the audio [and] the visual,” she said. “Everywhere you go a part of the industry is being played.”

Always Learning: Learning has played a big role in her personal strategy for NEC. “I definitely had to step out of my comfort zone with this job and I am still constantly learning and every day challenging myself,” she said.

Taczynski, who graduated from Northeastern Illinois University in 2014 with a degree in communication and media studies, said you have to always be willing to “soak up information.” “I don't think there's ever going to be a point where someone can say I don't need to learn anything or I know everything because...you can't know enough about any certain topic,” she said. “I've also learned that through networking and through talking to people it's important to be involved. And that's the only way to truly immerse yourself in the industry."

The strategy specialist got involved with the AVIXA Women’s Council after she met council members at InfoComm last year. “It's cool to actually be someone who gets to introduce local women to each other and to spark more interest in the industry," she said of the Chicago area chapter of the Women’s Council she co-leads.

Encouraging industry members to get out there and network, she said, is important, and something that wasn’t a part of her job at Sears. "You never know what kind of opportunities you can get out of it."

Get to know the rest of The Nine.