On Tuesday evening, the IMCCA presented Crestron’s Randy Klein and Zoom’s Eric Yuan with Lifetime Achievement Awards during the Collaboration Week New York Gala Dinner at Arno Ristorante in Midtown.
After opening remarks by Carol Zelkin, executive director of the IMCCA, Klein took the podium. “This award—Emerging Technology Fellow Lifetime Achievement—I think it kind of sums it all up for me,” Klein said. “My life at Crestron has always been only about emerging technology and achievement, and I’ve spent a lifetime doing it. This is the only industry I’ve ever known all my professional life, for 40 years.
Klein—who helped grow Crestron from a 50-person company with less than $1 million in revenue to an industry leader with more than 7,000 employees and revenues in excess of $1.5 billion—spoke effusively of his company and its people and heralded the opportunities that lie ahead for the audiovisual industry.
“I believe that the core of any achievement is innovation, and I tell myself every single day: work hard, lead by example, respect the people who got you here, and always, always embrace change and opportunity,” he said. “So yes, I’ve very lucky and I’m very grateful to receive this award.”
Zelkin then introduced Eric Yuan, who was unable to make the trip to accept his award in person, but nonetheless attended the event virtually—you guessed it—courtesy of a Zoom call. “I apologize that I couldn’t be here tonight, but I can be with Zoom, which just works,” he said, alluding to his company’s tagline. “Unified conferencing and collaboration is becoming more and more important; almost every business is realizing the value of it. I give credit to the IMCCA for understanding this value even 20 years ago, and I really appreciate and am super grateful about this award.”
Yuan went on to thank Cisco Systems, where he had worked prior to departing in 2011 to found his company, as well as to praise the IMCCA’s efforts to galvanize the unified communications industry. “It’s not incorrect to call Eric a genius and a visionary that has upended the collaborative communications market,” Zelkin said in her introduction.
Following the awards presentation, a panel featuring representatives of Crestron, Intel, Pexip, Shure, Vyopta, Yorktel, and Zoom answered audience questions and offered their takes on trends and opportunities in the industry.