Meet The Nine, exemplars of talents we’ll need to move this industry forward. After consulting our top peers in the industry, we selected the folks you see below because they had the most vibrant new ideas in business and a passion for every aspect of life. The Nine are a new class of AV innovators who live to the fullest at work and in all aspects of our constantly changing times.
Read more about the painstaking selection process and what we learned from it, here.
Title: Senior Sales Engineer
Company: Advanced AV
Why You Should Know Him: This go-getter started his career moving tables and chairs on a night shift, and he found that when more help was needed during the day, volunteers were rewarded. He first came to know Advanced AV as a customer, working for Merck, and he really liked the way the technicians and sales people he knew there did business.
Why You Should Know Him: Skeuomorphism and visual noise aren’t just part of Mark Lozano’s vocabulary, but they encapsulate a unique and wholly modern vision for what a GUI should look like today. AVI-SPL snapped the talented designer up out of arts school while seeking out young blood with visual expertise for UI. The AV industry wasn’t a far call for Lozano, who had DJ’d on the side during college, and he had dabbled in electrical engineering in college before transitioning to design. His ability to read a technical drawing surely made him stand out.
Why You Should Know Him: Helms is not your typical musician-turned-sound engineer. While music has always been a hobby, it was a volunteer role that exposed him to the AV industry: “I was at AT&T previously, and decided I wanted to change my career. I got interested in this field by working with the media ministry at my church. I did that for two years before deciding to leave my job at AT&T and pursue Columbia College’s program.”
School: Savannah College of Arts & Design
Why You Should Know Her: The recipient of the first-ever Geri Wolff Scholarship Award from the Digital Signage Federation, Savannah McNulty and her work are inspiring young women to tap into their creativity and create memorable moments. A third-year graphic design student at the Savannah College of Arts & Design, McNulty is constantly learning new ways to use her artistic sensibility for corporate projects, conveying a specific message through designs tailored to the digital signage market.
Title: Director of Creative Services
Company: Diversified Media Group
Why You Should Know Him: He speaks with amiable conviction about where we’re headed because he has actually worked on the types of projects we weren’t sure would ever happen. Would advertising agencies ever really understand “digital signage?” And more, would they ever actually see an AV designer as a creative force? Well, yes, that happened, and TJ resides right at the crossroads as director of creative services at Diversified.
Title: Project Manager
Company: Audio, Video & Controls (AV&C)
Why You Should Know Her: The Alvin Ailey stage manager turned AV project manager, “discovered a love of shepherding the creative process,” early on in life. Gina Costagliola proves that you don’t need to get all that technical to excel in AV. When she decided she was tired of the touring life, a former colleague set her up as an intern at AV&C. She quickly went from taking notes during presentations to eventually having her hands in most every end of the business.
Title: Theatre, Acoustics, and AV Consultant
Why You Should Know Him: Before he finished architecture school, Marcelo Gregório had already been working for a major acoustical consultant and started his own woodwork shop in his home of Sao Paulo, Brazil. He gained valuable experience in acoustics, theater planning, and a little bit of AV, and his home recording studio gave him the basics of audio mixing.
Dave Rife and Gabe Liberti
Company: Dave & Gabe
Why You Should Know Them: They have seen the way you hear, and they are building new works accordingly. Their definition of “three-dimensional sound” actuates the potential in that claim, as seen in immersive installations that layer sound and music with light, generative video, and tactility to give listeners more information and personal input into an experience.
Title: AV Design Engineer
Why You Should Know Him: Kirby’s portfolio takes the term "creative design" to a new level with projects like the Warner Brothers Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter and Cirque du Soleil’s IRIS. For the first part of his career, he worked with ThinkWell, an experience design firm creating immersive environments for location-based entertainment.