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Mike Weems, AVIXA Award Winner

By David Keene

After an entire summer of InfoComm show post-game analysis and product and solution discussion, it’s nice to remember and highlight some of the personal stories – the ones that tend to get lost in all the product frenzy.

AVIXA CEO David Labuskes presented Mike Weems, CTS, MCP, the 2018 Mackey Barron Distinguished Achievement Award, on InfoComm 2018’s Center Stage at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Wednesday, June 6.

Each year AVIXA recognizes outstanding AV professionals for their contributions, leadership and commitment to excellence. The Mackey Barron Distinguished Achievement Award is the highest honor bestowed upon an industry member by AVIXA for a lifetime in pro AV.

“Starting off right out of college as an end user, directing the Media Center at Utica Junior College, gave me my first appreciation of the AV industry,” said Weems. “From there I moved to a senior university as the media director, then to my first commercial gig with TransVideo Limited, serving as Vice President of Production.

“Then came that fateful day when a manufacturer came calling (you all know the feeling). Sony moved the family from Louisiana to Texas, and away we went. Three weeks into the job they shipped me to Bloomington, IN to work my first Institute for Professional Development for ICIA. By the second trip back to Bloomington, I had converted our overhead transparencies to electronic graphics using the first SMC computer from Sony. Luke Rawls and I believe it was the first use of ‘electronic presentation’ ever. The rest is fairly recent history. Tours with other manufacturers followed—InFocus, Advanced Media Design, NetStreams, Sanyo, ending with Harman/AMX, from which I retired last year. Harman’s acquisition two years before, followed by the purchase of Harman by Samsung, seems to indicate that – at least in the realm of manufacturing – the broader your product offerings and the deeper your pockets the better equipped you are to survive in this industry.”

Advancing Certification initiatives in the industry is high on the list of Weem’s accomplishments. As the professional AV industry began to take its current form, Weems was among the visionaries that understood that without training, certification, and standardization, the industry couldn’t grow and reach its potential. Starting almost from scratch, Weems and a team of industry volunteers created the framework that still exists today at AVIXA, and helped advance the careers of thousands of AV professionals.

“The CTS certification,” said Weems, “has more relevance in the digital age than it did way back when it was created. Combine the various certifications with AVIXA’s growing list of standards, and you have an industry primed to face the future.”

Weems took on many projects and received many honors along the way: edited (twice) the Wadsworth book, created the CTS certification, served on the InfoComm Board for six years, and taught at 37 IPDs (from which many industry pros learned video).

And don’t forget about Educator of the Year from InfoComm in 1999, and the Fred Dixon Award in 2006. Congrats Mike!

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