Women in AV Honors Theresa Hahn with the 2014 Mentor Award!

Posted by Kelly  |  June 18, 2014, 7:40 pm

/ 18 June 2014 / — Women in AV (WAVE), a global organization dedicated to promoting the growth and performance of women in the AV industry through education, networking and mentoring today announced Theresa Hahn, Director of Marketing & Business Development of Verrex, has been selected to receive WAVE’s 2014 Mentoring Award. The award will be presented at the NSCA/FSR/Exhibit One/Synnex Women in AV Reception, Wednesday, June 18th from 6:30-8:00PM at Vinyl  in the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“Whether as an employee, or a member of WAVE, Theresa has a ceaseless energy to serve others through her quiet yet confident leadership,” explained Nominee Thomas Berry, Jr., President & CEO in the AV industry. “I take great pleasure in giving employees the opportunity to participate in the industry, especially WAVE.  It is a chance to blossom among so many talented folks. Theresa gets involved and encourages others to make the time and effort, understanding the long term benefits that women will gain. You can’t teach that kind of leadership.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women in AV are grateful to Listen Technologies for sponsoring this important industry award for the third year in a row and greatly appreciate their on-going efforts and support to encourage the development of WAVE.

“We are delighted to recognize Theresa with this award for all the mentoring that she has done within our industry,” said Cory Schaeffer, Co-Founder & Vice President of Business Development Worldwide at Listen Technologies.  “She is an achiever and an example of how rewarding it is to support and uplift others.  She has given selflessly so much and I love that she is being recognized for it with this 2014 award.  It’s nice to put a spotlight on her and all of her efforts.”

“I am sincerely grateful that an organization like Women in AV exists, and that it thrives on core tenets of mentoring and goodwill,” said Hahn. “I have met so many brilliant and dedicated women and men through WAVE; I am humbled to receive the 2014 Mentor Award. Leaders like Tom, Cory & so many others, who recognize the value of providing women with encouragement, inspiration, and the opportunity to grow through WAVE as well as their own organizations, strengthens our industry as a whole.”

 

About WAVE

WAVE establishes a multifaceted approach to educating, supporting, encouraging and inspiring women in the audiovisual industry through collaboration, research, mentoring, and networking opportunities. The Women in AV Group promotes the growth and performance of women by empowering women to feel recognized, respected, productive, and important to the AV industry. For more information visit womeninav.com.

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2014 Women in AV Mentor Award

Posted by Kelly  |  April 21, 2014, 5:36 pm

Please complete by 5:00 p.m. (PDT) on Friday, May 16, 2014.

 

Women in AV (WAVE) Group Mission

WAVE establishes a multifaceted approach to educating, supporting, encouraging and inspiring women in the audiovisual industry through collaboration, research, mentoring, and networking opportunities. The Women in AV Group promote the growth and performance of women by empowering women to feel recognized, respected, productive, and important to the AV industry.

Awards Purpose

The WAVE Mentoring Awards highlight female mentors in the AV industry and the important contributions that these women have made to the mentees they have impacted. The mentoring relationships formed by Women in AV can enhance one’s professional and career development goals.
Mentorship is one of the most important determinants of a successful career, yet it is often a component of career development that, while prized by recipients, is rarely rewarded. The Women in AV place great value on mentorship, and this award was created to reward those efforts.
Nominate an AV professional who has made significant contributions to your career and life or other women in the AV industry.

Program Summary

Each year, WAVE honors one female AV professional who has distinguished themselves within the AV industry. This award is designed to recognize one woman who is recognized as a mentor to others in the AV industry.

For the purpose of this award, mentoring is defined as the process of guiding, supporting, and promoting the training and career development of others. The key roles of a mentor include, but are not limited to providing:

1) Advising and guiding
2) Challenging and inspiring women to become engaged citizens of the world who aspire not only to achieve understanding, but also to advance the cause of social justice.
3) Advocacy and guidance in personal, organizational, and professional matters.
4) Serving as a successful role model.
5) Showing concern for women as individuals and supporting their personal development.

Awards

These awards will be given at the InfoComm Show in Las Vegas. The award winners should plan to attend and be recognized in front of their colleagues. Winner will be notified by May 30, 2014. The award includes:

-Award sponsored by Listen Technologies Corporation
-Recognition at NSCA/Women in AV Reception Wednesday, June 18th from 6-8:00pm PDT
-Recognition on the WAVE website – a feature article.

Upon receipt, applications become the property of WAVE. Applications will not be returned to applicants. Late applications will not be accepted

Eligibility

These awards are open to all women working in the audiovisual industry.
Nominees should have a sustained record of mentoring over time.
Nominators must be a mentee of the nominee, or colleagues who have personal knowledge of the nominee’s mentoring efforts.

Criteria for Judging

Your nomination for an excellence in mentoring award should describe how the person who has mentored you and has been outstanding in supporting and encouraging your growth, confidence, professional, and personal development. Please share specific examples, stories and anecdotes. A nomination must include at least one reason your nominee deserves the award.

Qualities the selection committee will be looking for in a mentor, are not just what experience do they have but evidence that they are a good listener, a collaborative communicator, have practical experience not just academic experience, are articulate (to the point), honest, skilled at getting their point across i.e. not judgmental but able to suggest a solution.

Nominations are reviewed and scored on the following criteria:
1) Advising and guiding
2) Challenging and inspiring
3) Serving as a successful role model
4) Supporting mentee’s personal development
5) Summary of why the nominee should receive the award (approx 250 words)

Each of these criteria are scored individually, therefore the nomination should provide sufficient detail and/or a specific example that speaks to each of these elements.

Award Submission Requirements

It is the nominator’s responsibility to complete all sections in the on-line Nomination Form using the guidelines set out above. Nominations that are missing required information in any of these sections will not be considered.

Nominations must be submitted electronically on-line in this format no later than 5:00 p.m. (PDT) on Friday, May 16, 2014. We suggest that you don’t leave it until the last minute to nominate someone in case there are any issues entering your information.

Nominate a Women in AV Here!

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Welcome To Your WAVE Local Chapter!

Posted by Kelly  |  September 28, 2013, 10:51 am

Hello WAVE,

I am delighted to let you know that our region has been selected as a Women in AV (WAVE) pilot chapter!

If you aren’t familiar with WAVE, I invite you to visit WomenInAV.com. Our group mission is to empower women in the AV industry through collaboration, research, mentoring and networking opportunities. Our goal is to develop women leaders within our industry and to promote AV as an industry of choice. There are no membership fees, and, as a woman in the AV industry, you are automatically already a WAVE! You can participate in our LinkedIn group discussions, follow us on Twitter and join other WAVE women and men for various events and webinars. Next up – a WAVE webinar celebrating a few of our industry leaders during AV Week 2013 (October 13-19, 2013) – stay tuned for more info!

Over the course of this past year, we also identified a need for WAVE activities at the local level. This came from requests from women, just like you, who were interested in networking and meeting other WAVEs in their local area. As a result, WAVE introduced a pilot local chapter program to help launch the initiative. We are proud to announce seven pilot chapters including London, Orlando, Minneapolis, Baltimore, Dallas/Ft. Worth, New York City and Salt Lake City!

As the Chapter Leader for the region, I would like to personally invite you to join our local WAVE chapter. We will be announcing a schedule of events and activities shortly, including quarterly meetings, an annual event, networking opportunities and more. I’ve attached an FAQ with some additional information you may find helpful, but should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

I do hope you’ll consider joining our WAVE chapter. I am confident you will find it a rewarding and meaningful endeavor.

Sincerely,

Your WAVE Chapter Leader

 

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WAVE Feature: Chromis Fiberoptics’ Miri Park, Ph.D

Posted by Kelly  |  September 11, 2013, 12:27 am

I had the privilege of interviewing Ms. Miri Park, co-founder and COO of Chromis Fiberoptics, a leading manufacturer in the design of high-performance polymer optical fibers.  Parks is an inspiration to all Women in AV, as a multi-patent holder, Ph.D in Physics, renowned author, and mother of two young daughters.  She exemplifies that women and young ladies can not only have a successful career in the technical side of STEM, but, lead the industry regardless of gender.

Please tell us about your background. When and how did you get started in the AV industry? How did it feel being a woman in a male-dominated industry?  Have you seen any evolution over the years and where do you feel we are at now?

I came to the United States from Korea at the age of 15, so my first challenges were to learn a new language and a new culture.  Coming to America to study abroad was so exciting. I had fun staying in dorms with other kids my age, and I was young enough to adapt quickly.  Still, I preserved my Korean traditions, so I would not forget where I grew up. Now I instill those Korean values in my children so that they grow up with broader cultural perspectives. I graduated from Cornell University with a Ph.D. in experimental physics and then went on to Princeton to complete my post-doctoral program. I started my career in 1998 at Lucent Technology, now known as Alcatel Lucent, in their opto-electronics field which led me to the plastic fiber optics and then eventually to the AV industry.

I’ve always been in a male-dominated environment. When I was in engineering school, I was often one of two or three females in a classroom filled with 20-30 male students.  I’m very accustomed to working around males. So when I entered the AV industry I did not feel uncomfortable.  In the evolution, I certainly see more women in the AV industry now than before. For example, look at WAVE, your organization!  We now see many more women not only in the AV but also across all industries.  It is no longer my mother’s days.  There is no longer the bias that you cannot have certain careers because you are a female.  A male or female, whoever has value-adding talents is now being recognized.

Look around.  There are many industry leaders who are women – CEOs, politicians, engineers, and professors, and many more.  They are recognized and respected as leaders not because of their gender but because of their hard work, professionalism and talents.  There are still fewer women than men in general in leadership positions in the current workforce.  However, it is a matter of time.  We, as a society, have advanced and matured, and will continue to do so.  I have two daughters, and I have no doubt that it will be even better when they are ready to enter the workforce.

Please tell us about your business, its history, how you’ve evolved, what market you serve, and what you do for the AV industry?

Chromis Fiberoptics was established as a spinoff from Bell Labs in 2004.  My partners and I did a management buyout of the plastic optical fiber business unit that we had been a part of, developing plastic optical fiber technology and its manufacturing process.  Since then, Chromis has commercialized the technology and continues to pioneer the use of plastic optical fibers for ultra-fast connectivity solutions.  We fill needs for high-bandwidth data/video links covering the last 100 meters with active optical cables (AOCs) that have unique performance and cost advantages compared to glass fibers and copper wires.  For example, our AOCs are thinner and more flexible than comparable copper cables, and are also tighter-bending and less expensive overall than glass fiber AOCs.  We produce a variety of industry-standard interface AOCs – such as InfiniBand, HDMI and DVI – for high-speed links in data centers, professional audio/video, consumer electronics and high-performance computing applications.  For your readers who may not be familiar with AOCs, they have the same electrical inputs as a traditional copper cable, but use optical fiber for data transmission “between the connectors”.  The connectors perform electrical-to-optical conversion at the source and then reverse it at the destination.  We serve customers who are looking for a fast, reliable and plug-‘n-play connection solution.  Glass fibers changed the world in terms of high-speed data transmission over long distances.  Chromis will do the same with plastic fibers over short distances!

How do you see the AV industry in being welcoming and/or encouraging women?  What, if anything, do we need to do to bring or open the possibilities for women to want to join us and make a career of AV?

What WAVE does is great – supporting, encouraging, and mentoring.  Those of us who are already in the industry should continue to reach out to those considering this field.  Let them know that, while male-dominated, it’s a welcoming industry.  Yes, you need to work harder at times, but women do bring different perspectives, and diversity is healthy for the industry.  On average, most industries reflect the gender split of our population; about 50:50 male to female ratio.  Exceptions such as the AV industry need more women, especially those who are talented and add value.

You are elite in being involved in a highly technical and future (IT-centric) side of where our industry is headed.  What are the differences, similarities, and where do you see the two markets converging?

The AV industry is already extremely high-tech so convergence is a reality.  Consumers are looking for a very high quality auditory and visual experience, but without complication.  There is an incredible amount of science in the optics, electronics, circuit designs, image processing, sound technology, and many other related fields that come together to create and deliver that perfect AV experience.  Note that even a seemingly simple product like one of our HDMI AOCs – just plug one end into a source, the other into a display – is the result of many years and millions of dollars of development in plastic optical fiber technology, starting with its origins at Bell Labs and continuing to the present day.  Yet the consumer is blissfully unaware of all of this technology, which is exactly as it should be.

Most importantly, you are a female leader in the technical side of our industry for your achievements in fiber optics, patents, and co-founding a company.  What does it mean to you to be recognized and what advice do you have for people who want to follow in your footsteps and pursue a career in the technical side of AV?

Being recognized is a huge honor, and I feel flattered. To the women who want to pursue a career on the technical side of AV, or in any other field, I would tell them to go for it.  As long as you have passion, are willing to work hard and are prepared to add value; any endeavor is fair game.  You should approach your career dreams without any prejudgments.  Do not shy away or be discouraged by the fact that the industry you would like to enter is male-dominated.  Being a minority as well as a woman, there are additional challenges, but we have come a long way and the number of women represented in the industry can only go higher.

What would you say to women who want to be a business owner such as yourself — what do they need to know and do to achieve success?

My honest answer is, it requires a lot of work, but once you do, it is one of the greatest feelings.  I am working hard to be a successful business owner.  I believe what makes successful business owners—those characteristics and skills—don’t differ between men and women – strong work ethic, determination, creativity, strategic thinking, and etc.   Of course, everyone has their own share of unique strengths and weaknesses.  I think that hard work and devotion are keys because you will face challenges that will test you.  But the good thing about the difficulties you face is you either overcome them or learn from them (even if you fail).  At the end of the day they make you stronger and wiser.

Now, my advice to women who are wives and mothers who want to be business owners is to prioritize your life and find a balance.  You can’t be the best at everything you do. You can’t be the perfect wife, mother, friend, and business owner.  Set realistic goals and expectations.  I am not saying to lower your standards, or set easy goals.  But learn to be flexible and adapt to your different roles.  Once you realize that you can set realistic goals and expectations for yourself, you will enjoy what you do more, and you will be happier as a person.  That enjoyment is the fuel that will give you perseverance through low points and challenges.  That feeling of happiness is what makes you successful.

As simple as it sounds, very few woman, let alone men, achieve what Miri Parks can say in her lifetime.  We should all take a picture from her book in terms of how you can lead an industry and love what you do.

To find more about Chromis Fiberoptics, please visit www.ChromisFiber.com

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Women Are Not Tire Treads

Posted by Kelly  |  August 13, 2013, 5:01 pm

The Women in AV had another amazing year at InfoComm13 and we saw record numbers again for our sold-out luncheon and reception.  In fact, the reception was so hugely popular, we actually maxed out the capacity of our space and people were spilling outside into the lobby area!  As always, we are so grateful to our partners and sponsors for making everything possible for the Women in AV and their support is truly a testament to how much our industry welcomes and encourages women to pursue a career in AV.

It is not hard to be hugely positive about WAVE when you think about all we do together and the amazing success we have created over the past two years.  Just at InfoComm13, Chair Theresa Hahn launched our WAVE Local Chapters Initiative that will kick off over the remainder of 2013.  This opportunity will create regional and local networking and mentoring opportunities to meet women on a more frequent basis.  If you are interested in getting involved and learning more about the program, contact Theresa at womeninav@gmail.com.  And, stay tuned for InfoComm’s AV Week in October 2013, where the leaders of chapters will introduce the Local Chapter Handbook so you can start a chapter of your own!

With all that said, I’d be lying if I said there haven’t been challenges and struggles along the way.  The fact that WAVE exists is because we represent less than 20% of our industry and women can often feel alone and isolated over the course of their career.  Whether you are a man or woman, look around the next time you are in a staff meeting, training, or at a conference. Do you notice there are typically one or two women for every five to six men you see?

So, as much as I want us to focus on the positive and continually look to all we have and will achieve, it would be a disservice and frankly a lie, if we didn’t also tackle the very difficult struggles we as women, and, an industry are facing in how to support women taking on more leadership roles and getting involved.  As well as, the image and message we send out there about how women can expect to be treated when they come to our trade.

As the founder of Women in AV, I personally have had two separate occasions where men have tried to get me fired from my job or turn me into one of our associations with complaints.

The first one filed a complaint with my company because I called him out for his misogynistic language trying to disparage and defame rAVe Pubs female staff and then WAVE in his publication.  The second one I repeatedly asked in private, and, then publicly when that didn’t work, to please back off of WAVE — as it was making me entirely uncomfortable.  This person then tried to turn me into one of our trade associations because of my “demands”.

Neither situation went anywhere because — it’s RIDICULOUS.  But, each instance was incredibly stressful, lasted for over a month, and demonstrated the extent to which some will try to silence a woman when she stands up for other women and herself.  It is part of the “job” I signed up for when I founded WAVE.

However, I can’t imagine nor want to consider how many other women may have or will encounter a similar type of situation.  I take it as my personal responsibility the way I respond to these situations as to how a WAVE is treated.  It is a reflection of every woman in our industry and what they may expect to encounter.

You may know of the term “boothbabes”.  In short, it is a model that has historically been hired for a tradeshow to dress provocatively to draw guys in to generate sales.  We all know this was very common practice and has become increasingly controversial as to whether these practices inhibit women from being taken seriously.  This also extends to our advertisements and other print or social media.

This is a very serious issue and one I think we tend to ignore.  Until, something egregious comes across our radar and we are forced to address it.  Such was the case recently, when a fellow WAVE brought to my attention an advertisement she had come across in a August 2013 edition of an industry publication.  Now, think about it. Here is a female Gold Crestron programmer in AV reading a publication in which she is excited to see all the newest updates on products in our industry.  And, this is what she flips to:

Let me just say.  My intention in bringing up this kind of stuff is never to want someone to end up in “AV Purgatory.”  We all have been in the place before where we thought, “this sounds like a great idea” OR truly measured and determined the market share we’ll  gain far outweighs any type of backlash it may receive.  Fair enough.  I can respect either of those philosophies.  As long as you own it.

And, I can say that I reached out to IAVI and they immediately returned my call the next morning.  We had a respectful conversation and I appreciated the opportunity to share my concerns, as well, I hope and appreciate the opportunity to hear where they were coming from in terms of their concept. They distribute outside FL — got it.

And, that is what I don’t really understand.  The idea is to sell and show the breadth and depth of IAVI’s distribution.  Totally cool and I even really like the catch phrase. And, when I first saw the ad, I immediately went to their website to get some background.  I can say I was incredibly impressed with the number of manufacturers they represent and their company.  That is where it gets confusing for me.

Why would someone need to bring in a woman who is so obviously sexualized to, essentially downgrade the professional and extensive reach of their company.  Why, does it seem like a good idea to trade off all that you offer customers for a dirty “peep show”?

Let alone as I have said before.  Why is it, if you can’t hang this up in your office without a visit from HR — is it acceptable to put in a trade magazine or on a show floor?  Where is the review process?

And, let’s not jump to conclusions. It may have very well been a woman who approved this.  Regardless, why are we still at a place where this is message we want to portray about women, generally speaking?  And, what about the publishers who approve of running this type of “ad”?

Obviously, as a woman I am more sensitive to this than most men.  But, I am heartened to see more and more men raising their voices against the lame excuse “sex sells”.  It not only lowers the bar for our entire industry, but, it is now at the point where it is widely questioned what is wrong with your products or services if you need to take it to these types of extreme measures.

And, this is not only the time I have seen it — or the last I am sure.  Here are some reputable and award-winning companies’ photos from InfoComm13.  Can we do better?

Crestron Party Pre-Show:

Award Winning Digital Key Display:

Stampede’s Girls:

Again, my purpose is to raise awareness of the discomfort and discouragement this creates for woman so we can do better and move on.  That said, for anyone who will continue to downplay and repeat offend like CEA’s Gary Shapiro in 2012 and 2013.  Well… you can expect we will  continue to raise it every time it comes up.

Women are not Tire Treads for anyone to ride on when selling a product.

~Jennifer H. Willard, CTS

 

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