In the spotlight: Tabatha O’Connor
Since joining the CEDIA team in 2002, Tabatha O’Connor has led many different departments including membership, finance, human resources, operations, and volunteer development. In January 2018, the CEDIA Board of Directors announced her promotion from acting to permanent CEDIA Global President and CEO.
Q. You’ve been part of CEDIA for over 10 years now, how has the industry changed in this time?
Over my time with CEDIA, I have been fortunate to have a front-row seat to the awe-inspiring innovation that is making people’s lives at home entertaining, fun, safe, and energy efficient. The biggest change I have seen is that technology for the home is becoming more accessible — the type of work CEDIA members do spans far and wide and represents a variety of solutions and price points.
Q. What drew you to working in the AV industry?
My true passion is association management. Working together to build the industry and provide members with the tools they need to grow is what drives me. When I started at CEDIA in 2002, I was amazed at how our members rally around the common cause of making things better not only for themselves but for the overall good of the channel; the sense of community is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced and is inspiring.
Q. Residential AV used to be all about cinematic experiences at home, how is the connected revolution changing this?
Generally speaking, I think the connected revolution has increased homeowner’s comfort with technology and that is a win for all of us. The more homeowners understand the possibilities, the greater the opportunity for CEDIA members.
Q. Now that you’re leading CEDIA, what does the future hold for the organisation?
In February, we announced our strategic plan so our outlook for the future is incredibly focused. Our overarching aims over the next three years are for significant advances and leadership in three areas: 1) education, 2) deeper engagement and partnership with the design and build community, and 3) increasing professionalism through standards, guidelines, and best practices. We are incredibly excited about the future and look forward to sharing our progress and success throughout the strategy implementation and execution process.
Q. CEDIA has seen some impressive installations throughout their award program, have there been any installations/projects that have stood out for you?
Every year, I am amazed to see the projects that are entered into our awards program – our members truly do stunning work. The projects are judged by a group of incredibly talented volunteers, so I don’t see all the projects until after we’ve announced finalists. I always enjoy reading our “How They Did It” blog posts that highlight our award entrants and tell the stories of these projects – and what it took to deliver the exceptional end result. Our members in Australia and New Zealand have certainly made their mark with this program over the years when we introduced the Global Award category in 2016 – Look & Listen from Queensland, Australia took home top honours for the Best Integrated Home.
Q. What are you most looking forward in your new role as CEO of CEDIA?
This is an incredibly exciting time at CEDIA — as I mentioned we are set to task to implement our strategic plan and we also have several other big projects underway including the construction of our new global headquarters. So needless to say there is a lot to look forward to as we bring CEDIA into our next chapter.
CEDIA will be celebrating the winners of the annual CEDIA Asia Pacific Awards at Integrate on Thursday 23rd August, ICC Sydney. CEDIA will also host specialist training courses for industry professionals focusing on technical topics such as networking, audio design, immersive audio, and control concepts. Register free now to be notified when the Integrate 2018 Education Program is released.