Lavish Theaters Corp.
Healdsburg, California, USA
Industry experience: 15 years
Originally from New York City, Ted began his custom electronics system integration career in late 2001, pre-wiring residential projects part-time for a CEDIA member company in Colorado. At the time, he was working in a totally unrelated industry and his passion for the technology quickly led to a full time position where he demonstrated a desire to learn more about electronic subsystems and the future of integrated controls. Ted’s experiences in the field as integrator, service technician, and project manager gave him valuable insight into systems design. From 2005 to 2016, his focus was on designing high-end integrated audio and video distribution, lighting control, HVAC, and security systems. In 2009, Ted became a CEDIA Certified Professional Designer.
Ted moved from Colorado to California in 2011 for a system design position in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2014, Ted began taking business classes through the U.C. Berkeley extension program and earned a Certificate in Business Administration (with distinction) in 2016.
Ted currently works as the Operations Manager for Lavish Theaters Corporation (DBA: Lavish Automation, Lavish Hi-Fi, and Grapevine Communications).
What is your vision for CEDIA to ensure that it remains relevant and prominent in how it serves this fast-paced industry?
Over the past few years, I have heard many industry professionals question CEDIA’s relevance and prominence. CEDIA has always seemed to struggle with being known as “more than just a trade show.” While I think that the annual show will always be a part of what CEDIA is, selling the show and the related operations will allow CEDIA to focus on its education and certification offerings.
Going forward, CEDIA should continue to focus on providing high-quality educational opportunities for its members. Staying relevant will also involve continuing to provide timely information on industry trends to consumers as well as members.
Our industry needs to be better known and understood at the consumer level, and we need to continue to stress the importance of hiring trained professionals. The current trend in our industry is away from custom electronics and towards consumer electronics. We need to focus on the design and installation values that we present. This will involve getting back to our integration roots and helping homeowners figure out which of all of the consumer control options is the best and how best to tie them together. It may mean specialization around the big control manufacturers, or it may mean embracing the diversity and having knowledge of all the consumer products out there. Both can be the right answer and both can be profitable if properly trained and implemented.
What goals would you expect the board to prioritize over the upcoming years?
Certainly, we need to continue to prioritize adding value to our membership and determining what that value looks like and where it comes from. Do we need to refine or redefine our mission? What are the factors that are critical to our success, relevance, and prominence? How do we leverage those to simultaneously optimize revenue and provide value to our members?
More specifically, the goals in the next few years will need to revolve around the completion of the new headquarters building and optimizing the new space efficiently for planning/development, support, and education; further integration of the CEDIA EMEA membership and development of programs in those areas; continuing to monitor the traditional business model in our industry and suggest new opportunities for growth and profitability for our members.
Where do you see our industry evolving over the next 5 to 10 years?
The importance of reliable network infrastructure will continue to develop as a priority, and we will need to educate consumers and place more of an emphasis on network security. The legitimate (and otherwise) use of our data and usage patterns will continue to evolve and become more and more of a revenue stream for electronics manufacturers. Will it become something that our members as retailers, designers, and installers can use as a revenue stream? Will we become resellers of our customer’s information or continue to allow manufacturers to bypass us? (I am not advocating this, merely posing questions.) Perhaps we will resell advanced security measures that will block or spoof the data-miners on our customer’s behalf.
I think our industry may hit a bit of a bifurcation point where some CEDIA members will choose to remain specialized on specific platforms and others may adopt a “technology handyman” approach and choose to focus on more readily available consumer equipment. These are very different from the “trunk slammers” we used to know, these are tech-savvy people who have a good base of knowledge across a variety of technological systems and equipment. Ikea did not put carpenters out of business, but there are a lot of people who make money assembling Ikea furniture.
The comforting thought is that as consumers become more familiar and comfortable with various control platforms and interfaces, manufacturers will continue to push the boundaries; what was esoteric 10-15 years ago is now commonplace. What are the esoteric things now from a consumer’s view: virtual/augmented reality, video wall matrices, voice control (getting better but not commonplace/reliable yet), holograms, proximity sensors, body scans? As data storage becomes cheaper and networks become more robust and reliable, maybe we will become re-sellers of “cloud” storage and start storing content for our customers.