Crestron founder, George Feldstein has been inducted into the Consumer Technology Association’s 16th annual Hall of Fame.
Before he passed away in November 2014, George secured over 70 patents – mostly based on Crestron products, but including everything from medical equipment to bike chain cleaners.
Crestron’s current chairman and son of George, Dan Feldstein, accepted the award on his father’s behalf at the association’s annual conference held Monday, November at Gotham Hall in New York City.
“When he started Crestron, his immediate goal was to provide for his family, but his dream, and ultimate accomplishment was to create an environment where free thinking and open ideas would allow us to make the best products imaginable and to serve our customers and our industry in the best way possible,” said Dan.
The idea of the modern connected home with integrated system controls for audio and video distribution, lighting, HVAC, home theatre systems, intercom and video security was first conceived and brought to market by George himself, who started the company in the basement of his home in Cresskill, NJ.
George was born in lower Manhattan, where his father worked as a sewing machine operator.
He attended New York City public schools and displayed an aptitude for engineering. When he was 12, he acquired a ‘ham’ amateur radio license and was building transistorized amplifiers; aged 15 he won a citywide physics competition.
At NYU, he earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering.
In May 1975, George founded a company under the name Crestron Electronics. What turned the corner for his business was a remote to control 35mm slide projectors and window drapes for conference rooms.
This success was followed by other audio, video and lighting switches and controls. In 1980 he built Crestron’s first building in Cresskill, NJ.
Soon Crestron’s systems were installed in Microsoft, the penthouse of Trump Tower, in nearly all of the Ivy League schools and even the Pentagon Situation Room.
In 1997 George moved the company to its current headquarters in Rockleigh, NJ, purchasing a few more buildings in the complex for a state-of-the-art Research Centre to house 400-plus engineers.
In 2009, Crestron opened its 8,000-sq-f ‘Experience Centre’ in New Jersey. This showcase, open to Crestron dealers and partners by appointment only, includes a reception area, a multimedia presentation room, a digital boardroom, the Theo Kalomirakis Home Theatre and a technology design studio which showcases the various models, colours and finishes of Crestron’s product portfolio.
Crestron soon opened several other Experience Centres and Design Showrooms in the top design centres across the world to showcase its residential solutions.
George handed over his position as CEO to long-time vice president Randy Klein in March 2014.
Today, there are 3,000 employees worldwide, with 91 offices around the globe and more than 15,000 independent partners and dealers.
The CE (formerly known as Consumer Electronics) Hall of Fame was created in 2000 to honour inventors, engineers and entrepreneurs who have paved the way for the products and services that are changing the way people live.
The Hall of Fame specifically honours those leaders whose ‘creativity, persistence, determination and sheer personal charisma helped to shape the $285 billion dollar industry.’