As we say goodbye to Vin Bruno, grateful for his work on behalf of home-technology integrators, let’s ponder who might be a great CEDIA CEO.

First thing’s first: Let’s thank Vincent Bruno for nearly two years of tirelessly working on behalf of home technology integrators and for the passion he brought to our industry. In particular, he energised a significant number of individuals and companies who previously had not been engaged with CEDIA, the trade association for the smart home-integration channel.

It is unfortunate for all involved that his tenure as CEDIA CEO was short-lived. We wish him great success in the future.

Now, on to the business at hand.

Who should succeed Vin?

I, for one, am lobbying to join the search committee. I would relish the opportunity to help select the next leader of our industry.

Let’s pretend we’re all part of that committee. Who would you recommend? Go ahead and ‘nominate’ individuals you think would be great for the gig, even if they’re already happily employed (or retired) and have no intention of ‘running’ for the job.

If you don’t want to name names, then jot down the ‘type’ of person that might be a great representative of the industry, a superb strategist, deft manager and respected leader.

Should we look outside the industry or stay close by? Hire a risk-taker or find someone to stay the course?

I’ll toss out some names:

  • Will West: As Control4 founder and former CEO, Will is a visionary, a practical guy, and a strong leader.
  • Bob Struble: Bob was CEO of iBiquity and one of the smartest, nicest and most strategic guys I know. But … he just took a job as CEO of Directed/Sound United.
  • Adam Levy: Recently returning to SnapAV as president after co-founding the business a decade ago, Adam has a better grasp of this industry than anyone I know.
  • Scott Newnam: A Harvard MBA, Scott has been owner and CEO of the successful A/V integration company Audio Advice since 2006. He’s savvy, strategic, analytical … and nice.

What The Industry Says

Bruno Napoli, Co-Founder, Krika:

The more I think about it, the more I see Joseph Kolchinsky to replace Vin Bruno. Joseph perfectly know this industry and he prove us that he can think out of the box and have a clear vision of the future by turning his Home Technologist business into a totally disruptive way that is promise to have great success. Now the BIG question is: Are CEDIA members ready to take this challenge or is CEDIA too conservative to face and accept the change?


We need a leader who thinks outside of the box. Someone who will turn heads and bring great attention to our industry that we so desperately need. Someone that will take some chances, be bold, and deliver our passion to anyone that will listen. I would love to see someone like Jeremy Burkhardt. Raw passion, brilliant marketing, genius businessman and driven to grow our industry. If you have ever gotten to listen to him speak you will completely understand my point. He can sell ice to an Eskimo in a blizzard.  Someone like that could put us on a path to success we have never experienced before. but I digress….  we will end up with some smooth talking suit from some dusty board room that was great in the 1990’s and has been living off that greatness every since. Vin was the first CEDIA leader that was actively engaged with his members. Let’s hope his successor can at least do that.

Kris Gamble, Customised, #liveinstall founder:

Bruno, the acceptance of home technologists by the construction industry is priority number one! So a tech savvy, media friendly, construction leader looking for an amazing opportunity in leading CEDIA in this exciting era in home tech would surely be a popular choice with future focused CEDIA members.

Bruno Napoli:

Kris, I’m not sure about someone from the GAFA. I’m more confident about someone from the construction industry. We have to remember that from the day we went out of our hi-fi shop to drill holes in the walls of home cinemaa and home automation, we join the construction industry.
The construction industry are now about to join with the GAFA to deliver mass production connected homes. It’s time for our channel to definitely merge with the construction industry and give them the benefit of 30 years of AV background. (my two cents).

Julie Jacobson:

Definitey, Bruno. I could see an exec from NAHB (builders), AIA (architects) or ASID (interior designers) being a great choice.

Bruno Napoli:

I have no name in particular, but I’m thinking about someone that is involved in the construction industry so he can accompany ou AV and home automation little industry in the next big challenges of those next five years. What do you think? Let’s think out of the box, we have great challenges

Kris Gamble: 

This is such sad news and I hope it doesn’t stall progress made by CEDIA in the past 18 months. The Vin era was taking shape nicely and Vin must take great credit for his role in the globalisation of CEDIA and for his active role in trimming back deadwood. I’m hoping to see the top job go to someone from the GAFA channel or the construction industry. This is a great opportunity to have a head honcho with external, wider experience and no historic attachments to old establishments.


Tim Costello – BDX

Julie Jacobson:

JW-TIH … Tim would be super-interesting. Not as bonkers as Jeremy, but still a rabble-rouser … all in a good way.

Frederick Ampel:

Folks- What CEDIA needs first and foremost is experienced association management. Running a trade association is nothing like running a integration business or any industry company it is a separate skill set. There are degreed association management professionals available if CEDIA wants to look- getting the association running properly is paramount.

Jon S URC:

How about Mitch Klein?

He’s done great things for the Z-Wave Alliance and was one of the founders of CEDIA. Mitch knows the category as well as anyone and is universally liked and respected.


Mark Walters,  former chairperson of the Z-Wave Alliance and also with Zigbee.  He has an audio background (Carver, founding CEDIA member), a construction background (Leviton), and association and business management.


As soon as I heard the news regarding the resignation of Vin Bruno, the first person I thought about was Pete Baker.  For those of you who don’t have the pleasure of knowing Pete, he is the President and founder of “The Big Corp” and formally in charge of sales and marketing at RTI.  Pete has made some major contributions to this industry, is extremely well spoken, and has a wealth of knowledge he is always willing to share.  He is also a great person and success always follows him.  In my opinion, he would be the perfect leader at the helm of CEDIA.


Julie, I see no reason why you couldn’t step in there and do an amazing job.  You are smart, knowledgeable, experienced and people listen to you.  What are you doing for the next few years?

Julie Jacobson:

That’s very sweet TotalControl (aren’t you one of the folks that always gives me h*ll?). I am certainly passionate and have a lot of ideas I would love to contribute to our industry trade association. Alas, I am a really bad manager and a worse politician. Not a terribly good multitasker either. And I absolutely despise meetings.


YES! Julie, you should put yourself forward I think. We need someone like you, who constantly reaches out through media, who is open and always excited and interested in new technology. I hate meetings too…cap them all to 20 minutes! I bet you are just fine at managing, multitasking etc. Have a good day. Keep up the good work.

Pete Baker:

TotalControlRemotes: Thank you Vincent for your very kind comments and throwing my name out as candidate for this position. I am honored and humbled by your comments.

I am very passionate about the industry which I am fortunate to have been involved with for the past 30 years. And do want to give back (as I have done previously, as a SME);  however, there are many people FAR better suited for this role, than me. I like many of the names that have been suggested, especially Julie;-)

Your turn. Please leave your comments below.

This article first appeared on CE Pro.