Blogger Bios

All Voices Bloggers

Mike Brandes, CTS

Mike-Brandes-110x140Brandes is a seasoned AV and information technology specialist, with more than a decade of experience in AV-IT, pro audio, television and radio. He is currently an applications engineer at Vaddio and an active InfoComm member. Brandes previously served on the Technology Managers Council and currently contributes his time and effort to InfoComm’s Certification Committee. You can follow him on Twitter at @MikeBrandesAV.

Michael Bridwell

Michael_Bridwell-110x140Bridwell serves dual senior-level roles for Digital Projection International, the Emmy award-winning projector manufacturer, as both Vice President of Marketing and VP of Home Entertainment. With more than 15 years of experience creating and directing all aspects of marketing and sales strategy, Bridwell was attracted to the AV industry through DPI’s fiercely independent, customer-driven culture. Previously, Bridwell owned and operated a niche marketing consulting company, as well as served pivotal marketing roles in the real estate, textiles, and beverage distribution industries.

Greg Brown, CTS-D, CTS-I

Brown is part of the Classroom Technology Design and Maintenance group at UCLA, overseeing AV design, install and maintenance for most of the classrooms and AV-equipped spaces on campus. Brown came up through the electronics world, receiving his initial training in the U.S. Navy, and serving as an electronics technician in the engine room of a nuclear powered submarine. After the Navy he worked for a cable system and TV station equipment manufacturer, later going on to run his own electronics design and assembly company. Brown is a member of InfoComm’s Technology Managers Council, and also a regular guest on AVNation’s monthly EdTech podcast.

James Chu

James-Chu-110x140Chu joined InfoComm in the summer of 2015 as the Director of Market Research. He has more than 15 years of experience in the corporate market research (client side) and data analysis field. New product development, market intelligence, competitive analysis, brand messaging, pricing study, customer satisfaction (CRM), integrated marketing/communications are just of some of the research projects he has covered in his professional career. Chu has been employed with a diverse of businesses including non-profit organizations, associations, education, private and state government sectors. Internationally, he has worked in Japan and Canada. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science from McGill University in Montreal, Canada and an MBA from George Mason University in Virginia.

David Danto

David_Danto-110x140Danto has over 30 years of experience providing problem-solving leadership and innovation in media and unified communications technologies for various firms in the corporate, broadcasting and academic worlds, including AT&T, Bloomberg LP, FNN, Morgan Stanley, NYU, Lehman Brothers and JP Morgan Chase. He now works with Dimension Data as Principal Consultant for the collaboration, multimedia, video and AV disciplines. He is also the IMCCA’s Director of Emerging Technology.

Jennifer Davis

Davis is Vice President of Marketing at Planar Systems and Runco International. She joined Planar in 1998 and has held a number of diverse and increasingly impactful roles in marketing, business operations, and global customer service. Her work at Planar spans a wide variety of markets and technologies, including digital signage and architectural displays. Prior to joining Planar, Davis worked for Intel Corp. and held a senior marketing management role at a software start-up. She holds a BS in business administration and history from Warner Pacific College and an MBA from Pepperdine University.

Brad Grimes

Brad-Grimes-110x140Grimes is director of editorial services for InfoComm International and the former editor of Pro AV magazine. He has covered technology for more than 20 years, including stops at PC Magazine, PC World and other IT publications. He edited the McGraw-Hill Education books CTS Certified Technology Specialist Exam Guide: Second Edition and Networked AV Systems. He’s been an adjunct faculty member of InfoComm University and received his master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Go ‘Cats!

Betsy Jaffe

Jaffe is the Director of Public and Government Relations for InfoComm International, overseeing the public relations, government affairs and social media activities of the association, the Professional Audio Manufacturers Alliance and the STEP™ Foundation. Prior to joining InfoComm in 2005, Jaffe was a director at Powell Tate/Weber Shandwick Worldwide, developing public affairs campaigns for Altria/Philip Morris USA, Cisco, The H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment and others. She also led the federal government relations efforts of the National Marine Manufacturers Association, after getting her start with the United States Senate and the American Public Power Association. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times and trade publications around the world.

Kevin Kelly

Kelly is President, COO and Owner of Stampede, a value-added distributor of pro-AV solutions that represents more than 135 technology manufacturers in offering 50,000 distinct products through a distribution network that exceeds 11,500 resellers. Under Kelly’s leadership, Stampede has expanded its reach into the custom installation, consumer electronics , and hospitality markets while continuing to serve its traditional corporate, government, education, non-profit, healthcare, and hospitality vertical market customers. He introduced the pro-AV industry to the business-building potential of unmanned aerial vehicles and drone-based video systems in 2014 and forged a strategic alliance with Unmanned Vehicle University in 2015. In partnership with InfoComm and Unmanned Vehicle University, Stampede staged the industry’s first Drone Pavilion at InfoComm 2015 in Orlando, Florida. Kelly is a member of InfoComm’s Leadership Search Committee.

David Labuskes, CTS, RCDD

Dave-Labuskes-110x140

Labuskes has been the executive director and CEO of InfoComm International, the trade association representing the commercial audiovisual industry, since January 2013. Since joining InfoComm, Labuskes has worked to promote industry professionalism, expand global programs and raise awareness of InfoComm offerings. He serves on the Board of Directors of Integrated Systems Events, LLC, a joint venture European trade show company, and InfoComm Asia PTE, Ltd., a joint venture company in Singapore operating InfoComm’s Asian trade shows. Prior to joining InfoComm, Labuskes served as vice president of RTKL, now a division of ARCADIS, a leading architectural and engineering firm. He is the founder of the company’s Technology Design Practice, overseeing the delivery of audiovisual, voice, data, wireless, environmental media, electronic security and acoustics services. Previously, Labuskes served as President and CEO of Premier Technology services, a software and systems design consulting firm, and was Executive Vice President of Accelerated Payment Systems, an electronic payments processing firm. He earned a BA in International Politics and Business from Penn State University and earned an MBA from Loyola University of Maryland.

Bradley A. Malone, PMP

Malone is an InfoComm University instructor, founding partner of Navigate Management Consulting, and president of Twin Star Consulting, an organizational excellence and program management consulting company serving multiple industries worldwide. He leads project management audit teams for commercial and government clients, and he consults with a wide variety of customers on project and quality management implementation issues. Malone holds the Project Management Professional (PMP) designation from the Project Management Institute (PMI) and is one of PMI’s and InfoComm’s highest-rated instructors.

Mark Mayfield 

Mayfield is Cinema Marketing Manager for QSC Audio Products. He began his career as an audio engineer and AV systems designer and installer. Mayfield has worked in executive-level marketing positions for several major equipment manufacturers. He entered the publishing industry in 2002, and has been editor-in-chief for three major AV industry trade publications including Sound & Video Contractor, Pro AV and AV Technology. Mayfield has written hundreds of articles for industry trade and technical journals. He holds degrees in psychology and business and is an adjunct instructor for InfoComm International.

Brian McClimans

Brian-McClimans-110x140McClimans serves as Vice President of Global Business Development at Peerless-AV. In his current role, he is responsible for establishing new markets, developing new products and managing strategic relationships for Peerless-AV throughout North America, South America, EMEA, and Mexico. McClimans has played a key role in the development and implementation of numerous national digital signage projects including videowall, menu-board and interactive kiosk solutions. He was nominated to the Board of Directors for the Digital Signage Federation in 2013 and been a member of the Stadium Managers Association, the Digital Screen Media Association, and the Society of Information Displays. McClimans frequently speaks at industry conferences including InfoComm and the Digital Signage Expo.

David McNutt

David_McNutt-110x140McNutt is a seasoned business professional and columnist in the system integration industry.  He is a former system integration business owner and is experienced in the finance, strategy and management of AV companies.  He holds an MS in Telecommunications from Indiana University, an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Strategy from Chicago Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago, and is a faculty member at Columbia College Chicago. McNutt is a Partner in Navigate Management Consulting.

Nermina Miller

Nermina_Miller-110x140Miller is a writer/editor and linguist with 20 years of combined experience in content development, editing, and translation. She previously worked on many BICSI manuals and standards and was the lead editor and project manager on the Audiovisual Design Reference Manual (AVDRM), a joint BICSI/InfoComm publication. In the more recent years, she was a developmental editor for Manning Publications, helping authors develop books on software programming and project management. She has also been a contributor to the open source cloud computing community–OpenStack–as a writer, editor, and advocate.

Thom Mullins

With more than 30 years of experience in technology design, consulting and commissioning, Mullins leads the audiovisual design services group for Affiliated Engineers Inc. He has worked on projects for Microsoft, Boeing, The Gates Foundation, Safeco, Vulcan, University of Alaska, University of California-Berkeley, the University of Washington and Washington State University. His expertise is in the development of applications in support of audio and video teleconferencing, telepresence, distance learning, digital signage, emergency notification systems, corporate training and boardroom applications, performing arts and museum presentation needs, and sports facilities. Mullins is currently chair of InfoComm International’s ICAT Council and has taught classes for both InfoComm and NSCA.

Pete Putman, CTS, ISF 

Putman is the president of ROAM Consulting LLC, which provides training, marketing communications, and product testing/development services to manufacturers, dealers, and end-users of displays, display interfaces, and related products. Putman edits and publishes HDTVexpert.com, a Web blog focused on digital TV, HDTV, and display technologies. He is also a columnist for Sound & Communications.

Putman is a Senior Academy Instructor for InfoComm International and was named Educator of the Year for 2008. He’s a member of both The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) and Society for Information Display (SID).

Cory Schaeffer

Schaeffer is Regional Vice President of Sales, West, for AMX by Harman. She serves on the Board of Listen Technologies, which she co-founded in 1998. Schaeffer previously served on the Board of Directors for InfoComm International.  She is passionate about sales and developing and nurturing relationships to connect people to positive experiences. She lives part-time in Simi Valley, Calif., and Salt Lake City, Utah.

Bill Sharer, CTS

Bill-Sharer-110x140Sharer is a senior faculty member of InfoComm University with 30 years of seminar, workshop and classroom experience.  A partner in Navigate Management Consulting, Bill has trained and consulted with more than 60 clients in the AV and technology industries.  His expertise is in sales, sales management, general management and human resources.  He has served on InfoComm’s Professional Education and Training Committee and was Educator of the Year in 2003. Sharer is a frequent contributor to trade publications and featured speaker for trade associations in addition to ongoing consulting.  His MBA is in Management and Marketing from Temple University.

Josh Srago, CTS

Josh_Srago

Srago is a seasoned audio professional with experience in studio production, live sound, commercial AV and broadcasting. Having worked as the national consultant liaison & trainer for an audio equipment manufacturer, he adopted the philosophy that the best way to help people with AV is to help them understand the puzzle that is AV and how it can affect their lives. He currently works for an AV integrator in the SF Bay Area as a project manager and handles the company’s social media. You can read more of his work at his website www.soundreason.org or redband.avshout.com.

John Stiernberg

John-Stiernberg-110x140Stiernberg is founder and principal consultant with Stiernberg Consulting. He has over 30 years experience in the AV, music, and entertainment technology fields. He currently works with manufacturers, publishers, inventors, investors, and trade associations on strategic planning, market development, and M&A projects. Prior to establishing Stiernberg Consulting in 1993, Stiernberg worked for audio equipment manufacturers in sales, marketing, product management, and general management positions.

John is a member of CEA, CEDIA, InfoComm and NAMM, as well as a voting member of NARAS and the American Federation of Musicians. In addition to his strategic planning and M&A advisory work, Stiernberg is in demand as a keynote speaker and seminar presenter. His book Succeeding In Music: Business Chops for Performers and Songwriters is published by Hal Leonard Books.

Melissa Taggart

Taggart is Senior Vice President of Education and Certification for InfoComm International. Prior to her 16 years at InfoComm, she was director of training for a large insurance company and an instructor in a manufacturing environment. Taggart is strongly committed to helping people learn what they need, when they need it.