CEDIA EMEA ‘Integrated’ Into CEDIA U.S.


CEDIA EMEA Being Subsumed into CEDIA US in a Bloodless Coup is a Win for New CEO

cedia logoThis morning, the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA) announced that CEDIA EMEA and CEDIA headquarters in the U.S. has been completely “integrated” and is now one entity in whole. The news will be a huge surprise to some, and a point of confusion for others, as not many people understood the relationship between the two organizations. CEDIA EMEA, formerly CEDIA UK, is in fact an independent organization that licenses the rights to use the CEDIA name in Europe.

Now, things have changed.

See more on what this surprising move means…

The organization says that this complete folding-in of CEDIA EMEA into the U.S. operations is their “intent,” as the matter still  needs to be ratified by the membership. The voting process for that ratification is set to run from September 15-20 – or starting right at CEDIA 2016 and running until a few days after it wraps. A new slate of directors is set to be voted upon during this same time period.

CEDIA touted the integration of the two entities as an opportunity to strengthen and amplify the global voice and influence of CEDIA. CEDIA also noted that the move will “make decision-making more efficient, representative and consistent.”

Increasing Member Globalization

Interestingly, the organization also pointed to the “increasing globalization of CEDIA member businesses” as another motivator for taking this step. This statement may refer to manufacturer “members” as we are not aware of a large number of integrators straddling international borders.

CEDIA 2015 Day 1 Crowd

CEDIA Expo 2015

As we mentioned, some hearing this news may be a little confused. Their confusion likely stems from the fact that it was not well known that CEDIA UK, now CEDIA EMEA, was an independent company that licensed the rights to the CEDIA brand. CEDIA EMEA had their own ownership, board, and direct control over their market and members.

‘We are One Organization’

Now certainly, as the licensor, CEDIA US had dotted line control over the European organization – but that was mostly political influence only. Also, CEDIA US was partnered with CEDIA EMEA (and InfoComm) in the Integrated Systems Europe Show (ISE) with revenues split between the partners. Now, ISE will be solely owned by CEDIA in partnership with Infocomm.

“For the first time in 20 years, we are one organization,” CEDIA CEO Vin Bruno told us. “There are no more licensing arrangements.”

In a formal statement released by the organization, Bruno noted that some members might not see the significance of this development.

A Seamless Member Experience

Photo of Vincent Bruno

Vincent Bruno, CEDIA CEO

“Many of our members may not realize that CEDIA EMEA has been operating under a licensing agreement since that office opened in 1997,” Bruno said. “While we have enjoyed a strong and productive partnership, we have identified that the member experience could be more seamless, the brand voice more consistent and our services to members improved through a formal integration.”

CEDIA governance will change as a result of this integration. According to CEDIA, the entire organization will now have a 13-member global board of directors. In the past, each organization had its own independent board.

New Unified International Board

Of these 13 board members, 9 will be elected by the membership, and each of them will be a home technology professional. The composition of those nominated for the board will reflect “the geographical diversity of the membership.” An additional 4 board members will be “appointed skills-based positions.”

The slate of candidates nominated for this new combined board of directors includes:

  • Christiaan Beukes – Sphere Custom Design & Installation – Salt River, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Henry Clifford – Livewire – Richmond, Virginia
  • Ken Erdmann – Erdmann Electric – Springville, Utah
  • Dennis Erskine – Erskine Group, LLC – Vancouver, Washington
  • Omar Hikal – Archimedia – Cairo, Eqypt
  • Greg Margolis – HomeTronics, Inc – Dallas, Texas
  • Rob Sutherland – Inspired Dwellings – London, England
  • Giles Sutton – JAMES + GILES – London, England
  • Joe Whitaker – The Thoughtful Home – Clayton, Missouri
Photo of CEDIA training session

A CEDIA training session from a past show

As far as the four skills-based board members, once this new board is seated in January 2017, they will begin the process of identifying the appropriate candidates for those positions. The sitting board will make the final selection and appoint these new members in an appropriate time frame.

Vote at CEDIA 2016

Voting for the integration proposal, and for the new board, will begin at CEDIA and the organization will have voting stations in the CEDIA booth at the show. The effective date of the integration is January 1, 2017. The new board takes effect at the first board meeting in January 2017.

The CEDIA management highly recommends a “yes” vote on the integration, and yes votes for the slate of candidates for the new board, as proposed. According to the CEDIA management team, this integration will not only strengthen the voice and influence of the association, but it will also create operational efficiences, while decreasing expenses and tax burdens. The association says it intends to invest these savings back into member programs.

Learn more by visiting www.cedia.net. If you are at the CEDIA 2016 show, stop by the CEDIA booth and get all of your questions about the integration answered directly by association staff – oh, and vote.

About Ted

A sales and marketing specialist - primarily in the technology industry - I've experienced a sort of "circle of life" in business. I've been a mass merchant retailer, a specialty retailer, a specialty manufacturer, a large volume manufacturer, a distributor, and even represented sales representatives. Now the owner of a marketing company that works with a variety of businesses on improving their strategic marketing and business development - I analyze issues from all angles to develop holistic solutions.

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