October 29, 2012 By Daniel L. Newman
Long-time InfoComm CEO and executive director Randal Lemke is stepping down at the end of 2012 after leading our growing association for the past 12-plus years.
We accomplished many things under Lemke’s watch, most notably setting the standard for certification of A/V professionals with the creation of the Certified Technology Specialist (CTS). What was originally a mere online test became a highly regulated testing and education system that was followed up with higher levels of certification.
A few of our industry associations attempted to bring standards in education to life, but InfoComm was able to succeed.
Lemke had many other accomplishments. The growth of the industry alone has been tremendous. The annual InfoComm show and the expansion overseas partnering with Integrated Systems Europe (ISE). Lemke’s contributions will be felt for years.
Like all things, Lemke’s tenure must come to an end. After several months and plenty of candidates, David Labuskes is next up to sit in the big chair. I have never met Labuskes, but based on his resume, I’m certain he was a great choice.
But the task at hand is nothing short of daunting. Here’s a look at some challenges Labuskes faces.
Focus on Networking
While InfoComm has been pretty outspoken about its success (profit) as an association, its continued contribution to the growth and success of the companies it serves is going to become more difficult. With external forces continuing to muddy the line between CIs, IT VARs, telecom providers, security integrators and a plethora of others, this industry needs to change more rapidly and more drastically than it has if it seeks to thrive in the new economy.
This means more focus on education that translates to convergence - a term the industry has spoken about for more than a decade but has seen slow progression.
Most CIs are way behind on networks. This can most obviously be seen by the limited access that customers give them when integrating network-enabled devices.
While basic and even slightly higher level courses are taught within the industry, the bar has been placed pretty low for true knowledge migration into the center of the communication world.