InfoComm International executive director and CEO David Labuskes apologized to PSNI affiliates during the buying group’s annual preferred vendor partner breakfast for the organization’s failure to stay connected with many of PSNI members, but called on the group to get more involved with InfoComm.
In an InfoComm 2015 address that was a surprise to many PSNI members, and one that in some way caught Labuskes himself off-guard, he expressed frustration with how the relationship between InfoComm and PSNI had deteriorated in recent years, to the point he’s struggled to get several prominent integrators to return his calls requesting face-to-face meetings to discuss repairing the damage.
Labuskes took some of the blame for the gradual separation between InfoComm and PSNI, but stressed now is the time to get things moving in the right direction, with InfoComm’s new strategic plan being developed this year and released in 2016.
“You have to stop having a group of people in Fairfax telling you what you need,” Labuskes told PSNI members, many of whom expected him to deliver a fairly standard “thank you for coming to the show and supporting InfoComm” type of speech.
Labuskes said later he didn’t come to the meeting expecting to deliver his critical words, but didn’t apologize for doing so and hopes it shows the importance of PSNI to InfoComm’s success in his eyes.
“It did surprise me he said what he did, but it didn’t surprise me given some context,” says Chris Miller, executive director of PSNI.
“It took a lot on his part, at this show, with 30-plus integrators and several key sponsors in the room, for him to say what he did. I think he truly spoke from his heart and he believes there’s more collaboration that can take place within the integrator community. The issue is that it’s unclear what the integrator community wants [InfoComm] to do for us.”
Labuskes knows, because InfoComm and PSNI affiliates have gone largely in their own directions in recent years, it will take some time to reestablish the trust between the groups, but he believes it’s important for the good of the industry for such a move to happen, and sees the strategic plan, which he believes will be strikingly different than the 2013 version that was released shortly after he was hired, as the ideal opportunity for the group to renew acquaintances.
“If we do the right things, you’ll use them and value them,” says Labuskes. “But we won’t know what those things are if you’re not part of the process.”