As the #AVLivingLegends series closes in on 20 inductees, we add Steve Greenblatt of Control Concepts. Greenblatt is a ubiquitous industry presence, prominent not only during in-person events but also with podcasting and writing. And, of course, he steers the ship at Control Concepts, which is one of our industry’s leading providers of specialized software and services. Thus, there can be no mystery as to why Greenblatt is one among our #AVLivingLegends!
In this exclusive Q&A, Steve Greenblatt of Control Concepts talks about how he got his start in commercial AV. He also name-checks some of the seminal influences on his professional life, many of whom, themselves, would be great additions to the Commercial Integrator #AVLivingLegends series. Plus, he discusses the immense pride he takes in celebrating each of Control Concepts’ anniversaries, as well as his biggest professional regret. Finally, he closes with inspirational words of wisdom about why we must seize opportunity for ourselves.
Enjoy this conversation with Greenblatt, a true living legend in our industry.
And if you’d like to read even more coverage relating to our #AVLivingLegends, check out our hub page, which includes direct links to every living legend!
Commercial Integrator: What motivated you to join the commercial AV industry?
Steve Greenblatt: Like most, I joined the AV industry by chance. In 1993, I was a recent grad with an electrical engineering degree and answered an ad for a systems engineer job for a small but growing manufacturer called Crestron Electronics. I enjoyed the work and the people with whom I worked, and I used what I learned about AV and control system programming to springboard a long, rewarding career.
Commercial Integrator: What has kept you motivated and engaged in the decades that followed?
Steve Greenblatt: I take pride in promoting and supporting the AV industry because of all the value and benefits I have received. It is truly rewarding to be part of any industry where, if you contribute by doing good work, being supportive and reliable, acting as a team player, and establishing a solid, quality reputation, you will be recognized and appreciated. Additionally, the AV industry has opened the door to developing lifelong relationships and opportunities to make a difference, feel valued and build a lasting legacy.
Commercial Integrator: Reflect on your role as both a mentee early in your career and as a mentor later in your career at Control Concepts. Who helped shape the trajectory of your professional life, and how have you tried to help shape others’ careers?
Steve Greenblatt: I have had a variety of people throughout my professional career who have left a lasting impact on my development and whose advice, teachings and insights I still reference. I first learned AV control and programming from Craig Rosasco at Crestron. Chris Maione taught me how to manage projects and responsibilities, as well as the value of relationships. John Fish taught me many professional-development and troubleshooting skills. Don Pacitti showed me the ropes of how to navigate the business of the AV industry. Tim Albright became my role model for podcasting and presented me with opportunities to establish my voice. Over the years, many members of the media have shown their support and offered opportunities to write and do thought leadership.
In my current role as president and founder of Control Concepts, I try to lead by example. I am more than happy to offer my guidance and encouragement, as well as share experiences to benefit others. I do my best to make connections and lift up those who want to grow and make a difference. In addition, I take time each day to teach and share what I have learned throughout my career and what contributes to my actions or thought processes.
Commercial Integrator: What’s the most memorable story/anecdote of your career in commercial AV?
Steve Greenblatt: I have had so many treasured times in AV, but none stands out as being the most memorable. I often say that, if it weren’t for AV, I would never have had the experience of going behind the scenes in so many unique corporate offices, schools, stadiums or residences.
Commercial Integrator: What has been your greatest professional accomplishment to date at Control Concepts? What has been your biggest professional regret to date?
Steve Greenblatt: My greatest professional accomplishment happens every year when my company celebrates another anniversary. We are currently 26 and counting.
My biggest professional regret is that I didn’t have more business experience before starting my company.
Commercial Integrator: What’s the best advice or pearl of wisdom you either received during your career as a business owner or came to realize on your own?
Steve Greenblatt: I’ve realized throughout my career that, while it is admirable to be modest and wait your turn, very few people get discovered. It is important to take control of your own destiny and make yourself known. If you don’t, you will likely be overlooked and miss out on opportunities that you deserve.
Would you like to nominate a peer or colleague — or perhaps yourself! — to be featured in this #AVLivingLegends series, just as Steve Greenblatt of Control Concepts was? If so, just email Dan Ferrisi, editor-in-chief of Commercial Integrator, at email@example.com.
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