If You Only Read 4 Articles in 2014…

Editor-in-Chief Tom LeBlanc highlights his favorite Commercial Integrator articles published in the last year.

Tom LeBlanc

One of the first things you learn in journalism is not to make yourself part of the story. Well, I’m throwing that ideal out the window for this column.

Following are some of my favorite articles of the past year.

Confidence-Building Article of the Year

40 Influencers Under 40 wasn’t my idea or anybody’s on CI staff for that matter. AV Nation founder Tim Albright mentioned to me that it’s interesting that so many emerging voices in the industry happened to be 39 years old, and he wasn’t referring to himself or me (although we both turned 40 in 2014).

Editor-at-large Craig MacCormack — who happened to turn 40 last year — did an outstanding job pulling together a group of sub-40-year-old professionals serving the market in a variety of ways. It’s the type of article that breeds confidence in the industry and its future.

Read it here.

Feel-Good Article of the Year

It’s All in the Family was a chancy article topic, because we ran the risk of readers who don’t work with family members skipping it.

The reality is that in this tight-knit industry even if you don’t work with your spouse, father, sibling or child, you’re close with your coworkers.

Web editor Chelsea Cafiero not only outlines workplace challenges and solutions, but she manages to tap into her sources’ unique relationships. It’s about as heartwarming as a trade publication can get.

Read it here.

Bootstrap-Pulling Article of the Year

During the few times I’ve interviewed him, I’ve liked what InfoComm executive director David Labuskes has had to say. He doesn’t sugarcoat.

When he reflected on his first year and a half in office he discussed a major growth hurdle, that InfoComm needs to become more global and less North Amer-ica-centric if the industry wants to get a bigger piece of a $114.2 billion pie that the global pro AV market is projected to become by 2016, up from $91.8 billion in 2014.

In the interview he seems to be daring not only the industry but himself to move beyond talkingabout obstacles, including AV-IT convergence, and to make stuff happen.

Read it here.

Challenge-Issuing Article of the Year

I’m sure some of my favorite articles in 2015 will also be about this issue, because it’s not going away.

“We have a serious industry problem” as Advance Technology‘s Rob Simopoulos puts it. The smartest, most talented technical professionals aren’t gravitating to AV, and I knew that when I wrote the headline, Do Young, Tech-Trained Professionals Want a Career in AV?

This article, which describes an internship program Simopoulos’ firm launched and steps NSCA has taken to provide a recruitment platform for integrators, is mostly a conversation starter. But it’s an important conversation.

Read it here.