NSCA, WAVE Award 3 BLC Scholarships

Drunk Unkles concerts helped to raise money for three women to attend 17th annual Business and Leadership Conference.

A pair of New York-area concerts by the Drunk Unkles, a band that includes members from systems integrators, manufacturers and marketing firms, paved the way for NSCA to invite three aspiring female business leaders to the 2015 Business and Leadership Conference in Tampa.

The attendee list of more than 300 industry leaders will now include Christa Bender from Applied Video Technology Inc. in Kimberton, Pa.; Maria Cody from AVDB Group in Tempe, Ariz.; and Kelly Perkins from AVI Systems in Minneapolis, thanks to the NSCA Education Foundation and Women in AV (WAVE).

The original plan was to invite two first-time attendees to the BLC, but organizers raised enough money that they were able to add a third invitee, says NSCA executive director Chuck Wilson.

“NSCA received many excellent nominations for these scholarships, but these three women stood out to our judges because they demonstrate the type of leadership we need in our industry,” says Wilson. “I’m particularly excited for them to join us for Liz Wiseman’s keynote [‘How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Stronger’ on Friday, Feb. 27]. Her topics align with the goals of our Foundation to help build our next generation of leaders.”

RELATED: NSCA Announces 2015 Business & Leadership Conference Keynotes

In October, Steven Emspak of the Drunk Unkles talked proudly about the band’s involvement with the NSCA Education Foundation.

“I’m looking forward to promoting the audiovisual industry, something that I have worked hard at doing for years,” he said at the time. “It’s important to me that we encourage both women and young people to pursue a career in audiovisual technology. I’m happy that the Drunk Unkles can serve as a mechanism for fundraising and to provide a forum for people to gather with common goals.”

“My goal, and that of Shen Milsom & Wilke, is to raise awareness and to provide educational opportunities and access to people with an interest in working in the AV field,” said Emspak.

The 17th annual BLC opens Thursday, Feb. 26 with the NSCA Education Foundation Industry Charity Golf Outing and also includes two full days of keynotes, breakout sessions and networking opportunities.

Check back here for Commercial Integrator‘s coverage of the event.