Editor’s note: This story was originally published on Wednesday, November 8. It has since been updated with official statements from AVI Systems and AVIXA.
Global systems integrator AVI Systems announced that Brad Sousa, an AV industry veteran, thought leader and chief technology officer of the company, died unexpectedly while attending a company event in Austin, Texas.
“This tragic news affects so many people, including Brad’s loved ones, our AVI Systems family, and the entire audiovisual and unified collaboration industry,” said Jeff Stoebner, CEO, AVI Systems, in a statement. “Brad joined AVI more than 15 years ago and has been instrumental in elevating our industry and the work our employees do across industries and around the world. He is an irreplaceable, amazing human being, a father, grandfather, and a person who truly cared about everyone he worked with or spoke with. Our hearts go out to his entire family at this difficult time.”
First joining AVI Systems in 2008, Sousa created and led the company’s technology practices, overseeing the development of solutions clients used around the world. He was named chief technology officer in 2016, after serving as both the director of unified collaboration and entering the role with more than 20 years of experience as a leader in the professional audiovisual technology industry. He led teams and organizations to develop different competencies and product offerings for people in the private and public sectors, education and healthcare. His vision and expertise in unified and visual collaboration technologies resulted in the development of custom solutions for organizations worldwide and helped to shift how organizations communicate and collaborate.
Sousa was a frequent speaker at symposiums and workshops, addressing the application of visual collaboration technology and the creation of human impact for all who used AV and UC solutions. He also served on the board of AVIXA, the AV industry’s largest trade association, and was a three-time recipient of the Smithsonian Award for Technology in Academics. Sousa pioneered the use of MPEG multicast for statewide and district-wide distance learning applications with notable programs such as Hacienda LaPuete’ USD (three-time recipient of the Smithsonian Award for Technology in Academics), the Modern Red School House (Kayenta USD) and The Cascade Consortium (a distance learning network supporting central Washington State).
Prior to becoming CTO at AVI Systems, Sousa was the company’s regional vice president of the West Coast region. His career also included roles as CTO and vice president of sales/marketing for Integrated Media Systems, national director of digital media for MCSi, and COO/managing director for Icon Networks.
Sousa was a native of Seattle, Washington. He and his wife, Janelle, spent their time together with family in San Diego and Nashville.
In a LinkedIn post, Stoebner, wrote “Our heart aches for the Sousa family. I know personally that faith and family were first for Brad. He was a 1 of 1 – a dedicated husband, father, grandfather and industry leader. We would say, Brad is his own “Brand” in our tech industry. Please pray for [the Sousa] family.”
Stoebner and Sousa, both sat down for an exclusive interview with Commercial Integrator during AVI Systems’ National Sales Meeting in the summer of 2023, on the factors driving the company’s growth, its partner mindset, tech mastery and focus on long-term relationships.
AV Industry Mourns Loss of Sousa
AVIXA’s CEO David Labuskes, CTS, CAE, RCDD, wrote in a blog post, “Brad was an amazing gift to our industry — a positive force with the countless people he engaged with in all facets of his life. AVIXA had the joy of working with him throughout the years — honored by the generosity of his time to help build a stronger industry.”
Sousa helped spearhead the InfoComm Esport Live at the 2023 InfoComm show. “His excitement for this activation was contagious,” writes Labuskes. “He rallied together so many industry partners to bring it to life. There were so many moving pieces to this project and Brad was leading the charge with a smile every step of the way.”
He continues, “Any of us who were lucky enough to know or work with Brad are richer for that gift. I can’t personally express how deeply sad all of us at AVIXA are to abruptly lose such an amazing man and leader of this fine industry. He was taken from us far too early, and we seek some comfort in knowing that his legacy will live on in the countless individuals whose lives he enriched, careers he enhanced, or simply the days he brightened with his smile and passion. We will all miss his ready laugh, quiet wit, and gentle, kind nature.”
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