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Joe Bocchiaro Retires from a Lifelong Career in Audiovisual Technologies

Published: 2024-01-18

After nine years as a principal consultant with NV5 Engineering & Technology, Joseph (Joe) Bocchiaro III, PhD, CTS-D, CTS-I, CStd, ISF-C, has entered retirement from a lifelong career in the audiovisual/building technologies industry.

AV has been Bocchiaro’s passion since his early years growing up near Buffalo N.Y., along with studying piano and clarinet; enjoying photography with his own darkroom; building radios and amplifiers; running filmstrip and film projectors; and producing storytelling audiotapes. He achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, giving him a lifelong mission of nature conservation and service. High School brought debate, oratory and lead roles in drama productions. Torn between music and electrical engineering as a college major, Bocchiaro decided to pursue both at The University of Rochester. He transitioned to The Institute of Optics and an interdisciplinary program, leading to BS and BA degrees in Optics and Film Studies, with work/study in the holography laboratory.

After graduation, he moved to California’s Silicon Valley as a laser engineer at Quantel International. Bocchiaro worked at dozens of research laboratories, and was transferred to New Jersey to open an office in Princeton. There, he was offered a position as an optical scientist at PA Technology/PATSCENTER, where he developed optical-based machine prototypes. However, Bocchiaro’s interests lay elsewhere, and he enrolled in the Media Studies MA program at The New School for Social Research in Manhattan. There, he worked in the video, multi-image, computer graphics and audio studios. His special projects included providing technical support for CONNECT-ED, which offered the first online graduate level courses anywhere, in collaboration with NJIT.

From Chief Engineer to Globally Recognized Educator and AV Consultant

With his MA, Bocchiaro was hired by A.V. Services as chief engineer, undertaking the design and installation of numerous IBM audiovisual systems, based on the ATC (Advanced Technology Classroom). This led to the IMMC (Interactive Multimedia Classroom), the Palisades Executive Conference Center, and numerous “mix-minus” systems, including Samsung’s headquarters in Seoul, Korea. Bocchiaro found that there was no literature describing this technology, and subsequently, he wrote his first of many technical feature articles for Sound & Communications.

FEATURED REPORT
Joe Bocchiaro proudly displays badges over lifelong career in AV

Courtesy/Joe Bocchiaro

Bocchiaro started AV consulting working part-time for Sam George & Associates. He then joined Walsh-Lowe in Hoboken, N.J., working on AV over IT systems for The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, Wall Street trading floors and others. IBM staff had encouraged Bocchiaro to pursue a PhD in Educational Technology and he completed it over 10 years. His columns and features in Sound & Communications included chapters for his dissertation, a treatise on AV/IT in Higher Education.

Bocchiaro moved his family to the Buffalo area, opening an Electro-Media Design office. He became an InfoComm International (AVIXA) adjunct instructor. InfoComm’s programs were expanding, and while he was on the Board of Directors elected to represent the Consultants’ Council (ICAT), he was hired by InfoComm as a full-time instructor. Bocchiaro’s dissertation was transformed into the course Principles of AV/IT Integration. This is the basis for the course and book Networked Audiovisual Systems (NAVS). He taught CTS Essentials, Audiovisual Systems Design, Audiovisual System Integration and Principles of AV/IT Integration and others in 17 countries.

Bocchiaro then started the AV Standards program, working to establish InfoComm as an ANSI Accredited Standards Developer. Over eight years, numerous Audiovisual Industry Standards were created, several in conjunction with other professional societies. As VP, Bocchiaro was also tasked with running the “Best Practices,” then “Industry Innovations” department, publishing guidelines and standard guides. He joined the Standards Engineering Society (SES), and was elected to the SES Board of Directors. He won the ANSI/SES World Standards Day Paper Competition five times.

At The Sextant Group, he developed business in the Washington D.C. and Boston areas. As principal, he was engaged in project work and marketing, which included presentations, articles and association membership and leadership for VAPPA, APPA, SNEAPPA, SCUP, AASHE, AVIXA, Tradeline, ACI, and LabDesign. After Sextant’s NV5 acquisition, He worked with the MEP groups in Boston and Dubai.

Bocchiaro’s interest in public and academic libraries led to an invitation to teach the technology module of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design Future Libraries course, spanning almost six years. Harvard University then invited him to develop a certificate course in Intelligent Buildings, in its fourth iteration in 2024.

What’s Next for Bocchiaro?

During Bocchiaro’s career, he was busy with his family, church, Boy Scouts, music and home improvement. He is proud of his sustainability activism, including numerous articles and presentations. What’s next for Bocchiaro? Well, for now, he is enjoying living on a lake in Rhode Island, spending time with family that includes a new grandson, running a church band, fostering dogs, kayaking, motorcycling and catching up on movies and books. Bocchiaro is also open to part-time engagements in teaching, writing articles, developing or auditing standards, etc.

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