The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) announced that it held its 11th annual Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame awards ceremony October 19, 2010 in San Francisco.
For more information visit: www.CE.org
Unedited press release follows:
Consumer Electronics Association Inducts Thirteen Industry Leaders into the 2010 Hall of Fame
ARLINGTON, Va.–The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA®) inducted 13 industry leaders into the Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame at its 11th annual awards ceremony held Tuesday night in San Francisco. The 2010 inductees join 146 inventors, engineers, retailers, journalists and entrepreneurs in the Hall of Fame, which CEA began in 2000 to recognize the achievements of technology industry pioneers. A list of the 2010 inductees is available at CE.org/halloffame.
CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro said, “The CE Hall of Fame honors the leaders in our industry who think in an independent and creative way. Their ideas continue to change the way consumers live.” He added, “Future technology industry leaders will expand upon these ideas and produce the next-generation of consumer electronics products.”
In Tuesday night’s ceremony, hall of fame inductee Dr. Lauren Christopher, who managed the engineering team that developed the digital satellite receiver system for DirecTV said, “I leapt from the country club of the Sarnoff Research Labs to RCA’s consumer electronics division. I had to run to keep up with all the people who were already developing consumer electronics products. We started out with a blank sheet and ended up with a high volume product.”
Inductee Richard Kraft was the first U.S. president of Panasonic Corp. of North America and helped to position the company as a premiere consumer electronics brand. In his remarks he said, “What a wonderful industry we are all a part of. Sixty years ago when I started, the business was radio and a little television. When I was in college, I studied AC and DC circuitry. A professor told me that electronics was ‘just a fad.’ How wrong he was!”
The ATSC broadcast standards that provide high-definition TV are partly due to the efforts of Frank McCann, who worked for RCA and then Thomson. His PR efforts helped to launch the VCR, the DVD player, digital satellite and HDTV. McCann passed away in 2004 and his daughters Jill McKenzie and Lisa Nelson accepted the award on his behalf. Jill said, “[Our father] was forever walking around the house carrying a yellow pad, always writing press releases or speeches and planning for CES.”
David and Eugene Mondry were brothers who grew the Highland Superstore founded by their father into a nearly $1 billion business that specialized in CE products. Both have since passed away but Gail Mondry accepted the award for her father David and uncle Eugene. She said, “Eugene was analytic, cool and positive. David was emotional, charismatic, a worrier and a salesman. They were a dynamic duo.”
The next honoree, Frederik Philips became president of Philips in 1961 and during his ten year term, tripled revenue and grew the workforce from 226,000 to 367,000 employees. He also saved the lives of 382 Jewish workers in 1940 when Germany occupied the Netherlands. He passed away at age 100 and his grandson Warner Philips accepted the award for him. He said, “My grandfather was a phenomenal public speaker. He always felt [business] was about the human part – not how great the technology was, but what it does for the consumer.”
One of the most sentimental parts of the evening was when Shapiro talked about former CEA Vice President Cynthia Upson, a public relations expert who worked creatively to promote industry issues including the International CES, home theater, digital TV and HDTV. He said, “She was by far the perfect executive. I’d give her a project and she’d get the job done without me having to worry about it. How many of you have employees like that?” The award was accepted by Cynthia’s 15-year old daughter Sarah who said, “This award would mean so much to my mother.”
The final inductee of the evening, Dr. Larry Weber was recognized for his contributions to plasma display panel technology and its commercialization. He said, “We were told ‘a 60-inch TV is too big.’ We demonstrated a market existed, and it was a gigantic market.”
The Hall of Fame inductees were chosen by a panel of industry judges from nominations submitted by industry professionals. Judging for the 2010 Hall of Fame took place on February 17 in New York. Additional information about the CE Hall of Fame and bios of the inductees are available at CE.org. In addition, nominations for the 2011 class can be made online.
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the $165 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,000 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also produces the International CES – The Global Stage for Innovation. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA’s industry services.