David Silberstein is the Director of Inside Sales at Crestron and the newly elected Chair of AVIXA’s Manufacturers Council. He talked to us about what he hopes to achieve in this role and his AV career to date.
What is the Manufacturers Council?
The Manufacturers Council is both new and reborn. It existed several years ago when AVIXA had its councils and committees program, and it was recently revived. I was a member of that first council. We as a larger constituent group of manufacturers want to be able to guide AVIXA and supply good information on where the industry is going and what’s happening.
How does the council help, or how is it useful, to its members?
It gives vision to the industry in general and provides the internal operation of AVIXA information as to where the manufacturers are going and how they’re thinking. It creates a place within AVIXA for manufacturers who might not know how or why to engage with us to have a place to start that engagement. As more manufacturers from other segments move into the AV side of the business, the Manufacturers Council gives them a place to start where there are surrounded by like people. That’s a huge benefit for the industry.
What are people in the Manufacturers Council passionate about? And what worries them?
I don’t have a definitive answer to that yet, as I am still learning what the new breed’s passion is. Manufacturers in general are interested in educating the future generation and building a workforce. At Crestron, for example, we do everything we can to get people to work here; we had 53 interns this summer. If the entire industry can put that much effort in, it would be beneficial to all of us. In the previous council, anything that involved projection technology got everyone excited as did working on meaningful projects. For example, the previous council wrote a two-year community college course for an associate’s degree in AV technology and we also created an AV channel for SkillsUSA, which is a training course for high-school kids interested in technical, skilled, and service occupations.
What do you hope to achieve as Chair?
There are a few things on my list that I will be bringing up at our first meeting, to gauge interest from the rest of the council. I would like to see the Manufacturers Council recognize and support APEx-certified integrators and consulting firms. Also to encourage our dealers to engage with AVIXA. Another issue that is important to me is to find a way to channel the expertise of individual manufacturers to the trainers at AVIXA. Everybody’s a little different; each manufacturer has its specialty. It would be great to formalize a path to deliver information. Let’s make sure the right people who are truly the experts in the field are the ones to pass on the right information.
Tell us a little about your day job and what you love about it?
My day job changes from minute to minute, which is what I love the most about it. I’m Director of Inside Sales at Crestron, and that runs the entire gamut. My current two- to three-year project is creating a formal dealer onboarding process. We’re building and modifying it to get it right, to allow our newest dealers to be successful.
What has been your career path and experience in the AV industry?
I started out in the broadcast industry and stumbled into AV accidently. I worked for a commercial dealer for nine and a half years and then I came to Crestron, where I have been for the last 19 years.
What has been your involvement with AVIXA?
As well as being involved with various councils and committees and other groups within AVIXA, I have been a subject matter expert and helped to create the original CTS® content. I was on the committee that wrote the AVIXA BICSI® book, the AV Design Reference Manual, and the white book, black book, and dashboard for controls. I was involved in the EZip format for pricing, which was something that originated from the old manufacturers council.
What is your favorite AVIXA memory?
Our work with the SkillsUSA organization. Going to Kansas City for the nationals and judging a bunch of high school kids on how they wired their rack and their XLR connectors was exciting and a fun thing to do. These students were building AV racks, aligning projectors, and worrying about color balance; and on the other side of the room there were kids baking and fixing farm tractors. The excitement among the kids was electrifying for everybody.
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