August 4, 2020 by Michelle Bollen

The only way out of a crisis is through it, and the only way through is with the support of a community - however big, small, or virtual that community may be.

Are you and your company looking for ways to give back and be that community for others? Mark Delguidice, CTS, George V. Fournier Jr., CTS, and Brandy Alvarado have some tips and recommendations for how you, as an AV professional, can pay it forward.

Mark Delguidice, George Fournier Jr., Brandy Alvarado | AVIXA

Create a Vision

There are almost as many charities as there are needs. It can be daunting to pick which ones to support. George advises, “Think globally; work locally to get involved with something that fits with your company’s message.” Create this vision with the rest of your team. Talk with your coworkers and discover if one of them already has a cause they are passionate about that sparks your passion too. The more invested the whole company is in the project, the more effective it will be.

Spark Action

Approach your business’ leaders informally and explain why you think this opportunity to give back is worthwhile. Don’t forget to mention that joining an initiative or helping an organization are opportunities to form new relationships and, possibly, gain new clients.

As Chair of the ITS Council, Mark collaborated with several other council member companies and industry partners to donate and install a presentation and sound system in the San Diego, Ronald McDonald House. Later, because they already knew and trusted him, the Ronald McDonald House hired the company Mark works with, MediaCentric, to add more technology due to Zoom classes for COVID.

Find Allies

Look beyond the walls of your company for allies in a cause. Follow hashtags like #AVGivesBack to connect with others in the AV industry who are lending a helping hand. Join one of the AVIXA® councils and help shape the AV community for the better.

Don’t be shy or think you don’t belong. Mark explains, “These are councils comprised of many different kinds of people in the industry from many different sectors all coming together for common goals —social goals and goals of progress.”

Brandy, the AVIXA Women’s Council Chair, explains that these councils are inclusive and want to be diverse. Men can join the women’s council. An accountant at an integration business can join the Integrators’ Council. The more perspectives at the table, the stronger the council becomes.

Change the Tide

COVID-19 shows us how connected, all around the globe, we really are. Do not doubt the impact of a single act. In this time of fear, spread joy. Reach out and be the community that helps everyone make it through. As George points out, “They say the tide raises all boats. We can do this, together.”

This content is derived from the InfoComm 2020 Connected session “How the AV Community Can Give Back in Times of Crisis.” Wish you hadn’t missed it? It’s not too late! Visit the InfoComm Show site to register for the virtual show and view this panel discussion for free through August 21, 2020.

Want recommendations for specific organizations you can support? Here are links to the charities, events, and organization the panelists discussed in their session:

AVIXA Foundation, Councils, and Sponsorships:

About Michelle Bollen

Michelle Bollen came to AVIXA with a rich background in education and language. She has taught Latin and Graeco-Roman Mythology and has done extensive work in language translation. Michelle joined the Standards Development team and leads the audio task groups. When she's not working, she's tapping her barista skills for her team, working out, or writing young adult novels. You can reach her at mbollen@avixa.org.