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It’s hard to believe that AV Week is already a week ago. Since then I’ve had the chance to reflect on the various activities that took place to celebrate our industry and build awareness in Utah about the impact of our industry. 2013 marked my 7th AV Week and so I give you the top 10 things I loved about 2013 (in random order—too hard to rank).


#1 Connecting with InfoComm Members: AV Week gives us an excuse to connect outside of obvious reasons like our tradeshow in June or doing business. In Utah we tend to start planning early for AV Week and we’re all coming together for our industry and so there’s this warm, genuine camaraderie that I have experienced in moments like the photo op with Governor Herbert in the Capitol rotunda. He’s a busy man so we’re asked to arrive early and be ready for the 2 – 3 minutes he’ll spend with us; so we do and it gave us a chance to chat and catch up and be part of a special moment together.

#2 Essays by the Kids:
You have to love the unapologetic, uninhibited hopes of kids and the way they choose to express that in writing. I know I did when I read the essays that were submitted by Listen kids on why they wanted to win the Fender guitar that was up for grabs during AV Week. You can read the blog with the various entries and see who won >>>

#3 Audiologists’ Willingness to Provide Free Hearing Tests:
We have some very giving people in our community in Utah. I’m grateful for Dr. Anne Lobdell, AuD and Dr. Layne Garrett, AuD for their willingness to provide free hearing tests during AV Week. Building awareness around hearing loss and hearing protection is an important concern for our industry. Many of us in the industry are involved in experiences where the sound is at dangerous levels (above 80 dB) and it’s important for us to all be aware that once you lose your hearing from NIHL it’s gone. Read a recent InfoComm All Voices blog on protecting hearing >>>

#4 Celebrating Women in Technology:
I’m involved with an awesome group of women as part of my role on the steering committee for the Salt Lake Chamber Business Women’s Forum. Our efforts are focused on fundraising and building awareness for the Business Women’s Center which is a non-profit providing services to women who want to start their own business. Each month we have a different theme and we chose women in technology to coincide with AV Week so that we could showcase the opportunities for women in AV. We held a mixer and technology tour of KSL Studios. It was an evening filled with a lot of great networking and enthusiasm.


# 5 Witnessing Breaking News: During our tour of KSL we happened to be in the newsroom during the evening news broadcast and our guide was giving us an overview of the equipment and technology in use. Our group was pleased to see that the camera operator was a woman and was also running the behind-the-scenes of the newscast. Suddenly, adjustments had to be made as President Obama was going to address the country about the Federal Government shutdown ending. It was thrilling to have a firsthand view of this current event and what it took behind-the-scenes with AV to make it happen.


# 6 Loop Utah Momentum: In September the Loop Utah movement kicked off at the Deaf & Hard of Hearing Festival. Since then volunteer members of the Loop Utah movement have been working to build momentum and awareness for hearing loss, assistive listening and Hearing Loop technology. Cory Schaeffer and I are involved as volunteers and because of AV Week Cory had the opportunity to invite a reporter from the Salt Lake Tribune to Listen HQ to meet with members of the Loop Utah movement. The article came out this week and it has resulted in positive momentum for the movement. Read the Salt Lake Tribune article >>>

#7 Mike’s Moment:
Michael R. Griffitt is one of our Product Marketing Specialists for assistive listening and where he thrives is as our trainer for the Level 2 One-Day Hearing Loop Training. Level 2 is the more technical training and is required to be able to install both perimeter and phased array hearing loop systems to conform to the IEC standard for performance. On Wednesday of AV Week Mike delivered the Level 2 training at Listen which just happened to be the same day the reporter and the members of the Loop movement were at our offices for the demo and interview. At a break during the training Kristel Scoresby and Steve Brantley were invited to meet the session participants and speak to them about their experience with hearing loss and Hearing Loop. Mike had a moment. To paraphrase, “It was incredibly moving for all of us at the session. One comment in particular resonated with me. Kristel Scoresby shared how typically if she is watching TV she’ll use closed captioning so she doesn’t have to turn the TV up so loud that it would bother her husband. What she realized when she did the demo with the Hearing Loop and no captioning was that with captioning she doesn’t get the emotion that is being conveyed by intonation or music. Wow is all I can say. It was a point I had not really considered and just another reminder of how meaningful it is to be able to make a difference in some small way.”


#8 Hayley’s Willy Wonka Perspective on the Adobe Tour: Hayley is a recent gem of an addition to the Marketing Services team at Listen and I just don’t know how we got by before she came to us. 2013 was her first AV Week and she was tasked with blogging about the Adobe Tech Tour hosted by Avidex. Avidex designed and integrated the AV systems throughout the 280,000 square foot campus to the tune of $2.8 million. Hayley wanted to do the tour justice but also have fun with it. I found the Willy Wonka analogy to be refreshing and fun while still conveying the valuable points of the impact of AV at Adobe. Read her post and see what you think >>>

#9 GENCOMM Tech Expo:
It felt a bit like a mini InfoComm right here in our own backyard. I enjoyed catching up with people I know from the industry that came to Salt Lake from neighboring states. It also appreciated GENCOMM’s invitation to present on behalf of the Loop Utah movement and deliver a session on ADA compliance and an overview of Hearing Loop technology.

#10 Awesome Colleagues:
As I got to #10 I realized that this really is the #1 thing I love about AV Week. I have the privilege of coming to work every day with people who care about each other, our industry and most importantly the difference we get to make in our own way. AV Week is a demonstration of the small things my colleagues are willing to do to go above and beyond to make things successful and also to support me personally. Thank you Ryan Williams, Ryan Paxman, Deb Weeks, Carrie Keele, Hayley Heaton, Mike Griffitt, Dania Darling, Wendy Peterson, Tracy Bathurst, Cory Schaeffer and Hollie Kieszek Your support is very much appreciated.

Three separate ListenTALK receivers in a row with different group names on each display screen.
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