Tag Archives: Cory Schaffer

Episode 136: Women and Leadership in the AV Industry – the AVIXA Women’s Council (Part 1)



This episode is sponsored by: TierPM

Join the Crew host Corey Moss, Maura Quinn and guest Crew Michelle Loret as they welcome their guests:

Cory Schaeffer – Director, Strategic Industry Relations at QSC
Christy Ricketts – VP of Operations & Marketing at Contemporary Research
Marika Aquino – Managing Partner at TierPM
Susan Wilhite – Territory Sales Director at VIP Cinema Seating
Christina Cruzeiro – Business Development Manager at Stampede
Cristina Lucas – Manager, Product & Marketing at Genesis Integration

This show begins with Cory talking about the creation of the AVIXA Women’s Council and groups in the U.S. It started small, and has expanded greatly through today.

Next, Christy talks about the AVIXA Women’s Council groups in Texas as she oversees all of them (she is in Dallas), she was one of the early group starters as well. She also talks about starting up the Dallas group and how that happened, along with putting together this year’s breakfast with Alexis La Brois (the topic of part 2). Cory adds to this conversation too.

Susan Wilhite talks about getting involved in the AVIXA Women’s Council (she co-leads the Los Angeles group) and how she has built relationships through Council group events, including in other cities. Cory also talks about anyone wanting to start a group where none exists at the current time.

Christina Cruzeiro and Cristina Lucas (both head up the group in Toronto) talk about how they handle responsibilities together with their separate talents and capabilities. Cory talks about how terrific a job they do with meetings as well as attendance. They also talk about how there are many men who attend the events.

Michelle talks about the Houston group (that she co-leads with Alesia Hendley) and all that happens with that group.

Maura gives her perspective, being a young woman fairly new to the industry. She is also new to the Southern California area, and getting familiar with groups out there. Cory talks here about group events that have been put together, collaboration, and starting a new group as well. There’s also talk about Brandy Alvarado, the Chair of the AVIXA Women’s Council.

Corey talks about Marika and their friendship, as well as how it started (with a podcast) several years back. Marika talks about how the AVIXA Women’s Council has grown and her perspective on that.

Cory closes this conversation talking about relationships and mentoring in the industry.

Listen to this Part 1 about an influential group in the commercial AV industry, Part 2 is about the AVIXA Women’s Council Breakfast at InfoComm.


Episode 130 (Pt 1): The Creative, The Smart, and the Mic Drop



This episode is sponsored by: TierPM

Join the Crew host Maura Quinn, Corey Moss, Tim Van Woeart and Jen Gertz as they welcome their guests:

Cory Schaffer – Director, Strategic Industry Relations at QSC
Danielle Karr – Architect and Designer Program Manager at Control 4
Michelle Loret – Senior Account Executive at Utelogy
Erick Parra – Client Relationship Manager at TierPM

The banter begins, then Maura introduces her guests. After introductions, along with some Control 4 talk (and a shameless podcast plug), Erick is given an assignment on the podcast (beside his own job ) – you can check out @ErickJParra to see if he succeeded.

Maura, who created and hosts this episode, asks all on the podcast the following:

Bringing creativity to the forefront. Not all of us have creativity in our job descriptions but we all work in an industry of the arts. What are some ways you work creatively or creative strategies you use at work that differ from the way your job is typically structured?

All answer talking about forms of creative in their daily lives, also discussing social media as a creative part. Wait till you hear about one of the things that Cory does (Corey talks about writing a profile article about her a few years back including this). One question – is Michelle’s brand of creativity widely acceptable? Then there’s the proper way to cut a bagel, workout routines, improv and the new “AV”. Yep, you have to hear this one.

What smart technology has your place of work implemented in the office (if any)? What smart technology have you implemented in your home or day to day life (wherever that may occur/if any)? Has it been an improvement or is it a nice to have?

Ah, for the love of Alexa. Cory starts out talking about Alexa and the meaning of life. Of course Danielle is here to talk about Alexa, control and the smart home – she talks about the benefits, as well as how you can have some fun with a smart home with unsuspecting guests. And there just may be something happening in the near future where Danielle (or a voice that sounds just like her) will be helping you out with all of your Alexa issues. Tim talks about getting his first “hit” of IoT devices.

Michelle talks about the “Siri Conspiracy” – something to do with voice command and the Bayou. Then she brings up stories of caller ID to go with this discussion of voice bias. Danielle helps to set the record straight with some serious (authorized) plugs of Control 4. Jen talks about her like of smart technology, yet she doesn’t get it (Danielle to the rescue here too!). Then there’s that Apple Watch, and her dislike for Siri. So, she’ll be hosting a show soon too. Erick got totally frustrated installing his smart home system, bringing up the new “AV”, and Danielle develops a brand new creative idea for this (bingo!).

As for that mic drop…

Some karaoke talk in this episode as Cory brings up that thing that Corey really likes to do, and the group runs with the conversation from there. Some reveal karaoke go-to groups and songs, and in fact, one or two showed their stuff on this episode – what did they sing?

And who gets to wear those socks?

Stay tuned for this one.

Sit back, plug in, and join us on this open mic podcast as we live…

The AV Life.

Part 2, The Firing Range (something about pigs, brains and ethics) coming next week.


Episode 117: A New Year – Perspective, Prediction and Intervention



This episode is sponsored by TierPM.

Join the Crew host Corey MossKym Frank, Tim Van Woeart and Maura Quinn as they welcome their guests:

Cory Schaeffer – Director, Strategic Industry Relations at QSC

Alex Capecelatro – CEO at Josh.ai

John Greene – Vice President of Sales and Marketing at New Era Technology

Brandy Alvarado – Marketing and Business Development Manager at rp Visual Solutions

Joe Way – Director of Multimedia Services at California Baptist University

Welcome to the New Year 2019, and the first order of business is introducing the guests and the new Crew members – Kym, Tim and Maura.

After this – a very important discussion about ‘Bird Box’ and the Bird Box Challenge.

Which leads to #AVBirdBox, and possibly even the #AVBirdBoxChallenge.

No kidding.

Next, all talk about perspectives and predictions for 2019. Cory begins with business and some resolution discussion, and Maura relates to the importance of mindfulness in terms of preparation and achieving. Corey talks about how this discussion was actually influenced by Alex and an e-mail he had sent detailing his perspectives, you’ll hear them here – along with some very good ones from the guests and Crew.

All get to meet Joe Way who is brand new as a guest to the show, he talks about a number of things including his industry podcast Higher Ed AV, as well as his best-seller book Producing Worship.

And then there’s the predicted death of something that the AV industry can’t stop talking about. Listen in for this.

Kym talks about some predictions for 2019, influenced by her tech and data knowledge – being the resident The AV Life data expert (and #DataGeek).

There was a little nostalgia next, as Corey read a TierPM Hot Job. Make sure to listen in especially if you live in NY or NJ.

Finally, it’s time for something that’s been a long time coming – an intervention to deal with Corey’s long-time podcast co-host addiction. Did it work, or did Corey try to draft another Crew member on this show? Maybe Joe is thinking about bringing on a few co-hosts now?

Some excellent conversation (and perspectives here as well) along with the intervention – and as for the answers to the questions, you’ll just have to listen and find out.

Sit back, plug in, welcome to 2019 and join us as we live…

The AV Life.

(The Firing Range will be back next week).


Episode 87: InfoComm 2018 the Vibe, the Viewpoints, Top Picks, and Awards – the Wrap



Join the Crew host Corey Moss, Michelle Loret, Kaleo Lee and Alan Brawn as they welcome their guests:

Cory Schaffer – Director, Systems Solutions Global Enterprise Accounts at QSC
JoAnn Arcenal – Director of Marketing at McCann Systems
Leonard Suskin – Senior System Designer at SPECTRA Audio Design Group

After the introductions, the first subject is introduced – the vibe at InfoComm. Along with the vibe discussion come some very interesting perspectives on the show from the guests and the Crew, including the end user discussion in terms of their attendance at the show. Michelle, who comes from the structured cabling world has some very good adds to this discussion from that viewpoint. Cory, from the manufacturer’s viewpoint, talks about the “less is more” in a very interesting perspective. And a really big shoutout to the women in the industry. There’s talk of the AVIXA Women’s Council Breakfast, and influencers who were leading it. Alan talks about his recap of the show – a very good InfoComm products and solutions outcome discussion. Leonard and Corey add to this too. There’s very good discussion of community here as well.

Next is the “Top Picks” discussion where first Corey discusses his Transformative Top Picks at the show (focused on the First Ten). The guests each talk about their top 3 picks at the show – very good picks for each, and Corey has a discussion based on JoAnn’s top pick, something that he encountered last year (a startup company’s product) which he placed in his Top Picks at the show. The Crew get a pick too. Corey also talks about time he spent with QSC’s founders.

Finally, as InfoComm time is big for awards, the Crew give awards to the guests on the show. Michelle gives Cory (and Brandy Alvarado) a special award, Kaleo presents one to JoAnn that will certainly be appreciated by many across the world, and Corey gives a special one to Leonard – stay tuned for that one. Alan wraps it up with ‘The Final Word.’ 

And – stick around till the end to hear from brand new Crew member Ethan Lee, he’s a host-in-training for when Corey’s ready to retire…

Sit back, plug in, we hope you’ve enjoyed InfoComm 2018 time on the show and just remember two things:

#AVisLife

and make sure you live…

The AV Life.


Episode 76: AVIXA Women and the Success of the DMV Group March Madness Event, Women and Men in Sales/Working in Manufacturing vs. Integration, and InfoComm 18



Join Corey (Moss) and Cory (Schaeffer) as they co-host this one along with returning (for one night only) Crew member Taylor Meyer as they welcome their guests:

Megan Riddle – Regional Sales Manager, Mid-Atlantic at Planar
Brad Orme – Regional Sales Manager, Mid-Atlantic at Planar
Alexis LaBrois – Systems Consultant at Avitecture, inc.
Scott Durham – Enterprise System Consultant at Yorktel

The first Corey/Cory co-hosted ‘The AV Life’ show focuses on an AVIXA Women’s Council event in DC Metro put together by the DMV Group – Megan Riddle and Alexis La Broi are leaders of the group (and put this event together), and other great AV women in the area are a part of it. Corey was at the event and detailed it on Convergent AV – here is a picture of some of the women in attendance (including Heidi Voorhees and Amanda Eberle Boyer with AVIXA). 

Brad Orme was there of course as he works for Planar (and also helped Megan with the planning) and Scott Durham was one of the men in attendance. All of the guests begin talking about what they do which leads to an interesting conversation about working in integration vs manufacturing (for Megan, Brad and Alexis who have been on both sides), and Brad also talks about the advantage of having the Planar showroom in VA – where the event took place – for integrators and end users. Scott also talks about keys being the demo for the customer, as well as the integrator’s relationship with the vendor. Cory adds to this in terms of some end user specified project timelines and expectations impacting both integrator and manufacturer.  And of course, Taylor Meyer talks robotics and how this can be of help for the manufacturers. 

Next came discussion of the March Madness event, and Megan and Alexis talk about putting the event together – coordination, inviting the guests, and why it took place at March Madness time. Cory talks about the mission of the Council meetings and events, the connections that are made at them, and even business getting done. Cory also talks about the AVIXA Women’s Breakfast at InfoComm. Megan also discusses women in sales and engineering and their impact on the industry through the AVIXA Women’s Council. Alexis also talks about a young woman who attended the event who is looking for a career in AV (her name is Bella, she is front row, far right in the picture). Scott also talks about the AVIXA Women’s Council and events. Alexis also talks about the next event coming up with Integrate Baltimore. 

Finally, all talk about InfoComm and what they are expecting at the show (and something about a shoe game at AVIXA). 

Sit back, plug in and enjoy our third AVIXA Women’s episode with some of the great women and men in the industry as we live…

The AV Life. 


Episode 70: Time to Power Up Women Across the AV Industry and Continue to Grow the AVIXA Women’s Council Groups



Join the Crew host Corey Moss, Katye McGregor Bennett, Michelle Loret and Lauren Larson as they welcome their guests (with the regional groups they head up):

Brandy Alvarado – rp Visual Solutions (Southern California), Cory Schaeffer – QSC (Southern California), Christy Ricketts – Contemporary Research (Dallas with Lauren), Gina Sansivero – FSR, Inc. (New York City), Erica Carroll – Atlona (Atlanta), Debbie Williamson – Tempest Technologies (Seattle), Penny Sitler – Draper, Inc. (Chair of the AVIXA Women’s Council – who joined in progress).

After each of the guests introduce themselves (and the women who are Crew members do too), Brandy starts the show by talking about AVIXA Women and the groups across the country. Cory talks about how she would like to continue to see more groups form across the country, and see more women in tech positions in the industry. Erica talks about being a qualified woman in tech in the industry, and having to prove herself at times (an old story already).

Lauren talks about a recent event that took place in Dallas where Christy was the speaker for the evening. Christy talks about the AV community there as well as the group’s foundation, along with two of the women in the group – one who just passed her CTS and another who has a CTS-D. She also talked about one of the men who attended (and supports their efforts), and the others talk about this too.

Katye discusses how women should present themselves professionally, on LinkedIn especially, Cory and Christy also talk about updating professional profiles. Christy also talks about the Career Empowerment Alliances. Gina talks about helping to start up the Boston group, along with what’s taking place in the New York area (and an event that is planned). Penny talks about all of the women who are involved and how proud she is of their efforts, as well as her role as the Chair of the Council. Debbie talks about the group in Seattle and an event that took place with women in different industry roles attending.

Cory gives a call to action about the AVIXA 2018 Women in AV Award. Erica also gives the group a great statement, Christy and Brandy discuss it too – and Penny talks about the importance of getting credentials. Michelle, Lauren and Katye end the show with “the real deal.” 

Sit back, plug in, and enjoy this episode of The AV Life.


Episode 67: The ISE 2018 Executive Interviews – Dave Labuskes, Julian Phillips, Rich Ventura and Cory Schaeffer



Crew member Michelle Loret spent the week at ISE 2018 and conducted product discussions with exhibitors – along with one-on-one interviews with certain industry executives:

Dave Labuskes, Chief Executive Officer at AVIXA – Michelle sits down with Dave Labuskes who has come to ISE for the first time with the newly rebranded industry organization, they begin by talking with about this, as well as the “user experience.”  They discuss what people will be able to look forward to attending InfoComm 2018 in Las Vegas this June – Dave talks about creation of content, as well as TIDE which will be taking place again at the show. They also talk about some exhibitor statistics, as well as how the shows are the epicenter of the industry. Dave also discusses the commitment to audio visual and bringing value over all of the verticals, as well as a focused discussion on digital signage. And of course, creating the integrated experience with audio visual technology.

Julian Phillips, Executive Vice President at Whitlock and Chairman of the Board of Directors, AVIXA – Michelle gets together with one of the AV industry’s leaders and top influencers Julian Phillips, who along with his executive role at global video collaboration company Whitlock, is the new (and first) Chairman of the Board of Directors, AVIXA. Michelle begins by asking Julian about his being at ISE, and he also details the European market in this conversation, including discussion of economies of scale. Next is a global discussion as Julian talks about the Global Presence Alliance (GPA), from its creation to bulding the global footprint along with the catalog of services, 24 x 7 multilingual service desk, manufacturing partners and the customers. He also talks about their sharing economy including development of relationships, knowledge base and new ideas. Julian then discusses his becoming the Chairman of the Board of Directors, AVIXA, and also talks about the organization, community and data analytics, including market research conducted by AVIXA. Michelle and Julian close with discussion of the industry organization’s name change along with the necessity of accessing analyst information.

Richard Ventura, Vice President of Strategy at NEC Display Solutions and Chairman of the Digital Signage Federation (DSF) – Michelle sits down with Rich Ventura an industry leader in display and digital signage solutions, who is Vice President of Strategy at NEC Display Solutions as well as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Digital Signage Federation.  Rich begins by talking about the acquisition of S[quadrat], and the Best Large Booth win at the show along with what took place in the booth. Rich also talked about some of NEC’s products showcased as well as their partnerships, and their strategy with Raspberry Pi and OPS architecture (and next SDM). Michelle then asks Rich about what to look forward to at the next shows – the Digital Signage Expo (DSE) and InfoComm, and Rich adds some discussion of the London Showcase, and also discusses the New York Showcase (now in its 25th year) in depth. He talks about a great focus on verticalization, and NEC helping integrators to put together the proper solutions. He discusses how the NEC executive teams work together at the trade shows – NEC Display Solutions of America and NEC Display Solutions Europe. He also talks about meeting with Dave Labuskes as well discussing education, analytics, AVIXA and DSF the organizations, and more. Rich closes talking about integrators going for the right opportunities.

Cory Schaeffer, Director, Systems Solutions Global Enterprise Accounts at QSC – Michelle catches up with Cory, one of the AV industry’s most prominent leaders as well as a leader of the AVIXA Women’s Council at ISE 2018 to talk about QSC the company and the culture, along with her role. Cory also talks about the large number of women at the company, and QSC “50 and Forward.” Michelle discusses the AVIXA Women’s Council and events with Cory (Michelle is a part of the Houston division, Cory heads up the Southern California division with rp Visual Solutions’ Brandy Alvarado), as well as how Cory has been a pioneer of the AVIXA Women’s efforts.

The order of discussion – Dave Labuskes, Julian Phillips (14:02), Cory Schaeffer (34:15) and Rich Ventura (44:00).

Sit back, plug in, and join Michelle and her executive guests as they live…

The AV Life. 


Episode 61: Meet Some of the Great AVIXA Women, Hear About Groups, Events, and How You Can Get Involved Too



Join the Crew Corey Moss, Katye McGregor Bennett and Megan Powers as they are joined by women of the AV industry who are AVIXA Women:

Cory Schaeffer (So Cal), Brandy Alvarado (So Cal), Jennifer Davis (Atlanta), Christy Ricketts (Dallas), Mary Cook (Atlanta), Gina Sansivero (NY), Alexis LaBrois (DC), Christa Bender (PA), Lauren Larson (Dallas/Houston), Dayna Baumann (NY), Amanda Boyer – Sr Director of Member Services at AVIXA (and Council Staff Liaison). 

Hear about how Brandy and Cory started the Women of InfoComm Southern California group in early 2016, and Amanda talks about AVIXA, the AVIXA Women’s Council and her role, as well as interacting and coordinating with regional groups.

You’ll hear from each of the participants about the groups that they head up in their regions, events from 2017, meetings and events upcoming in 2018 and more.

Enjoy this very special show and live The AV Life!


Episode 57: Good Friends and a Wonderful AV Life – This One’s For You Ron Camden (Part 1)



Join host Corey Moss and Katye McGregor Bennett as they welcome their guests on this very special show:

The guest of honor: Ron Camden – Vice President of Global Sales at Biamp
Matt Czyzewski – Executive Vice President of Technology at Biamp
Graeme Harrison – Executive Vice President of Marketing at Biamp
Steve Metzger – former President & CEO of Biamp
Read Wineland – former Sales Development Director for Biamp (retired)
Cory Schaeffer – Director, Systems Solutions Global Enterprise Accounts at QSC
Betsy Jaffe – Senior Vice President, Member Services at AVIXA
Jay Rogina – Principal at Spinitar
Barry Goldin – President, Unified AV Systems
Mark Valenti – President & CEO at Sextant Group

Called “a legend in this industry” on the show, a thought shared by many, Ron Camden has been a great partner in business and a very good friend to those who he has worked with at Biamp, along with integrators and especially InfoComm International/AVIXA. He has been in very close association with others in manufacturing in roles with AVIXA and more. Ron recently announced his retirement, and will be leaving the industry after a 30 year AV career – all with Biamp.

Listen to all of the guests on this part one of the show as they talk about Ron, meeting him for the first time, getting to know him and what he’s meant to them and the industry.

There are some surprises on the show as well – on this part one another guest drops in to talk to Ron.

Note: There’s reference to Commercial Integrator article ‘Biamp’s Ron Camden Leaves Legacy of Helping As He Nears Retirement in January’ on this podcast.