New York, NY—The Consumer Technology Association (CTA), formerly the Consumer Electronics Association, inducted eight industry leaders into its 16th Annual CE Hall of Fame at an awards dinner in November at Gotham Hall, a beautifully restored bank in Manhattan.
CTA created the Hall of Fame in 2000 to honor industry visionaries. This year’s dinner was held in conjunction with CTA’s Innovate! Conference, running in New York City.
With the 2015 class, the Hall of Fame swells to 217 inventors, engineers, retailers, journalists as well as entrepreneurs who conceived, promoted and/or wrote about the innovative technologies, products and services that connect and improve the lives of consumers around the world.
This year’s honorees were Robert L. Borchardt, president and CEO of Recoton; Tom Campbell, retail executive and consultant; George Feldstein, founder of Crestron; Vic Hayes, founding chairman of the IEEE 802.11 Working Group and the “Father of Wi-Fi”; Noel Lee, founder of Monster; Bernie Mitchell, president of Pioneer; Dr. Floyd Toole, pioneering psychoacoustic engineer; and also Wilfred Schwartz, founder of Federated Group.
Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CTA, praised the inductees for their contributions to the growth of the $285 billion U.S. consumer technology industry. He said, “The Hall of Fame recognizes the innovators in the consumer technology industry and also celebrates the vibrant history that we share. These leaders create, promote, merchandise as well as advance the products, services and technologies that often bring about disruptive change that ultimately improves consumers’ lives. Each of the 2015 inductees had a strong vision as well as the tenacity and drive to bring their ideas to market.”
Also honored as a former CEA chairman in the 1990s, his son Greg accepted his award and noted, “He was passionate about new technology and he truly believed that innovation is the key driver to economic growth and opportunity in our country and worldwide.”
During his acceptance remarks, the retail executive and technology evangelist said, “Retail is not dead, it’s evolving. What we have now is not an electronics store, it’s a digital technology store. The consumer is embracing tech like never before.”
Dr. Floyd Toole
Harman’s Toole explained his career path. “Anyone who gets involved in audio is there because they enjoy participating in the appreciation of music. That was true of me.”
Affirming those sentiments. Monster’s Lee said, “It’s really hard to imagine that you can build an industry on a piece of wire, but that was a dream that I had, being an audiophile.”
As the final award recipient of the evening, he added, “I accept this award on behalf of all the monsters who have worked with me for the last 37 years and who are fighting every day for the next new thing.”
The inductees were chosen by a panel of industry judges from nominations submitted online. Judging for the 2015 Hall of Fame took place in February in New York. cta.tech