On the circuit

Cynthia Wisehart on Jim Bowie's Career

His Highlights in Orlando 7/12/2017 3:45 PM Eastern

It was a proud and special InfoComm for our family this year. My husband Jim Bowie is retiring as CEO of Electrosonic on his 30th anniversary with the company in just a few days as we go to press.

Therefore this year I wore two hats; we went to Orlando as a family to participate in the many gracious events held in his honor, including a wonderful moment on the show floor where our daughter saw him receive the Mackey Barron Distinguished Achievement award from InfoComm. I am so grateful for all of you who came out to support us that day. I know the show is so busy for everyone and it meant so much to look around and see all the faces.

Among the many whirlwind things we did, we managed to see a lot of Jim’s body of work in Orlando. One of the most special adventures was a trip to Kennedy Space Center. We wanted to see the new exhibits Electrosonic helped build, but also revisit the Apollo/Saturn V Center. As we walked into the cavernous hall in the shadow of that big rocket, I could remember the last time I had been there for the opening party—December 1996, when Jim was the chief engineer on the exhibit, designed by Bob Rogers and his team at BRC Imagination Arts.

We also made the rounds of some of Jim’s seminal work in projection engineering (there are many examples in Orlando). I was struck that these experiences span more than two decades, and you would be hard-pressed to order them by age—they all still seem fresh and ground-breaking, and you can see the guests are awed by each of them in different ways. In the time since Jim started working on motion-based ride projection in the early 1990s, a small group of adventurous thinkers have built a remarkable body of work that continues to call artists and engineers to a very high standard.

Indeed we had many colleagues who shared our adventure building Sanrio Puroland in Tokyo and went on to great careers. They are the aesthetic and technical leaders (and perpetual expats) who shaped experiences for millions of families throughout the world. It was fun to actually be one of those families for a few days.

Beyond his own work, one of Jim’s proudest accomplishments is the apprenticeship program he founded at Electrosonic. He knows first hand how our band of young ruffians became leaders and innovators, and he wishes that for the next generation. That includes our daughter who, at the moment, dreams of being an engineer, even more so now than before InfoComm.

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