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Associations Focus: Educated Edge

Mobile training, instructional courses, and hands-on exams build competitive business skills.

Associations Focus: Educated Edge

Aug 1, 2006 12:00 PM

Mobile training, instructional courses, and hands-on exams build competitive business skills.



InfoComm International



The number one residential electronic systems contractor show in the industry will be held in Denver Sept. 13-17 at the Colorado Convention Center. Be a part of this year’s CEDIA EXPO, especially since the show is offering more than ever, including more than 200 courses that will be taught in the five CEDIA University colleges, full-day workshops, free manufacturer product training, an additional day on the tradeshow floor, new products and technology unveilings, and much more.

EXPO attendees can take the opportunity to network with fellow residential electronic industry professionals while playing at Arrowhead Golf Club. Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 12, with an 8 a.m. tee time, the Runco-sponsored golf outing is the first event at CEDIA Expo. While golfing, don’t forget to take in all that Denver has to offer, including the dramatic views among the red sandstone rocks and breathtaking elevation changes. Prizes will also be given away.

On Thursday, Sept. 14, attendees can enjoy the keynote breakfast, sponsored by Texas Instruments DLP, from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Bill Leszinske, general manager of the Networked Media Platform Group within Intel’s Digital Home Group, will be speaking.

Don’t miss the keynote speaker, Steve Forbes, on Sept. 15 at the Annual Meeting and Membership Luncheon, sponsored by Capitol Sales, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Korbel Ballroom at the Colorado Convention Center. Forbes magazine, combined with the company’s seven local language editions, reaches a worldwide audience of more than five million readers. Forbes writes the “Fact and Comment” editorial for each issue of Forbes. A widely respected economic prognosticator, Forbes is the only writer to have won the prestigious Crystal Owl Award four times.

The CEDIA Electronic Lifestyles Awards Banquet is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 16, at 7:30 p.m., in the Centennial Ballroom, located in the Hyatt Regency Convention Center Hotel. The event honors the best in the industry.

The aforementioned are just a few of the events that will be held at CEDIA Expo. For a complete list of events, visit CEDIA’s website at

For more information on CEDIA, visitwww.cedia.orgor call (800) 669-5329.

CEDIA Calendar of Events

Aug. 8

Installer Level I Review and Exam, TAG, Carrolton, Texas

Aug. 10

Installer Level I Review and Exam, AVAD, Minneapolis

Aug. 11

Installer Level I Review and Exam, Media Dynamics, Thornhill, Ontario

Aug. 15

Installer Level I Review and Exam, AVAD, Westbury, N.Y.

Aug. 15-18

NCSL Annual Meeting and Exhibition, Nashville, Tenn.

Aug. 17-18

Installer Level II Review & Exam, AVAD, Piscataway, N.J.

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Associations Focus: Educated Edge

Aug 1, 2006 12:00 PM

Mobile training, instructional courses, and hands-on exams build competitive business skills.



InfoComm International



Through a new partnership with the NSCA Education Foundation, the association has doubled the amount of Education Credits that corporate contractor members will receive. As an additional perk, branch offices will now be provided with their own credits. Through this opportunity, $400 in Education Credits will be allotted to each corporate contractor member company, with $100 added for each branch of that company.

“These new benefits are really exciting,” says Jodi Montgomery, NSCA director of member services. “Thanks to the support of the NSCA Education Foundation, we can increase educational opportunities in the industry, and provide additional value to companies seeking to improve their business through training.”

Corporate contractor members can use their Education Credits for any NSCA class or learning event that totals $200 or more. This includes NSCA Expo courses and Fall Business Conference attendance, among other opportunities.

The credits come in $100 increments, and thus may be allocated for a combination of different educational offerings. They are non-transferable and cannot be redeemed for cash. Educational Credits may not be used for purchases made at the NSCA bookstore, or for E-Learning training programs or NSCA certification exams.


Education and training are essential components to gaining a competitive edge in business, and an ongoing investment in these areas will produce a motivated staff that bolsters your company’s reputation on every project. But, an inhouse training department is a luxury few companies can support. NSCA offers a cost-effective way to bring training into your organization with its Electronic Systems Technician (EST) training series.

Slated to start in mid-September, classes for first-year, second-year, and third-year EST programs are designed to provide installers and technicians with educational fundamentals for building low-voltage systems. Participating companies need only provide a facilitator for inhouse training, and the EST program provides the rest of the materials, including a step-by-step guide to the curriculum.

“It’s a very effective training format, because it combines book knowledge with the facilitator’s field experience in a guided forum,” says Norah Hammond, NSCA director of credentialing programs. “This blend of learning opportunities provides the student with the ultimate path to success.”

For those companies with an existing training department, EST materials can be used in conjunction with inhouse programs to guarantee a thorough understanding for all personnel levels.


The electronic systems industry has many leaders with expertise from an array of backgrounds. When combined with contributions from their colleagues, these individuals can provide broad insight to the benefit of many. One such leader is John Waddel, vice president of operations for Communication Specialists of Virginia, Inc. (CSI) in Mechanicsville, Va. Initiating his career in electrical contracting, Waddel branched out into fire alarm work, and then made the switch to systems integration, joining CSI seven years ago. During his years with the company, he has taken an influential role in the EST program, most recently accepting the title of “master verifier” for the hands-on performance exams.

“As a licensed master electrician, I really believe in the licensing structure that the industry has in place,” Waddel says. “When NSCA came up with the EST program, it was exactly what the low-voltage industry needed. We’ve talked to owners, manufacturers, engineers, and architecture firms about the program, and everybody recognizes that there was a void in the industry from a certification and licensing standpoint.”

With the encouragement of CSI president and CEO Ron Pusey, who has enthusiastically supported EST efforts from the start, Waddel has gone on the road with NSCA, verifying the hands-on portion of the EST exams regionally and at the annual Systems Integration Expo.

“Since the implementation of the EST program, we’ve seen people gain a level of pride from being able to say they’ve passed the exam,” Waddel says. “It’s a tough exam, and that’s by design. We want it to be a tough exam, so it has some meaning and weight to it.”


Seats are selling out fast for the 2006 NSCA Fall Business Conference, scheduled for Oct. 26-28 in Myrtle Beach, S.C., at the Myrtle Beach Marriott Resort at Grand Dunes. For the first time this year, FBC attendees will be able to accumulate learning units toward a certificate of completion from NSCA University. Course offerings are available at

For more information about NSCA, visitwww.nsca.orgor call (800) 446-6722.

NSCA Calendar of Events

Aug. 18

C-EST Online Review Begins for San Francisco Exam

Aug. 31

Fall Business Conference Advance Registration Deadline

Sept. 8

C-SI Review Package Deadline, San Francisco

Sept. 15

C-SI Online Review Begins for San Francisco Exam

Sept. 28

C-SI & C-EST Exam Registration Deadline, San Francisco

Oct. 17

C-SI One-day Review, San Francisco

Oct. 17-18

C-EST Two-day Review, San Francisco

Oct. 18

C-SI Exam, San Francisco

Oct. 19

C-EST Exam, San Francisco

Oct. 19-20

Project Management for Systems Projects, San Francisco

Oct. 26-28

Fall Business Conference, Myrtle Beach, S.C.

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Associations Focus: Educated Edge

Aug 1, 2006 12:00 PM

Mobile training, instructional courses, and hands-on exams build competitive business skills.



InfoComm International



Next month, InfoComm International will debut its Executive Business Conference. Scheduled for Sept. 22-23 at the Lincolnshire Marriott Resort located just outside of Chicago. This important event is designed exclusively for owners, CEOs, COOs, CFOs, and HR directors for AV systems integrators, design consultants, and manufacturers.

The agenda is packed with 48 hours of useful information and interactive discussion: HR advice from labor attorneys, employee development and retention techniques from experts in the field, and executive PMI-sponsored project management training.

A special benefit of the conference is the opportunity to meet representatives from workforce development boards, who will offer information on how to develop future talent by working with your local officials back home. You will also have time to discuss strategies and ideas with your peers around the country in a collaborative setting.

If you are worried about time away from your busy office, the program (detailed below) is robust and will leave you with concrete ideas and tools to implement all that you have learned. Call 800-659-7469 to register. To review the entire program and gain details on the optional golf tournament on Sept. 21, please visit

For more information about InfoComm International,

InfoComm Executive Business Conference Schedule of Events


The Invisible Employee: Realizing the Hidden Potential in Everyone
Scott Christopher, manager of recognition training at O.C. Tanner

This event, based on a book by the same name, written by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton, discusses real leaders who have learned how to better manage employees by valuing and appreciating them. In today’s competitive environment, all of us are looking for the next big product, the next big capability, or the next big solution. Great managers are turning back to the basics and are finding that recognizing people leads to a more engaged workforce and a more successful business.

Today’s Human Resource Legal Issues
Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Chicago

As business owners, you are dealing with many complex human resource issues. This session will provide an overview of the laws affecting you today: FMLA, ADA, and ADEA, as well as practical information on exempt and non-exempt employee issues; non-compete and disclosure agreements; interviewing and hiring techniques and tips; and the proper paper trail for firing and disciplinary actions.

How to Develop a Workforce Development Plan that Works for You

InfoComm International has great ways to help you find and develop new employees for your business. In this workshop, you’ll be able to meet with peers from your region to explore ways you can work together to recruit, train, and hire employees locally. Learn from members who are already making this happen.


A Company of Pirates or Professionals?
Brad Malone, PMP, Twin Star Consulting

This presentation provides an executive overview of the five project management processes to senior management within an organization. It shares insights into the common pitfalls experienced by companies who are typically juggling multiple projects with limited resources. Conversations will focus on senior management’s role in establishing practices which aid the company in coordinating the sales cycle with the implementation of resources; understanding how to create common and efficient practices; and focusing on the inter-relationships between projects versus narrowly focusing on each individual project to the detriment of all. It also includes a discussion on the different facets of an organization, which must be in alignment in order to gain the full benefits of mature project management.

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