Widgets Magazine

Growing Up AV

Recently my six-year old son, Christian, helped out some friends at AVI Systems. It was at their regional show in Detroit. I was speaking there and they were looking for a young person to talk to their vendors about AV. The finished video is here, and is incredibly cute.
After watching the video it lead me to think about both of my kids’ futures. I have an eight-year old girl and six-year old boy. They are both interested in what I do for pure curiosity reasons at this point. Sophie even has an InfoComm “AV Geek in Training” t-shirt from a few years ago. When it comes to their future profession do I encourage them into AV, or simply answer questions?
There are a number of second, and third, generation AV professionals. The two that come to mind immediately are Jonathan Brawn and Johnathan Ivey. Mr. Brawn’s father is Alan Brawn; an industry veteran and creator of a number of training sessions for InfoComm and manufacturers. Alan is an accomplished consultant and AV legend. His son is also accomplished. He has run his own integration firm, worked in manufacturing, and is now a partner in Brawn Consulting.
Johnathan Ivey’s dad is Loyd Ivey of Atlas Sound and MiTek Corporation. Loyd is a legend in the manufacturing realm. He has created a U.S. based brand that is fairly solid and profitable. John has successfully run a number of the Ivey companies. He has taken over new and under-performing segments and turned them around.
There are more stories than these, I’m sure. There are also stories of family run businesses going down because of a lack of interest from the next generations. Either that, or they are sold off and folded into another, bigger, entity.
My questions to you, the AV community, is how would you raise your kids in the ways of AV? Would you encourage them in STEM and things AV; helping them see the awesomeness of this industry? Do you steer them clear of it entirely? Do you help them make their own way? Comment below. I’m really interested to hear from those of you who have raised kids in AV.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. Have a great week.

About Author

Tim Albright is the founder of AVNation and is the driving force behind the AVNation network. He carries the InfoComm CTS, a B.S. from Greenville College and is pursuing an M.S. in Mass Communications from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. When not steering the AVNation ship, Tim has spent his career designing systems for churches both large and small, Fortune 500 companies, and education facilities.

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  1. Malissa Dillman on

    What a great topic! As a mother of a 13 year old daughter I have to say that I naturally encourage her at every opportunity to participate and learn all she can within the STEM program. Interestingly enough in our school district girls are not “steered” towards the STEM programs. Thus she is home schooled now and exploring everything and anything! Obviously coming from two parents in the AV industry she has no hope but to be exposed to the technologies and somehow some of it seeps in. Things such as recognizing poor audio in public spaces or poor video….LOL Imagine that. She must get this from her father! I wouldn’t discourage her from moving into the industry and certainly believe their are many aspects of AV that will help her no matter what she chooses to do. Of interest though, I read a comment the other day that said the jobs that my child and those younger will apply for after college – haven’t even been created yet. WOW! Imagine that! What wonderful opportunities lay ahead for these next generations. I hope that with some basic building blocks from the AV of Now she will be prepared to handle whatever the future holds.

  2. Leonard Suskin on

    I have an eight-year old girl and a three-year old boy. I like for them to not only know what I do, but to see figuring out how things work, setting up and taking apart to be within reach. My daughter is doing very well at math thus far, and I hope this continues and will encourage it to.
    She’s also a voracious reader, and also finds some enjoyment in poetry. I want to encourage this as well. STEM fields are important, but they aren’t the only thing which are important; what I often say on this topic is that while it is the engineer who figures out how to get us to the moon, it is the poet whose dreams tell us WHY we want to go to the moon.
    It’s easy for those of us in technology to see it as the best choice; my father was an electrical engineer who always taught – through words and example – that technical fields and education were superior to humanities fields. It’s taken me quite some years to move from that way of thinking, and it’s not one with which I want to hobble my children. They’ll learn what they learn, they’ll find their way.
    STEM or not, I have faith that they’ll add something to the world.

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