HTSA Fall Conference

By Maureen Jenson
Published on: November 9, 2018

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HTSA Fall Conference in Dallas: Members See the Future!

Data, Education, Profitable Member Opportunities

Embracing the reality of being more than a buying group, but an actual education consortium, HTSA (Home Technology Specialists of America) had a highly successful end-of-October three-day conference in Dallas.

Said Executive Director Jon Robbins, “We are incredibly busy. It’s lighting and it’s training, it’s master classes, EOS training, standardization and more. Every month our members are engaged in one form of education or another. Our ultimate goal with all these initiatives is to look around the industry and evaluate everything as an opportunity to make them profitable leaders in their markets.”

While HTSA continues to elevate members to the next level of professionalism, new opportunities are being focused on in the areas of lighting, wellness and energy management.

Said HTSA Board of Director President Dan Paulson, “We have all these education opportunities that are really making our members best-in-class. It’s a skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been, and the group is energized.”

By the end of 2018, 55 HTSA members will have been trained as certified Lighting Specialists who have specified nearly $1 million in fixtures since the onset of the program.

The Lighting Specialist certification is a designation issued by the American Lighting Association (ALA). The program, which is normally an intensive 3.5-day course, has been condensed into a one-day program for HTSA’s purposes with trainings held throughout the year. There is a final exam that must be passed with an 80 percent or higher grade to achieve the designation. Lighting Specialists must re-certify every two years.

Said Tom Doherty, HTSA’s director of new technology initiatives, “HTSA’s mission is to bring professional lighting design, specification and sales of high-quality lighting fixtures as a new business category for its members who serve the high-end residential marketplace.

“HTSA member companies will be empowered to engage their clients, architects, interior designers, and builders by demonstrating expertise with lighting technology through education, demonstration and offering its clients professional lighting design services.”

Said Jon Robbins, “I am extremely proud of the way that HTSA members have rallied their teams around lighting education – acquiring the ALA training materials, participating in sanctioned classes, and studying for untold hours to build their knowledge and skills in lighting design, fixtures, and services.”

Stephen Baker, Technology Industry Analyst of the NPD Group, presented on the importance of data. In a conversation later, Jon Robbins pointed out that, “Our members really need to recognize the importance of data and how to utilize it. People like Jeff Bezos of Amazon live and breathe by data…this is how Bezos bases his decisions. HTSA members have to start to do the same.”

Said Stephen Baker, “HTSA members need to pay attention to the following: Health and wellness: Apple Watch series 4 is an FDA ‘cleared’ device with its fall detection, CG and heart monitoring capabilities. Best Buy is betting on the future opportunity of delivering health care through a Smart Home platform. Retail has seen a boom in the ‘anxiety economy’ of products. This has clear implications for the CI channel.”

In addition, Stephen pointed out that NPD data shows that smart home sales remain on track for strong increases over the next two years. The data breaks down to past and next 12-month sales to indicate growth in lighting, smart energy, power and sensors, smart system controllers and kits, and smart security and monitoring. That’s why this drilled down data is so important; it provides members of the CI channel with the information needed to tailor their businesses to be the most profitable.

Wellness was also on the minds of attendees, as new HTSA member Delos was on hand to answer questions and educate members on the growing wellness channel and what is possible in the homes of HTSA clients. Said Jan Vitrofsky, Founder and CEO of HEDSouth, “The wellness narrative in the group is very important. Delos through its Darwin platform monitors, calibrates and activates indoor home environments, responding to changing conditions to help improve human health, well-being and performance.  The Darwin platform features: air purification and circadian lighting systems, and water filtration systems and improved sleeping environments and more. A smart home is not smart if it is not healthy.”

The conference keynote was Steve McClatchy, Founder of Alleer Training and Consulting and a New York Times best selling author. His best selling book is, “Decide – work smarter, reduce your stress and lead by example.”

His keynote was packed with insight, humor, passion and a good dose of common sense. There were proven guidelines on how to engage with employees, supervisors, family members’ basically everyone you come into contact with on a day-to-day basis, and how to get the most from those relationships. Judging from all of the nodding heads in the room, his focus and solutions were right on target.


This year’s vendor discussion groups were standing-room-only as experts in their respective fields discussed the following topics with HTSA members:

  1. How to Effectively Light Art and Objects Moderators: Tom Doherty, HTSA; Justin Castellano, Lightology
  2. iPoint Group User Discussion Moderators: David Young, The Sound Room; Greg Hanson, Hanson Audio Video
  3. Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) User Group Moderators: Navot Shoresh, Spire Integrated Systems; Noah Kaplan, Leon Speakers
  4. Utilization of Streaming Music to Create Goosebumps (Clients, Architects, & Designers) Moderators: David Solomon, Qobuz; Ken Forsythe, MQA
  5. Presenting “Understanding Power Quality and Storage” Moderators: Joe Piccirilli, RoseWater Energy; Jimmy Paschke, SurgeX
  6. Strategies for Converting Clicks to Clients Moderator: Tim McLain, Netsertive


The HTSA Innovation Awards were presented to the following award winners:

  • Samsung for 8K TV
  • Crestron for Pyng OS 2
  • Future Automation for the Servo Lift with Swivel
  • Seura for the Smart Mirror
  • Millson Custom Solutions for Millson CinemaFrame

Accessory Vendor of the Year: Legrand AV Milestone

Audio Vendor of the Year: Paradigm/Anthem

Video Vendor of the Year: Sony

CI Vendor of the Year: Dana Innovations

Special Recognition for President of HTSA in 2018: Dan Paulson


Maureen Jenson

Maureen Jenson

Maureen is editor-in-chief for the Technology Insider Group. She has been the editor-in-chief of Audio Video Interiors, Stereophile Guide to Home Theater, Home Theater, Technology Integrator, E-Gear and CEDIA’s Electronic Lifestyles Magazines. She is a CEDIA Fellow and IPRO Lifetime Achievement Award honoree.

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