Part Two: More about the HTA and meet the HTA Advisory Board! Part One here.
Maureen Jenson: So last week, you told the TIG readers all about the vetting process and advantages of being an HTA Certified dealer. This week, let’s discuss your advisory board and the challenges that face the HTA. First of all, you have such an illustrious group on your board. What are the primary reasons so many busy, influential people wanted to get involved?
Josh Christian: Our board of advisors are some of the smartest people in our industry. They all realize that consumers need great technology experiences for our industry to thrive. It is painfully apparent to each of them that there are too many unqualified companies performing work and no way for consumers to differentiate the best from the rest. Most dealers think that a consumer is savvy enough to distinguish between a great company and a slick sales guy working out of his garage.
They often can’t, and it is clear that they need a lot of help to make good choices. Our board understands this and they all feel the pain of unhappy consumers who look to the manufacturer to bail them out of a botched install. This group is very passionate about the success of our industry. When we approached manufacturers to be a part of HTA, the common reaction was, ‘This is long overdue. We need this! How can I help?’
MJ: What is the biggest challenge you have faced thus far?
JC: Some integrators mistakenly think that the Home Technology Association and the HTA Certified logo need to become a household name in order to be of any value. This is dead wrong thinking. They are not looking at this as their potential clients will. As consumers, we put trust in certifications and standards in other industries. Think of GIA Certified diamonds, NHTSA safety ratings for vehicles, Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval for products, ASE Certified mechanics, and Board Certified physicians, to name just a few.
If you need surgery for a life-threatening illness and you have a choice of two doctors, one is Board Certified and the other is not, who would you trust? The answer is obvious. HTA Certification has to be earned; only the best firms meet the criteria. As soon as a client learns there IS a standard in this industry and that a particular dealer meets it, they are looked at with more respect. Architects, builders, and interior designers all agree that this is long overdue. HTA Certified dealers are using their certification status to be recognized as different, and as true professionals.
Commented Travis Leo, CEO of Residential Systems, Inc. in Lakewood, CO, “As a business owner, I am excited about the HTA Certification. In our market, our clients struggle with understanding which company is truly capable of taking care of their electronic systems. If you look across the service industry, almost every other industry has some sort of designation that separates the best from the rest. The home technology industry has never really had that distinction and I’m looking forward to it.”
Meet the Home Technology Association (HTA) Advisory Board:
John Clancy, VP Residential, Crestron Electronics
David Weinstein, VP Residential Sales Lutron Electronics
JC Murphy, Executive VP Savant Systems
Bryce Judd, Senior VP Global Sales, Control4
Jason Knott, VP of CE/Security Group EH Media
Frank Sterns, VP AV Specialty/CI Sony Electronics
Noah Kaplan, Founder and President, Leon Speakers
Richard Glikes, Founder and President, Azione Unlimited
Jason Sloan, Chief Sales Officer, Dana Innovations