The Virtual Ceremony Honored Six of Our Industry’s Hardest Working, Inspirational Women
This week I attended the virtual Women in Consumer Technology 2021 Legacy Awards. The organization that promotes the advancement of women in the consumer technology industry. Women in CT did a terrific job of having a beautifully designed virtual presentation, with attendees accepting their awards from the virtual stage, online multiple breakout rooms to network and chat and even the champagne toast that has become a beloved tradition of this 12-year-old celebratory event.
Said the Founder of Women in Consumer Technology Carol Campbell, “The past year has been exceptionally challenging, and one thing that it has taught all of us is the importance of staying connected with each other. While we wish we could honor this year’s Legacy Awards recipients in person, we’re also grateful that we can continue the proud tradition virtually and provide these amazing women with the recognition they deserve. We are so proud of you all; congratulations.”
Megan Pollock, Vice President, Strategic Communications of Samsung Electronics America and 2020 Carol Campbell Inspiration Award Honoree did an outstanding job as Master of Ceremonies.
The following are the 2021 Legacy Award honorees:
Michelle Guss, Director of Residential Business Development for North America, Crestron
Michelle joined Crestron in 2007 and has grown to become the Director of Residential Business Development for North America. She works closely with architects, interior designers, builders, developers, realtors, estate managers, and lighting designers. She is responsible for analyzing key residential market segments to acquire new sales opportunities for Crestron. In addition, she oversees the business development team and Crestron’s design showrooms throughout the U.S. Michelle is a CTA Smart Home Division Board member and is an active member of several design build groups. She is also a CEDIA-Certified Outreach Instructor and teaches technology education courses for Crestron to the AIA, ASID, NKBA and several real estate groups. Michelle is a 2020 Dealerscope 40 Under 40 Honoree.
Said Michelle Guss, “I am a true example of starting at the bottom and working my way up. I am happy to be a cheerleader and coach for those women just coming up now.”
Andrea Hogan, Sr. Director and Head of NA and AU Marketing, Qualcomm
In a career spanning over two decades, Andrea has focused on marketing, partner marketing, channel marketing, and consulting in the consumer technology industry. She was previously a principal at Corrib Consulting, marketing and sales operations lead for Flo TV (a subsidiary of Qualcomm), and senior consultant at IBM. At her very core, Andrea is a big believer in people. Her approach to building and developing high powered teams and relationships is to understand individual strengths, interests and aspirations, and empower, coach and establish authentic relationships by championing diversity so everyone succeeds.
Said Andrea Hogan, “At Qualcomm, the company has had a 17% increase in hiring women as engineers in the last year. With higher projections for the year ahead and for the first time ever, there is now at least one woman on the board of directors of every S&P 500 company. Women have to call out the injustices and push the boundaries even further.”
Elizabeth Lafontaine, Industry Analyst and Director of Thought Leadership, The NPD Group
Elizabeth serves as the Director of Thought Leadership, focused on uncovering insights about the retail consumer, and crafting stories using The NPD Group’s robust data assets to provide strategic direction to retailers and manufacturers. She works closely with NPD’s senior leadership, industry advisors, and analysts to drive thought leadership initiatives across the organization. Elizabeth joined NPD in 2017, transitioning directly from the retail industry.
Said Elizabeth Lafontaine, “Receiving this award is monumental in my career. The talent of the members of the Women in Consumer Technology organization is energizing and inspirational, and I remind everyone to shoot for the stars!”
Roberta Lewis, President, Roberta Lewis and Associates
Roberta Lewis has over 40 years of experience in the consumer electronics and pro AV industry. In 2005 she founded Roberta Lewis & Associates LLC to support the broad range of electronics and technology businesses with public relations, marketing, advertising, and consumer technology strategic sales consultancy. She holds the distinction of being the only woman ever to be elected as the President of the Professional Audio/Video Retailers Association (acquired by the Consumer Technology Association), and has served on CTA’s Audio Board, High-Performance Audio Sub-Division, and Audio Promotions Committee.
Said Roberta Lewis, “I encourage you to get involved and find your place in our industry. Let your voices be heard and your passions move mountains.”
Woman to Watch: Kristin Reinitz, Director of Business Development and Sales, Admit One Home Systems
Kristin launched into the consumer technology industry when she joined the Admit One team in 2018, taking on all marketing, sales, and process objectives. Kristin has a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design, and her career within the building industry has helped her develop an extensive network of builders, designers, and architects. She genuinely loves learning about people and has an innate ability to open new doors. Kristin currently sits on the board of directors for Women in Construction (WINC), is working on her Lighting Certification, and continues to mentor other women in her market. Said Kristin Reinitz, “I am so honored by this award, this is such an exciting industry and I am so happy to be a part of it.”
Carol Campbell Inspiration Award: Heather Squire, Global Account Director Commercial Organization, Logitech
Heather has had an extensive 20-year career in consumer technology and is currently serving as Global Account Director, Commercial at Logitech. She got a start as a buyer at Circuit City, and also served as account manager at Kensington. She moved to startups with tenures at Flip Video and then GoPro in 2011, where she spent six years leading the Americas and global accounts sales teams.
Though she is very proud of her professional career, it’s her passion for colon cancer awareness that has driven her the hardest. During the height of her career at GoPro, her husband was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer at the young age of 41. After her husband passed away at 46, she founded Cartwheels4ColonCancer to promote early screening and spread awareness that colon cancer can happen to anyone at any age.
Said Heather Squire, “I am truly humbled to receive the Carol Campbell Inspiration Award. From the start of my career at Circuit City, I have taken pieces from those people I have worked with to create my very own personal leadership style. I have had tremendous challenges in my life, and like I tell my two girls, you can hit the lowest of lows and still rise.”