CEDIA appoints new global president & CEO

CEDIA has announced Daryl Friedman as its new global president and CEO, assuming his role on 29 November, 2021.

The organisation has been searching for a someone to assume the role since previous global president and CEO, Tabatha O’Connor, resigned at the end of last year. Since then, Giles Sutton and Kory Dickerson have acted as interim co-CEOs

Friedman has spent more than 30 years in non-profit leadership roles, having overseen membership, advocacy, industry relations, and the technical wing for the 25,000-member Recording Academy. The academy, known globally for the GRAMMY Awards, is the association representing technical and creative professionals in music.

“We’ve found someone that I am confident will be the step-change in leadership that CEDIA needs and deserves,” said Jamie Briesemeister, CEDIA board and executive search committee member. “Daryl has decades of experience in trade association leadership and member advocacy. He exudes a humble nature that draws conversation and consensus, and he deeply values technical expertise and artistry. Daryl has a vision for what CEDIA can be – and will be – and he has the experience to realise it.”

Friedman added: “Having represented audio professionals for most of my career, I’ve long admired CEDIA for championing immersive audio experiences in the home. Now, as our homes become the hub for work, education, entertainment, and wellness, CEDIA members are the indispensable partners for making our homes more comfortable and connected. This is truly CEDIA’s moment, and I am honoured to join the team at this exciting time.”

During the pandemic, Friedman successfully advocated for legislation providing assistance to the recording community, while also protecting the rights of creators in the streaming era, both of which earned him the title of ‘the music creators’ man in Washington’ from Billboard. He also conceived and grew GRAMMY’s on the Hill, an annual advocacy programme attended by both congressional and music industry leaders. He has worked to grow and modernise the Academy’s membership, leading initiatives to update recruitment practices to reflect the industry’s diversity.

Friedman’s close work with the Academy’s Producers and Engineers Wing reinforced his interest in technology. A key advisor to the Wing’s leadership of technologists and manufacturers, he visited studios across the country and spoke frequently about the need to protect the rights of those who use their technological skills to improve people’s lives.

In 2014, the Wing endorsed CEDIA’s High Resolution Audio Training Programme for Home Technology Professionals. Later, Friedman and the Wing led the effort to pass the Allocation for Music Producers (AMP) Act, federal legislation that protect the livelihood of the technical wing’s members.

The appointment of Friedman concludes a lengthy and deliberate search led by Vetted Solutions. The process entailed multiple rounds of interviews and exercises, including one final meeting where the candidate questioned the search committee, asking candid questions about the role and expectations.

“The CEDIA Board was keenly aware of the need to attract a visionary leader,” said Alex Capecelatro, board and executive search committee member. “CEDIA plays an important role for many of our businesses, but the landscape has shifted dramatically over the last few years. We’re all adjusting to a post-pandemic world; Daryl can help us usher in this new era for our industry.”

“Daryl is a very positive, thoughtful, and inspiring communicator,” added David Weinstein, CEDIA board vice-chairperson. “He is ready to listen, understand, and engage in constructive dialogue. I believe that he will apply what he already knows as well as what he learns to allow him to lead from the front.

“There is so much opportunity for the custom integrator community at this time. With Daryl in this leadership role, I am very confident that he will help us to raise the profile of our association for the mutual benefit of the entire system integration and control industry.”

Rob Sutherland, CEDIA board chairperson said: “I want to thank the CEDIA staff, particularly interim co-CEOs Giles Sutton and Kory Dickerson, for their steadfast leadership during this process. They’ve steered the organisation through incredibly challenging waters. Now, as the new CEO takes the helm, we’re in a very strong position. Daryl will be working closely with staff and the board to create and execute a strategic plan that serves the whole industry.”


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