CEDIA Board of Directors Slate

Make your voice heard on what is one of the most important decisions affecting CEDIA, its governance, and future direction. Voting for the CEDIA global integration and new slate of board members will be open Thursday, September 15 at 8:00 a.m. EDT through Tuesday, September 20 at 8:00 a.m. EDT. Learn more.

Christiaan Beukes

Sphere Custom Design & Installation
Salt River, Cape Town, South Africa

Having worked in the industry for more than 12 years across the UK, Europe, and South and Southern Africa, Christiaan has garnered unique experience in the industry, and particularly his local markets. Christiaan  built his company, Sphere Custom, up from a small one-man install business into a multi-faceted design and distribution company that specializes in high-end home theatres and makes it their work to translate the complexity of our expansive industry into the simple for every client and dealer they work with.

Christiaan is in regular contact with his dealers locally and manufacturers in the marketplace, and his aim is to make sure the end user finds the right fit for their purpose. No gimmickry and gobbledygook, just plain simple technology in a way that a regular Joe understands and can functionally use without fuss.

Christiaan is particularly passionate about helping grow our industry and regularly hosts education sessions for architects, developers, builders and quantity surveyors. These cover a variety of topics which are commonly misinterpreted or misunderstood, debunking popular myths in home automation and facilitating discussion around future trends and how we can better adapt to serve and grow our markets.

Henry Clifford

Richmond, VA                                

Henry Clifford founded Livewire of Richmond, VA in 2001 after identifying a need for simple home technology in central Virginia. He began his career in IT during the .com boom of the '90s, working as a web developer and information architect. His lifelong passion for technology made founding Livewire an easy choice. Under Clifford’s leadership Livewire has acquired five competitors since 2011, added 5,000 sq. ft. of office/warehouse space, launched a commercial division (Livewire For Business) and is now the largest home technology professional company in central Virginia.

In 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, Livewire made the Inc. 500|5000 (2013-2014), CEPro 100 and RVA 25 (2014) lists. Each member of the Livewire team has been handpicked and their combined talents fuel the company’s explosive growth. Henry resides in Midlothian, VA with his wife, Liz and three fantastic kids (Will, Quinn, and Emily). 

Ken Erdmann

Erdmann Electric
Springville, UT

Ken Erdmann has been a Utah state licensed electrician and a low-voltage professional since 1978. As co-founder and part owner of Erdmann Electric, Inc., he ran the low voltage and systems integration component of the company. Erdmann joined CEDIA in 1993 and has been actively involved as a volunteer since 1994. He has served as an instructor, committee chair, subject matter expert, and volunteer leader. During this time, Ken was an adjunct faculty member at Utah Valley State College instructing Electrical Automation and Robotic Technology. In 2003, he was honored as the CEDIA Volunteer of the Year. In 2005, Ken was elected to the CEDIA Board of Directors and served two years as Chairman. In 2012, he was named a CEDIA Fellow and was honored with the CEDIA Lifetime Achievement Award. Ken is currently active on the Professional Development Committee serving as the Certification team leader.

As time permits, Ken and his wife Connie enjoy travel and make an effort to visit places off the beaten path. Recent trips have included Myanmar, Laos, and Iceland. It is this need to travel that helps inform Ken’s view of the real world and what is necessary to be successful in any endeavor. Travel also serves as a reminder that no two people have the same life experience and that to understand the needs of others, one must see them on their terms in their own homes and places of business.

Dennis Erskine

Erskine Group, LLC
Vancouver, WA
Dennis Erskine, Chairman of the CEDIA Americas board, is the CEO and founder of Erskine Group, an organization specializing in architectural acoustics. His design/build organization currently produces the design, blueprints, and specifications for over 80 home theaters per year throughout the world, with a focus on ergonomics, environment, and acoustics.

Mr. Erskine is an instructor for the Home Acoustics Alliance and a CEDIA SME in home theater design. Prior to Erskine Group, he served as the Vice President of Strategic Systems for Holiday Inns Worldwide, CEO of Intelligent Networks, Vice President Operations at iNet Company of America (subsidiary of Bell Canada), Director of Systems Development for ITT Dialcom, and an Account Manager, Federal Systems Division, at Electronic Data Systems. He is currently a member of the Civil Air Patrol and an FAA Flight Instructor.

Omar Hikal

Cairo, Egypt

Omar HikalOmar Hikal entered the home technology industry in 2003 when he co-founded Archimedia, now the Middle East’s largest residential integration company, operating in five countries from Morocco to the UAE. Hikal was CEO of Archimedia until this year and is now Vice Chairman and remains active in developing and guiding the business.

Hikal has launched a number of entrepreneurial ventures and has worked in the consumer goods, luxury retail, and food retail industries and is involved in numerous business ventures in these areas. He holds a business degree from Boston University’s School of Management and attended Executive Management programs at Harvard Business School and INSEAD. Hikal has two sons and divides his time between Cairo and Dubai with his wife Samar. In his spare time, he is an enthusiastic amateur photographer and has exhibited his works around the region.

Greg Margolis

HomeTronics, Inc
Dallas, TX

Greg Margolis is a Dallas native who has been married for 21 years with four daughters between the ages of 12 and 18. Growing up, Margolis was technologically and mechanically inclined, working with electronics and building muscle cars. After attending the University of Texas, instead of becoming a stockbroker in the midst of a recession, he jumped into the unknown industry of home automation and founded HomeTronics, adding high-end AV solutions to the mix within two years.  

Career highlights have included dozens of honors from manufacturers, approximately 100 magazine features, designing the $1.5M ultimate outdoor entertainment system for the annual Neiman Marcus Christmas Book, and elaborate award-winning projects from major industry associations in various categories. Margolis is proud to have designed and implemented the first deployed immersive audio system in the U.S. six months before the technology was officially announced.

Margolis spends a great amount of time traveling the U.S. and Europe looking for technologies both within and outside the home tech industry that can become part of the solutions HomeTronics offers, and he has built key relationships all over the world. He has worked with post-production studios, product design firms, and manufacturing companies, and he has held multiple committee chairmanships and board positions in an associate organization. Margolis feels very fortunate to be in an industry he so enjoys.

Rob Sutherland

Inspired Dwellings
London, England

Rob Sutherland grew up in West London and has lived there all his life. He began his business life as a boat builder and then moved into IT for large corporations, including BT and BP. He is passionate about sailing and has sailed at an international level, and he is also a keen fly fisherman.

Sutherland set up Inspired Dwellings eight years ago after seeing an opportunity to bring corporate standards of IT infrastructure to the burgeoning home technology and entertainment market. Inspired Dwellings has grown steadily and now has 20 full-time members of staff, delivering a wide range of residential and commercial project sizes and types.

Having a CEDIA membership was always a key objective when Inspired Dwellings started, and the company joined in 2009. Sutherland became a CEDIA Outreach Instructor and sometimes delivers three CEDIA CPDs (training sessions) a week. He greatly appreciates the sharp end of outreach and what it is like to talk to specifiers. Sutherland joined the EMEA CEDIA Board in January 2016 and also currently sits on the EMEA outreach committee. 

Giles Sutton

James + Giles
London, England

Giles Sutton's involvement with CEDIA started in 2004 when he first joined the EMEA membership committee, two years before he started his own integration business, James + Giles. The years Sutton spent on this committee gave him considerable insight into the needs of the diverse membership, and he feels that after five years serving on the EMEA committee and two years on the international membership committee, he is in good standing to join the global board. He has seen certification come and go and the way the members define themselves change as they have adapted to this rapidly changing industry. Sutton wants the name CEDIA to be a badge of honor and represent the highest quality design and installation professionals in the field.

For the past year, Sutton has been Chairman of CEDIA EMEA, and he believes during his tenure he has shown the vision, skills, and leadership qualities to make him a suitable EMEA representative on the global board. He is proud to have been a part of the process of assembling a truly global CEDIA from the top to the bottom. If elected, he will work to ensure the association continues to be successful, improves its engagement with the membership, and sees more international growth outside of the UK and USA.

Joe Whitaker

The Thoughtful Home
Clayton, MO

With over 20 years of experience in home systems installation and design as well as being an award winning product designer and inventor, Whitaker is a current member of the CEDIA board of directors (first elected in 2013). Joe Whitaker is also an active member of industry press as well as sitting on many product award judging panels. He is currently the principal of the integration firm thethoughtfulhome.com. The Thoughtful Home operates in St. Louis, MO and Dallas, TX.

  • CePro Contributor (2009 to Present)
  • 2011 CEDIA Board of Directors Nominee
  • Member of the Inaugural CEDIA Blog Mob 2012
  • Judge for CE Pro Best Products of the Year 2012 to Present
  • Judge for Electronic House Magazine Best Products of the Year 2012 to Present
  • 2013 CEDIA Board of Directors Nominee
  • Inventor of Vanco HDBASET over Existing HDMI (CePro Best Product of the Year Winner 2013)
  • Inventor of VANCO No Tools Needed Quick Install Speaker
  • Elected to CEDIA Board of Directors 2013
  • Awarded Most Influential 40 under 40 by Commercial Integrator Magazine 2015
  • Inventor VANCO MusicLife Concealer 2015 (CePro Best Product of the Year Winner 2015)
  • Reelected to CEDIA Board of Directors 2015 
  • CEDIA Governance Committee (2015 to present)
  • TecHomeX People You Should Know (2016) 
  • TecHome Advisory Board (2016)

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