In her nearly 20 years in the AV industry, Electrosonic's Sarah Joyce has worked in a variety of disciplines, including sales, account management, business development, general management, product marketing and human resources. Her involvement with AVIXA encompasses the entire span of her career and she's a firm champion of AVIXA programs, including CTS® certification.
"CTS has been the one standard and one certification that exists in every organization I've worked for. I have continually pushed for people to join AVIXA and become CTS-certified," says Sarah, Vice President for Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) at Electrosonic Ltd. and a former member of AVIXA’s Board of Directors.
From her base in Dartford, Kent in the United Kingdom, Sarah's international role with Electrosonic gives her a unique global perspective on the industry. She sees AVIXA's worldwide reach as not only vital for the credibility of the organization but also as a source of pride for its members operating in smaller markets.
"AVIXA is the one global universal brand that's recognized everywhere, and has a standard that's associated with the entire industry," she says. "There are people in so many parts of the world who are striving to achieve CTS. What’s fabulous is how it's seen in markets such as India and South America, where CTS and AVIXA have been embraced. It's a huge differentiator for individuals and their organizations."
Within her own company, having robust, educated and trained engineers, project managers and installers is important for staff motivation and job satisfaction and to show clients that they can provide a high level of service that meets or exceeds industry standards.
"I'm continually developing my staff. Our clients recognize us as a business that's true to its word and has put its employees through training and development," says Sarah. "We have a culture of learning and development within Electrosonic, so all employees like the challenge and stretch themselves with certifications. We have a number of employees who are CTS-D certified, and they get a lot of praise when they achieve that. Their photo and a congratulations announcement are broadcast on our digital signage throughout our offices and we make a big deal out of it. They recognize that we’re investing in them."
For someone who has spent more than 10 years in senior management, it's no surprise to learn that Sarah’s big passion is people, in particular mentoring and encouraging new talent.
"As an employer, nothing makes me feel greater pride than bringing someone into the industry and helping them find a career path they would want to follow and to find the thing that really makes them shine as a person and within their career," she says. "At Electrosonic we take personal development seriously. We aim to equip our employees with all the skills they need to perform their role to a high standard. Part of this ongoing development is our 'In-House Mentoring Program.' Individuals are assigned a 'mentor' who is another person within the organization who can assist them to achieve their goals. We match mentors and mentees based on who we think can best help that person with their specific goals. Mentoring can only have a positive effect on a company; it helps to improve employee satisfaction and retention, and the best part is it utilizes the resources that a company already has."
Sarah is both active with WIN — she hosted the first Women of InfoComm Network Breakfast at ISE 2015 — and was on the Board of Directors for the AVIXA Foundation, both of which exist in part to foster new talent and diversity in the AV industry.
Each year, the AVIXA runs a grant program that sponsors a college student, providing them with funds for their studies and an apprenticeship program within the sponsoring AV organization. AVIXA also provides free access to several online AVIXA courses, entry to and lodgings at the InfoComm U.S. trade show, mentoring help, and the opportunity to take the CTS exam.
Sarah believes that the industry has an obligation to support programs such as the AVIXA Grant Program, for the benefit of both the student and the AV industry as a whole. "Companies get the opportunity to work with a talented young person who could become a new recruit in their organization. It supports them to find new talent and bring new blood into the industry," she says. "It can be tough recruiting people, and this provides an ideal and a nurturing way to do that."
ICIF Grant Program
The International Communications Industries Foundation (ICIF) Grant Program is the pro-AV industry's internship and mentoring program.
Elevate Your Business
With over 11,000 CTS holders, it's clear certifying your team boosts your business and the industry as a whole.