Director of Business Development,
Almo Professional AV
Driven to help others succeed, Rob Ziv sees certifications as an all-encompassing pathway for the growth of AV and those who work in the field.
Out of 11,000+ CTS® holders worldwide, about 300 are dual-certified CTS-D/CTS-I. It’s an exclusive but steadily expanding group. For some people, the kudos of holding all three certifications is worth the extra effort; for others, it’s a case of fully understanding the various facets of AV and meshing it all together in their day-to-day work. Still others feel that they can manage teams better if they have a deeper understanding of what their staff members do and their clients require.
For Rob Ziv, Director of Business Development at Maryland-based Almo Professional AV, it’s a combination of all the above, married with a firmly held belief in education to expand his and others’ horizons.
Ziv started as a recording engineer and studio designer, forming his own company that specialized in format conversion for professional and consumer markets. When his career later moved in the direction of AV, he felt compelled to plug in the gaps in his knowledge by studying for and gaining his CTS certification. “I felt it would give me credibility, confidence, and differentiation,” says Ziv, who sees continuing education as vital for career improvement and growth.
At Almo Professional since 2012, Ziv has a role that is both technical and managerial. “I oversee a group responsible for helping our integration customers grow their business by providing technical support and design assistance, and help integrators put together the best install possible.” On the technical side, he provides design assistance, working with vendors, engineers, manufacturers, and marketing departments, as well as supporting the sales staff and customers.
“I saw the relevance of really knowing the design aspect and the level of confidence and authority that CTS-D holders had, and felt that I needed that too,” he shares. “Sometimes you look at something as a second set of eyes and you find things that maybe are called into question. I wanted to ask the questions, respectfully, when I saw something that perhaps needs to be addressed.”
With CTS and CTS-D under his belt, Ziv felt he had gained credibility and confidence. He saw a way to differentiate himself by adding CTS-I to his list of achievements. “I’d done installation before, and I know that having a real appreciation of the installation side really helps the design side. It had been a while since I terminated cable and installed equipment and so on, but I felt I could revisit that and expand my knowledge,” he says. “Getting the CTS-I, I believe I achieved all three of my objectives.”
As well as his own career improvement, Ziv is passionate about helping others grow. He teaches CTS classes at Almo to help his colleagues get certified and enjoys being able to share what he has learned to advance others’ careers.
“The role that I’m in allows me to do that. I help our sales people and our customers, all of whom have goals and objectives or need a creative or technical solution to help them reach their goals. I love helping people succeed and put a lot of value in the certifications.”
As the only person at the company with all three CTS certifications, Ziv certainly stands out. And he’s not stopping there. He recently began studying for his Masters in Business Administration, a long-term personal goal.
“I think it’s going to do the same thing that the CTS-D and CTS-I are helping me to do, which is gain credibility, confidence, and differentiation,” he says. “It’s important to have the hardcore technical skills but that’s not where it ends for me. I’m known as a technical person and I have great leadership skills, and I want to differentiate myself to be a business leader, which I can then use to help people reach their end goals.”