We just wrapped up CEDIA Expo 2023, and beyond the usual product innovations and education sessions, CEDIA hosted its annual awards banquet where it honors a Lifetime Achievement Award winner (Steve Moore this year) and often, but not always, a special CEDIA Fellow recognition. This year the special CEDIA Fellow recipient was James Chen, managing director of Kordz.
We were privileged to have Chen connect with us from Australia over Zoom. He tells us about his three decades in the industry, his instruction and volunteerism with CEDIA and how he’s helped Kordz grow since joining 15 years ago, all on the latest CE Pro Podcast episode.
The company participated in CEDIA Expo 2023, highlighting its latest cabling solutions in its busy booth on the show floor of the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.
“You help a lot of people and they become your friends, and they help you too,” the humble Chen says of his continuing education and industry career path. “When you teach and you educate, it’s not a one-way street – you’re constantly learning things from other people as well.
“It’s as much an opportunity to present yourself and do a damn good job as it is for them to let you know that, ‘Hey that was useful,’ or ‘You’re not getting a very good response, so you need to change the message,’ so it’s a bit of a learning curve,” he adds.
CEDIA Fellow James Chen’s Industry Journey Began as a Teen
Chen is a U.S.-Australian entrepreneur and global technology thought leader with over 30 years of experience in the AV industry. His industry journey has taken him from the integrator sector now to the other side as a manufacturer, all the while continuing to instruct education courses and volunteer in multiple capacities for CEDIA, the association.
“I started in this industry 35 years ago, pulling cables and working home shows as a teen. I was going to university at the time and was very interested in the industry,” Chen recalls. “One of the local Hi-Fi stores gave me a chance to be part of this industry. From there I continued learning and working for a number of companies.”
He mentions on the CE Pro Podcast that CEDIA board member Amanda Wildman, owner of Michigan-based integration firm TruMedia, nominated Chen for the CEDIA Fellow honor. Board chairman David Weinstein of Lutron then called up Chen with the good news (in an odd hour in Australia, which Chen says is something CEDIA’s international member volunteers have grown accustomed to).
Chen’s CEDIA volunteer work began around 15 years ago after meeting Rich Green and Peter Aylett – who was the CEDIA Fellow last year – and striking up a friendship around their shared passions for photography and the industry.
Since joining the company in 2008, Chen has spearheaded Kordz’ development of multi-award-winning and patented cable innovation and expanded distribution to more than 40 countries. He has become a leading HDMI subject matter expert for CEDIA in his instructional coursework for the association.
Chen serves on CEDIA’s Technology Education Committee and Governance Committee. He also recently completed his study of Artificial Intelligence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and regularly authors and presents on technology topics to audiences worldwide.
Hear much more from CEDIA Fellow James Chen by listening to or downloading the podcast above. Find past episodes of the CE Pro Podcast by subscribing to the CE Pro YouTube channel or our Apple and Spotify podcast feeds.