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Industry Awards, Keynote and Charity Presentation Close Out BICSI Winter Conference

Orlando, Florida, February 4, 2016 — BICSI, the association advancing the information and communications technology (ICT) community, brought the 2016 BICSI Winter Conference & Exhibition to a close this afternoon. Thousands of attendees from all over the world gathered at the five-day conference to gain industry knowledge, take in the latest ICT products and services, and network with colleagues.

During Wednesday night’s annual Awards Banquet, BICSI celebrated the accomplishments of several individuals who have displayed great dedication to BICSI and the ICT industry. The awards include:

Awarded by the University of South Florida, College of Engineering, the Harry J. Pfister Award for Excellence in the Telecommunications Industry recognizes the lifetime achievement or major accomplishment of an individual in the telecommunications industry. Andrew Jimenez was given the award for his work throughout his 20-plus year career in the fields of telecommunications testing and product certification.

Selected by BICSI’s president, the Presidential Eagle Award is given to individuals who have exhibited leadership, sacrifice and faith in BICSI and the industry as a whole, showing dedication to a greater cause over a period of time. This year’s award was presented to Bob Erickson for his work on numerous BICSI committees and task forces, as well as for his contributions during his tenure on the BICSI Board of Directors.

The David K. Blythe University of Kentucky Award for Outstanding Member of the Year recognizes the volunteer spirit of BICSI members, and spotlights one individual for outstanding efforts in promoting BICSI’s educational programs and commitment to professional development within the industry. For his amazing dedication and pride in BICSI, including taking on multiple volunteer tasks, the award went to Bob Hertling.

In honor of all the work done to grow BICSI globally, the Global Outstanding Member of the Year Award recognizes an individual who has gone above and beyond to promote BICSI and encourage membership around the world. For his work in promoting BICSI throughout the CALA District, Rick Ciordia took home the award this year.

The Larry G. Romig Committee Member of the Year award honors individuals for exemplary efforts and dedication within a BICSI committee. The Larry Romig award was presented to Peter Levoy, RCDD, Chair of the BICSI Cares Committee for his tireless efforts and commitment to the charity arm of BICSI, BICSI Cares.

During the conference, 14 Installers and Technicians competed for the chance to become the next Installer of the Year in the ninth annual BICSI Cabling Skills Challenge. Every year, the Cabling Skills Challenge competitors represent the best of the industry, and the overall winner receives a check for five thousand dollars. For the second year in a row, Alberto Luna, Technician, took home the title and the winnings.

The Ray Gendron BICSI Cares Scholarship went to Nick Plueger, Installer 2, Copper. Plueger attends Bellevue University in Bellevue, Neb., and majors in Computer Information Systems and Networking. He will graduate this summer and will then work toward his master’s degree.

“All of the award winners are truly deserving,” said BICSI President Brian Ensign, RCDD, NTS, OSP, RTPM, CSI. “I have had the pleasure of working with many of them, and they display a deep love of and passion for BICSI, the ICT industry and the work they do. Congratulations to the winners, and

I look forward to seeing more of their amazing contributions in the years to come.”
Following the awards, the evening concluded with a musical performance from eighties legend JT Taylor, former lead singer of Kool and the Gang.

On Thursday morning, BICSI Cares, the charitable arm of BICSI that supports children’s charities and is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, made a donation to the Boca Raton, Fla.-based Kindness Shared Happiness Squared, a non-profit created to distribute happiness to children. BICSI Cares collected donations from attendees throughout the conference, and 100 percent of the funds were given to the charity.

Following the BICSI Cares presentation, attendees were treated to an inspirational Closing Keynote address by J.R. Martinez. Martinez is a best-selling author, motivational speaker, actor, advocate and wounded U.S. Army Veteran. He travels the world spreading his message of reslilence and optimism, reinforcing the fact that one’s path in life is decided by one’s own ability to adapt and overcome.

In addition to the Keynotes, attendees were able to learn from more than 25 technical sessions over the course of the conference. Topics discussed included higher-power PoE; design considerations for 4K systems; the evolution of blue light infrastructure at the University of Florida; and more.

“I’ve been to many BICSI conferences since the 1980s, and this conference is packed! The education has been great, and there are a bunch of RCDDs and others here that I can network with,” said Andy Potter, RCDD, of ICE Communications in Lawrence, Kansas.

Exhibitors were happy with the bustling Exhibit Hall and were able to share their products and services with attendees and visitors. “We love BICSI!” said Wayne Bunce or Jonard Tools in Tuckahow, NY. “The traffic has been excellent. We’ve been coming to BICSI conferences for more than a decade, and we’ll definitely be coming back for more!”

BICSI President Ensign adjourned the conference early Thursday afternoon, thanking everyone for attending and encouraging them to come to the 2016 BICSI Canadian Conference & Exhibition, May 2-5 in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.