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From Cowboys to Movie Stars: CEA Inducts 12 Industry Leaders into the 2014 CE Hall of Fame

New York, NY – November 12, 2014 – 
At the15th annual Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame awards ceremony held for the first time in New York City, 12 industry leaders joined the 197 inventors, engineers, retailers, journalists and entrepreneurs inducted since 2000 who have helped provide products and services that entertain, inform and connect consumers. More than 200 industry professionals attended the event held at the Grand Hyatt New York.
 
CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro praised the inductees for their contributions to the consumer electronics industry. “I am proud to be part of an industry that encourages and embraces such creative and passionate individuals. The people that we are honoring each had a dream and the courage and determination to follow it. As consumers, we all benefit from their innovative thinking.”
 
This year’s class of honorees reflects the broad and global reach of innovation.   The inductees are an international group that includes a man who pioneered the in-vehicle electronics market, a husband and wife team, young entrepreneurs, a cowboy and a movie star.
 
The awards ceremony first honored the team of George Antheil who worked with one of the world’s most beautiful women and most popular film stars of Hollywood’s golden era, Hedy Lamarr, to invent frequency hopping wireless security technology – the basis of our wireless communications technology. Family representatives accepted the awards for Antheil who passed away in 1959 and Lamarr in 2000. Music publisher Ed Matthew accepted for Antheil and said, “He shared a patent with Hedy Lamarr for a ‘Secret Communication System’ between Navy ships and torpedoes with 88 different carrier frequencies instead of 88 piano keys in the 1940s. This innovation is the underpinning of today’s spread-spectrum frequency-hopping technology in our cell phones and blue-tooth devices.” Rose Ganguzza accepting for Lamarr added, “For Hedy, it was a singular invention, born from the desire to defeat the Nazis who had overtaken her homeland.”
 
Two retailers and one of the most respected technology journalists in the industry also were honored at the dinner. Carroll Wayne “C.W.” Conn, Jr. took the reins from his father of their Texas-based appliance stores Conn's and grew the business exponentially, which at its peak generated $500 million in annual sales revenue. His daughter Carolyn Fertitta said, “My father would be so honored to accept this honor and humbled to be included on this list.”
 
James C. “Cowboy” Maloney founded Cowboy Maloney’s Electric City Super Stores and rode the TV boom of the 1950s to success, generating more than $1 million in annual sales by the 1970s. “I do want to say how much we really appreciate J.C. Maloney receiving this award tonight.”
 
Dr. David Lee is the founder of Silicon Image and the mastermind behind the DVI and HDMI interfaces that connect our high definition AV devices. He said, “I’m here tonight because a group of committed people believed in me.” Lee added, “I never imagined that the creation of HDMI would have affected so many products across so many different industries.”
 
The 2014 class of inductees also includes a range of business executives who succeeded in both promoting the industry and their own brands. Dr. Levy Gerzberg co-founded Zoran Corp. and built it into the leading supplier of system on a chip (SoC) devices for digital cameras, DVD players, HDTV sets and other CE devices. He said, “One thing about CEA is the entire food chain – from content makers in Hollywood to people like us who make chips and of course the retailers – are included. So I’d like to thank the entire consumer electronics food chain.”
 
Walter Mossberg anchored the Wall Street Journal’s Marketplace and Personal Journal sections with his weekly “Personal Technology” column, becoming one of the most influential journalists in the industry.
 
Zenith Sales Company President Gerald McCarthy was instrumental in managing to move the industry from the traditional two-step distribution system to a single-step. “CEA is a quality organization. And if you remember, Zenith believes that the quality goes in before the name goes on.”
 
And the husband and wife team of Victor and Janie Tsao co-founded Linksys and enhanced the concept of the home network by developing the first commercial router. Janie Tsao said, “To us, technology and innovation is inevitable.”
 
Tim Westergren, founder of Pandora Internet Radio, created the streaming music service which uses a complex algorithm to enable users to create targeted, personalized streaming radio stations. He said, “We dream of the musicians’ middle class” and suggested that even more innovative ideas are in the pipeline at Pandora.
 
Loyd Ivey was the final inductee of the evening. He founded MiTek, one of the largest suppliers of car and home audio products in the U.S., and one of the few audio component makers still manufacturing in the U.S. He said, “It’s not what we are today, it’s what we’ll be in the future, and CEA makes the world a better place.”
 
The ceremony capped off with the entire group on stage. For more information including full inductee bios, photos from the event or to submit a nomination for the 2015 CE Hall of Fame visit CE.org/HallofFame.
About the Consumer Technology Assocation

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the technology trade association representing the $211 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,000 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also owns and produces the International CES – The Global Stage for Innovation. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA’s industry services. Find CEA online at www.CE.org, www.DeclareInnovation.com and through social media.

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