A Longmont resident has been named the second woman to ever receive CEDIA’s Lifetime Achievement award.
CEDIA is a global association for smart home technology for companies that design, manufacture and install technology for the home. Carol Campbell is the second woman in 30 years to receive the prestigious award.
“I’ve been involved with CEDIA as an association for a very, very long time,” she said. “This is a big deal that they would honor me with their lifetime achievement award.”
Campbell has spent more than 25 years working in consumer electronics and smart home technology and has lived in Longmont for the past two years. She is the co-publisher and partner of the industry leading magazine, Technology Design, which she helped launch in 2018.
“We take a broader approach to what we call the ‘performance home,’ meaning we’re not just addressing the AV components, but also clean air, clean water, acoustics, lighting — all things that have become incredibly popular and profitable,” she said.
Additionally, Campbell founded Women in Consumer Technology 14 years ago. The group focuses on empowering women, building networks and supporting career opportunities across the consumer technology industry.
Because it is a male dominated industry, Campbell has witnessed the sexism that can actually hold back business. She recalled learning about an acronym that used to be common when talking about the sales of consumer technology.
“I was so shocked about this W.E.F., which stands for ‘Wife Acceptance Factor,’” she said. “I was like, wow, that’s probably one of the most sexist things I’ve ever heard in my whole life.”
Campbell wondered what would happen if the target audience for these goods expanded to the whole household, instead of just the husband. Additionally, with a large number of homebuyers being single women, there was missed opportunity to reach these households.
“They don’t have a hubby to make decisions,” she said. “They don’t need a hubby to make those decisions. They are capable of nesting on their own, and I think that’s been a big part of our success in terms of getting that job done is opening the eyes of our industry to the possibilities of targeting more than just that hobbyist young man.”
Campbell’s proudest achievement, however, is the Elf Foundation she co-founded with her husband. The nonprofit built 97 entertainment theaters in children’s hospitals over the course of 12 years and is an important project to her.
“The idea of having the distraction of a fabulous movie theater, probably more advanced and technical than even a commercial movie theater, to take a kid out of himself or herself for an hour, an hour and a half,” Campbell said.
She recalled getting to witness a father see his 4-year-old daughter watch a movie for the first time ever — she had just had a surgery that recovered her sight.
Seeing these accomplishments recognized by CEDIA felt incredibly validating for Campbell.
“It’s very appreciated, and it’s somewhat mind boggling because I’ve witnessed pretty much, if not all, at least 30 of these Lifetime Achievement Award honorees,” she said. “They’re brainiacs, they’re brilliant, they’re visionaries. They’re people that are revered in the industry, so it’s humbling to be included in that group.”