CEDIA, the global trade association for the home technology industry, has named Daryl Friedman as global president and CEO. He will assume the role on November 29, 2021.
Friedman has spent more than 30 years in nonprofit leadership roles, having overseen membership, advocacy, industry relations, and the technical wing for the 25,000-member Recording Academy. The Academy, known globally for the GRAMMY Awards, is the association representing technical and creative professionals in music.
“We’ve found someone that I am confident will be the step-change in leadership that CEDIA needs and deserves,” said Jamie Briesemeister, CEDIA Board and executive search committee member. “Daryl has decades of experience in trade association leadership and member advocacy. He exudes a humble nature that draws conversation and consensus, and he deeply values technical expertise and artistry. Daryl has a vision for what CEDIA can be – and will be – and he has the experience to realize it.”
“Having represented audio professionals for most of my career, I’ve long admired CEDIA for championing immersive audio experiences in the home,” Friedman noted. “Now, as our homes become the hub for work, education, entertainment, and wellness, CEDIA members are the indispensable partners for making our homes more comfortable and connected. This is truly CEDIA’s moment, and I am honored to join the team at this exciting time.”
Asked what attracted him to the opportunity to leave the Recording Academy and take on the leadership role at CEDIA, Friedman noted similarities between those served by both organizations. “When I saw the brief for this job, I think I said out loud to myself, ‘These are my people,’” Friedman said. “I’ve been working with technologically gifted people for so many years, and I’ve been able to help them. I want to do that somewhere else.”
Friedman has successfully advocated for legislation providing assistance to the recording community during the COVID-19 pandemic and protecting the rights of creators in the streaming era, earning the title of “the music creators’ man in Washington” from Billboard.
He also conceived and grew GRAMMYs on the Hill, an annual advocacy program attended by both congressional and music industry leaders. He has worked to grow and modernize the Academy’s membership, leading initiatives to update recruitment practices to reflect the industry’s diversity.
Friedman’s interest in technology was reinforced by his close work with the Academy’s Producers and Engineers Wing. A key advisor to the Wing’s leadership of technologists and manufacturers, he visited studios across the country and spoke frequently about the need to protect the rights of those who use their technological skills to improve people’s lives.
In 2014, the Wing endorsed CEDIA’s High Resolution Audio Training Program for Home Technology Professionals. Later, Friedman and the Wing led the effort to pass the Allocation for Music Producers (AMP) Act, federal legislation that protects the livelihood of the technical wing’s members.
Friedman’s selection concludes a lengthy and deliberate search led by Vetted Solutions. The process entailed multiple rounds of interviews and exercises, including one final meeting where the candidate questioned the search committee, asking candid questions about the role and expectations.
“The CEDIA Board was keenly aware of the need to attract a visionary leader,” said Board and Executive Search Committee member Alex Capecelatro. “CEDIA plays an important role for many of our businesses, but the landscape has shifted dramatically over the last few years. We’re all adjusting to a post-pandemic world; Daryl can help us usher in this new era for our industry.”
David Weinstein, CEDIA Board vice-chairperson, called Friedman a “very positive, thoughtful, and inspiring” communicator. “He is ready to listen, understand, and engage in constructive dialogue,” Weinstein said. “I believe that he will apply what he already knows as well as what he learns to allow him to lead from the front. There is so much opportunity for the custom integrator community at this time. With Daryl in this leadership role, I am very confident that he will help us to raise the profile of our association for the mutual benefit of the entire system integration and control industry.”
Rob Sutherland, CEDIA Board chairperson noted his thanks to the CEDIA staff, particularly interim co-CEOs Giles Sutton and Kory Dickerson, for their “steadfast leadership” during the CEO search process. “They’ve steered the organization through incredibly challenging waters,” Sutherland said. “Now, as the new CEO takes the helm, we’re in a very strong position. Daryl will be working closely with staff and the board to create and execute a strategic plan that serves the whole industry.”