Owen EllisChairman of the AV User Group Owen Ellis will soon be leaving his position as an Executive Director at Morgan Stanley to fill a new full-time role at the group. The AVUG has operated for two decades with the support of volunteers from its membership and more recently with a five person management committee headed by Ellis. Driven by a passion to expand membership globally Ellis has been a victim of his own success in recent years, juggling his demanding day job with running the group as it has expanded to New York and Hong Kong.
The management committee has met several times during the last 18 months as the plan to move from a volunteer only organisation to an employer/volunteer combination formulated. On the back of legal advice and an examination of other organisation models such as Infocomm a new structure was proposed and this was announced on 14th September at the London members meeting by Ellis.
With Owen Ellis in the full-time paid role as chairman, Kevin McLoughlin and Deborah Jones from the Management committee will take on roles as directors of the Ltd Company. Steering committees and a non-exec board will be created in each group location formed of volunteers from the membership, taking up 2-3 year roles.
Support from members is crucial in this next stage of the groups development with a new group beginning in San Francisco in 2018 along with a return to Glasgow for a regional UK meeting in January 2018, members will be encouraged to step forward and offer themselves for the new volunteer roles created.
Kevin McLoughlin (AVUG Management Committee) commented: “This is a long overdue move for this rapidly expanding group. While the details of the transition have been thoroughly worked out by the management committee it has become increasingly frustrating to see opportunities missed because of the lack of resources to support the growth. Once Owen is unleashed into his full-time role, I am convinced the group will explode with new members, new locations and added value for both members and sponsors.”
Formed in 1996 the non-profit, sponsor funded AV User Group provides a forum for end users and technology managers to share information and experience. The group meets up to four times a year in each location for a series of presentations that include formal presentations from manufacturers, case studies, the unveiling of relevant research findings and discussions on topical subjects or challenges that members face. With organised trips to tradeshows, manufacturers and AV industry awards events the value to its 650+ members is continually growing and keeping membership free to qualifying end users is core to the group’s future plans.
Joining the group for qualifying end users is as simple as filling in a short on-line form and waiting for a welcome email.