In an engaging roundtable discussion at the HTSA Fall Show, industry leaders shared their insights into the future of the Home Technology Specialists of America (HTSA), offering a glimpse into the organization’s evolving landscape and vision. The discussion, led by prominent figures within the industry, uncovered the group’s commitment to fostering a supportive community while adapting to changing industry dynamics.

One of the key voices in this discussion was Keith Esterly, Chief Learning Architect at HTSA, who shared his extensive professional journey, including his experiences at Remar stereo, LinkedIn, and Verizon. Esterly’s comprehensive background in sales and training positions him as a valuable asset to HTSA. He emphasized the organization’s unique culture, dedicated to creating a supportive and collaborative environment for its members.

Esterly acknowledged the challenges of managing and training younger generations, such as Millennials and Gen Z, who bring different work expectations and communication styles to the table. While recognizing the generational gap, he stressed the importance of leadership and effective communication in bridging the divide and aligning employees with business goals.

The roundtable highlighted HTSA’s distinctive approach, focusing on the intentional creation of networking opportunities and informal interactions among members during events. The organization believes that real learning and valuable insights often occur outside formal sessions. They expressed their commitment to expanding and providing training resources to empower their members with knowledge and skills, embracing the changing dynamics of the industry.

Tom Doherty, Director at HTSA, added another layer to the discussion, shedding light on the future direction of HTSA and its impact on the industry. Doherty’s role as the Director of New Technology Initiatives at HTSA underlines his dedication to driving innovation and new technology adoption within the organization.

Doherty’s extensive history includes his pivotal role in founding the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA) in 1989, aimed at bringing industry professionals together for education and the exchange of best practices. His background in music library systems and involvement in Lutron lighting control systems further showcases his vast experience in the field.

Recognizing the need for better lighting solutions in residential settings, Doherty transitioned to the lighting industry, becoming a prominent Lutron dealer. His efforts to educate clients about the value of well-designed lighting systems have been instrumental in improving the quality of lighting in homes.

Doherty’s involvement with HTSA revolves around helping members understand and navigate the lighting category. He focuses on education, training, and vendor partnerships to ensure HTSA members excel in this segment of their business.

Jon Robbins, Executive Director at HTSA, highlighted the positive outcomes of their organization’s events, underlining the value of the content and open atmosphere they cultivate. High-level executives’ presence and the group’s growth in membership and vendors suggest the organization’s expanding influence in the industry.

Jon Robbins introduced the concept of “Java notes” as a unique communication method with their members, effectively providing valuable information in a concise format. The discussion also touched on various programs and perks offered to members, enhancing the organization’s overall value proposition.

HTSA’s primary focus on lighting, while remaining open to exploring new categories in the future, indicates their adaptability and forward-thinking approach. The conversation emphasized the positive impact of their events, the quality of attendees, and the value they offer to their members through unique communication methods and additional programs.

The HTSA Fall Show roundtable discussion illuminated the organization’s commitment to innovation, education, and fostering a supportive community for industry professionals, positioning them as leaders in the evolving industry landscape.