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CTA Names 2020 Hall Of Fame Class, 3 Innovation Entrepreneurs

Fathers of the radio industry and the internet, executives who founded or turned their companies around and industry vets who promoted consumer technologies honored

President George W. Bush stands with Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients, Vinton G. Cerf and Robert E. Kahn, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2005, during ceremonies at the White House. Cerf and Kahn were honored for their work in helping to create the modern Internet. White House photo by Paul Morse

The engineer who designed the first consumer electronics product that birthed our industry a century ago, the two computer programmers who have been dubbed the “Fathers of the Internet,” the executive who energized Sony and Sirius XM satellite radio, and a group of entrepreneurs inventing the future are among the group of geniuses and luminaries honored by CTA in its annual class of Hall of Fame inductees and Innovation Entrepreneurs.

“We are thrilled to honor these industry luminaries,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. “We honor the entrepreneurial spirit of these leaders who inspire us by taking a great idea and transforming it into a unique product or service to enhance consumers’ lives, and those who promote these new technologies in the marketplace.”

All of the members of the 2020 CTA Hall of Fame class and the three Innovation Entrepreneurs were scheduled to officially be feted at a dinner on November 12. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced the postponement of the ceremonies.

The 2020 CTA Hall of Fame class includes:

Frank Conrad

A radio engineering and broadcast pioneer, Conrad designed the first factory-produced mass market consumer electronics product, the Westinghouse RA-DA radio, and also designed what is often called the first “commercial” radio station, KDKA in Pittsburgh, in November 1920. The RA/DA radio birthed the entire consumer electronics business, known as the “radio industry” for its first 30 years, exactly 100 years ago.

Vinton Gray “Vint” Cerf and Robert Elliot “Bob” Kahn

Dubbed the “Fathers of the Internet,” – Vinton Gray “Vint” Cerf and Robert Elliot “Bob” Kahn led the development of TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol), the fundamental communications protocols that enable data to be transmitted over the internet.

Peter Fannon

Fannon played a key role in the development of HDTV as president of the Advanced Television Test Center, then spent 20 years promoting the consumer technology industry as VP of corporate and government affairs for Panasonic.

Kazuo “Kaz” Hirai

Hirai played a pivotal role in making the PlayStation brand synonymous with exceptional gaming and entertainment, then, as President and CEO of Sony Corporation, led the resurgence of the company by bringing together Sony’s entire portfolio, i.e., electronics, entertainment and finance services.

Jim Meyer

Jim Meyer, an RCA/Thomson product management executive, played a central role in the launch of direct-to-home satellite TV, and as CEO led SiriusXM to be U.S.’s largest audio entertainment company, including music streamer Pandora and podcasting pioneer Stitcher.

Robin Raskin

Robin Raskin, an industry journalist, was a columnist for USA Today online, editor of PC Magazine, started FamilyPC Magazine, was one of the founding contributors of Yahoo! Tech and has written six books. She also is the founder of Living in Digital Times, that produced tech conference tracks at CES.

CTA also named three Innovation Entrepreneurs:

Vicki Mayo – Executive of the Year
Mayo founded TouchPoint in 2016. The company’s TouchPoints wearables use patent-pending BLAST (bi-lateral alternating stimulation-tactile technology), haptic micro-vibrations which alters the body’s “fight or flight” response to reduce stress. When she was 20 and in college, she adopted two boys, and today mentors’ young women at the Boys and Girls Club.

Re:3D Inc. – Company of the Year
After traveling with Engineers Without Borders-Johnson Space Center and while still working for NASA in 2013, Samantha Snabes founded Re:3D Inc. The company manufactures Gigabot, an affordable industrial 3D printer that can directly print using plastic waste, allowing anyone worldwide to access their own personal 3D printing factory.

Nuro – Startup of the Year
Using their expertise in self-driving vehicle technology to create a new class of safe autonomous vehicles that delivery rather than carry passengers, Dave Ferguson and Jiajun Zhu founded Nuro in 2016. Nuro self-driving vehicles deliver goods across multiple verticals, and has partnered with CVS, Domino’s, Kroger and Walmart.

Complete inductee and honoree bios will appear in CTA’s It Is Innovation (i3) magazine, as well as online at, in the fall.

See also: What Will A Virtual CES Look Like?