Melissa Andresko, Communications Director — Public Relations, Lutron, was recently awarded the Women in Consumer Technology (WiCT) Legacy Award.
Below, Andresko chats with us about looking forward to technology being used for good, loving what she does, and surrounding herself with smart, inspirational people.
How did you get your start in the CT industry?
I have literally grown up in this industry and continue to be fascinated by the development and evolution of smart home products. I started at Lutron two weeks after graduating college, and just celebrated my twentieth year with the company. I remember watching movies and TV shows as a child that showed “the future of technology”—things like vacuums that work sans humans, appliances that respond to voice commands, and driverless cars. I remember wondering if I would ever get to experience something like that in my lifetime. And now, here we are as an industry, and here I am living out that childhood dream. With advancements like these, I couldn’t imagine myself working in any other industry. I truly love what I do.
What is your goal at CES 2019?
My goal is to soak in as much as I can. I will be keeping busy with dozens of media appointments at the Lutron booth, and participating in a few events. Like many others, CES is like round two of Christmas for me. I am excited to see the latest advances in 5G, AI, and, of course, my passion point—smart homes. This is also my first year as a member of CTA’s executive board, so I am looking forward to fulfilling my meeting and event responsibilities.
What do you believe will dominate the tech conversation in 2019?
I foresee technology-for-good dominating the conversation—how technology can impact and influence how we live, work, and play, as well as smart home, AI, and VR.
How do you hope to inspire the next generation of women in tech?
When I look back at my 20-year career in the consumer electronics industry, I realize that so many people were rooting for me and celebrating my successes at every stage. This encouragement and drive made me want more and to do more. I’ve truly been blessed with a fantastic group of mentors throughout my career — many of whom have been with me for more than a decade. They believed in me and pushed me when I questioned myself, and that has made all the difference in my career. I hope to inspire young women and show them that perseverance and grit pays off—as does surrounding yourself with smart, motivational people who will always have your back.