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CEA Chairman, CES Keynoters Revealed

Las Vegas – Las Vegas – The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) named its chairman who is a retailer, added more keynoters for the 2009 International CES, and a new DTV transition promotion using YouTube.

Gary Shapiro, CEA’s president/CEO, announced on Tuesday at the CEA Industry Forum that for the first time

in its history a retailer has been elected chairman of the organization, Gary Yacoubian, president/COO of MyerEmco Audio Video. He had previously been vice chairman of CEA.

He replaces Pat Lavelle, president/CEO of Audiovox and the current CEA chairman, who completes his two-year term at the end of the year.

Replacing Yacoubian as vice-chairman at the beginning of the new year is Henry Chiarelli, president of DBL Distributing.

Shapiro said this was “historic” because for much of its life CEA was a manufacturers’ association but now its chairman and vice-chairman “will be a retailer and distributor.”

As for CES Shapiro said Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney-ABC Television Group; Mike Griffith, president and CEO, Activision Publishing and Dirk Meyer, president and CEO of AMD will deliver addresses during the CES Industry Insider Series.

The show, as if you didn’t know, is being held here January 8-11, 2009.

Meyer will kick off the 2009 Industry Insider Series with an address at 11 a.m., Thursday, January 8. Sweeney will deliver Thursday afternoon’s Industry Insider address at 2:30 p.m. And Griffith will round out the series with an address at 11 a.m., Friday, January 9, 2009. All Industry Insider addresses will take place at the Las Vegas Hilton theater.

Shapiro also said that Nokia President and CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo will deliver a keynote address at the Leaders in Technology Dinner at CES. The dinner is scheduled to take place at 6:30 p.m. Friday, January 9 at The Venetian.

“Kallasvuo is the driving force behind the success of Nokia, the largest manufacturer of mobile devices and one of the premiere telecommunications corporations in the world. His insight and innovation have benefited the consumer technology industry and consumers around the world. He is an industry visionary, and we look forward to his address,” Shapiro said in a prepared statement.

The Leaders in Technology Dinner is an invitation-only event; however, tickets can be purchased for $500. For more information on the dinner or to purchase tickets contact Jill Wiener at 703-907-4316.

CEA also launched a contest on YouTube to reward consumers who help friends and family transition to digital television (DTV). The “Digital TV: Convert Now!” contest encourages the YouTube community to help family and friends prepare for February 17, 2009, when all full-power TV stations in the U.S. will transition to digital. 

The contest will run until December 10, 2008. Full contest entry details can be found at

To encourage participation, popular country music band Whiskey Falls created a new video, “We are America”, which explains contest details and demonstrates how consumers can prepare for the DTV transition. Lead singer Seven explains, “We are looking forward to seeing your video, and to help everyone get ready for the DTV transition! ‘Cause we are America!”

Entrants can post eligible videos, no longer than three minutes long, at These videos should demonstrate ways to get family and friends ready for the digital TV transition. Videos will be judged on originality and creativity, aesthetic appeal and the relationship of the content to the contest theme, “Digital TV: Convert Now!” One grand prize winner will receive a home entertainment center including a flat screen high-definition TV, a Blu-ray disc player and a surround sound audio system. The grand prize-winning entry will be announced on December 10, 2008.

This campaign augments diverse government and industry consumer outreach campaigns already underway and is designed to remind viewers who rely on an antenna and an analog TV set for reception that they have three choices before February 17, 2009.