San Francisco - The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) honored its 2010 CE Hall of Fame class at a gala dinner at the Grand Ballroom of the Fairmont Hotel, here, Tuesday night.
Thirteen individuals who contributed to the development of the industry by founding companies, inventing products or making contributions in retailing, sales, marketing and public relations were celebrated by top executives, their friends and families.
The honorees were broken out into four categories, and they are:
- Joe and Rachelle Friedman, founders of J&R Music and Computer World, started the New York City institution in 1971 with a 500-square-foot location.
- David and Eugene Mondry will be inducted for building Highland Superstores, founded by their father, into a major CE retail powerhouse.
- Al Sotoloff, a top executive with Silo Appliance City, was one of the first big-box format CE/appliance dealers and a former NATM member.
Sales/Marketing, Corporate Executives:
- Richard Kraft was the first U.S. president of Panasonic Corp. of North America.
- Frank McCann led PR efforts at RCA and then Thomson to help launch the VCR, DVD player, DirecTV and HDTV.
- Frederik Philips was president of Philips during World War II. He helped save the lives of 382 Jews when he told Nazi officials that they were indispensable workers for a Philips factory, according to his CEA bio. In addition, Philips led his company when it developed the compact audio cassette medium.
- Dr. Lauren Christopher managed the team of engineers that created the digital satellite system for DirecTV.
- Dr. Larry Weber, a pioneer in developing plasma display panels, will be inducted along with Dr. Ivan Getting and Dr. Bradford Parkinson for inventing GPS.
- Cynthia Upson, a VP at CEA, was a communications and public relations guru who promoted industry issues including the International CES, home theater, digital TV and HDTV, CEA said.