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Nine Industry Execs Added To CE Hall Of Fame

Las Vegas – The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has announced new inductees to the Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame and will showcase them during 2003 International CES here this week.

The Hall of Fame, in its fourth year of existence, honors individuals worldwide whose leadership and innovation have played a significant role in shaping the consumer electronics industry.

A panel of 17 prominent CE industry professionals and media members chose the 2003 class based on integrity, character and impact on the CE industry.

Including the 2003 inductees, the Hall of Fame is now 75 members strong. New inductees, or their family or company representative, will have their pictures and biographies on display throughout the Las Vegas Convention Center and on CEA’s website, A dinner honoring the 2003 inductees will be held on May 5 during the CEA Spring Leadership Retreat in Washington, D.C.

The 2003 inductees are:

Herbert Borchardt – Regarded as a founder of the electronics accessory industry, Herbert Borchardt created the systems that enabled dealers to expand their business offerings and profits with accessory products. Some of his first accessory products included 78-rpm phonograph replacement needles, record covers, cleaning materials and other phono accessories. At Recoton, he helped develop innovative electronic accessories like 45 rpm records, eight track cartridges, audio video devices, phone accessories and antennas, standard cassettes, CB radios, television, cell phones, DVDs and videogames. He also planned accessories for emerging technologies, like digital HDTV. Borchardt was born in Germany and began his career there, working at Brunswick Records. He later founded Polydor Records in Paris in 1929, and then Bost Records when he arrived in New York in 1941. Borchardt then began his involvement with Recoton.

Leonard Feldman – Known as an industry consultant, lecturer and technical writer, Leonard Feldman contributed to the industry in a variety of ways. As the senior editor of Audio magazine, Feldman wrote reviews that made insightful comparisons of competing consumer electronics equipment. He was also a columnist for EQ magazine, and covered various audio and electronic issues in other industry publications such as Popular Electronics and Popular Science, as well as several newspapers. Feldman authored seven books about industry topics in addition.

Feldman was involved in the Audio Engineering Society (AES) as eastern region VP.

Kees A. Schouhammer Immink – For more than 25 years, Kees Schouhammer Immink has played a central role in research and development of mass data storage products. He was affiliated with Philips Research Labs, Eindoven, Netherlands from 1967 to 1998. His research resulted in 50 U.S.-issued patents, five of those basic patents which have played a key role in the optical recorder industry since 1985 and will continue until at least 2015. Currently, Immink is an adjunct professor at the Institute for Experimental Mathematics in Essen, Germany and also a visiting professor at the University of Singapore.

Immink joined the Philips’ research group in 1971 and participated in the world’s first experiments with optical videodisc recording. In 1979, as a technical leader, Immink participated in the negotiations between Sony and Philips for the worldwide accepted standard for the compact disc (CD). Immink’s coding system, named EFM, is now used in most systems for digital video, audio and data recording.

More recently, Immink designed the channel coding techniques for the digital versatile disc (DVD) as well as the video disc recorder (VDR), which intends to bring an alternative the camcorder.

William Kasuga – A co-founder of Kenwood Electronics in 1961 as a distribution company for a Japanese consumer electronics manufacturer, and gradually built Kenwood into a name synonymous with quality stereo systems. The company name was changed to Kenwood U.S.A. Corp. in 1975, and in 1993 Kasuga was named chairman of the board, with sales of more than $500 million and over 300 employees. After resigning in 1995, Kasuga remained active as a member of the executive committee and the 401k Trustees Board. Today, Kasuga serves as an advisor to Kenwood’s president.

Kasuga graduated from University of San Francisco, served in the army for 16 years and worked for A&A Trading Corp. before founding Kenwood. He is also a CEA Lifetime Achievement winner.

Atwater Kent – President and founder of the Atwater Kent Radio Co., Atwater Kent manufactured the open set radio, nicknamed a ‘breadboard,’ for which he is known today. The radios were constructed on attractive wooden planks lacking a case, which allowed them to reveal their superior quality components. It is said that Kent’s radio company was the world’s leader at one point during the 1920s. Kent’s radio show, The Atwater Kent Hour, was also one of the most popular shows on radio. During the 1930s, Kent brought out a new cycle of about 15 radios each year, including consoles, compacts and auto radios. After taking a hard hit from the Depression and trying cost-cutting measures, Kent decided to close down his Philadelphia plant in 1936, rather than sacrifice quality.

Kent also was involved with developing standards for the industry while with the engineering department of the Radio Manufacturing Association (RMA), which later became EIA. He also served on the board.

Jules Steinberg – He was the guiding executive of the industry retail association during his tenure as the executive VP for the North American Retail Dealers Association (NARDA). Involved in this association from the beginning, Steinberg transformed NARDA from a small association into a major marketing tool for the CE industry. He assisted in the success of the first consumer electronics show by holding NARDA’s annual convention in New York during the same time as CES. He is still involved in the industry as a retailer consultant and a columnist for TWICE.

Kenjiro Takayanagi – The first scientist to successfully transmit and receive an image on a cathode ray tube, Takayanagi then completed the all-electronic television in 1935. A teacher at Hamamatsu Technical High School in Japan, Takayanagi began his experiments during the late Taisho Era and conducted a successful public demonstration using the Braun tube system at a television conference at the Tokyo branch of the Electrical Academy in 1928. Aside from his inventions, Takayanagi contributed to the success of JVC by serving as one of their top electronics advisors. In 1959, he developed the first two-headed VTR and worked to develop home-use VHS video systems. He received the Order of Cultural Merit in 1981 for his achievements in electronics engineering research.

Joseph Tushinsky – He was a former audio-industry executive, inventor, musician and chairman of the board of the Superscope Corp. and the Marantz Co. Tushinsky helped develop the high-fidelity industry by being the first American importer of Sony audio tape recorders in the late 1950s. He wrote several screenplays that were made into motion pictures in the 1940s and in 1943, went to Hollywood and with his brother Irving, developed a process known as Superscope, which optically squeezed film images for wide-screen projection. Superscope, which was introduced in 1953, helped to usher in the era of wide-screen pictures. While marketing the Superscope process in Japan in 1957, Tushinsky discovered a small Japanese company called Sony and became intrigued with its stereo tape recorders and began representing it in the U.S. In 1964, Superscope purchased the Marantz Co., and the merged company under the Marantz name, became a major manufacturer of high-fidelity stereo components. He retired as chairman of Marantz in 1987, when he sold the company to Cobra/Dynascan.

Alan Wurtzel – Former CEO of Circuit City Stores, Alan Wurtzel led Circuit City to be one of the nation’s largest retailers of brand-name consumer electronics and major appliances, as well as personal computers and music software. From Delaplane, Va., Wurtzel now serves as the vice chairman of the board and is involved with many other companies and organizations.