Most ICT professionals in attendance traveled to the Orlando World Center Marriott for the ultimate BICSI Conference experience. Additionally, many attendees experienced the conference online from remote locations around the world.
Both audiences heard the latest insights on technologies and topics defining the industry's future, including 5G, Smart Cities, Wireless and Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS), Data Centers, Internet of Things (IoT), Optical Fiber and Passive Optical Networks (PON), Power over Ethernet (PoE), Audiovisual (AV), Professional Development, and more.
The Exhibit Hall buzzed with activity as vendors discussed turnkey solutions for real-world industry challenges. Participating exhibitors featured their latest products and services during five-minute interactive What's New, What's It Do? presentations in the BICSI Theater. Online attendees visited the virtual BICSI Theater to view exhibitor videos.
With an official kickoff on Tuesday morning, Opening Remarks were bookended by two inspirational sessions, beginning with the Women in BICSI (WiB) breakfast and presentation about self-overcoming. Later, Opening Keynote speaker and serial entrepreneur, Scott Klososky, spoke about the trends of human and machine integration in a riveting presentation titled "Trends, Technology, and Taking the Lead."
This year's Winter Conference is largely defined by the unprecedented, which included inauguration of BICSI's first-ever female Board President, Carol Everett Oliver, RCDD, DCDC, ESS, during the Annual Business Meeting on Wednesday morning.
Another first came from the Midweek Keynote presentation, "Fast-Track Success in ICT" – A Live BICSI Podcast. "Low Voltage Nation" podcast host Blake Urmos livestreamed his interviews with Lee Renfroe, RCDD, ESS, TECH, the BICSI Board of Directors U.S. Southeast Regional Director who received a significant career boost after winning BICSI's Cabling Skills Challenge two years straight.
Blake then spoke with Betsy Conroy, an Expert ICT Wordsmith & Content Consultant. Betsy received the BICSI ICT Woman of the Year Award in 2019, served as Chair of BICSI's Professional Development Committee, and helped found the Women in BICSI community.
Wednesday's packed schedule included many technical presentations during the day and a black-tie Awards Banquet Cocktail Reception and Annual Awards Banquet that evening to honor the following 2022 award winners:
Harry J. Pfister Award for Excellence in the Telecommunications Industry – Andrew Cioffi, RCDD
Presidential Eagle Award – BICSI Staff
David K. Blythe/University of Kentucky Award for Outstanding Member of the Year – Henry Franc, RCDD, OSP
Global Outstanding Member of the Year – Trevor Kleinert, RCDD, DCDC, NTS, TECH, CT
Larry G. Romig Committee Member of the Year – George Fewell, RCDD
BICSI ICT Woman of the Year – Ashley Haak Wills, RCDD, DCDC, OSP
Emerging ICT Professionals Award – Heather Randolph
BICSI Installer of the Year – Michael Ratliff, RCDD, TECH
Rudy Cox & Jumpin' Fences, a band defined by a unique blend of rock provided the evening's festive entertainment.
Attendees and exhibitors alike were thrilled to gather in person in Orlando and enjoy networking among their colleagues and friends. "It's refreshing to be back in person after two years. Everyone has been so upbeat and positive about returning to normal," said David Kiddoo of Communications Cable and Connectivity Association (CCCA). "[This event's] leads were fabulous."
Earlier in the week, contestants squared off in the 14th Annual BICSI Cabling Skills Challenge, which highlighted speed and quality of work in areas such as structured cabling installation, copper, and fiber cable termination, firestopping, bonding and grounding, cable assembly, and troubleshooting. Michael Ratliff, RCDD, TECH, of Glaze Communication Services, Inc., took home the title of 2022 BICSI Installer of the Year and a check for $5,000.
The Closing Keynote speaker appropriately included another first – Col. Nicole Malachowski, USAF (Ret.) – the First Woman Thunderbird Pilot, Combat Veteran, Fighter Squadron Commander, and White House Fellow & Adviser. Her discussion focused on how her personal mantra, "Nobody wants a scripted life," has sculped her attitude for success.
BICSI Cares, the charity arm of BICSI, sponsors a different children's charity for each BICSI conference. This year's Winter Conference supported Silly Sock Saturdays, which helps children in hospitals by bringing joy and happiness to young patients in the form of silly socks with comfort items like toys, coloring books, and more. A donation was presented to the charity just before the conference's conclusion.
Online presentations will be available to both virtual and in-person attendees on the virtual platform until March 3, 2022. Additional details can be found at bicsi.org/winter.
BICSI is a professional association supporting the advancement of the information and communications technology (ICT) profession and currently serves more than 26,000 members and credential holders. BICSI is the preeminent resource for the Connected World offering credentials, standards, knowledge transfer, and career development. Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, USA, BICSI membership spans nearly 100 countries.