The Mark of Excellence Call for Entries is right around the corner and who better to give advice to integrators and manufacturers than one of our long time and accomplished winners, Shawn Smith of S&S Electric Co. Inc. Shawn has been a member of CEA since 2002 and his company has been the winner of several Mark of Excellence Awards. In this exclusive interview, Shawn gives some of his advice on how to submit a great entry and the importance of the Mark of Excellence Awards for home technology installers and manufacturers. You can be sure that when the call for entries opens on October 1, S&S Electric will be submitting yet another competitive entry.

Interview - CEA Mark of Excellence Awards

Shawn Smith | S&S Electric Co. Inc.

October 2008

Interview - CEA Mark of Excellence Awards

Shawn Smith, S&S Electric Co. Inc.

The Mark of Excellence Call for Entries is right around the corner and who better to give advice to integrators and manufacturers than one of our long time and accomplished winners, Shawn Smith of S&S Electric Co. Inc. Shawn has been a member of CEA since 2002 and his company has been the winner of several Mark of Excellence Awards. In this exclusive interview, Shawn gives some of his advice on how to submit a great entry and the importance of the Mark of Excellence Awards for home technology installers and manufacturers. You can be sure that when the call for entries opens on October 1, S&S Electric will be submitting yet another competitive entry.

Q: How many years have you been entering into the Mark of Excellence Awards? 
A: We first applied for a Mark of Excellence Award in 2003 and that application earned us the 2004 TechHome Dealer of the Year designation. We entered again in 2005 submitting three applications and winning two awards.  We also applied in 2007 and received the award for 2008 Builder Home of the Year.  We intend on submitting two applications in 2008 for the 2009 Mark of Excellence Awards.


Q: What made you decide to enter your project/product into the 2009 Mark of Excellence Awards?

A: We were drawn to the 2009 Mark of Excellence awards program because of two new categories: Community of the Year, and Home of the Year (installed price up to $35,000).  Most awards programs only give contractors an opportunity to enter high end expensive installations that only apply to the top 2% of home buyers.  CEA gives us the opportunity to showcase the work we do everyday typical homes and typical home buyers.  More and more mainstream homebuyers are embracing technology and incorporating it into their home.  Finally there is an awards program that allows us to showcase those installations.


Q: How did winning the award affect the morale of your company?

A: Winning an award like this appeals to three of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: self actuation, esteem and belongingness.  There is nothing better than being part of a winning team, and employees like nothing better than knowing their hard work was recognized by someone outside their normal circles.  


Q: Would you encourage others to apply for the awards? Why?

A: The more that compete for the recognition, the better the competition becomes, thus adding more validity to the winning the awards.  If you have a project that deserves recognition why wouldn’t you compete?  Why not showcase your work off to your customers, your employees, you community and your peers?


Q: Being a winner, which award benefit(s) are the most valuable to you and your company?

A: For us it’s all about the recognition and sharing that recognition with our customers and employees who were a part of the award winning project.


Q: What advice would you give to first time Mark of Excellence award entrants?

A: Submit an application and make sure you answer every question.  Even if your answer consists of a few bullet points, just make sure that every question is answered.


Q: What was your experience at the dinner like? Would you encourage others to attend the 2009 Mark of Excellence Awards Dinner during Spring EHX?

A: I have attended every awards dinner since 2004, even in years when I didn’t enter the competition.  This banquet is the premier social event of CEA-TechHome and of our industry. It is the best opportunity to network with press, leading manufacturers and professional installers of home technology products.

For more information on how you can become a Mark of Excellence winner please visit www.CE.org/MarkofExcellence or e-mail us at MarkofExcllence@CE.org.

Call for Judges: September 2, 2008- September 30, 2008
Call for Entries: October 1, 2008- November 14, 2008

Want to share your experience? Contact Sara Horowitz at SHorowitz@CE.org to have your accomplishments with the Mark of Excellence Awards Program recognized.


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