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About Us

Board of Trustees

Chairman: John Shalam, Chairman and Founder, VOXX International
John Shalam
John Shalam founded and is chairman of what is now VOXX International Corp.
Shalam leads an active life outside of VOXX International; he is a member of many notable associations such as the Wharton School Club of NY. Shalam was inducted into the CEA Hall of Fame in 2009.  In 1997, he received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.  In 2012, he was honored to receive the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Lifetime Achievement Award. Shalam  received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He is married to Jane Shalam, with whom he has three sons, Ari  David  and Marc.

Vice Chairman: Larry Richenstein, Founder, Unwired Technology
Larry Richenstein

Lawrence Richenstein is an entrepreneur, active angel investor, and mentor to early stage companies. He has founded a number of consumer electronics start-ups, including Unwired Technology, which he sold in 2005, and left in 2007. Since then Richenstein has invested in over 30 early stage companies, primarily through his involvement in New York Angels, one of the nation’s most active angel investment groups. He was elected to the Board of Directors of New York Angels in 2013.

Secretary and Treasurer: Veronica O’Connell, Vice President of Congressional Affairs, CEA 
Veronica O-Connell
 Veronica O’Connell joined CEA government affairs team in 2001 and currently serves as CEA’s Vice President of Congressional Affairs.  Ms. O’Connell is an advocate for the consumer electronics industry on Capitol Hill and before the administration on a wide range of issues impacting the consumer electronics industry. She focuses on broadband policy, technical mandates, business tax issues, telecommunications policy reform, labor issues, and intellectual property.  In 2011, Veronica was named Washingtonian’s Top 40 Under 40 Lobbyists.  She resides in Washington, DC with her husband and daughter.


Bruce BorensteinPresident & CEO, AfterShokz
Bruce Borenstein
A more than 30-year veteran of our industry, Bruce is proud to lead AfterShokz. He recently won the Consumer Electronics Association’s 2013 Innovation Entrepreneur Award as Small Business Executive of the Year. Bruce serves as a board member and is currently Chairman Ex Officio of the CEA Accessories Division and has recently taken on the Chairmanship of the CEA’s Leadership Development Working Group. Previously, Bruce was Executive Vice President of The Neat Company where he was responsible for global sales and sat on the company’s operating committee that set company strategy and direction. 

John Godfrey, Vice President, Communications Policy and Regulatory Affairs, Samsung Electronics America, Inc.
John Godfrey
John Godfrey is Vice President of Communications Policy and Regulatory Affairs for Samsung Electronics America. An active participant in the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), Godfrey is a member of CEA’s Board of Industry Leaders, Division Executive Board (as past chair), Video Division Board, and Government Affairs Council, among other groups. Godfrey has a Master of Arts degree in Telecommunications from George Washington University, a Master of Arts degree in East Asian Studies from Stanford University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government from the University of Texas.

Robert Heiblim, Principal, BlueSalve

Robert HeiblimAreas of Expertise: All phases of general management, including management of new technology start-ups, and high growth companies.
Mr. Heiblim has consulted to clients including AT&T, Sony, Panasonic/Matsushita, Best Buy, The Good Guys!, , Tweeter Etc., ICX Global, Philips, Sony, Wal-Mart CEBus Industry Council, Audiovox, and many others. Mr., Heiblim has also been very active in the industry serving as Audio Division Chair for the then EIA/CEG (CEA), on their executive committee, as chair of the DAR Manufacturers Caucus, Vice President of the Compact Disc Group, and numerous other industry activities including standards setting, new technology launches and promotion.

Loyd Ivey, CEO, Mitek Electronics and Communications
Loyd Ivey
Loyd Ivey is the founder and CEO of MiTek Electronics and Communications Corp. Additionally, Ivey serves on the Board of Industry Leaders and CEAPAC Board.  Ivey have been a major factor and contributor to the advancement of the consumer electronics industry. He continuously works hard to advocate for the industry’s growth and sustainability on Capitol Hill.

  • Per Haugen Lifetime Achievement Award, 2009
  • Recipient Illinois Governor Export Award for International Trade, 2009
  • Cover CE Vision Magazine, 2008
  • Entrepreneur of the Year, Inc. Magazine, Ernst & Young/Merrill Lynch – 1990

Julie Kearney, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, CEA
Julie Kearney

Julie Kearney is vice president of regulatory affairs for the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®, the technology trade association representing the $211 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry and owner and producer of the world’s most important technology event, the International CES®.  Kearney represents CEA’s 2,000 member companies before the FCC and other government agencies. Prior to CEA, she held positions in government affairs at NPR, in MCI’s International Affairs group, and as an associate at Haley Bader & Potts (now Garvey Schubert Barer). 

Kearney is serving a fifth term as CEA’s representative on the Federal Communications Commission’s Consumer Advisory Committee.  She is a past chair of the Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA) Foundation and currently serves as an officer on the FCBA’s Executive Committee.  Kearney currently serves as a trustee on CEA’s Foundation.  She has been recognized as one of Dealerscope Magazine’s “Top 40 under 40.” 

She earned her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College and a J.D. from Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law with a certificate from its Institute for Communications Law Studies.  A trained singer, Julie has sung with many choruses in the Washington, DC area, most recently with the Choral Arts Society of Washington.

Robin Raskin, Founder, Living in Digital Times
Robin Raskin

Robin Raskin is founder of Living in Digital Times (LIDT). LIDT produces conferences and expos at CES and throughout the year focusing on how technology enhances every aspect of our lives through the eyes of today’s digital consumer.  An author, editor, magazine publisher, blogger, TV and radio personality, Raskin has spent the past 30 years exploring what it means to be living in digital times. She lives in NYC and the Hudson Valley, with her husband, her three drop in now and then children, and closets full of obsolete technology.  

David Rodarte, CEO, ChangingVelocity
David Rodarte
David Rodarte is the CEO of ChangingVelocity.
His enthusiasm for the Consumer Electronics Association has been proven by his active participation in numerous CEA boards and councils. He was awarded CEA Mark of Excellence Leadership Award in 2008. Born and raised in the United States, David is first generation Hispanic with a strong curiosity and appreciation for diverse cultures and thinking.  A graduate from The Ohio State University he resides in Covington, Kentucky with his wife of more than 37 years, Vicki.  

Paul Sabbah, PresidentStamford International inc.
Paul Sabbah
Paul Sabbah is founder and President of Stamford International Inc., an Export Management Company working with North American-based manufacturers looking to go global.  He has a 30 year history of sales, product development and business development in the consumer electronics industry. Sabbah received his M.B.A in International Business from City University of NY in 1989, and his BA from Williams College in 1983, and currently lives in Stamford, CT. Sabbah, thru his company’s affiliation, is an active member of both the Consumer Electronics Association ( and the Small Business Exporters Association ( He also serves as a Board Member of SBEA.

George Stepancich, CEO and founder, Invisionate, LLC

George StepancichGeorge Stepancich is the CEO and founder of Invisionate,LLC. Prior to starting the company, Mr. Stepancich has spent the last 10 years running GoldLantern, LLC, a consumer electronics company.

Mr. Stepancich received a BA degree in Business from California State University and attended courses from faculty and staff associated with Harvard, MIT, Stanford, and Yale.
Mr. Stepancich is both a past and present member of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) Executive Board, Industry Board of Leaders, Wireless Division Board, Chairman of the Accessory Board, and a member of the CEA Foundation.

John Taylor,Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications, LG Electronics USA
John Taylor
John I. Taylor is Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications for LG Electronics USA Inc., serving as LG's senior U.S. industry relations, government affairs and public relations executive. Active for three decades in the Consumer Electronics Association, Taylor is currently Chairman of the CEA Communications Committee and Vice Chairman of the CEA Ultra HD Working Group. In addition to his role as a Trustee of the CEA Foundation, Taylor serves on CEA's Video Division Board and is a long-time member of the CEA Government Affairs Council and the judging committee for the Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame. Taylor serves on the boards of other organizations, including the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, the Advanced Television Systems Committee, The Media Institute and the Library of American Broadcasting.

Skip West, President, MAXSA Innovations, LLC
Skip West
Prior to MAXSA, from 1985 to 2003, Mr. West was co-founder and President of DesignTech International. 
Mr. West serves on the boards of The Consumer Electronics Association, Electronics Industries Alliance and the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association as well as being involved with charities focused on improving literacy, education and health care in Africa. Mr. West received his Bachelor of Arts from Haverford College in 1978 and his Master’s in Business Administration from Stanford University in 1980. Before his college graduation, Mr. West spent a year teaching in Africa. He enjoys outdoor activities.

Stephen Ewell

Stephen Ewell, Executive Director


What are the Foundation’s main areas of focus?
The CEA Foundation is focused on improving the lives of seniors and people with disabilities.  For information on our programs visit our Initiatives page.

When was the Foundation Created?
The Foundation received IRS recognition as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2009 and started supporting its first programs in 2012.

How to apply?
At this time the CEA Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals.  Organizations that fit our mission can submit information about their programs through the contact us page, however please recognize that due to limited staff and resources the CEA Foundation cannot respond to unsolicited requests.

How does the Foundation decide which grants to fund?
The CEA Foundation staff does extensive research on potential programs that meet the mission and vision of the Foundation.  Upon identifying potential partners they may request proposals from those organizations.  The Foundation Board of Trustees makes the final section of proposals to support.  The Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals.

What relationship does the Foundation have with grantees after funding is provided?
The CEA Foundation sees their grants as part of a partnership and works closely with our grantees to ensure the program’s success.

How does the Foundation measure success of its grantees?
Programs that receive grants from the CEA Foundation are required to submit reports outlining the impact that the program has had towards our mission.  These metrics are taken into consideration when future requests are made.

Do we support international programs?
The CEA Foundation supports 501(c)(3) tax exempt organizations that utilizes technology to empower the lives of seniors and people with disabilities in the United States.

Are there any jobs available at the Foundation?
The Foundation does not currently have any positions available.

Important documents for the CEA Foundation


CEA Foundation Congratulates 2014 Digital Patriots

Congratulations to CEA Foundation Chairman John Shalam on his selection as a 2014 Digital Patriot. John will be honored along with U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Rob Portman (R-OH) at a dinner on April 29 in Washington, DC. Proceeds from this dinner will support the CEA Foundation.

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CEA Foundation Congratulates CE Hall of Famers

The CEA Foundation congratulates the 2014 inductees into the CE Hall of Fame, including CEA Foundation Trustee Loyd Ivey!

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2015 CES Innovations Award Winners Announced!

The CEA Foundation congratulates all of the winners of the CES Innovations Awards!  There any many incredible products in categories including Accessibility and Tech for a Better World. These products highlight the power of innovative technology!

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CEA Foundation Congratulates Trustee Bruce Borenstein on Innovation Entrepreneur Award

The CEA Foundation would like to congratulate Board of Trustees member Bruce Borenstein for receiving the CEA Innovation Entrepreneur Award for Small Business Executive of the Year. 

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CEA Foundation Congratulates OATS on launch of Senior Planet Digital Entrepreneurship Institute

The CEA Foundation congratulates Older Adults Technology Services on the launch of the Digital Entrepreneurship Institute to help enterprising seniors harness the power of technology to start, manage and grow business and social ventures.

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CEA Foundation Congratulates inaugural eCycling Leadership Award Recipients

The CEA Foundation congratulates Best Buy, Dell, HP and Samsung for receiving the inaugural eCycling Leadership Awards.  In particular we would like to recognize CEA Foundation Board of Trustee member John Godfrey who accepted the award on behalf of Samsung.

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Consumer Electronics Can Change the World

Come see the CEA Foundation's panel session at the 2014 International CES called "Consumer electronics can change the world." Join the CEA Foundation for a session discussing the impact of the consumer electronics industry on philanthropy.  Find out how philanthropy can benefit your company and career while also doing good for your community.  CE supports numerous philanthropic efforts including education, environmental issues, and improving the lives of vulnerable populations.  Learn more about the efforts of leading organizations in our industry and the power of doing good.

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CEA Foundation at 2014 International CES

Learn more about the CEA Foundation at the Experience CEA Booth in the Grand Lobby of the Las Vegas Convention Center during 2014 International CES.  Visit for information on everything happening at 2014 International CES!

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Accessibility: A Driver for Innovation Panel

Video from the Accessibility, A Driver for Innovation panel which occured at the mEnabling Conference is now available on  This panel features CEA Foundation Board of Trustees member Bruce Borenstein (President and CEO of AfterShokz), John Kuzin (Senior Director, Regulatory, Qualcomm), Peter Mahoney (Chief Marketing officer, Nuance Communications), Greg Rhoades (Director of Marketing, Leviton Security and Automation) and is moderated by CEA Foundation Executive Director Steve Ewell.

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CEA Foundation announcing 2013 Grants

The CEA Foundation has begun announcing our 2013 grant recipients.  Keep an eye on our Media Room for the latest releases.

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CES Innovations Awards Add an Accessibility Category

CES Innovations Awards added a category for Accessible and Universal Design this year for products that have innovative features that enable ease of use by anyone, including, but not limited to, accessibility for seniors and people with disabilities.

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Selfhelp Community Services

The CEA Foundation announced on June 27, 2012 that their first grant would go towards the Selfhelp Community Services Virtual Senior Center. This support has been used to reach additional seniors in New York as well as expand their program to San Diego, Chicago and Baltimore. 

This innovative program enhances the lives of homebound seniors by utilizing computer, video and Internet technology. The interactive experience of participants, whether homebound or at a senior center, reduces social isolation, promotes wellness, and provides better access to community services as well as enhances independent living. Learn more. 

See all CEA Foundation Grants.