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Steven Gobern

Steven Gobern
Eastern Regional Sales Manager
16 years in the industry

Tell us about your career so far.

My career, thankfully, has been on a great path. I’m consistently achieving while being challenged in the roles I’ve acquired. I’ve had the opportunity to work for a few industry leading manufacturers within the CE space, which contributed to my dynamism.

Describe your current role.

I’m currently on the sales leadership team at Savant Systems as the Eastern Regional Sales Manager. It’s super-fast paced, and our product portfolio is on the cutting edge of technology, which is what I admire. On top of that, our team culture is what I like the most. I feel like I’m a part of the really smart, really cool kids club of our industry.

When it comes to diversity and inclusion, how is the CE industry doing both historically, and also in the past year?

I think in recent years diversity and inclusion have become more of a focal point. It’s becoming prevalent in the recruitment process of a good number of tech companies. A clear example is when you look at company team photos. It’s starting to look more like the United Nations!

What could the CE industry do to improve diversity and inclusion?

I believe it’s all about awareness. Most of my fellow black/nonblack colleagues stumbled into this industry. Maybe CE-directed programs/workshops in institutions that are diversely attended? The earlier the better. The messaging should be clear that one can enter the CE space and have a fulfilling career. I’m also noticing that there are groups like the AVIXA Diversity council and CE Black on LinkedIn where people of diverse backgrounds in CE can learn from one another.

What would you tell non-black professionals in the CE industry who want to support the inclusion of black people in the industry?

I would say just for them to understand that the paradigm is constantly shifting. For hiring managers to understand that there is so much talent available within the Black community and diverse groups. It’s a bonus to have people with different backgrounds on your team to offer different perspectives because that’s the world we are living in, a total melting pot.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

For me, it’s all about the journey. I often reflect on all the hurdles I’ve overcome thus far and anticipate the ones to come. It’s the mindset of either I win, or I learn. Nothing trumps hard work and dedication.

What technology are you most interested in at the moment?

It’s a combination of AI/AR/VR and what we are doing at Savant with energy management.

What’s the top trend in CE for you right now?

I’ve seen a continuous increase in interest in smart homes and energy management.

What’s your favorite gadget right now?

Outside of my iPhone, it’s definitely my PS5. I do light gaming whenever I get the chance, and I’ve recently bought an Oculus VR headset for my son, which I often use.

Any additional thoughts you’d like to share?

I like what’s happening in terms of the progress of diversity and inclusion, but there’s always room for improvement. I started in an entry-level tech support position in this industry, and back then, I didn’t really see any diversity in upper management. I just knew that I loved being around technology and if granted the right opportunity to advance, I would maximize it.

I have been blessed to meet some great colleagues and mentors that have understood my battles and helped motivate me to keep striving. They know who they are.

Lastly, I’m deeply honored to be nominated by colleagues to be recognized by CT Lab Global Media as a leader who happens to be Black. I’m grateful for the people who have opened the doors before me, and I’m cognizant that I must do the same for others after me. I’m truly humbled. Sincerely, thank you.