By now, many of you know the news: Draper’s own Advertising Manager, Penny Sitler (CDT, LEED®AP), has been named the recipient of a 2013 Women in AV Award from InfoComm International.

This is a pretty awesome award for Penny. The prestigious Women in AV Award acknowledges the contributions of women who have taken marked initiative and exhibited strong leadership in the AV industry.

Penny first came to Draper Shade & Screen Co., Inc. in 1978 as a summer intern, and returned in 1982 as Draper’s first salaried female employee. I personally wasn’t alive then, but I understand it was a very good year. HAH! Just kidding—I was alive and in fact graduated high school that year!

Since her start at Draper in the early 80s, Penny has built the marketing program and in-house marketing team, launching all web and social media initiatives, as well as a vast number of products. She stays in touch with the industry through editing Draper’s blog and @draperinc Twitter account. She’s been recruited as a speaker and panelist on marketing, social media, and women in leadership at several regional conferences.

Draper's AV staff congratulates Penny on her InfoComm Women in AV award.

Draper’s AV staff congratulates Penny on her InfoComm Women in AV award.

“We’re all proud of Penny for getting this recognition,” according to Draper President John Pidgeon. “She is one of several ‘home grown’ talents we have at our company, and this recognition of her abilities is not only well-deserved but also long overdue.”

Over the years Penny has also mentored, trained, and supported other women—both at Draper and other businesses—in professional and management roles, has hired and mentored many female student interns, and has presented in-house leadership classes for women at Draper. Penny became a LEED AP in 2007, and was one of the first women in the audio visual industry to earn this important accreditation. Penny also served as a panelist at the Women in AV luncheon at InfoComm in 2012.

On a personal note, Penny has been my supervisor since I started at Draper as a lowly and lonely technical writer in the summer of 1999. Over the years she has always been supportive of my efforts to branch out into other areas, such as media relations, and has always been willing to listen to my crazy ideas.

She is a font of knowledge about the company and the industry for any newcomers and you often hear someone who is baffled by some issue being told that they should “go ask Penny—she’ll know.”

As part of the nominating process, Penny told a story about her daughter, and the current and future roles of women in society and the workplace. It was a neat story and I hope we can persuade her to share it in a future post. Meanwhile, though, congratulations Penny, for this cool award!

Click here to see some of our AV staffers congratulate Penny!

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