HTSA Announces It Launched a Large Scale Training Event in Denver on Eve of CEDIA Expo; Results Far Exceeded Expectations

With a Full Multi-Track Schedule of Customized Educational Courses, the Event Drew More Than Three Times the Expected Member Participation

Ted Green Press Releases

BARRINGTON, IL, SEPTEMBER 20, 2019:  Home Technology Specialists of America (HTSA), the industry’s leading international trade consortium of hybrid retail and custom integrator members, revealed today that it held a tremendously successful educational event in Denver on September 10th and 11th – two days prior to the opening of the 2019 CEDIA Expo. This event was held at local HTSA member Xssentials modern training facilities in nearby Parker, CO.

Known within the consortium as the “Tommapalooza Learning Festival,” the event was conceived, coordinated, and largely conducted by Tom Doherty, HTSA’s Director of New Technology Initiatives. The first of this type by the consortium, Doherty had modest goals for the event which was deliberately positioned in close proximity and timing with the CEDIA Expo to facilitate both member and vendor participation.

The initial goal was for at least 30 or so members to attend. However, early registrations told a different story – the enthusiasm level was so great that by the time of the event, at least 94 member employees registered, attended and actively participated in Tommapalooza.

Educational Courses Reflected Key HTSA Business Initiatives

The planned courses covered a series of important initiatives for HTSA, including custom-created Lighting-Level 1, Lighting-Level 2 training, and Delos DARWIN Premier education. There were also several brand-specific training sessions from a group of supporting HTSA vendors.

Attendees not only received educational content in a classroom setting, but they also had the opportunity to participate in a specially constructed HTSA Lighting Learning Lab for pragmatic, real-world, hands-on lab work. This combination of hearing, seeing, and doing provides for an optimal educational experience that provides long-term benefits to the student.

“Attendees and vendors alike expressed to me how absolutely thrilled they were with this event,” said Tom Doherty, HTSA Director of New Technology Initiatives. “Many said they appreciated HTSA fielding an event like this, and especially noted the efficiency of offering this event as part of their CEDIA week activities. I have already heard from many of the attendees asking when the next such event will take place for other Lighting level courses and vendor sessions. So, all-in-all, I’d say this was a very satisfying event for HTSA.”

“Technology is a fast-paced, always-changing business and only those who lace up their sneakers and charge ahead to keep pace will succeed in the long run,” said Jon Robbins, Executive Director of Home Technology Specialists of America (HTSA). “The fact that more than three times as many HTSA members participated in this first-of-a-kind educational event serves to show that our members understand and embrace that concept better than most in the industry.”

Consortium Continues Member Education on Industry-Leading Lighting Initiative

Just two years ago, HTSA led the industry as the first major dealer organization to target growth in the lighting segment – including lighting design, fixtures and services. As part of this initiative, the organization oversaw the creation of a custom, multi-level educational program designed to drive member success in the category. HTSA partnered with the American Lighting Association (ALA) in creating this educational program and the Lighting courses at Tommapalooza were part of this initiative.

For those HTSA members who took part in the Lighting-Level 1 training, upon successfully passing a post-course examination from the lighting association, the students were awarded the ALA Lighting Specialist certification. Prior to the Tommapalooza event, fully 55 HTSA member employees had earned the ALA’s Lighting Specialist certification. Coming out of this event, another 20 member employees have been certified – giving HTSA a total of 75 Certified Lighting Specialists. No other comparable industry group can match this level of lighting expertise.

Similarly, the Lighting-Level 2 course delves extensively into lighting design, with students receiving no less than 16 hours of intense training from an International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) professional. Prior to the Tommapalooza event, HTSA had 37 member employees who had completed this training. After the event, another 9 member employees have completed the course for a total of 46 HTSA members trained in the finer points of effective residential lighting design.

Tom Doherty himself created a special course titled: “Lighting Design and Fixture Sales: How Tom Doherty Did It.” In this class, Doherty shared a very personal story of how his integration company targeted and grew their lighting category revenues and profits, the challenges they faced & overcame, and even some of the mistakes to avoid that they made as part of their learning process.

Training on Indoor Wellness Addresses Another Industry-Leading HTSA Initiative

Beyond Lighting, HTSA was also the first dealer organization to target the emerging residential indoor wellness segment, becoming the exclusive partner of Delos, the undisputed leader in the category.  Indoor wellness touches on a range of sophisticated issues related to the indoor environment of today’s residential dwellings, including air quality, water quality, human-centric lighting and more to promote well-being.

At Tommapalooza, Delos conducted an accredited course on their Darwin Premier System. This course educated attendees on the nuanced science of the negative health impact of unaddressed issues surrounding standard residential air, water, lighting, and comfort systems. The course went on to describe in detail: Delos technologies and solutions that mitigate or eliminate these issues; a financial model for accurately estimating the cost of upgrading any system with a full Darwin Premier implementation; and finally, set out the process for a deep collaboration between the HTSA member and Delos including assistance in the design, installation and commissioning of the Darwin Premier indoor wellness solution.

Prior to the Tommapalooza event, there were a total of 25 HTSA member employees who had received training in the Delos Darwin Premier accredited course. After this event, another 15 participants were added for a total of 40 HTSA member employees who have been fully trained in the Delos Darwin Premier accredited course.

HTSA Vendor-Specific Education Sessions

Finally, the event was additionally supported by several of HTSA’s valued vendors. Each of these vendors conducted detailed educational courses on their various products and technologies. Full sessions were held by: Vantage (on Lumenetix), RoseWater (power quality), DMF Lighting, Tech-Element, LF Illumination, and Crestron (OS3).

Members to Reconvene at HTSA Fall Conference in October

Members will have another opportunity to continue their journey into deeper knowledge at the upcoming HTSA 2019 Fall Conference taking place October 22-24 at the renowned Renaissance Dallas Hotel in Dallas, TX.  This conference, a signature event for the consortium, brings together top subject matter experts, top industry brands, and all HTSA members for two days of immersive education on top technologies, skills, and processes – including best business practices sharing.

There is also plenty of opportunity for relationship building, team building and even time for some fun.

To learn more about HTSA and its many membership benefits, see:


About Home Technology Specialists of America (HTSA)

Home Technology Specialists of America, Inc. (HTSA) is an international trade consortium of the finest residential technology retail and custom integration specialists across the U.S. and Canada. HTSA members design, specify, install and service the finest premium, high-performance technology solutions for the residential and commercial channels. Today's sophisticated networked systems demand a highly trained, professional installation specialist. Whether it’s smart home automation, dedicated media rooms & theaters, lighting fixtures & systems, or high-res whole-house AV networks - HTSA members will professionally interface products and integrate sub-systems with compelling designs for the home, at the office, or on the go. HTSA is proudly member-owned and offers industry-best programs with the leading technology brands. With a renowned team of brilliant educators on staff who create unparalleled proprietary educational programs, HTSA is instrumental in driving the success of all consortium members. To learn more about HTSA, see: or connect with us on Facebook and Instagram.


About CATalyzing Communications, Inc.

CATalyzing Communications, Inc. (CCI) is a passionate, award-winning marketing agency that offers the most exclusive, personalized services in the residential and commercial technology industry. Serving consumer electronics integration companies, trade groups, industry publications and manufacturing vendors, CCI offers a uniquely 360-degree view and expertise unmatched by any other industry marketing firm. Clients have included brands such as Sony, LG, HTSA, Salamander Designs, ELAN, Panamax/Furman, Savant, Sonance and many more. CCI is heralded for their customized approach that does not use cookie cutter templates. Every marketing effort is designed to help clients develop their unique brand, voice and to escalate sales. The company provides turnkey services including digital and traditional marketing, content development, PR, social media, blogs, websites, branding, channel development and beyond. Cat Toomey, Founder, has held executive positions with major technology companies and leverages her experience to help others drive their companies to leading positions.

Press Contact:
Ted Green
President- The Stratecon Group