Arlington, VA – Jack Wayman, the man considered to be the founder of the trade show that grew into the International CES, died of natural causes on August 30. He was 92.
The World War II veteran was named the first director of the Electronic Industries Association (EIA) Consumer Products Group in 1963, with two employees and a $50,000 budget. The organization went on to become the independent Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and launched the first Consumer Electronics Show in New York in 1967, drawing 100 exhibitors and 15,000 attendees. He became the spokesman for the industry, and appeared regularly in countless news media, introducing the latest and hottest products from the show.
The show, now led by Gary Shapiro, CEA president/CEO and Karen Chupka, senior VP of events & conferences, has grown into the largest annual trade show in the U.S., according to Trade Show Executive’s Gold 100 directory. It is also considered the highest-profile exhibition in the world. In January 2014, the International CES drew more than 150,000 attendees and grew to a record 2,060,582 net square feet of exhibit space.
“Jack truly was one of the founders of the contemporary consumer electronics industry,” said Shapiro. “His passion and dedication to the industry inspired us all. We stand on his shoulders.” Shapiro said the consumer electronics industry lost a legend and, more personally, he lost a great friend and mentor.
“Jack loved our industry and loved seeing and experiencing its growth,” said Chupka. “He only missed one CES in his lifetime — it was his baby! We will truly miss his encouragement and wisdom.”
Wayman’s family will hold a memorial service September 5 at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Boulder, CO. Wayman will also be remembered in early November at the Anti-Defamation League’s annual Consumer Electronics Division Awards Tribute in New York City.
Donations in Wayman’s name are being accepted by the CEA Foundation and by his alma mater, Davidson College in Charlotte.
Reach Gary Shapiro at (703) 907-7600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.