Pioneering Global Services on the intersection of IT & Media
For over 3 decades, Vincent W. Allen has been fortunate to sit at the intersection of IT, AV, Broadcasting and Events. Today, he is the Founder/Managing Director at VAAV Industries – a Global Broadcasting and Media production company.
In equal parts creative and charismatic, Vincent is also an international award-winning Media Leader; Director/Senior Engineer – VTC, Streaming and Broadcast, American Movie Company; Senior Technical Project Manager – Kinly; Ithaca College Board Member; Published Author; and Ballroom Dancer.
With a cross-platform expertise spanning TV, film, lighting, video, sound, digital and streaming, he has been hugely successful in developing and implementing AV systems and other content for large university systems, Fortune 1000, 500 and 100 companies, top media firms, small and medium businesses, and start-ups.
Speaking about the convergence of IT and Media in achieving this, he tells us, “While all these individual industries were divergent at one time, over the last twenty years they have grown together incrementally. In order to be successful in today’s rapidly evolving technology marketplace, we need to master a multitude of aligned skills to compete. While Broadcast and AV skills were once considered niche, today everyone needs to be able to edit video, use photoshop, and manage reasonably complex audio and video signal flows in their day-to-day work. Continuing to learn about new ways to complete tasks is necessary for the modern business.”
Based in New York, Vincent started VAAV as a natural progression from decades of consulting and independent contracting work. The impetus for starting his own company was only one – his daughter Naomi.
“From the moment she was born, I knew I had to do whatever I could to change the world for her. As both a growing woman and person of color, the world we live in would never treat her as well as it does me. She inspired me to build a company and hopefully a world where we could resolve at least some of those issues.”
VAAV Industries is a full service bespoke firm that specializes in both AV and Production services from ideation to execution. Established just over 3 years ago in February 2020, they have already worked on some of the biggest streaming events such as the 50th anniversary of hip hop, history of swear words on Netflix, the Greek bicentennial, etc. In addition, they have engineered systems for some of the biggest events and companies in the world.
However, like most companies, they struggled to build strong client relationships in uncertain times during the pandemic, both economically and from a perspective of public health and policy. “Yet, we were able to pivot and adapt reasonably well. Like everything in life, the key is an imaginary balance between luck and hard work. Some opportunities arise from being at the right place at the right time. But as in sports, if you stay ready, you do not have to get ready for success.”
Vincent’s ability to innovate and execute with alacrity has seen him win many honours, a brief selection of which includes:
40 Under 40 Nominee, Business Elite | 40 Under 40 Nominee, NYC Journal | Feature and Cover, Millennium Magazine | Feature as Distinguished Leader, Wall Street Journal | NASA Rid Grant Recipient, University of Alaska IT Department | Goldie Award (3X), KATH-TV NBC/UPN | Spotlight ON Theatre Festival Best Ensemble Award Nominee | Nyack Scholars Award | NDCA Bronze Champion, Ballroom and Latin Dance | Published Author, CXOTech Magazine | Who’s Who in America, Marquis Publications.
What is the passion that drives him every day, we ask Vincent. “Looking around at the landscape of technology, I saw that we had an infinitesimally small number of women across all fields of technology and production. We started the company in order to solve that problem. Our daughters should not have to work twice as hard to make 75% of what their male counterparts do. Through our work and advocacy we seek to change that.”
A cohesive Team Leader who believes in empowering others, Vincent shares his views regarding Leadership in the modern world. “Leadership is not easy to define, but you know it when you see it. Great leaders lead by example, they listen more and don’t undercut their staff. Unlike the guy who either ignores the needs of staff or micromanages people into another company. This is the exact line of thinking that leads people to think that everyone needs to be in the office to get work done. Whereas great leaders both trust and empower their people to bring all of their skills, knowledge and passion to carry a project.”