Jeff Joseph, the quick-witted spokesman for the Consumer Electronic Association, is calling it quits after eight years. Joseph, vice president of communications and strategic relations, is resigning as of Aug. 30.
Joseph is leaving the Washington lobby and the biggest tradeshow known to mankind for the less flashy but thoroughly powerful halls of the Biotechnology Industry Organization. BIO advocates for issues ranging from germ warfare defense to genetically engineered food crops. The organization represents more than 1,100 biotech companies, schools, state research centers and related entities. Its president is James Greenwood, a former congressman from Pennsylvania.
At CEA, Joseph managed the communications department, developed the PR strategies and served as spokesman on many issues, tenaciously staying on message like legendary bull rider Lane Frost on the dreaded Red Rock. Joseph worked intellectual property debates, environmental policy and especially the DTV transition, often in opposition to the National Association of Broadcasters. NAB Executive Vice President of Media Relations Dennis Wharton had this to say about Joseph:
"There is no better PR pro in Washington than Jeff Joseph. The consumer electronics industry has lost a truly remarkable advocate whose command of public policy issues is matched only by his personal charm."
Another outspoken CEA watchdog, TV expert Mark Schubin, was often at odds with the lobby, but appreciated Joseph's candor.
"Jeff obviously had to promote their point of view, and that wasn't always something I agreed with... when he could, he helped me in what he called my 'quest for the truth.' He was one of the true mensches of the industry, and I will miss his presence greatly."
Joseph also spearheaded the media campaign for the Consumer Electronics Show, the January extravaganza in Las Vegas that regularly draws record crowds of geeks, gizmo junkies, celebrities, sports figures, big cheeses from the business world, and even the occasional bewildered trade reporter.
CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro said, "Jeff is an incredibly effective communications professional. He is passionate, honest, warm, quick, and has an endless desire to make a difference. His love of our industry, its products and people comes through everyday. I will remember Jeff's tenure at CEA as one filled with passion, fervor, accomplishments and success. We wish Jeff the best of luck in his future endeavors. Our team at CEA will miss him."
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