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AFCEA Personality Profile: Eric Schneider

January 17, 2012
By Maryann Lawlor, SIGNAL Connections
E-mail About the Author

The talents Eric Schneider brings to AFCEA all started with making extra money as a disc jockey in this family’s nightclubs in south Florida, where he also helped bands set up and ran the sound board for them. Now, he’s the go-to person in the Montgomery Chapter whenever audio-visual assistance is needed.

Even his attraction to AFCEA membership was the result of his experience with sound and video equipment. Just over two years ago, John Hardt, his supervisor at General Dynamics, asked him to help set up equipment for the speaker at an AFCEA luncheon. Schneider is a senior infrastructure engineer at the company. And although he’s only been an AFCEAN for a few months, Schneider has become that guy behind the curtain that makes audio-visual equipment run smoothly for chapter events, including the Montgomery IT Summit (MITS), a three-day conference.

MITS comprises two events in two locations. The main event is held at the Montgomery Performing Arts Centre (MPAC), where approximately 800 attendees have the opportunity to listen to experts. In addition, MITS includes a golf tournament at the Wynlakes Golf and Country Club, where friendly competition took place among 250 participants in 2011 and audio-visual assistance also was needed.

According to Joe Besselman, president, Montgomery Chapter, Schneider ensured flawless audio-visual execution in both locations, leading a team of more than a dozen sound and video personnel, microphone runners, technicians and back-stage assistants. “When speakers show up with last-minute briefing changes or whole new briefs, it is Eric who, with alacrity, leaps to the rescue to fix the typically differentially formatted presentations so they look perfect in the MPAC,” he shares.

Schneider’s attained his technical expertise not only by working in the family business but also by installing home entertainment systems professionally while in school. He attended the New England Technology School in south Florida and continued his training to obtain Building Industry Consulting Services International, or BICSI, certification as a technician. In his spare time, he enjoys developing apps for the Android OS and assisting at various charitable events.

In addition to the opportunities to network with people in the same career field, Schneider decided to join AFCEA because it allows him to give back to the community through events such as the MITS conferences. “Tony Stewart is someone I admire a lot. He recently overcame great odds as an owner and driver to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup championship. He is very grounded and extremely motivated. He knows what he wants in life and goes for it,” Schneider says. “He has raised millions of dollars through his foundation to give back to the communities in which we live.”