Blog Mobility

And the Award Goes To…

Tauni Odia Director, Product Marketing, Ekahau Published 16 Mar 2020

David Coleman, director of product marketing at Extreme Networks, CWNE #4, and co-author of “Certified Wireless Network Administrator Study Guide”,  has received the Wi-Fi Awards Lifetime Achievement Award. Here’s the story behind this prestigious prize. 

And the award goes to… 

The anticipation is mounting, each attendee and finalist is on the edge of their seat, hanging on those very words as the announcer opens the gold envelope revealing the secret held inside…what each finalist wants to hear…their name called. The announcer begins, and the award goes to…we hold our breath as the name is read aloud.

For wireless folks, recognition seems to only come when someone can’t connect to the Wi-Fi, the network isn’t working, or there is another problem. Positive recognition isn’t something that comes regularly. We all like praise and recognition and we want to feel like what we do matters. So along came the Wi-Fi Awards.

Several years ago, I was trying to figure out how to promote a product my company had brought to market. The more I looked into it, the more I realized nothing existed to highlight the innovation and amazing individuals the Wi-Fi industry has to offer. So, I decided to change that and enlisted the help of some industry veterans, Samuel Clements, Keith R. Parsons, and Jonathan Davis. Four co-founders and two years later, the Wi-Fi Awards just held the inaugural awards ceremony.   

Wi-Fi Awards founders: Sam Clements, Keith Parsons, Jonathan Davis and Tauni Odia

The goal of the Wi-Fi Awards is to recognize companies, individuals, and products that demonstrate unique excellence and achievements with extraordinary contributions to the community. The award recipients exemplify the highest standards to promote and expand the wireless industry. Over the past 20 years, wireless networking has transformed the landscape of business, bringing together organizations and connecting people across the globe. During those 20 years, individuals and companies have continued pushing forward and innovating to keep up with technology. From veterans to rookies, and giants to one-man operations, the Wi-Fi Awards recognizes individuals and companies at any stage. 

How does it work?

Our desire was to build a program that was primarily selected and voted on by members of the Wi-Fi community. We had an overwhelming response of submissions and participation. Submissions come from a combination of community nominations, or self-submissions.   Submissions are then narrowed down to the top five candidates or nominees from each awards category. Once the top five finalists were identified, voting opened to the entire community.  The result was an amazing group of finalists, and an extremely difficult decision for voters.

The community took to the polls to vote on the following categories:

  • Company Leadership of the Year Award
  • Product of the Year Award
  • Innovation of the Year Award
  • Rookie of the Year Award
  • Content Contribution of the Year Award

Additionally, the Keith R Parsons Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an individual for exhibiting exceptional leadership, knowledge, service, and a passion for excellence in the wireless community. Through his/her actions and contributions, the recipient improves the community as a whole. Nominations or submissions are not accepted for this award.

The Award Winners represented companies and individuals from veterans to newcomers, and giants to one-man operations.  Each award winner exemplified innovation and dedication in their category. Back to our envelope…

The envelope opens, we hold our breath, and the 2020 winner of the Wi-Fi Awards Lifetime Achievement Award is David Coleman! A man that truly requires no introduction. David is an author, public speaker, mentor, and pioneer in the Wi-Fi community. He currently supports the Extreme Networks team as the Director of Product Marketing. In addition, David travels the world for both customer and channel partner engagements, speaking events and training sessions. He has instructed IT professionals from around the globe in Wi-Fi design, security, administration, and troubleshooting.

David has written multiple books, blogs, and white papers about wireless networking, and he is considered an authority on 802.11 technology. Prior to working at Extreme, he specialized in corporate and government Wi-Fi training and consulting. In the past, he has provided Wi-Fi consulting for numerous private corporations, the US military, and other federal and state governmental agencies. When he is not traveling, David resides in Atlanta, Georgia with his family. David is CWNE #4 and is the co-author of Sybex Publishing’s “Certified Wireless Network Administrator (CWNA) Study Guide” – 5th Edition”. 


David Coleman and Keith Parsons

Beyond his accomplishments, David is extremely giving of his time, knowledge, and friendship.  Not many in the wireless industry can say they haven’t benefited from David’s generosity.  David has encouraged and inspired so many in our industry including myself to continually grow and master our craft. We would like to extend our sincerest gratitude for the dedication and friendship David has provided over the years. We look forward to what is in store next for David Coleman and the Extreme Team. Well-deserved and congratulations our friend! 

Get the latest stories sent straight to your inbox!

Related Stories