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Company headed by Whistlerite earns Emmy

Teradici, with CEO David Smith, honoured for Outstanding Achievement in Engineering Development
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AWARD WINNER CEO David Smith of Whistler led Teradici to the Engineering Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Engineering Development in October. Photo submitted

There’s a 2020 Emmy winner amongst us in the Sea to Sky.

On Oct. 29, Teradici, with Whistler-based CEO David Smith at the helm, earned the Engineering Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Engineering Development.

The company has offered technology to allow content creators to work remotely for more than 15 years, and with the need exacerbated this year, the Television Academy was impressed with what Teradici offered. 

“It’s a company award, so I didn’t win an Emmy. It’s a company that I happen to be CEO of that won an Emmy,” Smith said. “It’s not every day you can think about winning an Emmy, or say you work for a company that’s won an Emmy. It’s definitely pretty cool.

“Our company does a lot of work, not only in the TV industry but also in the film industry, and this year in particular, they were excited about us because of our ability to have people work from home.”

Other honourees this year included heavy hitters like Apple and HP.

Smith said that since the ceremony was virtual, the company had some notice that it was a winner.

“We didn’t know we were nominated, so we were surprised to get the call,” he said. “We had to accept it virtually, so they gave us some notes and we were able to do our own video recording of an acceptance speech, which they played during the virtual ceremony.

“We had a bit of advance warning, but not much.”

If you’ve watched any sort of blockbuster programming in recent years, there’s a strong likelihood Teradici helped facilitate the work for those in the special effects, animation and graphic design departments. Clients including Netflix, major studios such as Disney, Pixar and Industrial Light and Magic use the company, as do major networks such as ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and CNN, who utilize the technology to produce live content such as the World Series, Saturday Night Live and nightly news programming. Smith noted that technology has replaced onsite broadcast trucks in favour of people working from home.

“They took our technology home with them,” he said. “It’s technology that enabled the industry to continue to produce content.”

The company serves 2,000 customers worldwide and, already a heavyweight in its industry, found new connections this year when the Vancouver Film School came onboard as it shifted to remote operations. 

Smith said Teradici saw some other uptick in interest during the pandemic. 

“Back in March, when more companies sent their employees to work from home, certainly, we saw a tremendous tailwind from that and we continue to see an exciting opportunity moving forward in this new normal where the future of work has changed in terms of people being in offices,” he said. 

Smith said Teradici continues to hire and grow, as it set revenue records in 2019 and is on pace for another high in 2020.

If you’re wondering if he practises what he preaches, Smith also continues to work from home as the health crisis drags on.

“I used to get in my car every morning and drive to Vancouver and drive back every night. I’d done that for 20 years, so I’m not doing that anymore,” he chuckled. “I don’t miss it a bit.”