Glen Karpinos Discusses the Origins of NYControlled


This is the first in a series of articles about NYControlled.

Yesterday, The Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City buzzed with innovation as it hosted the inaugural NYControlled event. Your humble editor spoke with Glen Karpinos of O’Blaney Rinker Associates as he recounted the event’s simple beginnings with humor and candor. The event was a brainchild that sprung from a casual post-LEDucation conversation with the late Caroline Rinker. 

“Two weeks later Caroline asked how the new show was coming along.  I must confess, I dragged my feet for two weeks, half-hoping the idea would be forgotten,” he admited with a grin. “So I immediately contacted Dan Blitzer and we got started.”

Navigating the financial aspects of NYControlled was challenging, given its non-profit nature and reliance on fellow non-profits for funding. Glen shed light on this complex process: “Securing funds when you’re a non-profit supported by others like DLFNY and IESNYC is a monumental task,” he says. The crucial seed money from these organizations laid the groundwork for the event’s finances.

On the logistical front, the challenges were just as intense. Glen recalled with a laugh, “We were thrust into an intricate maze of regulations simply to process payments.”  Initially unable to process credit card transactions directly, they routed them through DLFNY. Despite these obstacles, the event remarkably welcomed 45 exhibitors, more than doubling the original roster of 20 control manufacturers.

Jim Sikenger of Silvair
Jim Sekinger of Silvair

Glen reflected on the selection process with pride: “We set the bar high. This wasn’t going to be just another show where fixtures hitch a ride on sensors. We were looking for pure, interoperable control systems.” He shares a stringent criterion for participation, “It couldn’t just be your control system for your products. It had to play well with others.”

The integrity of the showcase was paramount. “We had our share of uncomfortable conversations, turning down companies that didn’t meet our criteria,” Glen admitted. The vetting process was helped by a third-party review to ensure impartiality. The independent group consisted of a designer, an integrator, and an engineer.   “No room for favoritism—our third-party team acted as the gatekeepers of integrity,” he asserted.

He also explained there were a few areas he would like to tweak for next year, but all things considered he, and the committee, were quite pleased with the results. I spoke to almost every exhibitor and they were pleased as well.