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Jerry Salandro M'76

Jerry Salandro M'76

Jerry Salandro is chief executive officer, president, and founder of IRIS Technologies, which designs, develops, and sells PC-controlled video switching systems for the communications market. The Pittsburgh High Technology Council recognized IRIS as one of the top fifty fastest-growing companies in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Salandro, whose career in education, training, and business spans nearly forty years, is recognized as a pioneer in using software and high technology to make video easier for educators, businesses, and government to use.

In 1980, when color photographs typically took a week to develop, he created a franchise concept for getting pictures developed in one hour. Soon after, Salandro developed the first equipment to transfer photos, slides, and home movies to videotape. Remember, this was in 1982, when very few homes had VCRs. Later, with the advent of home media servers and personal video recorders, Salandro developed methods to transfer older media to the digital media format.

Salandro earned a Master of Education degree from IUP in 1976 and a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from California University of Pennsylvania in 1970.

While at IUP, Salandro developed a keen interest in creating and using video technologies to be applied in the classroom. His dream eventually led to using computers for accessing any of a thousand video examples. Teachers could use these in the classroom to help them teach more effectively. His research showed students retained knowledge at a 70 percent higher rate when visual examples could be provided along with classroom lecture. His finding at IUP changed how he would train students and employees throughout his career. Compelled to make a difference in an educational environment where using videotape was a major obstacle, Salandro dedicated himself to making video easier to use for everyone.

Salandro taught science to grades seven through ten and served as the first-ever media director for the Hempfield School District near Greensburg. As the education and training supervisor for Volkswagen Manufacturing Corporation, he used his software and technology expertise to train and educate five thousand employees. It was the largest hiring and training effort accomplished in Pennsylvania to that time.

Currently, Salandro uses his video training expertise as a business and training coach to mentor and teach employees at IRIS and at other companies, schools, and universities across the nation. He is also an accomplished and sought-after public speaker on the topics of teaching technologies and ethical business practices.

He has more than fifty-six patents claims, with more than twenty others pending. His technology and products are being used across the country in places like the Pentagon, NASA, Disney World, and Comcast, as well as in colleges and high schools from New Hampshire to California.

Salandro was named Business Person of the Year by Westmoreland Economic Development Corporation in 1996. He received the Business Ethics Award from the American Business Ethics Association in 2003 and the Distinguished Alumni Award from California University of Pennsylvania in 2004. He serves on the MBA Business Board of Advisors at Seton Hill University and is a past executive director of the Boy Scouts of America.

A native of the Latrobe area, Salandro currently resides in Gibsonia, Pa., with his wife, Leslie.

He is a 2008 recipient of the IUP Distinguished Alumni Award.

Profile published on 6/30/08 

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