21.09.15

Obituary: Andy Duckworth, CDEC

CDEC has announced that Andy Duckworth, its founder and owner, has passed away after a short illness and at the age of 50.

It is with a heavy heart that I’m writing this, having just got off the phone with the very sad news that Andy Duckworth, the owner of UK integrator CDEC has died after a short illness. He was aged just 50.

First and foremost, Andy was always tremendous fun to be around, an incredibly funny, warm and self-depreciating character (jokes about his height were always being bandied around) who created not only a hugely successful (and growing) business, but, with MD Toni Barnett alongside him, created an incredible family atmosphere at CDEC, and one I haven’t ever experienced anywhere else in 10 years writing about pro AV.  Being around CDEC employees for any length of time, even a cynical journalist couldn’t helped but be swept up in it.

Andy had no time for standard business etiquette, he saw it as dull, and it was a world he just wasn’t interested in.  He wouldn’t even give himself a job title, despite how many times I asked him for one.   I can recall countless conversations I had with him where we would talk about CDEC’s growth, and I argued that if CDEC were to continue to grow at the rate it was doing it was inevitable it would have to 'mature' and become more corporate in its approach. As usual in our discussions, I was wrong and Andy was right about this, as he realised the AV world is all about relationships, and he (and Toni) were particularly skilled at creating and maintaining those.  Once you aligned that with Andy’s background in education, it was no surprise the business took off the way it has.

As anyone who ever attended any of CDEC’s annual events in Spain will have witnessed, it was clear to see how much warmth everyone had for Andy, from his staff, the media, clients and suppliers.

He will be sorely missed.

Our thoughts go out to his partner Toni, the rest of Andy’s family and all the staff at CDEC.

CDEC has set up a Just Giving donation page for the Hillsborough Justice Campaign in Duckworth’s name. Donations can be made here: https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/AndyDuckworth