On Thursday, 15 September 2016, RTI founder and CEO John Demskie passed away unexpectedly at his Florida home. He was 48.
RTI Americas vice president of sales and marketing Mike Everett says, “John was a true pioneer in home automation. His passion for designing and creating innovative solutions has greatly influenced the control market. We are dedicated to furthering his technical vision which is at the heart of this company. He will be greatly missed within our RTI family and the industry as a whole.”
His passing coincided with the CEDIA Expo in Dallas.
Founded in 1992, RTI originated in John’s one-room apartment in Minnesota. A skilled hardware engineer, John was a tinkerer and home theatre and consumer electronics enthusiast. His vision for RTI’s customised remotes and touch screen control devices was born after seeing countless magazine images of high-end homes with dozens of entertainment system remotes littering coffee tables. So he set out to create a universal remote that would simplify the control experience, making it more intuitive and enjoyable for users.
In 1994, he successfully launched his first remote control, the Lexicon 500T. The first of its kind, the remote was well received and spurred a new wave of home theatre and entertainment energy that centred on simple, elegant control and automation. Since that time, he continued to drive RTI’s successful product innovation, helping to engineer the company’s world-class control solutions while building a strong team to lead the company into the future.
In recent years, John handed company leadership and operations responsibilities to his team.