People & Places: AWA adds Spolar; James Rep of the Year; Park West Hires Demple
The latest in hirings and other notable movement within the custom electronics industry. Check back daily for updated news.
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AWA Reps is a manufacture’s rep firm based out of Illinois. It was founded by the principal, Austin Wendt, in 2009 with a vision of becoming the premiere rep firm within the Midwest. Started off focused on the security distribution channel and in 2017 expanded into the CEDIA Channel with brands such as Origin Acoustics, Audio Control, SI.
Recently, AWA Reps hired Andy Spolar as the new director of sales leading the charge in growing the CEDIA channel for the company. He brings over 15 years of experience in the consumer electronics category with six years at distributors AVAD & Allnet/SnapAV.
In addition, AVPro Edge has signed with AWA Reps for the Midwest Territory. Austin Wendt and Andy Spolar are looking to lead the 4K Video Distribution category in the Midwest with AVPro Edge.
James Loudspeaker, a manufacturer of entertainment products for both residential and commercial applications, has announced that John Parker of Parker Custom Solutions has been named independent sales rep of the year for 2018. Parker dramatically increased sales in the Arizona region that he covers for the James Loudspeaker brand.
Parker was formerly the vice president of North American sales at James Loudspeaker and worked for the company for 19 years before founding his independent sales firm based in Mesa, Ariz. Parker has achieved significant sales growth for the brand in Arizona and attributes his success to a few simple tenets.
“I place a lot of emphasis on demonstrating the products,” says Parker. “Products like our Small Aperture speakers create what I call an eye/ear conflict—dealers simply can’t believe we can achieve sound so full and detailed from such a compact architectural speaker with a tiny grille—it sells itself.”
“My team and I have worked with John for many years and his knowledge and passion for the James Loudspeaker brand is directly reflected in his performance as an independent rep,” adds Mark Schafle, CEO, James Loudspeaker.
The Park West Group, an executive search firm serving the CEDIA and AVIXA channels within the consumer electronics industry, has announced that Mary Demple has been appointed to the position of senior account manager. Demple is responsible for client strategy, candidate sourcing and business development.
She brings over 10 years of experience in talent acquisition and human resources leadership, both nationally and globally in the consumer electronics and eCommerce industries.
To strengthen its market share and brand visibility across the TOLA region (Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Arkansas), the AV collaboration company Atlona has appointed Craig Childs as regional sales manager, TOLA, for both residential and commercial markets.
A Certified Technology Specialist (CTS) in professional AV technology, Childs will also manage relationships with regional partners that sell and install Atlona solutions. He will be based in Dallas and report to Bruce Moses, Director of Sales, Western Region.
“I look forward to capitalizing on the success that Atlona has had in the TOLA region by developing new residential and commercial accounts, and providing excellent customer service to established customers,” said Childs
Kanto Living Inc., a manufacturer of powered audio and mounting solutions, has announced it has appointed manufacturer's rep firm JBA Sales to provide sales and marketing services for the New York metropolitan area.
"Kanto Living's growth in both product categories and increasing demand in consumer and B2B markets requires increased sales capacity for our Canadian company," says Eric Smith, vice president of sales for Kanto Living. JBA Sales will represent Kanto's full lineup of powered speaker systems, TV mounts, speaker stands and accessories in its territory.
Located in Randolph, N.J., JBA Sales represents and markets audio, video, networking, noise control and other products and services for consumer, professional, custom-installation and outdoor applications.
AMETEK Electronic Systems Protection has hired Justin Peyton as its new sales director for the EMEA region, to oversee its ESP and SurgeX brands.
Peyton is a two-decade veteran of the residential and commercial electronics industries, and he will help the company grow in the residential, pro AV, broadcast, IT and digital signage categories.
"Due to both ESP and SurgeX's continued growth, our team needed a dedicated resource to drive the business," says Kent Dunn, director, business development and international sales, AMETEK Electronic Systems Protection.
"His ability to deliver results and incite business turnaround in new markets make him an excellent fit, and we're excited for what the future holds for the two brands globally."
Nortek Security & Control LLC (NSC), a global manufacturer of wireless security, home automation, access control, and health and wellness technology, has announced the appointments of Alan Banta, Blake Jochum and Steve Moore as custom install channel regional sales managers. Banta now serves the North Central region states of N.D., S.D., Colo., Neb., Kan., Iowa, and Mo., while Jochum covers all of Florida, and Moore serving Ill,, Mich., and Wisc.
“In 2019, we are continuing to grow our direct sales team to better serve our customers across the country,” says Jeff Costello,vice president of sales, NSC. “Alan, Blake and Steve have significant sales experience in the custom installation channel that will give our customers the solutions and support that they need to succeed.”
Savant, a Cape Cod-based manufacturer of whole-house AV solutions and control systems has announced its outstanding dealer awards:
Chairman's Award 2018
Recognizing the Savant Integrators who best grew the Savant brand in 2018 by selling the most product from Savant and bringing the Savant experience to the largest number of homeowners.
- HomePro Tech
- Acoustic Architects
- Metro Eighteen
Savant Through & Through 2018
Recognizing the Savant Integrators whose projects best represent the Savant Home, based on integration of a variety of Savant control solutions.
- Select Electronic Design
- Revolution Audio
- SilverGate Technology
- Systems Design & Integration
Put It to the Test 2018
Recognizing the Savant Integrators who best supported Savant in product and software testing, beta feedback, and new feature recommendations.
- M2 Multimedia
- Premiere Systems
- NXT AV
Savant also recognized their Pro Advisory Council 2018, which consists of professional integrators in a wide variety of markets and business models.
- Acoustic Architects
- Advanced Home Audio
- Audio Video Systems
- Audio Visions
- Barrett’s Technology Solutions
- Cantara Design Group
- Cyber Technology Group
- Digital Systems
- Electronic Environments
- Elevated Electronics
- Gilmore’s Sound Advice
- Interior Technologies
- Live Wired Systems
- M2 Multimedia
- Metro Eighteen
- Modern Home Systems
- Premiere Systems
- SES Design Group
- Sound Image Audio/Video Design
- Spire Integrated Systems
- Starr Systems Design
- Wave Designs
Draper, Inc., has announced the addition of AV industry veteran Grant Wylie as director of product management-AV structures and solutions. Wylie’s 13 years in AV includes product management roles for Daktronics, Peerless AV, and, most recently, NEC Display Solutions of America.
Wylie’s focus will be on helping Draper develop the best custom solutions possible for key
partners and their customers.
“Making the decision to leave NEC was not easy,” notes Wylie. “I really enjoyed working with the
Draper team while at NEC and after I learned what the Draper team is really capable of, I knew I wanted
to be a part of it. Draper is a relatively new player in the custom AV structures market, and I’m really
looking forward to the challenge as the company’s presence grows.”
Screen Innovations (SI), the U.S. based manufacturer of A/V projection screens, and indoor and outdoor Shade options, has announced plans to strengthen its business partnerships in Canada by selling directly to residential and commercial dealers and integrators. To assist in this reorganization, SI has appointed two Canadian based sales representatives who have years of experience working with the SI brand throughout the Canadian Provinces:
Ebony Tristar—firstname.lastname@example.org, 416-527-0307
The Press Agency—Warrenpressagency@gmail.com, 403-401-4278
GET Marketing, Gary Toombs, 250-470-8708
The Rep Firm Canada Ltd—email@example.com
As part of its Canadian business activities SI will work with the Calgary and Toronto AVAD offices to stock products, and it will offer Canadian dealers weekly webinars, factory visits to Texas, demo programs and other support initiatives.
“I’ve been listening to the Canadian dealers loud and clear and they want to be part of the SI family. With our new Shade technology, now is the time to deepen our direct relationship with our Canadian partners, giving them the same sales, support, and service that our U.S. dealers receive. This will be a fun time! Welcome to the family Canada,” states Ryan Gustafson, CEO and Found, Screen Innovations.
The CEDIA trade group organization has named Ian Bryant senior director of technology application and innovation. A veteran of more than two decades in custom AV and integration, Bryant runs the Indianapolis office of Detroit-based ZenArray. The company specializes in consulting, design, programming, and installation services. His background includes serving as a technology subcontractor for residential, corporate, government, and hospitality projects.
"We've become familiar with Ian's high level of performance for more than 10 years through his volunteer efforts and contract work with CEDIA, as well as the industry expertise and involvement he's provided," says Tabatha O'Connor, global president and chief executive officer, CEDIA. "He's the right addition to bolster the CEDIA staff, especially in education and certification."
Kaleidescape, a manufacturer of video products and content services, has announced the addition of executives to fill important roles for the company as it ramps up investment in sales and marketing to drive growth worldwide.
Erwin Bosma joins Kaleidescape as its vice president, international to spearhead the global marine business, as well as to support residential growth in select markets worldwide. Bosma brings technology sales experience in home automation, internet of things (IoT), consumer premise equipment (set-top boxes and gateways), and semiconductor chips from companies such as Greenwave Systems, Savant, and NXP Semiconductors.
Geoff Stedman joins Kaleidescape as its vice president, marketing to grow the luxury home cinema brand as a product and content supplier for customers who enjoy movies. Stedman brings to Kaleidescape extensive marketing leadership experience having led marketing at several media and entertainment technology companies, including Quantum, Harmonic, and Omneon.
RTI, a global control and automation manufacturer for residential and commercial settings, has announced that Joe Mattera, owner of New York-based Mattera Design Inc., has received the company's inaugural Dealer of the Year Award.
Mattera has been in the custom installation industry for almost 20 years. He started Mattera Design in 2009 to provide AV and automation system design and installation services for both commercial and luxury residential installations, and has been an RTI dealer for the last six years.
"We looked at a number of criteria when selecting our RTI Dealer of the Year, and Mattera Design checked every box," says Ed McConaghay, CEO of RTI.
Klipsch, a global audio company, has announced another three-year extension to its long-term partnership with the Authorized Integrators Network (AiN) Group. The move solidifies Klipsch as the group’s preferred premium speaker provider.
Klipsch and AiN began their strategic partnership over 16 years ago, to deliver legendary speakers and the power, detail and emotion of the live music experience to the AiN Group’s exclusive network of dealers and their customers. AiN carries the entire line of Klipsch’s world-renowned product lines, including its complete line of custom installation speakers and Reference Premiere component speakers.
“We are thrilled to continue our long-term partnership with Klipsch,” adds Stan Matysiak, founder and president of AiN Group. “AiN is where it is today because we strategically align our select consumer electronics dealers with only the world’s elite manufacturers. Klipsch's entire product line sits right at the top.”
Nortek Security & Control LLC (NSC), a global manufacturer of wireless security, home automation, access control, and health and wellness technologies, has announced the appointment of Julio Rodriguez as distribution sales manager to provide ongoing support of NSC’s current distribution partners. Rodriguez reports directly to senior director of distribution sales Peter Scholovich, who joined NSC in the fall of 2018.
“Julio is a strategic thinker with extensive sales leadership experience and the proven ability to build and maintain strong relationships in the security industry,” says Scholovich. “He is already elevating the top-tier support to our distribution partners that Nortek Security & Control is known for.”
QSC has announced that Joe Pham, Ph.D, president & CEO, QSC, has been named Chairman of the 2019 AVIXA board of directors. This will be Pham’s fifth year as a member of the board, having served as the board’s Vice Chair in 2018.
“The next few years will be an exciting time for AV as we continue to mature and move towards a deeper integration with the IT end user,” says Pham. “This shift will challenge the industry to provide more opportunities for forward-thinking companies to evolve their business models to deliver more value over the lifetime of the customer. I am privileged to be part of AVIXA and look forward to collaborating with some of the brightest minds in AV to bring about the next level of innovation and customer service.”
The Zigbee Alliance, an organization of hundreds of companies creating, maintaining, and delivering open, global standards for the Internet of Things (IoT), has announced that Amazon will join its board of directors.
As IoT growth continues to accelerate, prominent companies in the tech industry are collaborating within the Zigbee Alliance to shape the direction of standards, ecosystems, and devices to offer users easy and enjoyable experiences they’ll want to build upon within their homes and personal spaces. The decision by Amazon to join the Zigbee Alliance at the Board level is a strong message that the industry is focused on simplifying and adding convenience to the growing range of IoT devices available to customers.
“Customers tell us they want smart home experiences that are simple to setup, easy to control, and add convenience to the tasks they do every day,” says Christian Taubman, director, Alexa Smart Home at Amazon. “Voice control with Alexa is helping remove the complexity of smart home, and there are even more ways we can help customers by ensuring their smart devices connect and work together seamlessly. We look forward to working with the Zigbee Alliance and its members to contribute to open standards for device interoperability that benefit our mutual customers.”
Access Networks has hired industry veterans Alesia Hendley and Andrew Ward to its sales team. Hand-picked to support dealers serving residential customers Hendley and Ward bring their industry knowledge to the roles of associate sales engineer and Western regional sales manager, respectively.
Ward joins Access Networks from McIntosh Labs, where he was the Northwest regional sales manager. Before that, he led the Northwest regional sales team at Polk Audio, and, prior to that, worked in the sales department at B&W Group.
With a background as an audiovisual specialist, industry blogger, and podcaster Hendley brings extensive AV experience to the Access Networks team. In her role as associate sales engineer, Hendley will support Access Networks’ sales and support initiatives with her technical knowledge and insight.
Catalyst AV, a national network of independent consumer electronics distributors, has reinforced its board of directors by adding Woody Taylor of Electronic Lane, Texas. Electronic Lane has locations in Houston and Dallas and serves Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas.
Effective immediately, Woody joins board members:
- Brett Neiderman of Tech Source, which is located in Pennsylvania and serving the Mid-Atlantic
- Chris Gentile of Aim High Audio with locations in Georgia and Florida and serving N.C., S.C., Tenn., Ala, Miss., and Puerto Rico.
- In addition to the board, Lew Freedman of Professional Audio Associates (PAA) serving Massachusetts and the Northeast, has assumed an advisory position and Helge Fischer is the executive director.
Nortek Security & Control (NSC), a global manufacturer of wireless security, home automation, access control and health and wellness technology, announced the appointment of industry veteran, Scott Osborne, to Nortek Security & Control regional sales manager, responsible for helping dealers build their business in the Southern California and Utah territories.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Scott to the Nortek Security & Control sales team," says Jeff Costello, vice president of sales, NSC. “Since joining the team last fall, Scott has been essential in helping CI dealers in his territories with their control and A/V solutions.”
Cleer, Inc., a high-performance headphone and audio manufacturer, has hired Aaron Levine as its vice president of marketing.
According to the company, Levine’s executive level successful stints at Sony Electronics, Pioneer Electronics, and Sound United make the industry veteran the perfect choice for Cleer’s accelerated growth plans.
“At this juncture of our growth, we’re elated to add such an esteemed marketing executive such as Aaron to our team. He has successfully handled big brand marketing and team building on a global scale and we’re excited to see what he can do for Cleer. Please join me in welcoming him," states Patrick Huang, president of Cleer, Inc.
RTI, a manufacturer of control and automation products for residential and commercial settings, has announced Clint Forberg as its director of training. Previously serving as RTI's Central United States regional business manager, Forberg will noq oversee all RTIXCEL training programs, including the RTIXCEL Online learning management system (LMS), live TechTalk webinars, RTIXCEL Live on-site training seminars, and the three-day RTIXCEL Experience, hosted at RTI headquarters in Shakopee, Minnesota.
Forberg has 30 years of experience in the CE industry. Since August 2017, he has been responsible for sales management and business development for RTI across a 16-state territory.
"Clint's in-depth knowledge of the custom installation industry and RTI products is second to none, and throughout his career with us he's played a pivotal role in both our training initiatives and sales efforts," says Ed McConaghay, CEO of RTI.
Long-time industry veteran Vince Luciani has joined SurgeX as its new senior sales engineer. Prior to joining SurgeX, Luciani worked for the power protection company Innovolt.
Years ago Luciani, a guitar player, also participated in the EHX trade show events in Florida as a member of the CE Pro All-Star Band that included Fender Custom Shop master builder John Cruz.
James Loudspeaker, designers and manufacturers of décor-friendly entertainment products for both residential and commercial applications, has announced that it is moving to a new headquarters and manufacturing facility located in Minden, Nev. The new facility provides a significant increase in space to house enhanced production capabilities, warehouse facilities and additional engineers to accommodate the double-digit growth of the James Loudspeaker brand.
The facility effectively doubles the company's manufacturing capabilities, and new team members have been added to the engineering corps to address the increased demand for products in every category.
Jay Wessell has joined James Loudspeaker and will serve as president of the company. Wessell, who had worked alongside CEO Mark Schafle at Infinity and other ventures, and he brings an extensive background in the audio industry to his new role. Wessell will oversee the finance, HR and other aspects of management enabling Schafle to oversee manufacturing and marketing.
Industry veteran Chris Pruet has joined Stealth Acoustics. With 24 years of experience in the CE Pro channel ranging from dealer integration and distribution sales to manufacturing, Pruet moved from Texas to Mount Vernon Wash., to work for Stealth Acoustics immediately after the CEDIA 2018 show.
According to Stealth Acoustics, Pruet's daily duties will include CEDIA/rep relations, marketing & social media focused to grow the Stealth Acoustics foothold on the market.
“Stealth offers audiophile quality invisible loudspeakers that you don’t have to be embarrassed about! We also provide an outdoor TV solution called Patio Theater that is completely motorized, and very affordable to the homeowner, fully loaded with our patented Invisible loudspeakers! With Stealth’s commitment to the CEDIA channel, our dealers & homeowners will continue to receive Best of Show products,” states Pruet.
ProSource, a national buying group, has announced the 2019 Members of the Year annual honorees that will be celebrated at the ProSource Summit 2019, March 1-4 in Nashville, Tenn.
"The Summit's theme, 'Better Together,' is summed up with this year's class of honorees," says Dave Workman, CEO and President of ProSource. "Each of the members selected are leaders who know how to capture the spirit of teamwork and serve as role models for peer-to-peer engagement within the organization."
This year's honorees are:
- The PRO Member of the Year is ListenUp: Walton Stinson, president
- Northeast: Audio Interiors: Larry Abrams and Neil Greenberg, Partners
- Southeast: First Priority Audio: Bert Herrero, president, and Joel Hernandez, general manager
- Midwest: TRI Phase Technologies: Robert Haecker, president and founder, and Josh Gray, vice president of operations
- South Central: DB Media Solutions; Davis Tyson, president
- West Coast: AVD, Inc.: Ty Meyer, president
Nortek Security & Control (NSC), a global manufacturer of wireless security, home automation, access control, and health and wellness, has announced the appointment of Dustin Jansen to regional sales manager for Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana, plus Las Vegas, NV and El Paso, TX.
“Dustin has worked for years in the CI industry both at the dealer and distributor level, so he possesses an intimate understanding of what our customers need to be successful,” says Jeff Costello, vice president of sales, NSC. “He is well-regarded in the industry for his attention to customer needs, and is already making a positive impact on our dealers’ business in the region.”
Jansen joins Nortek Security & Control from AVAD, where he was promoted from branch manager to regional sales manager, and oversaw the management of eleven locations throughout North America. Before that, Jansen spent seven years as a sales consultant and assistant manager at Showcase Home Entertainment. Jansen also served in the United States Navy as a navigation quartermaster.
The SDVoE Alliance has announced its latest organizational milestones. Launched just two years ago at ISE 2017 with the goal of standardizing the adoption of Ethernet to transport AV signals in professional AV environments, the alliance has grown to 40 member companies shipping 158 products. In addition, more than 300 SDVoE Certified Design Partners have been trained and certified. Member companies are poised to deliver upwards of 150,000 AV endpoints in the coming year. Deployments in education, healthcare, enterprise, entertainment, government and military environments are ongoing and many new products are set to reach production volumes in 2019.
“Heading into ISE 2019, we are thrilled to be having such a profound effect on the industry,” says Justin Kennington, president of the SDVoE Alliance. “Designers, integrators and end users are embracing the more open and standardized approach to signal management offered by SDVoE. We can clearly see that the days of dedicated matrix switchers and proprietary AV over IP are numbered!”
At ISE 2019 (Amsterdam, Feb. 5-8), the SDVoE will exhibit at stand 3-B150.
AtlasIED has appointed Minneapolis, Minn.-based independent manufacturers’ rep firm BP Marketing Group to represent AtlasIED’s lines of commercial audio solutions in the Midwest region. A global electronics manufacturer providing comprehensive audio solutions for commercial business environments, AtlasIED will work closely with BP Marketing to provide dealers with the service, support, and product choices today’s commercial integrators need to stay competitive.
Since 2002, BP Marketing Group has been helping connect manufacturers, dealers, designers, and end-users in a variety of verticals. BP provides state-of-the-art AV and IT systems to the corporate, government, education, healthcare, house of worship, retail, hospitality, and large venue markets. BP’s territories include Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
Atlona has promoted industry veteran Blake Jochum to the role of territory manager for Florida effective immediately, following a period as an inside sales representative. Jochum will represent Atlona’s commercial and residential AV product lines, and support David Pendleton, Southeast regional manager, to cover the many business opportunities that exist state-wide. Jochum will also work closely with Atlona’s state-wide partner network to drive sales and business development. He reports to Scott Ettinger, director of sales, Eastern region.
Jochum came to Atlona last year with nearly 30 years of experience in custom installation for residential systems, specializing in audio, video, automation and motorized window treatment systems. His knowledge of a project’s evolution from specification to post-launch support leaves him uniquely qualified to understand each customer’s pain points, and recommend solutions that align with industry trends and operational requirements.
Jochum has spent the majority of his career in Florida, and has developed a strong network of industry relationships along the way. Following six years as an AV programmer and lighting technician for Pensacola-area nightclubs, Jochum joined All Pro Sound as corporate sales manager, integrated systems. He spent 25 years at All Pro Sound before moving onto a senior systems designer role at Tampa-based Synergy, among the top custom installation firms in the United States. Across both roles, he managed the design and installation of residential AV and automation systems, specializing in both retrofits and newly constructed homes upwards of $1 million or more.
Dirac Research, a global manufacturer of digital sound solutions across all product categories, has announced the
appointment of Armin Prommersberger to serve as the company’s chief technology officer.
Armin joins Dirac from Harman International, a Samsung division, where he has held several senior management positions, most recently as senior vice president of research & development for its professional solutions division.
“Undergoing a period of rapid corporate growth, Dirac is now at a critical junction in its journey. At this important phase, which requires us to scale to an altogether new level, I could not be more pleased to have Armin join as our CTO,” states Mathias Johansson, CEO, Dirac. “Armin has an outstanding track record and in-depth knowledge of the industries we serve or target. I have had the pleasure of working closely with Armin for fifteen years and, with him as our CTO,
we are better poised than ever to further develop the technology breakthroughs that will be
fundamental to the future of audio.”
Bryston has announced that they have appointed The Sound Organisation as its sales partner for the U.S. market effective February 1. The objective of this relationship is to align the Bryston brand with a specialized sales team that can best service independent dealers and custom integrators. This approach will also enable Bryston’s vice president of sales and marketing Gary Dayton to focus on other critical aspects of the Bryston brand such as key account management, professional audio sales, training and marketing. The Sound Organisation will replace Bryston’s network of regional independent sales reps across the U.S. market.
The Sound Organisation (TSO) was founded in 1993 and is based in the Dallas, Texas area. TSO offers a team of dedicated professionals with a passion for AV capable of serving Bryston’s existing dealer base while broadening the reach of the brand. In addition to managing the sales channel, TSO will also provide expert training and support for high-performance audio dealers, home theater specialists and custom integrators.
2019 State of the Industry Special Report - CE Pro Download
The custom electronics industry saw a healthy 8 percent growth rate in 2018, down slightly from the blazing 11 percent growth in 2017 but still admiringly strong. Our 2019 State of the Industry indicates that readers expect to see even more growth in 2019. Get your copy today.
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