People & Places: TechBites Return; TiVo Plans Split Into Two Companies; ESPA’s Gardner Retires
The latest in hirings and other notable movement within the custom electronics industry. Check back daily for updated news.
CE Pro People & Places is a daily feature on CEPro.com. If you are looking for a job or to fill a vacant position in the custom electronics industry, please visit the CE Pro Job Board at Integratorjobs.com. Check out the previous version of this page here.
TechBites, the exhibitor event which debuts innovations within the residential technology industry at CEDIA Expo is now open for submissions. TechBites will move to an action-packed, one-day format when CEDIA Expo returns to the Colorado Convention Center, September 12-14, 2019, and gives exhibitors the opportunity to debut products and share their message from the CEDIA Expo SmartStage.
TechBites will be Thursday, September 12 from 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM. Ten brands will be given three minutes to present, and an additional two minutes to field questions from attending media, influencers, industry pros and the event host.
“Building off of the success of the first-ever TechBites in 2018, we are once again excited to offer the opportunity for exhibitors to debut their products in a fun format which also guarantees extra exposure for their brand,” says Brian Pagel, senior vice president, Emerald Expositions.
Exhibiting brands can apply now through June 14, 2019 by completing the TechBites application. Selected brands will be announced in July 2019.
Current Marketing has been named Montreal, Canada-based Totem Acoustic's manufacturer's representative for Arizona, southern Nevada, and El Paso, Texas territories.
"Totem Acoustic has a great reputation both throughout the industry as well as weith its customers, and we are excited to represent them," says Paul Epstein, president, Current Marketing. "We look forward to presenting all of their speaker and accessory solutions to our dealers."
TiVo shares are seeing volatile postmarket action after its in-line earnings report came alongside news that it's confirming a split into two independent companies. The board unanimously approved a plan to separate into product and IP licensing businesses.
It will pursue a tax-free spin-out of the product business to shareholders; it consists of the Platform Solutions and Software and Services businesses. The product segment generated $401M in revenue for 2018, with a large component of recurring revenue.
The separation still calls for final board approval, tax opinions and an effective SEC registration. Details on the relationship between the two and corporate brand identities will come later.
TiVo expects to complete the deal in the first half of 2020.
Long-time industry veteran and educator Jeff Gardner has retired from his position at ESPA. Gardner will still be highly visible in the custom electronics industry through is time as an instructor and participant in industry events that include the CE Pro All-Star Band.
Gardner will focus the majority of his time building is recording studio/design build business, and pro sound front of house (FOH) live mix activities.
Atlona has expanded its partner network in the residential AV market with the designation of Denver-based CET & Associates as its manufacturer’s representative for the Rocky Mountains sales territory.
Effective immediately, CET & Associates will represent Atlona’s best-in-class products and solutions for residential and light commercial projects, including its OmniStream R-Type AV over IP platform, and Opus Series of matrix switchers and receivers.
“Our goal at CET & Associates is to engage key influencers—such as custom installers,design engineers, architects, interior designers, and even homeowners—early in the design process to show how certain products meet or exceed the unique specifications and requirements of their projects,” says Doug Cuneo, principal, CET & Associates.
Audio Gear Group, manufacturer and distributor of a portfolio of custom integration brands like OSD Audio, OSD BLACK, M&K, and Carver, has announced that it has appointed New Era Marketing as its sales representative for the Southwest region. This new appointment takes effect immediately.
Based near Dallas in Addison, Texas, New Era has satellite offices in Houston and Austin. Audio Gear Group says the company offers dealers full access to a professionally designed product demonstration facility in its office outside of Houston where dealers can arrange to meet clients so they can experience a full demonstration of all of the latest technologies, such as lighting control, multi-zone AV, home automation solutions, and a theater installation.
ProSource, a national audio, video, and integration buying group, has announced the addition of two new seats to its board of directors. Lance Anderson, CEO and founder of Admit One Home Systems, and Aaron Cowden, owner of Fusion Audio + Video, have been chosen to fill the new seats.
"The members and vendors of ProSource are held in my highest regard; their advice and guidance has helped shape my own company," says Anderson. "I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to this group and believe that my experience can help pave the way for the next generation. I believe it when we say we are 'Better Together.'"
MSE Audio, parent company of SoundTube Entertainment, Soundsphere, dARTS, Phase Technology, Induction Dynamics, SolidDrive and Rockustics, has announced the appointment of Michael Sipe to vice president of United States sales and Aja Watson to customer relations manager. Both Sipe and Watson provide years of sales experience to MSE Audio through their new positions.
“We are pleased to announce Michael and Aja’s promotions and applaud them for their success,” says Laura Waldon, president for MSE Audio. “Michael has demonstrated an ability to navigate and succeed in the rapidly changing audio market through his knowledge of the industry, relationships with reps and dealers, and focus on the changing landscape. In addition, Aja has represented strong leadership and organization skills that have helped to shape the Customer Service Department, which continues to provide our customers with reliable, fast and professional service. We look forward to our growth and success through the promotions of Michael and Aja.”
Joseph A. DeLuca, SWAC Chief Compliance Officer has been appointed voting member for The Surface Transportation Security Advisory Committee for The Transportation Security Administration.
TSA Administrator David Pekoske appointed DeLuca to the Groups Representing the Users of Surface Transportation.
“I look forward to collaborating closely with the newly appointed members of the Surface Transportation Security Advisory Committee,” said Pekoske. “The knowledge and expertise these leaders bring to the table will play a vital role in TSA’s continued efforts to safeguard the nation’s surface transportation systems,” says Pekoske.
According to a press release, DeLuca is a recognized leader and expert in the oversight of procurement and construction projects, to prevent fraud, abuse, and the infiltration on all levels. His intimate understanding of the importance in protecting critical infrastructure sites from intrusion by criminals, terrorists, and criminal organizations, and the need for safeguarding documents and classified information is a valuable skill set for SWAC.
Atlona has bolstered its residential AV partner network by partnering with N & S Marketing. Based in Bellevue, Wash., the 41-year-old rep firm will represent Atlona and its products throughout the Pacific Northwest, covering Alaska, Oregon, Washington and western Idaho.
“Atlona’s reputation as a market leader in video switching and an early innovator in AV over IP stands apart, and their solutions were the perfect fit to strengthen our networking and infrastructure portfolio,” says Grover Reed, vice president of sales and marketing, N & S Marketing. “In addition to serving residential systems of any size, we believe the flexibility and technical superiority of their solutions will add value to light commercial projects that require huddle rooms, smaller conference spaces, and whole-building AV distribution for restaurants and other small businesses. This is especially important to our growth, as we see residential dealers shifting as much as 40 percent of their business to light commercial projects.”
Nortek Security & Control LLC (NSC), a global developer of wireless security, home automation, access control and health and wellness technologies, announced the appointment of Eldon Henry as Latin America sales manager CI & security, reporting to Horacio Morales, director of international sales. The appointment strengthens the company’s ability to bring advanced technology solutions to customers throughout the region. According to NSC Sales Vice President, Jeff Costello, Henry’s 15 years of industry experience and knowledge make him the perfect candidate for the newly created position.
“We are excited for Eldon to join the International team after four successful years as a regional sales manager in California, and 15 years serving in the custom integration industry,” says Costello. “Eldon’s dedication to superior customer service and proven ability to help dealers sell the latest home and business technologies will greatly benefit our customers in Latin America.”
Nortek Security & Control LLC (NSC), a manufacturer if wireless security, home automation, access control and health and wellness technologies, has announced the promotion of Chris Lynch to manager of builder services. Lynch now joins director of builder services, Bret Jacob, expanding the Nortek New Home Program to create opportunities for builders, architects, designers and integrators.
“As a regional sales manager, Chris grew his business substantially by leveraging the first phase of our New Home Program,” says Jacob. “He not only ‘road-tested’ the materials, training and packages that are an integral part of the New Home Program, but helped us refine them. So when we looked to expand the team, Chris was the logical choice.”
Before his promotion Lynch served as the regional sales manager, in which he was responsible for managing more than 150 direct custom installation dealers and distributors in the Southern California and Utah regions. Earlier in his career, Lynch worked as a territory account manager at Almo Professional A/V, a district manager at AVAD, and an account manager at Kaleidescape.
ProSource, a national video, and integration buying group, has announced the addition of 10 new custom integrator (CI) members, one new Power level member and one new PRO member in the first quarter of 2019. New members in Q1 represent $45 million in new revenue for the group. Plus, four ProSource CI members have been elevated to the Power membership level in Q1.
"Our growth strategy targets best-in-class operations that contribute to the overall strength of the organization," says Dave Workman, CEO and President of ProSource. "ProSource's tiered structure offers our members the opportunity to grow from within."
The new CI members are:
• Architechnology Designs, Melville, N.Y.
• CTRL+ALL, Berwyn, Ill.
• ECS AV, Redondo Beach, Calif.
• Electronic Interiors, Dallas, Texas
• MediaTech Living, St. Charles, Ill.
• PAVE, Nashville, Tenn.
• ProStream Digital, Flower Mound, Texas
• Saber Security Systems, Round Rock, Texas
• SoundFX, West Warwick, R.I.
• Soundscapes, Nashville, Tenn.
The new Power member approved by the ProSource board of directors is:
• Elevated Electronics, Overland Park, Kan.
With the approval of the ProSource board of directors, the following CI members were elevated to the Power membership level:
• Global Sight & Sound, Brown Deer, Wisc.
• Innovation Sight & Sound, Tampa, Fla.
• Lightworks, San Diego, Calif.
• Multimedia Solutions Group, Inc., Farmers Branch, Texas
The new PRO member approved by the ProSource board of directors is:
• Audio Advisor, Inc., Grand Rapids, Mich.
CEDIA has announced that it has become a partner of the Design Leadership Network (DLN). The DLN seeks to promote growth and professional practices in the high-end residential and related hospitality design markets by creating educational experiences for its members. CEDIA has joined the organization with the goal to connect members with the DLN’s broad membership base of interior designers, architects, landscape architects and design brands for future technology and design collaboration.
“Working with the Design Leadership Network aligns with our strategy to build awareness among the design and build industry of the resource CEDIA members can be to their projects. We look forward to leveraging a number of opportunities that will open up further business opportunities for our members,” says Giles Sutton, senior vice president of industry engagement, CEDIA. “We are excited about our partnership with this far-reaching organization.”
Best Buy Co., Inc., has announced that its board of directors has elected Corie Barry, currently the company’s chief financial and strategic transformation officer, to become chief executive officer, effective following the company’s annual meeting of shareholders on June 11, 2019. At that time, Hubert Joly, Best Buy’s current chairman and chief executive officer, will transition to the newly created role of executive chairman of the board. These changes reflect the board’s ongoing succession planning process and are designed to provide leadership continuity as the company continues to execute its strategic growth initiatives. Barry will also join the board of directors, which will expand to 13 directors.
HARMAN International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. focused on connected technologies for automotive, consumer and enterprise markets, has announced David Tovissi joined HARMAN as vice president and general manager of the luxury audio division.
Tovissi brings over 35 years of Consumer Electronics experience to HARMAN through his various executive roles in manufacturing, retail, custom installation and post-sales service organizations. Most recently Tovissi was the executive vice president of ToughBuilt Industries Inc, a manufacturer of products for the construction industry.
“We are thrilled to have David Tovissi lead our Luxury Audio team,” says Dave Rogers, president of consumer audio at HARMAN. “David’s understanding of the industry and his experience as a luxury audio dealer will allow him to develop more innovative products and programs for our luxury audio division.”
WiSA has added 18 new members and grown nearly 40 percent since CES 2019. In addition, the trade organization says that it has also grown by 83 percent since this time in 2018. According to the trade group, the growth largely due to the launch of its new WiSA Ready Platform, which simplifies the consumer set up process to deliver up to eight channels of high-definition wireless audio.
Recently, WiSA also announced the addition of four new members: THX Ltd., Savant, IAG and Fengmi. These companies join existing members that include LG Electronics, Xbox, Klipsch, Harman International and TCL Technology, among others.
“It’s thrilling to see WiSA and its members move the needle while at the forefront of a global movement in support of wireless multichannel audio,” says Tony Ostrom, president of WiSA. “Our rapidly growing ecosystem is now packed with companies that represent the best in audio, electronics and manufacturing, which will enable our customers to bring millions of WiSA Ready* platforms to market in 2019.”
ADI Global Distribution (ADI), has announced the winner of its 2018 Customer Appreciation Car Giveaway Sweepstakes. Roddy Bieber, vice president special hazards, alarm, and detections, (SHAD) at American Fire Protection Group, Inc., was selected from more than 5,000 entries to win the sweepstakes and a new Jaguar F-PACE.
For 16 years, ADI has been showing appreciation to its customers by presenting one lucky dealer each year with a new car. Entries for the Customer Appreciation Car Giveaway Sweepstakes are collected at all U.S. ADI Expos, and major industry trade shows throughout the year, and the winner is randomly selected.
“ADI’s main focus is to help our customers grow their businesses,” says John Sullivan, senior vice president of strategic accounts, ADI Global Distribution. “Our customers are extremely important to us, and this sweepstakes is just one of the things we do to express our gratitude for their support. For 2019, we’ll be giving away a Porsche Macan, so I encourage you to come out to ISC West or one of your local expos to get your name in the drawing.”
HiberSense, designers and manufacturers of smart climate solutions, has appointed Chris Lawson as channel sales manager for the U.S. market. Lawson will be charged with presenting the HiberSense solution to residential and commercial technology integrators as well as HVAC contractors while providing critical training and sales support throughout these channels. Lawson will also showcase the HiberSense solution to prospective customers at select tradeshows throughout the U.S.
“HiberSense represents a significant opportunity to bring balanced comfort to over 70-million homes and commercial spaces that are currently served by single thermostat systems,” says Lawson. “Just about everyone has experienced the discomfort of hot or cold rooms. HiberSense is a unique solution and so effective at solving a widespread problem while maximizing energy efficiency—I am very much looking forward to this opportunity.”
Home Technology Specialists of America (HTSA), a consortium of hybrid retail and custom integration members, has announced the appointment of Keith Esterly as chief learning architect. The group says this is a newly created position with the group, and Esterly joins HTSA’s management team to head a new initiative developing custom education and team development programs for member company employees.
Esterly comes to HTSA with 20 years of experience in the fields of training, education, program creation and workforce development.
“HTSA continues to invest heavily in its membership by building our stable of in-house experts who work full time to design, launch, and manage major new programs. This new team development initiative will likely be as important and beneficial to HTSA members as our incredibly successful lighting fixtures and services initiative launched back in 2017,” says Jon Robbins, executive director of Home Technology Specialists of America.
CEDIA has named the first two recipients of its CEDIA Member of Excellence designation. U.K.-based integrators ConnectedWorks and Homeplay have proven their commitment to craftsmanship, customer service, certification, and community outreach in achieving the status.
"ConnectedWorks and Homeplay are highly respected among custom integrators," says Giles Sutton, senior vice president of industry engagement, CEDIA. "Their recognition as the first-ever CEDIA Member of Excellence recipients raises the bar for the rest of the industry and gives ConnectedWorks and Homeplay an honor that demonstrates to customers and peers that they are, indeed, elite CEDIA member companies."
The CEDIA Member of Excellence selection process includes rigorous verification of member companies’ qualifications in areas that include:
- The company ensures continued customer service by providing three client or customer references from three projects within the last 12 months and two references from CEDIA Trade Supplier Members.
- The company must demonstrate philanthropy by having either one CEDIA volunteer or at least one CEDIA Outreach Instructor (COI) on staff.
- A percentage (based on size) of each company’s full-time technical staff must hold at least one CEDIA advanced certification -- ESC-T, ESC-D, or ESC-N Certification (does not include ESC).
- The company has demonstrated exceptional quality by being a finalist/shortlisted or a CEDIA Award winner within the last three years. CEDIA is currently accepting awards applications.
Control4 Corporation, a global provider of smart home solutions, has announces 67 Control4 dealers who have achieved lifetime Pinnacle status for their respective businesses.
With more than 385,000 homes worldwide, the number of Control4 Systems is growing. The new Pinnacle dealers join over 300 others of this status worldwide who are distinguished from their long-term success having purchased one million dollars in their local currency of Control4, Triad, and/or Pakedge equipment over the course of their business. They collectively have expansive, proven expertise in programming everything from starter, one-room smart home systems to whole-home, hotel, and other commercial space automation projects.
“Control4’s latest Pinnacle status dealers continue to do great design and programming work with Control4, and in doing so they’re contributing to the overall growth of the smart home by creating amazing experiences for clients in homes of all sizes,” says Bryce Judd, senior vice president of worldwide sales for Control4. “This achievement is only reached through dedication and experience, and Control4 is incredibly proud to be a partner with this expanding group of elite dealers.”
The list of dealers feature businesses from Canada, China and the United States, and states ranging from Massachusetts to California.
Dynamic Mounting, has appointed several new representative firms to market and sell its patented mounting solutions in their respective territories:
- New York Marketing Team will handle the Metro N.Y. and Northern N.J. territories. Call 516-280-8100 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Aurora Group, Inc., will handle the mid-Atlantic territory. Call 703-244-7749 or email at email@example.com.
- Precision Sales Group, Inc., will take care of the Southeastern U.S. Call 980-781-5078 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- L. P. Hench Company will handle handle Florida. Call 561-615-4550 or email email@example.com
- Elite 3 Pro will manage the TOLA territory. Call 281- 973-9991 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- I rep green will take care of Southern California. Call 818-398-6905 or email Randy@irepgreen.com
- Redwood Marketing will handle Northern California and Hawaii. Call 916-912-4115 or email at email@example.com
MSE Audio, the parent company of Phase Technology, Induction Dynamics, dARTS, SoundTube Entertainment, SolidDrive, Rockustics and Soundsphere, has announced the territory expansion for Cardone, Solomon and Associates in the Mid-Atlantic region, which includes Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, District of Columbia, and Virginia.
Cardone, Solomon and Associates has represented MSE Audio for nearly four years throughout New York, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Islands and Connecticut. Through the latest expansion of territory, Cardone, Solomon and Associates will build on their existing relationship with MSE Audio. Headquartered in New York, Cardone, Solomon and Associates has been providing award-winning service for dealers throughout the New York, New Jersey, New England and Mid-Atlantic states since its inception in 1997.
“We’re pleased to expand our territory of coverage for MSE Audio” says Mike Solomon, founding partner at Cardone, Solomon and Associates. “MSE Audio’s wide range of product lines offer pristine quality for a broad range of applications. We’re certain our customers are going to have great success working with their lines. We look forward to strengthening our relationship with MSE Audio.”
Audio Gear Group, manufacturer and distributor of a portfolio of custom integration brands, has announced the appointment of Bryan Strachota to the position of national brand manager, effective immediately. This appointment is in response to the dramatic growth of the company, which markets high-performance architectural and landscape speakers, subwoofers, amplifiers, and accessories for the custom integration industry.
Strachota will work closely with Audio Gear Group’s sales manager Ed Han and will be in charge of hiring, managing, and motivating a national sales force of independent sales representative firms, as well as custom integration-focused distributors. He will also build and oversee Audio Gear Group’s national network of premier local custom integration system specialists.
In addition to these sales responsibilities Strachota will be in charge of Audio Gear Group’s portfolio of brands including OSD Audio, OSD BLACK Series, Miller & Kreisel (M&K), and Carver. His responsibilities will include creating profitable dealer programs, overseeing sales operations and administration, creating and managing dealer product training, and administration of customer support functions.
Project OAR for Open Addressable Ready, the consortium is working to define technical standards for TV programmers and platforms to deliver more relevant advertising experiences within linear and on-demand formats on smart TVs.
Project OAR allows ad-inventory owners, whether programmers or distributors, the technical means to better monetize every TV impression through segment-based audience targets and addressable insertion.
"TV programmers reach a massive and passionate audience, but have lacked the precision targeting of digital," says Mike Dean, senior vice president, advanced advertising and automation at CBS. "Through OAR, CBS will combine relevance with our reach to deliver a better experience to our viewers and better ROI for our advertisers."
With OAR, media companies can deliver ads that are relevant to the household and, more importantly, improve the linear viewing experience for consumers. "We all recognize the most important goal of this initiative is to drastically enhance the TV experience for people at home," adds VIZIO founder and chief executive officer William Wang.
Backstage Auctions, Inc., presents the upcoming “All Access David Frangioni” auction event which will feature a host of historic rock and audio memorabilia including drums and drum kits, audio equipment, and more, from award-winning audio engineer, author, collector, and owner of the integration firm Audio One David Frangioni. The auction will go live on March 16 with a special VIP preview of the entire online catalog beginning on March 9.
Complete, historic drum kits will be up for auction, including those from legendary drummers such as Carl Palmer, Carmine Appice, Eric Singer, Terry Bozzio, Gregg Bissonette, and Mike Portnoy. There is an overwhelming assortment of Carl Palmer, Asia and ELP road cases, gear and equipment, as well vintage road cases that belonged to Cozy Powell from his Black Sabbath years. Dozens of collectible snare drums and an exciting offering of vintage recording studio equipment will be up for auction. The exclamation point to this auction will come in the form of a broad selection of A-level memorabilia related to KISS, ELP, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, RUSH, AC/DC, Michael Jackson, Aerosmith, Black Sabbath & Ozzy Osbourne, U2, Van Halen, Metallica, Motley Crue, and many others.
Frangioni is a music industry veteran who amassed this collection through years of professional drumming and audio expertise. After beginning his career working with Aerosmith for 13 years, Frangioni received many gold and platinum albums as technical consultant, engineer, and/or programmer, who later worked with industry icons including the Stones, Ringo Starr, Elton John, Sting, Bryan Adams, Journey, Styx, Phil Collins, Shakira, Rascal Flatts, Ozzy Osbourne, and Chick Corea. The majority of his unmatched collection of historic drum kits, equipment, and memorabilia, which have been either acquired at auction or through his music industry relationships, was on display in his book “Crash: The World’s Greatest Drum Kits from Appice to Peart to Van Halen.”
“David’s collection is a fascinating mixture of historic drum kits, snare drums, recording studio used equipment, legendary road cases, and an impressive offering of traditional music memorabilia," states Jacques van Gool, owner, Backstage Auctions. "Whether you’re a drum enthusiast, gear head, or straight-up collector, this auction will offer something for everyone. David Frangioni is a top authority on everything drums, and his private collection is second-to-none. “Combine that with his credentials in the recording and music technology arena and you know that you’re hosting a most intriguing auction.”
AVPro Global Holdings, home to AVPro Edge, Murideo, Bullet Train, and CANVAScsi, has announced the hiring of Steve Baker as a regional sales manager for the West Coast of the United States.
Since starting with Pacific Stereo in 1979, Baker has been an asset to each company he has worked for. His experience working in the CEDIA space Steve has impacted many companies throughout his career including AVAD, Liberty Bell Smart Home, and Custom Plus Distributing. At AVPro Baker will be responsible for maintaining and facilitating relationships with customers and assuring their success with the full line up of AVPro solutions.
“We are extremely pleased to have filled out our West Coast regional sales management team with Steve Baker. Steve comes from a long and solid background in AV and is all about helping customers succeed. His knowledge of connectivity will make him an asset for dealers and our company," states Jeff Murray of AVPro.
Atlona has named AMI Sales as its manufacturer’s representative for residential AV in Florida, effective immediately. The appointment will strengthen Atlona’s visibility and brand awareness throughout the state, given AMI Sales’ nearly five decades of experience serving the Florida market.
Founded in 1972, AMI Sales specializes in representing premier consumer electronics brands, and adds value through an array of professional consulting, design and engineering services. The company works closely with dealers and installers to create custom solutions and solve problems for residential and light commercial projects.
“We pride ourselves in providing richer consultative services instead of handing out pricing sheets,” says Bill Lipp, president, AMI Sales. “We are directly involved in the planning process, and meet often with contractors, architects and end users. These qualities are especially important in the very expansive Florida market. The fact that we only represent premier brands is another important differentiator, ensuring our dealers and integrators remain profitable. Atlona’s product reliability and reputation for staying ahead of the technology curve make profitability a reality.”
Access Networks, the enterprise-grade networking solutions provider that serves the custom installation industry, has added Bobby Giebenrath to its sales team. Selected to support dealers in equipping customers with the enterprise-grade networking gear, Giebenrath will bring his technical expertise to his role as the company's Southeast sales manager.
Giebenrath is an experienced technical and regional sales manager coming to Access Networks from Commandscape, where he was a sales engineer, wired technology group, where he was an account manager, and Savant Systems, where he was a regional sales manager and sales engineer.
Sonnen has announced the appointment of a new U.S Board of Directors. The board will be responsible for leading the rapid scaling and expansion of the company’s residential energy storage business throughout North America, Latin America and the Caribbean. Board members include Blake Richetta as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Carlos Restrepo as Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Brent Stayer as Chief Operations Officer (COO), and James Claflin as Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
“Our business in the U.S. has grown quickly over the last few years with a focus on new market innovations and sales expansion. We plan to continue this rapid growth in the years to come and for this, we will need the right strategies and leadership in place. We are delighted to establish a deeply experienced Board of Directors to achieve this acceleration and continued expansion of our business in the Americas,” says Christoph Ostermann, Global CEO of the Sonnen Group.
As chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of sonnen, Inc., Blake Richetta brings deep experience in energy management to his leadership of the organization. Prior to sonnen, Blake served as North American Powerwall Sales Manager at Tesla and spent 15 years at Lutron building the smart home lighting and shading business in the home automation and home building industries.
Carlos Restrepo, CTO, leads R&D and Engineering for Sonnen, Inc. and is responsible for ongoing product innovations and development for the Americas, including energy storage systems, energy automation technology and the sonnenCommunity. With over 18 years of experience innovating market-changing technologies in home automation, circuit protection and solar power electronics, Restrepo has led technology-centric organizations and holds several major patents, for groundbreaking innovations, including multiple patents for Arc Fault technology.
Brent Stayer, COO, is responsible for production, manufacturing, quality and distribution for Sonnen, Inc. Stayer has more than 30 years of experience in global electronics and home automation at Lutron Electronics.
James Claflin, CFO, brings 25 years of experience as a small business entrepreneur and financial manager with a track record of enhancing operational efficiency and profits.
Sonnen, Inc. U.S. headquarters is in Tucker, Georgia.
KNIPEX Tools announced that Beverly Richards was promoted from marketing manager to vice president of marketing, while Steve Deering was promoted from warehouse manager to vice president of operations.
“KNIPEX is undergoing a period of immense growth, and that success can largely be credited to the tremendous work we’ve seen from Bev and Steve,” says Todd Shumate, president, KNIPEX Tools. “We look forward to seeing them incorporate their talents and effort in these critical new roles as we continue to meet and exceed company goals.”
Comprehensive Connectivity Company, a manufacturer od pro AV/IT equipment for 45 years, has recently signed a distribution agreement with Accu-Tech.
Headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia, Accu-Tech is a low voltage distributor with over 30 branch locations around the country. Their business focus is on providing a complete solution to their customers in voice, data, security, AV and wireless, among other categories.
“Over the decades, Comprehensive has built a reputation for manufacturing the most reliable connectivity products available to professional AV and IT integrators and resellers. Simultaneously, Accu-Tech has earned a stellar reputation of their own as one of the premier solutions-based distributors in the channel. With their recent foray into the AV market, we believe Comprehensive’s cutting-edge connectivity products are a perfect fit for their commercial customers and integrators. We expect Accu-Tech will be very successful with the Comprehensive brand and we are excited to be working with such a great organization,” says Scott Schaefer, president of Comprehensive.
JL Audio, a Fla.-based audio company has announced the promotion of three employees:
- Robert Oxenhorn—promoted to senior VP finance
- Karen Torres—promoted to director of accounting
- Maria Alfonso—promoted to director of credit and collections
Origin Acoustics has been selected to outfit The New American Remodel show home at 2019 International Builders Show by architect/ builder Michael Gardner of studio g Architecture, and Luxus Design Build.
The home includes 5,900-square-feet of living space and adheres to the criteria as set forth from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The remodel home was built in 1950 and is located just outside of Downtown Las Vegas on Pinto Lane near Rancho Blvd. The home area is densely populated with large home sites and custom homes. Many are more than half-a-century old and have been owned by celebrities and dignitaries.
The NAHB design criteria for The New American Remodel takes into consideration what today’s luxury homebuyer wants, including:
- Multi-generational living solution
- Important amenities for today’s upscale homebuyer such as function and storage
- Ideal for entertaining
- Low maintenance materials
For the home entertainment, outdoor living and multi-generational living solutions design, Michael Gardner and studio g Architecture selected Origin Acoustics Las Vegas dealer, The Automation Studio, for the project.
The home's acoustics include a combination of Origin Acoustics D65 and D85 Directors Collection performance in-ceiling loudspeakers installed throughout the home – 65 in total.
AVPro Global Holdings, home to AVPro Edge, Murideo, Bullet Train, and CANVAScsi, has announced the hiring of Kevin Billingsley as vice president of sales. Formerly of Kaleidescape, Atlona, Clare Controls and Middle Atlantic Products, Billingsley has a proven track record of introducing successful channel strategies and driving effective sales programs throughout his career. At AVPro, he will be responsible for the management and success of the global sales organization as well as oversight and management of AVPro’s network of manufacturer’s representatives and distributors across North America.
“We are pleased to have filled our VP of Sales position with a seasoned leader with years of experience in both residential and commercial AV. Kevin will be managing all aspects of our sales channels including in-house reps, manufacturer’s reps and distributors," says Jeff Murray, CEO of AVPro Global.
"AVPro Global has grown rapidly over the past few years, primarily with our AVPro Edge and Murideo lines. This has led to the need for executive leadership that can focus solely on customer facing activities to further provide our customers with the best products and support in the industry. Kevin’s background includes working on both sides of our industry – getting his start as a Custom Integrator and subsequently leading other well-known manufacturers of connectivity equipment to high levels of success.”
Pro Audio Technology (PRO), a manufacturer of high-output loudspeakers and DSP-programmable amplifier systems, has added a new sales engineer to serve PRO dealers, reps, and international distributors with support and expertise to optimize systems.
Chris Farley will fill the newly created sales engineer role. Having served as PRO’s lead software engineer for the last nine years, Farley will apply his expertise directly to PRO client projects, including all customer-facing pre- and post-sales technical support and customer service.
“Maximizing the acoustic capabilities of a PRO system is complex, and specification, support, and installation require a high-level of technical competence. Chris brings that technical knowledge to the sales team where he’ll make it easier for our customers to sell and install PRO products by providing system design, technical support, and on-site calibration services,” says Paul Hales, founder, president, and product designer, Pro Audio Technology.
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.”
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