Joaquin Rivera Leaves Stewart Filmscreen to Start SoCal Rep Firm
After 15 years at Stewart, the ponytailed Joaquin Rivera leaves the company to represent Stewart, Runco/Planar and Pro Audio, filling gap left by MK Marketing.
If you’re anyone in the A/V business, you probably know Joaquin Rivera, one of the most popular guys at any trade show or other industry event.
That Guy with the Braided Ponytail is leaving Stewart Filmscreen after 15 years of leading sales and marketing for the preeminent maker of video projection screens.
Rivera is launching a SoCal rep firm called ByDesign Vision & Sound Marketing, starting with three premium A/V brands: Stewart (of course), Runco/Planar and Paul Hales’ high-end audio company Pro Audio Technology (formerly PHC).
He is taking over those lines from Mike Kavanaugh, who just closed his popular rep firm MK Marketing to sell Savant Systems full time. Rivera will represent these lines in MK’s service areas of Southern California, Arizona, Hawaii and parts of Nevada.
“How blessed am I?” he tells CE Pro. “I get to start a new business with a heck of a credible lineup.”
Rivera, who has always recommended that his own reps carry a limited number of brands, says he is starting with three brands only and expects to expand to no more than six lines.
Wondering aloud how so many rep firms can rep so many lines, Rivera says his goal is to “be a great support for both manufacturers and dealers. We will learn the line not 50 percent but 100 percent.”
Working with Stewart’s former in-house SoCal rep Benito Joaquin, Rivera plans to map out a business plan for individual dealers in the area, helping each of them meet their sales goals.
“I don’t want a dealer to complain, ‘He doesn’t come in enough,’” Rivera says. “They might complain, “He comes in too much!’”
As for leaving Stewart, Joaquin says the decision was tormenting, having spent so many years building relationships with dealers, reps and other industry folks in the U.S. and around the world.
He says he’ll work to maintain those personal relationships but looks forward to getting even closer to the Southwestern dealers he’s been doing business with for years ... and of course the dealers he hasn’t yet touched.
Lest anyone fear Rivera’s departure signals Stewart’s decline, nothing could be further from the truth.
“I want to be a rep because I believe in Stewart,” he says, shrugging off the notion that he’s the most important guy at Stewart, just one of the most visible.
“Stewart has a great team from the executive leadership to the sales and marketing group to technical support, engineering and everything in between,” he says. “The company has always had the best products but it also has a complete line of products for every application. That’s critical. One of the things that’s key is to be able to supply product for every application.”
Rivera’s last day at Stewart is Friday, April 25, but he will still be involved for quite some time during the transition.
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Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Email Julie at firstname.lastname@example.org
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