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Mike Kavanaugh: Don’t Read Anything Into Calif. Rep Shutdowns

SoCal rep firm MK Marketing is closing so the team can sell Savant Systems full-time. Principal Mike Kavanaugh says it’s just a coincidence that Novidor & Firestone regrouped as well.


Mike Kavanaugh is closing MK Marketing to sell Savant home automation full-time.
Julie Jacobson · April 1, 2014

The popular West Coast rep firm MK Marketing is shutting its doors after 22 years of serving Southern California, Arizona, Hawaii and parts of Nevada.

Principal Mike Kavanaugh and the entire MK team are heading full-time to Savant Systems, which MK launched in the West when the home automation company debuted about seven years ago.

Kavanaugh will serve as Savant sales director for the West coast, bringing his cohorts along, including Danny Thompson, Josh Blanken, Brian McCullough and Kim Buck. The team will serve Washington, Oregon, Nevada, California and Hawaii.

Several dealers at the recent Azione conference expressed, “MK made Savant” in SoCal.

Kavanaugh is more modest, saying Savant made itself with great products: “We have a good relationship. I like the people. I like the direction they’re going.”

Taking on a brand new home automation system was a “pioneering effort,” Kavanaugh says, but the risk has paid off.

The shutdown of MK Marketing comes just two weeks after the regrouping of Novidor & Firestone, another prominent West coast rep headed by industry veteran Glendon O’Brien (who also closed his distribution company Electronic Stockroom). O’Brien will continue as a rep in the area under a new company name.

Kavanaugh says the timing of the two shutdowns is just coincidental and that no conclusions should be drawn about the state of the rep industry.

“I know there are people paralleling this as a crisis because they happened within a couple of weeks,” Kavanaugh says, “but they went out for a different reason.”

O’Brien had said he never fully recovered from the 2008 economic downturn.

As for MK Marketing, Kavanaugh says the company had a record year in 2013 and was on track to do the same in 2014.

Meanwhile, other are reps are scrambling to pick up some of MK’s plum lines including AudioControl, Integra, MechoSystems, Middle Atlantic, Niles, Pakedge, Sonos, SpeakerCraft, Stewart Filmscreen, Wisdom Audio and Wilson Electronics.



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  About the Author

Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson Email Julie at julie.jacobson@emeraldexpo.com

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