Sufficed to say, Terence Murray is constantly in demand. Both on the integrator side and the manufacturer side of the industry, Murray has been tasked with creating new divisions, entering new markets, and honing efficiencies, and along the way he has been guided by a list of mentors that reads like a who’s who of the industry.
Partnerships, Lifelong Lessons, and Loss
Murray first got into the industry in 1989 working his way through college in a high-end retail establishment for industry guru and 2014 CE Pro Master inductee Keith Yates. Murray, along with his close friend Lance Atkison, started a custom installation division for Keith Yates Audio based in Sacramento.
“I did selling/installing/ operations/whatever the business needed. I learned a great deal about marketing and desktop publishing from Keith. I also learned many valuable business lessons during my time and KYA. In 1991, both Murray and Atkison joined Chris Stevens’ company Phoenix Systems, where the duo opened the company’s first satellite office in Sacramento. After the company was acquired by Harman International, Murray’s new role was GM and Atkison became director of sales.
“With the company growth we needed better software to create and manage our proposals so we bought and implemented a system called AV Wizard Proposal Software,” he recalls. Those early years fostered lots of lessons in terms of creating a custom installation company, learning the manufacturing side of the business, and being part of a multi-national, publicly traded company (Harman).
“Life was great, and then one morning in 1994 I got a call that Lance had tragically and unexpectedly passed away from a brain hemorrhage. I now found myself having to balance the challenges of my personal loss with the responsibility of maintaining the business continuity for our clients and team without my business partner and closest friend,” he laments.
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By 1996, Murray had moved to the startup Escient Solutions and Tom Doherty, Inc. as GM and VP to help develop the first hard-drive music server/CD changer. While there, Murray implemented the AV Wizard Proposal Software from Merlin Software, which was run by another future mentor, Mark Hoffenberg.
Murray joined Hoffenberg in Irvine, Calif., at Audiovisions before and after its acquistion by Best Buy and subsequent reacquistion by the four Audiovisions partners (Hoffenberg, Bob Walpert, Ted Taylor and Murray). In 2017, Murray founded his own consulting firm archiTECHture, where is now working with his client Sonance as its Digital Transformation leader.
This article originally appeared in the December 2022 issue of CE Pro Magazine.
This article is part of the CE Pro Masters series, honoring the best of the best within the custom integration channel. Click here to see other industry pros that have been featured.