People & Places

Lucas Sales Catalyst AV member

April 15, 2021 · Catalyst AV Member Lucas Sales Group Celebrates 65 Years

Lucas Sales Group, whose rep-distribution company LM Electronics is a Catalyst AV member, is celebrating its 65th anniversary.

The company was founded in March 1956 by Charles Lucas, a former radioman aboard the USS Argonne when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harber. After the war he worked as an audio engineer for WFAA radio in Dallas and moonlighted installing Hi-Fidelity systems in high-end residences. This led to him opening his own business representing Mcintosh Labratory, Bozak Loudspeakers and Viking tape recorders in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas.

“I joined the family owned business in 1973 after graduating from college. Our business has been able to evolve and adopt as technology demands. We have transitioned from mono high fidelity, to stereo to surround and whole house audio. From reel-to-reel tape recorders, turntables, cassettes, compact discs, DVDs and  to streaming. Incorporating video along the way,” says Steve Lucas, president, Lucas Sales/LM Electronics.

“Most importantly we have been able to assemble a great team that understands and delivers exceptional sales and technical support to our dealers and vendors.”

He notes the company currently serves 1,200 dealers in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas, and it produces revenues of $6.5 million.

“I have been with the company for over 16 years and Steve’s leadership and unwavering loyalty to his staff has been instrumental in creating an environment where everyone is treated like family, teamwork is encouraged and allowed to flourish, and we try to support our dealers as we would want to be supported. Everyone on our team works hard to continue these traditions and we are excited about the future,” adds Cliff Clarke, partner, managing director, Lucas Sales/LM Electronics.

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April 12, 2021 · Crestron Hires Lauren Simmen as Sr. Product Marketing Manager

Crestron Electronics has added custom electronics industry veteran Lauren Simmen to its team, as she began work as senior product marketing manager, per LinkedIn.

Simmen had spent roughly the past decade in a similar role with power conditioning and power protection systems provider SurgeX, which recently debuted the Squid product she helped bring to market.

Prior to SurgeX, Simmen represented accounts for longtime custom industry PR firm Caster Communications.

April 9, 2021 · Dave Silkin’s DSG and Total Marketing at Home Rep Atlantic Tech

Audio company Atlantic Technology is partnering with the independent manufacturer sales representative firm Digital Sales Group Metro to cover metro New York and new venture Total Marketing at Home led by former Screen Innovations Sales VP Blake Vackar to cover the South Central states. 

The sister company of Long Island-based DSG Distributors, the rep firm Digital Sales Group Metro covers Long Island, the five boroughs of New York City plus Northern New Jersey with principal David Silkin and team out on the road visiting with dealers. 

“COVID continues to fuel audio system sales opportunities in MDU’s — where either due to regulations or preferences — running wires is not feasible and our collective experiences show us that Bluetooth and WiFi are prone to interference. We are very excited about Atlantic Technology’s new multiroom audio products all of which integrate SKAA wireless technology,” states Silkin.

“This transmits CD-quality sound to SKAA enabled speakers on a 2.4 GHz band outside of the WiFi network and up to 150-foot interference-free. This is huge for our dealers servicing New York city as well as those servicing the summer Hamptons crowd and really everywhere in between. We have the new Gatecrasher3 soundbar and accompanying wireless subwoofers, bookshelf and outdoor speakers on display to see and hear at our Plainview and Southampton showrooms.”

Total Marketing at Home is a new residential channel sales representative firm led by partners Ron DeVoe, Blake Vackar and Jacob Atkinson. The company serves Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas.

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April 7, 2021 · Quest Group Promotes Matt Hegt, Frédéric Pinsonneault and Shaun Schuetz

Keeping pace with the evolving consumer electronics industry, the Quest Group has promoted Matt Hegt, Frédéric Pinsonneault and Shaun Schuetz.

The company says Matt Hegt has been named director of E-commerce; Frédéric Pinsonneault has been named national sales director, Canada; and Shaun Schuetz has been named chief sales officer.

The Quest Group notes that Hegt will work to ensure that its products are accurately presented throughout the online marketplace, which includes Amazon.

Recently Pinsonneault assumed a leadership role to provide support for the company’s Canadian consumers, and through the promotion he will assume an even more visible position. He will continue to collaborate with Rashpal Rai (RSM, Western Canada) to further strengthen the presence of both AudioQuest and GoldenEar throughout Canada.

Quest Group adds that Shaun Schuetz has 20 years of experience in the audio/video industry, including sales management roles that took him all across the United States to Latin America, Asia, and back again deep perspective on the global audio market.

More news from Audioquest: AudioQuest, GoldenEar Dealers Offer Short-Term Optimism

April 6, 2021 · Meyer Sound Announces Meyer Sound Europe

Meyer Sound has announced a strategic realignment of all top-level sales management responsibilities outside of the Americas in part to form Meyer Sound Europe.

Meyer Sound Germany has been renamed Meyer Sound Europe and, under the leadership of managing director Wolfgang Leute, he will assume direct responsibility for sales and support activities throughout Europe, as well as across the Middle East and Africa. Concurrently, director of international sales Scott Gledhill will focus exclusively on continuing Meyer Sound’s strong sales momentum in the Asia Pacific region.

“During the pandemic we learned the importance of timely, direct and personal communication with our distributors, dealers and customers,” says Meyer Sound senior vice president John McMahon.

“Zoom and similar technologies changed the way we communicated, but time zone differentials remained a hinderance. This regional realignment will make sales communications more immediate and direct, cutting response times, improving efficiency and building personal relationships.”

Meyer Sound Germany has been renamed Meyer Sound Europe (MSE) and, effective April 1, manages all company sales in Europe, extending to the Commonwealth of Independent States, as well as the Middle East and Africa. MSE will continue as the exclusive distributor for Germany and most of Scandinavia, and elsewhere it will work directly with the company’s existing network of national distributors. MSE will maintain a broad product inventory at its Montabaur headquarters while also offering product servicing, parts, technical support and design services.

“Asia is emerging from the pandemic relatively unscathed, and market demand for Meyer Sound solutions — our installed systems in particular — has never been higher,” notes McMahon. “We need somebody with Scott’s abilities to manage this surging growth vector.”

“We’re seeing a changed global marketplace as we emerge from the pandemic …”

“Not surprisingly, installed solution sales have overtaken those for portable applications, and we expect that trend to continue. We’ve also seen more mergers and acquisitions across the industry, including among distributors, integrators and rental companies. Our new sales realignment will help us respond quickly and creatively to those changes.”

Meyer Sound sales management in the Americas is unaffected by the realignment, with North American sales directed from the Berkeley, California headquarters and Meyer Sound Mexico continuing to manage sales throughout Latin America.

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March 31, 2021 · QSC Promotes Frank West to VP Systems America

 QSC has announced the promotion of Frank West to vice president, Systems Americas (U.S., Canada and Latin America).

In his new position, Frank West will play a critical role in continuing to maintain positive sales momentum while helping QSC realize its vision to become a leading AV software platform company. 

“Frank has been a key driving force in developing and implementing a successful Systems business strategy with the Q-SYS audio, video and control Ecosystem at its fulcrum, which has led to tremendous growth and momentum for QSC,” says Anna Csontos, executive vice president, chief market officer, and chief of staff.

“His business insights, growth mindset, and people leadership skills have become invaluable to shaping our existing market presence and positioning QSC for future go-to-market models.”

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March 30, 2021 · CEDIA industry association Hires Vetted Solutions to aid CEO Search

CEDIA has retained global executive search firm Vetted Solutions to help recruit its next CEO, marking a key stage in the hiring process.

Vetted Solutions has a demonstrated track record of executive recruiting within the international association, technology, and design and build industries. The recruiting company has offices in Washington D.C., Chicago, and Los Angeles, and is part of Panorama, a network of partners across Europe, Australasia, Africa, and Asia, that together form an exclusive alliance of leading independent executive search firms.

“We are excited to partner with Vetted Solutions to identify a proven leader who will guide CEDIA into its next phase of strategic growth. Jim Zaniello and his team have a deep experience recruiting and placing executives from across the globe. We’re confident they’ll find an excellent leader to fill this critical position and support our members, staff and industry,” says Rob Sutherland, board chairperson, CEDIA.

Potential candidates may contact Vetted Solutions directly at CEDIACEOSearch@vettedsolutions.com  to express interest or request additional information about the position. The search will continue until a candidate is selected. CEDIA hopes to announce its new leader later this year.

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March 29, 2021 · 12 Companies Join Digital Entertainment Group’s D2C Alliance Council

The Digital Entertainment Group (DEG) has welcomed 12 new companies to the organization.

DEG’s newest member companies are AMC Networks, Azure, Breaker, Cinedigm, Movies Anywhere, Pixelogic, Respeecher, ScreenHits TV, SmithGeiger, Starz, Verizon Business Group and Vuulr. AMC Networks, Azure, Cinedigm, ScreenHits TV, SmithGeiger, Starz, Verizon Business Group and Vuulr will also join DEG’s D2C Alliance Council.

The D2C Alliance, a working community within DEG, represents the global direct-to-consumer media industry and supports its members to help create a robust marketplace to lead the new era of content consumption. 

“This diverse slate of companies reflects the expanding home entertainment landscape,” said Amy Jo Smith, president and CEO, DEG. 

“We welcome these 12 new members and are delighted to collaborate on their goals of delivering consumers engaging content, transformative technologies, and the highest quality entertainment experience.” 

AMC NETWORKS: a company dedicated to creating and distributing bold and inventive stories. AMC Networks owns and operates several of the most popular brands in television and film including AMC, BBC America, IFC, SundanceTV, WE tv, IFC Films, Sundance Now, Shudder, AMC Studios, and AMC Networks International. 

AZURE: This is Microsoft’s cloud platform with more than 200 products and cloud services designed to help bring new solutions to life—to solve today’s challenges and create the future. 

BREAKER: This company is a leading blockchain development and services company in the media and entertainment industry.  The technology  is a payment verification and management service that leverages, for the first time, the unique benefits of blockchain and smart contracts.

CINEDIGM: a content company that has led the digital transformation of the entertainment industry for more than 20 years. Today, Cinedigm entertains hundreds of millions of consumers around the globe by providing premium content, streaming channels and technology services to the world’s largest media, technology and retail companies.

MOVIES ANYWHERE: This company  lets consumers enjoy their favorite purchased or redeemed digital movies combined in one simplified, personal collection.  Bringing together movies from Sony, Universal, Disney, and Warner Bros., Movies Anywhere offers a library of over 8,000 new release and classic digital movies. 

PIXELOGIC: A subsidiary of the Imagica Group, which is a global provider of content localization and distribution services to the industry’s leading content owners, broadcasters, digital retailers and a range of others.

RESPEECHER: Helps content creators reproduce voices in new and exciting ways, whether to restore damaged vocals in old films, keep a kid’s voice sounding 12 years old during the run of an animated series, or resurrecting a voice from the past.

SCREENHITS TV: A technology company that started out developing B2B content monetization platforms and powering video distribution platforms for Turner Broadcasting (WarnerMedia) and B2B services for IMG, Disney Latin America, Sony Pictures Television, BBC Worldwide, Eone, Hasbro, HatTrick and NBC Universal International. 

SMITHGEIGER: A collaborative community of inquisitive thinkers driven by data to secure clients’ success. 

STARZ: A global media streaming platform committed to delivering premium content that amplifies narratives by, about and for women and underrepresented audiences.

VERIZON BUSINESS GROUP: Delivers the connected world by integrating, securing, and operating the networks and mobile technologies that help businesses in the media and entertainment sectors expand reach, increase productivity, improve agility and maintain longevity.

VUULR: A large global online content marketplace for film and TV rights that connects buyers with producers and distributors worldwide. 

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Priscilla Morgan Kaleiscape

March 29, 2021 · Priscilla Morgan Joins Kaleidescape Board of Directors

Kaleidescape, a manufacturer of home movie servers and players that power the finest home cinema experience, announced today that Priscilla Morgan has joined its board of directors.

According to Kaleidescape, Priscilla Morgan brings strategic and tactical leadership across finance, sales and field operations as well as success in elevating customer experiences across early-stage, mid-size, and global enterprise companies.  

“Priscilla’s experience in finance, operations, and go-to-market strategies for leading companies like Dolby and Oracle, will help Kaleidescape take a customer-first approach in scaling the organization,” says Tayloe Stansbury, CEO, Kaleidescape.

“In addition, her customer-centric focus will continue to strengthen our client relationships to meet their objectives.” 

In addition to her career in entertainment and technology, Kaleidescape states that Morgan brings this passion to her personal life. As movie enthusiasts, her family recently completed a newly constructed state-of-the art home cinema at their Dallas residence.

“My home cinema is powered by Kaleidescape and it is the best playback system I have ever experienced,” explains Priscilla Morgan.

“With great products, a strong leadership team, and my personal love for movies, I am excited to join Kaleidescape’s board and look forward to contributing to its success.” 

Morgan currently serves as chief revenue officer at Alliance Consumer Group, a designer, manufacturer, and distributor of consumer products. Alliance Consumer Group’s core brands include: NEBO, TRUE, Skeeter Hawk, Lumore and iPROTEC. 

Previously, Morgan oversaw worldwide sales and business operations and new business design and implementation in vice president roles at Dolby.

Other career stops for Priscilla Morgan include vice president of business operations and development at Oracle. She also served as the CFO at TuVox and conducted client engagements at KPMG.  

Priscilla holds a bachelor of arts in English with an emphasis in accounting from the University of California, Berkeley. She was selected as one of the Most Influential Women in Business by The San Francisco Business Times.

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March 26, 2021 · All Safe Technologies Opens 3rd Location

All Safe Technologies, based in Gulfport, Miss., and Gulf Breeze, Fla. has opened its third location.  

“It is a natural progression for our company,” states Alain Jamet, vice president of All Safe.  

“We are in a growth mode and we have a lot of business in this area so it was a perfect fit as we move northward in our expansion.”

All Safe was founded in 2000 by Don Williams (former owner of Phillips Doby Security-sold to Interface Security) and David Avritt, founder and CEO of SentryNet.  Avritt was never active at All Safe, but devoted his energies into growing the wholesale monitoring business for SentryNet.  Avritt originally started in the security business by founding Infipro, Inc in 1976 in Greenville, Miss., and later Memphis, Tenn.  Avritt sold Infipro to Interface Security in 2000.

Fast forward to 2015, Avritt sold SentryNet, which was one of the larger wholesale monitoring companies in the country sold to Stanley Black & Decker, with central stations in Memphis, Tenn., and Pensacola, Fla.  After divesting interests in SentryNet and taking a couple of years off, in 2019 Avritt bought out Williams interests, who was looking for retirement.  

Alain Jamet and Irene Horton moved with Avritt over to All Safe from SentryNet and represent part of the core management team. 

Looking ahead, Avritt is optimistic about the company’s future growth.

This is what I’ve done for 45 years.  The industry has changed but, in many ways, it has stayed the same.  As long as we give exceptional customer service, provide the customer with what he wants and needs, is progressive and keeps up with technology,” he adds.

“I think the security industry is a very viable business. I plan on doing that and also have a little fun along the way.  Our goal is to grow organically with a few strategic acquisitions. I think you will see some pretty decent growth from us over the next 5 to 8 years.” 

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