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SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT TO DEALERSCOPE AND TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATOR MAGAZINES

S O L U T I O N S

Key Trends in Smart Home

Technologies Spell New

Sales Opportunities


Feature

‘Smarts’ Move Into the Home

Key trends pointing to new retail sales opportunities

By SuSan Schreiner, Senior editor/analySt, c4 trendS.com • SuSan@c4trendS.com

Emerging technologies and trends are disrupting

our daily lives. Everything is smarter than

it was just a few years ago — phones, cars,

watches and increasingly, our homes. We’re

moving from the traditional perception of the

home as a box with utilities – heat, light and

power – towards the home becoming more

dynamic and interactive.

With the proliferation of smartphones and

apps, consumers are warming-up to ‘smart’

products – and so, too, are more progressive

retailers. Here are some key trends that point

to potential new opportunities for sales at retail.

Creating A Destination Experience

Given that the consumer experience is particularly

central to the smart home value proposition,

retailers may want to consider creating

vignettes that group multiple products together.

Through a complete visual experience,

it’s easier and less inhibiting for a consumer to

discover new smart home possibilities.

• Networking and the Internet. While hubs

and routers are the key point for connectivity

into the home, we recently came across an

interesting app that adds functionality and

convenience for smart home monitoring.

Domotz introduced an app that is userfriendly,

affordable and accessible from the

The Nest Cam surveillance camera

convenience of a smartphone. Unlike most

smart home hubs on the market that can only

play nice with devices within their ecosystem,

Domotz can track any device that has an IP

address – and enables 24/7 monitoring. It

creates alerts for any device event, provides

power management and can remotely turn

off a device that has been left on; it also allows

remote access to log onto a home computer or

view live camera footage, and its collaborative

feature enables remote tech support as well as

sharing the network or device with a colleague.

This extends retail opportunities since it

adds functionality across a range of products

that retailers may already stock! Domotz is

compatible with other smart home hubs like

Smart Things, Wink and Control4 – as well as

with any NAS hardware or even the inexpensive

Raspberry Pi computer, and works

with iPhone and Android, as well as with all

connected devices including sensors, smart

thermostats and smart locks, etc. Starting

soon, it will also support ZigBee and Z-Wave

protocols.

+ Safety and Security - Residential security

encompasses several product ‘categories.’

a. Video Monitoring and Security: Indoor/

Outdoor Cameras – Indoor and outdoor cameras

can wirelessly monitor a home whether

you are there or not, and different

products offer features such

as a motion or variable sound

detector that will send an alert

when it senses an intruder.

An attempted burglary situation

unfolded in a Massachusetts

suburb in early Spring – and

made the evening news while

also going viral on YouTube. The

sound of breaking glass triggered

an alert which was sent to the

homeowner’s phone. A Nest

Dropcam in this home surveillance

system streamed live video

of the break-in as the homeowner,

who was away from his

home, called the police and was

able to watch as officers rushed

in. Video from the surveillance

Gourmia’s multi-function Robotic

Cooker, which features a built-in

hands-free stirrer

system showed one man coming in through

a back door of this home and unlocking the

front door to let the second suspect in. It was

only moments after the 911 call that police

rushed in and arrested the two for breaking

and entering in the daytime to commit felony,

vandalism, larceny from a building, possession

of burglarious instruments and resisting arrest.

Indoor cameras are also being used as

nanny-cams or as a baby monitor, with apps

and features that can trigger alerts. If you’re a

working parent, it’s another way to check in

on your kids or pets when you’re away from

home. With cloud video storage, you can even

download and playback the moment a baby

took a first step!

There are products from Netgear, the Nest

Security Camera, Kidde, Ring’s Smart Wi-Fi

Video Doorbell, D-Link High Def Pan & Tilt

Wi-Fi Video Security Camera, etc.

b. Smart Deadbolt Locks and Doorbell

Sensors – Gone are the days of stressing about

forgetting keys. Lock or unlock your front door

2 connected home solutions


from anywhere with a key fob or mobile device

– and the deadbolt gives you full control over

who is coming and going.

No one enjoys an unexpected doorbell ring

whether home alone or comfortable on the

couch. With the doorbell sensor, the owner

gets an alert on the phone or TV when someone

buzzes, and it will automatically connect to

a camera to show who’s outside.

Smart locks come from vendors like Kwikset,

August, Yale, Schlage, and others.

+ Energy Management

These smart thermostats give the home occupant

full control over a home’s temperature,

from anywhere, at any time. with a smartphone.

Financial savings are optimized by

creating customized schedules – maintaining

comfortable temperatures when home, reducing

temperature when leaving in the morning,

and then cooling it on the ride home.

These products come from vendors like

Honeywell, Nest, ecobee, Schneider Electric,

and others.

+ Smart Outlets and Lighting

Smart outlets that plug into existing outlets

are becoming increasingly popular. They make

products smart without ever leaving the couch.

With an app, control everything from appliances

and lights to a TV – or turn off the coffee

pot that was still on as you rushed out the

door. Or, if one is traveling, control lights to

make the home look otherwise occupied and

to throw off would-be burglars.

There are hardware products come from

vendors like Belkin, Logitech, iHome, Samsung,

Panasonic, OWC, GE, and others, etc.

Also, transform the way your customers

use lighting. There are smart light bulbs from

companies like TikTeck for app-controlled

smart lighting that enables this smart LED

light bulb to fit into a standard light socket and

offers not just on/off controls but also brightness/contrast

and control of music. Philips

Hue and GE also offer smart wireless lighting

solutions.

The Kitchen as the Hub of the Home

Smart products are coming to the kitchen with

products like Gourmia’s line of smart countertop

appliances or smart refrigerators and

washer/dryers from Samsung, Sharp, Haier

and LG, among others.

iHome’s iSP6 Wi-Fi-enabled SmartPlug

with remote control compatibility

Connected Health in the Smart Home

Today’s healthcare landscape is rapidly

evolving – and offering retailers unprecedented

opportunities. A massive shift is under

way, as affordable and smart innovative

CE/IT technology-based products are paired

with services to seamlessly extend and

deliver traditional healthcare into the home.

Clinical and consumer design are converging

to create a new era of smart digital health

solutions.

Frequent visits to the doctor will be obviated

by FaceTime on an iPhone or tablet, or a

camera hooked up to a smart TV. Telemedicine

is slowly gaining in popularity due to new

reimbursement models and overcoming other

regulatory challenges, resulting in new growth

potential for smart remote healthcare delivery

and care solutions for home care management,

particularly given the aging of boomers

and the inclination to ‘age in place’ – at home.

Consider the sales potential, based on a recent

study by AARP and Parks Associates that

projects that by 2020, 117 million Americans

will need caregiving assistance, either as care

recipients or as family caregivers.

Consumers are taking more initiatives with

their health, and are using the broadband

platform to link up devices that they can use

to take and report

measurements,

and to receive

messages, tips,

and alerts through

apps or texting. In

the future, physicians

and other

healthcare professionals

will be

better able to assist

them, since they

will have a more

accurate picture

of their daily life.

As the healthcare

system moves

from a physiciancentric

universe to

one that is patient/

consumer-centric,

A screen capture from the Domotz iPhone

customer app

these smart products will enable improving

behavior modification, providing actionable

feedback for prevention and more effectively

managing a chronic wellness or condition – at

home.

Retailers need to consider that the smart

health ecosystem consists of products such as

wearables that monitor certain body functions,

broadband access, home networking systems,

residential gateways, and a growing slew of

software, hardware, middleware and services.

Also a bevy of IoT devices and peripherals

are expected to come to market over this next

period that enable monitoring, reminding,

and alerting a caregiver or family member if

something is amiss.

CVS and Target have growing areas of

product not only focused on fitness but also on

health, with products such as blood pressure

monitors, smart digital weight scales, pulse

oximeters, glucometers and more. Many of

these products not only collect data but also

trigger alerts. Verizon, AT&T and others are

also vying for a piece of this business

As a retailer or other channel provider, will

you be prepared to profit from this major disruption,

as the smart home goes mainstream?

connected home solutions 3


Connected Home Q&A

Ingram Micro Consumer Technology Solutions

n Q&A: Alexandra Harding, Director of Vendor Management

Consumer awareness of this product

category is low. What strategies has your

company set in place to raise awareness of

your connected home/IoT products?

Harding: Ingram has a high level of focus

on this category globally. We are working

to offer the broadest line card of products,

and on creating bundles that have products

from more than one brand. This allows us

n Products

Crock-Pot Smart Slow Cooker

The Crock-Pot Smart Slow Cooker is WeMo-enabled

and works with your smart device to let you conveniently

adjust cook settings... from virtually anywhere.

The app provides options to monitor remaining cooking

time, change your cooking temperature, adjust

cook-time up or down, shift to the WARM setting

and turn off the Slow Cooker. (Available from Ingram

Micro Consumer Technology Solutions)

to show how they operate separately and

together.

What are the most important features of

connected home products that retailers

and custom integrators should stress to

consumers?

Harding: Ease of use. The fact that a majority

of consumers already use smartphones

and are familiar with apps adding these devices

via an app on their device is seamless.

These devices enhance the consumer’s life

by being easy to use. The manufacturers

need to be diligent in making them plug

and play. Integrators need to view this as an

additional selling opportunity on top of the

higher-end devices they are installing into

consumers’ homes.

Canary Home Security System

Canary is the only all-in-one home security system

that lets you see what’s happening at home and take

action. From HD video to motion-activated alerts to a

90+ dB siren, Canary gives you everything you need

to keep your home safe. (Available from Ingram Micro

Consumer Technology Solutions)

Nest Learning Thermostat

The brighter way to save energy. Meet the

third-generation Nest Learning Thermostat.

It’s slimmer and sleeker, with a bigger, sharper

display. Rethink how you heat your home. Nest

remembers the temperatures you like, turns

itself down when you’re away, and can be controlled

from anywhere using your mobile, tablet

or computer. (Available from Ingram Micro

Consumer Technology Solutions)

4 connected home solutions


Make some noise and be

PRESENT in one of the fastest

growing categories today!

CONTACT A SALES REPRESENTATIVE TODAY TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THESE OPPORTUNITIES:

Brought to you proudly by:

TONY MONTELEONE

215.238.5364

tmonteleone@napco.com

CAROL CAMPBELL

323.871.1990

ccampbell@napco.com

MARYELLEN OSWALD

951.677.9189

moswald@napco.com

ERIC SCHWARTZ

215.238.5420

eschwartz@napco.com


DISH Network

ABOUT DISH

For this quarter of the calendar year, what

special programs are you promoting to

current and potential dealers that relate to

your connected home product line?

Frank DeFilippis, Channel Programs, DISH

Network: To complement DISH’s Local Retailer

program, we are currently developing

a new concierge program to better accommodate

the custom install community. This

initiative is designed for dealers serving the

luxury residential market, where clients

often prefer to purchase versus lease their equipment. The program will

feature a special help desk and other resources to support custom install.

We encourage dealers with large or high-profile projects to contact DISH

directly for system design support, site survey requests and conciergestyle

assistance. Inquiries can be directed to frank.defilippis@dish.com.

If a dealer does not carry your line but is considering carrying it, what

can you say about it that distinguishes it sufficiently from other, competitive

product lines?

DeFilippis: Our Hopper® Whole Home DVR separates DISH from

other pay-TV providers by offering custom installers feature-rich technology

that integrates reliably with leading control systems. Our newly

launched Hopper 3 features 16 tuners, a two-TB hard drive, Sports Bar

Mode, integrated apps including Netflix and Pandora, and an enhanced

4K experience. Its upgraded processing power also makes it seven times

more powerful than DirecTV’s newest Genie and twice as powerful as

the TiVo Bolt. Our 4K Joey, when paired with Hopper 3, extends the

4K viewing experience for customers with multiple televisions in their

home. For customers on the go, we offer a complete mobile TV experience

via our DISH Anywhere® app, and will soon launch HopperGO,

a revolutionary device that lets consumers transfer up to 100 hours of

recorded TV shows and movies from a Hopper DVR for offline viewing.

What product or products that you offer are the best for a new-tosmart-home

customer to start building an ecosystem with?

DeFilippis: DISH’s Hopper 3 is the ideal entertainment hub for modern,

connected homes. The set-top box features built-in Wi-Fi and GB Ethernet,

enabling consumers to combine the best in streaming entertainment

with the best in traditional pay-TV service. It also has built-in Bluetooth,

allowing connectivity with a wide variety of headphones and speakers

for a multitude of customer use cases. Hopper 3 works with a variety of

home automation and control platforms, making for easy installation

and a fully integrated control experience. Additionally, Hopper 3 accommodates

up to six Joey receivers, so up to seven TVs in a home can

share a single, unified entertainment experience.

What are the most important features of connected home products

that retailers and custom integrators should stress to consumers?

DeFilippis: In addition to an elegant user experience, connected home

products must include support for common communication protocols

(IP, Zigbee, Z-wave, Bluetooth) and open APIs for seamless integration

with other products in the ecosystem. DISH is committed to providing

the best entertainment experience but recognizes the need to interoperate

with other devices.

What kinds of new features should we expect from connected home/

IoT products, moving through the 2016 calendar year?

DeFilippis: We hope to see deeper integration between entertainment

products and smartphone/tablet-based control platforms this year, making

it easier for dealers to provide clients with a rich and high-performance

user experience in their connected homes.

PRODUCTS

Hopper 3

Hopper 3 gives you conflict-free entertainment for the entire household with the ability to watch and record 16

programs at once. With built-in 4K support, you can watch a variety of On Demand movies, shows and Netflix

in 4K quality. Navigate your Hopper 3 faster than ever with lightning-speed channel surfing and voice remote

capabilities that let you find what you want to watch with voice commands. Sports Bar Mode, also known as

MultiView, divides a 4K or HDTV screen into quadrants, each with the ability to display a different program so

you never miss your favorite games. Our new and improved user interface creates a simple and intuitive viewing

experience designed with you in mind. Last but not least, you can quickly search and find all your recorded programs,

Netflix, On Demand and live TV.

4K Joey

The 4K Joey is a next-generation receiver that displays the most crystal-clear picture for compatible 4K televisions.

Featuring native Bluetooth support, this receiver offers one high-end whole-home experience. Capable of connecting

with televisions throughout your entire home, the 4K Joey and the HOPPER 3 give you more entertainment

options than ever before.

HopperGO

HopperGO changes the way the entire family

catches up on great TV – anytime, anywhere

and without a data plan. Available for just $99,

the new HopperGO places 100 hours of DVR

content snugly in your pocket. Connect up to

five devices wirelessly to watch programs -

no Internet connection or dipping into your

phone’s storage capacity required.

6 connected home solutions


HOPPER 3

TM

The new definition of whole-home entertainment.

Watch and record

16

programs at once

4K Ultra HD Resolution

4 Customized MultiView with 4 channels on one screen

YouTube and NETFLIX integrated into universal search

Watch on the go with DISH Anywhere

dish.com/cedia

Proud Partners:

INTEGRATION PARTNER


PRESIDENT/CRO - CONSUMER TECHNOLOGY

BENJAMIN FELIX

(215) 238-5310

bfelix@napco.com

SALES & MARKETING

MANAGING DIRECTOR

ERIC SCHWARTZ


eschwartz@napco.com

ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER/BRAND DIRECTOR

TONY MONTELEONE


tmonteleone@napco.com

VP—ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE/BRAND DIRECTOR

CAROL CAMPBELL


ccampbell@napco.com

SENIOR DIRECTOR, SALES & MARKETING

MARYELLEN OSWALD


moswald@napco.com

ADVERTISING PRODUCTION MANAGER

JUNE HOLLOWAY

(215) 238-5281

jholloway@napco.com

ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES MANAGER

JENNIFER BYTOF

(215) 238-5218

jbytof@napco.com

REPRINTS

KATHY KLING

(215) 238-5361

kkling@napco.com

LIST RENTAL, POSTAL/E-MAIL

REACH MARKETING



gregry.gilroy@reachmarketing.com

CORPORATE

FOUNDER


CHAIRMAN

Ned S. Borowsky

PRESIDENT

David J. Leskusky

SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT

Robert A. Gibbons

VICE PRESIDENT, FINANCE

Travis Colla

VICE PRESIDENT, HUMAN RESOURCES

Jeanne Scully

VICE PRESIDENT, INFORMATION SERVICES

Thomas Perkins

VICE PRESIDENT, AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT

AND PAID PRODUCTS

Patty Perkins

VICE PRESIDENT, DATA INTELLIGENCE

Valerie Tickle

DIRECTOR OF EMEDIA STRATEGY AND

DEVELOPMENT

Ambrose Crenshaw

DIRECTOR OF VIDEO SERVICES

John P. Gelety

DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH

Nathan Safran

DESIGN DEPARTMENT MANAGER

Julie Lamond

The Consumer Technology Publishing Group

Publisher of Technology Integrator and

Dealerscope magazines

Custom Publisher of the 2016 CES Show Directory,

Show Guide and Show Floor Map Guide

The profiles for the 40 individuals who we honor this month

with recognition in our annual 40 Under 40 section feature

a wide range of comments by those spotlighted about where

they would rather be and what they would rather be doing at

the very moment they were writing up their responses to our

questions.

There is lots of talk of stretching out in hammocks, or of

being on beaches with family members, or of enjoying sports

(either through participating or from the comfort of a couch

or stadium seat), or of wrenching on a motorcycle or a car. Then, there are the more

unconventional responses, like spending time pruning grapevines to a Miles Davis jazz

riff piped through a great set of headphones, or just chilling in the middle of nature –

or, in one case, in the seductive quiet of outer space.

But let’s not kid ourselves. These people are workers. Beyond their musings about

being here or there, away from the day-to-day challenges of a position of responsibility,

there is a strong value system of “labor and reward” that underpins each bit of indulgent

musing that goes on in these “would rather be” responses.

The joy in the job – that’s what motivates and nourishes these folks – and what ultimately

makes each one of them so good at what they do.

Some came right out and said that. “It sounds cheesy,” wrote Davin Sufer, chief tech

officer at WowWee, “but I really like what I do. I don’t know that I would change that.”

And, from the president of Jlab Audio, Win Cramer: “I’m where I want to be right

now. I can’t imagine being anyplace else.”

For a deeper look into the qualifications, personalities and motivations of these 40

Under 40 recipients, check out the entire section – and also the “Point of View” companion

article – a no-holds-barred collection of opinions where they celebrate what’s

right about our industry and tell what needs to be done to fix what’s wrong about it.

You’ll likely notice something different about this issue of Dealerscope: a change in design.

Our creative director, Al Gaspari, has crafted a new look for Dealerscope that is

as streamlined and compelling as the latest crop of 2016 Ultra HD 4K HDR televisions.

Hope you like it as much as we do!

— Nancy Klosek

Pulse

FROM THE EDITOR

THE JOY IN THE JOB

OUR 40 UNDER 40 HONOREES SPEAK

Thoughts?

We’d love to hear

from you! Email me at

nmklosek@napco.com,

with your comments

and observations.

| June 2016 | 3


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contents

JUNE 2016 I VOL. 58 NO.6

18

features

18 Dealerscope's 40 Under 40

Profiles of the consumer technology

industry's brightest stars

34 Points of View

Commentary on the industry from our

40 Under 40 honorees

columns

14 The Connected Home

Seeing Daylight: Start new clients off

with relatable products like lighting

16 Appliances

Samsung's Family Hub: Game-changer

38 Connected Car

Leading OEM Techs for 2016;

Springing into Summer: in.car.EXPO

& Spring KnowledgeFest

departments

3 Pulse

10 Pipeline

42 Retailing

Dealerscope June 2016, Volume 58, Number 6. Dealerscope (US ISSN 1534-4711) (USPS 0447-690) is published monthly except twice a month in June and September by North American Publishing

Company, Inc., d/b/a NAPCO Media, 1500 Spring Garden St., Ste. 1200, Philadelphia, PA 19130-4094 (215) 238-5300. Periodicals postage paid at Philadelphia, PA and at additional mailing

offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Dealerscope Subscription Services Dept., 1500 Spring Garden St., Ste. 1200, Philadelphia, PA 19130-4094. SUBSCRIPTIONS: Free to qualified

recipients. All others, U.S. 1 year $85; 2 years $150. Canada and Mexico, 1 year $105. All other countries, one-year air mail $130. Back issues and single copies, when available, mailed by publisher,

for $10 each. Selected articles from NAPCO Media magazines are available for research and retrieval from electronic databases and search services exclusively through ProQuest. For information

on availability call (800) 521-0600 or visit proquest.com. Microform is available from National Archive Publishing, (800) 420-6272. Authorization to photocopy articles for internal corporate,

personal or instructional use may be obtained from Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) at (978) 750-8400. Articles may not be reprinted without publisher’s permission. For reprint information,

contact Kathy Kling at kkling@napco.com, Dealerscope Reprint Services or call, (215) 238-5361. All rights are strictly reserved, and reproduction in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without

prior written permission from the publisher. Copyright© 2016. Printed in the U.S.A. Byline contributors’ views should not be construed as representing the opinion of the publisher.


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Pipeline

INDUSTRY NEWS HEADLINES

EDITORIAL

EDITOR IN CHIEF

NANCY KLOSEK

(718) 381-5480

nmklosek@napco.com

CONTENT EDITORS

KATIE NALE

(215) 238-5417

knale@napco.com

ROB STOTT

(215) 238-5449

rstott@napco.com

ASSOCIATE CONTENT EDITOR

PATRICK McCARTHY

(215) 238-5268

pmccarthy@napco.com

CONTRIBUTORS

JEFF BERMAN

BRETT SOLOMON

SUSAN SCHREINER

CREATIVE

ALBERT J. GASPARI

DIRECTOR OF AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT

SANA BECKETT

EDITORIAL OFFICES

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Fax (215) 238-5346

www.dealerscope.com

SONY’S NEWEST AUDIO PRODUCTS

Sound bars, wireless speakers, and more

Sony Electronics has unveiled new entries in

its line of audio products, with emphasis on

High-Res Audio performance. Among the

introductions is a Blu-ray player (UPH-H1)

with advanced 4K upscaling.

Some highlights of the lineup are:

The HT-NT5 TV Sound Bar & Wireless

Subwoofer ($799.99) – Using Sony’s Super

Tweeter Technology, the six-driver HT-NT5

Sound Bar/Wireless Subwoofer System boasts

High-Res Audio playback, while supporting

both 4K and High Dynamic Range (HDR)

content via HDMI HDCP 2.2. Google Cast is

built in, allowing listeners to cast music apps

such as Google Play Music, Spotify Connect or

Pandora straight from their mobile device or

laptop. Also, the HT-NT5 features multi-room

capability via the SongPal app.

The SRS-ZR7 Wireless Speaker System

with Bluetooth/Wi-Fi ($299.99) – The fourdriver

Sony SRS-ZR7 features High-Res Audio

playback combined with S-Master HX noiselevel-reducing

technology. The SRS-ZR7 also

has a built-in HDMI Audio Return Channel

(ARC) to connect the speaker to any Dolby

Digital/DTS-format television.

The PS-HX500 High-Res Audio Turntable

($599.99) – The HX500 is the first turntable

to combine Sony’s digital technology

with a, new advanced design. The PS-HX500

is targeted at music enthusiasts who collect

and enjoy LP recordings.

The SRS-ZR5 Wireless Speaker with

Bluetooth/Wi-Fi ($199.99) – This model

features wireless listening with an HDMI

ARC connection in a slightly smaller form

factor. This simplifies connecting to a music

service of the user’s preference with support

for Google Cast and multi-room via the Sony

SongPal, while also having full Bluetooth

capability with LDAC and NFC support. The

SRS-ZR5 supports a Wireless Stereo function

and can be paired with two of the same model

or one of each to create a wider stereo affect.

The UHP-H1 Premium Audio & Video

Blu-ray Player ($349.99) – The UHP-H1

Premium Audio & Video Player is Sony’s first

High-Res-certified Blu-ray player with superior

sound quality so consumers can enjoy

SACD, DVD-Audio, and High-Res Audio, as

well as MP3s. Its 4K upscaling adapts to the

source video’s resolution; it also offers Bluetooth

connectivity with LDAC support to work

with Bluetooth-enabled wireless headphones

or speakers.

The CAS-1 High-Resolution Audio System

($999.99) – The CAS-1 HIgh-Res Audio

System features dual-amps to work in tandem

with the unit’s speakers or with headphones.

The CAS-1 has full Bluetooth capability with

LDAC and NFC support to connect wirelessly

to a phone, tablet or computer. ■

Copyright ©2016

NAPCO Media

NAPCO Media is a diversified publisher

of business and professional magazines.

This publication is provided with the

express understanding and agreement

that the information and data within it will

be solely for internal use and will not be

used for the creation or updating of mailing

lists for sale or distribution to third parties.

Printed in the U.S.A.

SONY’S SRS-ZR7 WIRELESS SPEAKER SYSTEM

SONY’S PS-HX500 TURNTABLE

SONY’S HT-NT5 SOUND BAR SYSTEM

10 | June 2016 |


Working forward

to fast credit

decisions, without

any wrinkles.

Every appliance retailer is different, but all

share a common ambition: to succeed. And it

starts by serving customers better. Synchrony

Financial delivers payment solutions that help

drive traffic, increase average transaction size,

and build repeat business. Whatever your

business is working forward to, we can help

make it happen.

Engage with us at

synchronybusiness.com/electronics

or 1-855-433-3520.

What are you working forward to?

Credit is extended by Synchrony Bank

© 2016 Synchrony Financial


Pipeline

INDUSTRY NEWS HEADLINES

DEFINITIVE’S BP9000 SERIES

With support for Dolby Atmos, DTS:X

BY NANCY KLOSEK

SOUND UNITED PRESIDENT KEVIN

DUFFY, WITH THE DEFINITIVE

TECHNOLOGY BP9080X FLAGSHIP

LOUDSPEAKER

DEFINITIVE TECHNOLOGY’S BP9040

TOWER SPEAKERS

Definitive Technology has released to the

retail market a new iteration – the fourth

generation – of its bipolar tower speakers,

part of the new BP9000 series, which also includes

matching center channels, surrounds

and a height speaker module. The series

supports both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X

technologies.

The new grouping’s models are: the

BP9020 ($649 each), BP9040 ($899 each),

BP9060 ($1,099 each) and flagship BP9080X

($1,749 each) floorstanding bipolar tower

speakers; the CS9040 ($499 each), CS9060

($699 each) and CS9080 ($999 each) centerchannel

speakers; the SR9040 ($249 each)

and SR9080 ($349 each) surround speakers;

and the Dolby Atmos/DTS:X-supporting

A90 height speaker module ($499/pair).

The series is the beneficiary of a cosmetic

makeover, which uses premium materials

such as brushed aluminum top plates that

serve to mask the speakers’ height module

connector port. The cabinets are resonancefree,

inert, and of one-piece construction, and there is a castaluminum

base on each tower with knurled carpet spikes and

hard-floor guides for added speaker stability.

Technical specs include

aluminum-dome tweeters,

integrated power subwoofers,

Intelligent Bass Control

technology directed at

sub-bass performance, and

Forward-Focused Bipolar

technology with arrays

on both the front and the

back of the speakers, for a

broader soundstage, said

Matt Lyons, chief engineer,

who explained the line’s

benefits at a New York Cityheld

unveiling.

The series’ flagship

BP9080X tower boasts

integrated powered 12-

inch subwoofers and dual

bass radiators, along with

three 5.25-inch midrange

drivers featuring Balanced Double Surround

Sound for improved driver excursion

and performance normally associated with

larger drivers, according to the company.

Also on board are two one-inch aluminumdome

tweeters.

The A90 height module, available this

month, integrates seamlessly into the 9020,

9040 and 9060 towers. But the BP9080X

integrates a built-in two-way height speaker

for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X use.

All but the BP9080X are available this

month; the 9080X ships in July.

The center-channel CS9040 and CS9060

models are all available now, with the

CS9080 due out in July.

The SR9040 is out now; the SR9080 follows

it to market in July.

National retailers carrying the lines include

Magnolia Home Theater and Magnolia

Design Center locations inside Best Buy,

Amazon, Crutchfield and other regional

dealers. ■

CTA HONORS DIGITAL PATRIOTS

The annual D.C.-held awards dinner

It was a gala night for politicos as the Consumer Technology Association

(CTA) hosted its 12th annual Digital Patriots Dinner in late April

at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, D.C. After an influential

crowd from across the consumer technology industry mingled at a

cocktail party, it was on to the main event, hosted by CTA President/

CEO Gary Shapiro. Former presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio

(R-FL) was honored as an Innovation Policy Ninja. A pair of Congressmen

were honored as Digital Patriots: Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and

Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX). Two governors from business-friendly

states were honored with Innovation Champion Awards: Greg Abbott

of Texas and Doug Ducey of Arizona.

Shapiro made several references to defeating the scourge of patent

trolling, and the centerpieces at the dinner tables had flags that read

“Don’t Troll on Me.”

Proceeds from the dinner were donated to Black Girls CODE and

the Consumer

Technology

Association

Foundation. ■

12 | June 2016 |

GARY SHAPIRO CORY BOOKER MARCO RUBIO


The Connected Home

SEEING DAYLIGHT

Start off newbie connected-home clients with relatable products

like lighting and temperature control

BY DAVID WEINSTEIN, VICE PRESIDENT, RESIDENTIAL SALES, LUTRON

The connected-home market is still new

territory for many mainstream consumers,

but one thing is certain – the Internet

of Things and the market for connectedhome

devices is growing by leaps and

bounds. Now is your greatest opportunity

to make an impact with customers, provide

the right solutions at the right time,

and ultimately create customers for life.

To maximize profits and minimize risk,

focus on the home systems that are most

familiar to your customers: electric light,

daylight, and temperature control. Help

simplify their decisions by starting with

control for the most logical lifestyle components.

Offer products that integrate

easily with systems they use every day, like

lighting and temperature control.

Just a few years ago, when builders asked

clients about differentiating their homes,

the conversation was typically about flooring,

countertops and molding. Today, that

same conversation often starts with smart

technologies. Be prepared to show customers

how connected-home solutions are

more robust and flexible than ever. Demonstrate

products that are designed to

integrate easily and seamlessly with their

smartphones, wearables and connected

home systems such as Apple HomeKit and

Amazon Echo.

Smart lighting control saves energy, but

it also makes a home more comfortable,

meeting both obvious (dim lights from

your smartphone or remote to watch a

movie) and latent control needs (remind

you to turn the lights off when you leave

for the day, and automatically turn them

on as you approach your front door).

Promote wireless solutions that are

easy to install and fully scalable. This allows

a homeowner to start small, such as

controlling a single light or the lights in

one room, and add control and capability

whenever they want. It doesn’t take long

for them to fall in love with the simplicity,

convenience and added comfort of

connected-lighting controls.

age

hands-on experience by providing

displays that show how connected controls

improve everyday life.


products make your customer smarter,

and more in control of the environment.


the-box functionality and simple, wireless

setup. Choose products that meet the

demands of DIY customers, as well as the

expanding “do-it-for-me” customer base.


mass market from a pricing and technology

standpoint. Start by controlling a

single lamp or the lights in one room, and

expand the system to control additional

lights, temperature and shades.


through affordable, battery-powered

shades, and wireless or app-based remotes.

Smart bridge technology offers

home-automation and remote access for

WEINSTEIN

the mass market through apps and integration

with other home control products.

Every day, there are new companies

entering the market. Make sure you are

selling products backed by 24/7 technical

support. Look for companies that

make training a priority for you and your

customers. Reduce risk by working with

companies with a proven history of innovation,

quality and customer support.

Actively promote products and smart

technologies that offer the advantage

of being wireless and portable, allowing

customers to take the technology with

them when they move to a new apartment,


it easier to relocate technology without

disrupting the existing environment. In

a crowded connected-home marketplace,

your customers count on you to help them

make the right choice.

It’s critical to offer products that are

technologically complex and robust, but

are also easy to use, elegant and simple

to install. Keeping up with expectations

means delivering systems that are approachable

and appealing to the broadest

possible market. ■

START SMALL AND ADD CONNECTED CONTROL, WITH SYSTEMS LIKE LUTRON’S

CASÉTA WIRELESS, WHICH CAN GROW WITH CHANGING NEEDS

14 | June 2016 |


Congratulations ProSource

District Manager

Congratulations ProSource Members and

ProSource Vendor Partners

NICOLE RIDDLE

DISTRICT MANAGER,

PROSOURCE

DAVID WATT

REGIONAL SALES MANAGER,

LG ELECTRONICS

HAYRO BEKARIAN

E-COMMERCE MGR/BUYER LIAISON,

ELECTRONICS EXPO

LAUREN SIMMEN

REGIONAL MANAGER, SALES,

AMETEK

MICHAEL LINDSEY

CORPORATE VP,

BILL SMITH APPLIANCES &

ELECTRONICS

RYAN HAGBERG

DIRECTOR OF MARKETING,

SANUS

SKYLER MEEK

DIRECTOR OF MARKETING,

SCREEN INNOVATIONS

TAYLOR NICHOLS

DIRECTOR OF MARKETING,

ORIGIN ACOUSTICS

TOMMY JACOBS

VP OF SALES, N.A.,

KLIPSCH GROUP

Congratulations to the Additional Winners

ALEX SHIRDEL

VP OF SALES, PROMOUNTS

AMANDA HANOLD

GENERAL MANAGER,

HUDSON NEWS GROUP

CHRIS GIBBY

MARKETING DIRECTOR, VOLUTONE

CHRISTOPHER PEARSON

CHANNEL MARKETING MANAGER,

DIRECTED ELECTRONICS

COLE LYNCH

SALES MANAGER,

JEFF LYNCH APPLIANCE &

TV CENTER

DANIEL PAULSON

VP, TECHNICAL SALES,

PAULSON’S AUDIO & VIDEO

DAVID DAWSON

SENIOR DIRECTOR,

PROCUREMENT, WYNIT

DAVIN SUFER

CHIEF TECH OFFICER, WOWWEE

DELIA HANSEN

VP, MARKETING, CLARE CONTROLS

DOUG WREDE

DIRECTOR OF CE,

NATIONWIDE MARKETING GROUP

DOUGLAS BELDEN

VP OF TECHNOLOGY, SAFEWARE

EDEN GOLDBERG

VP, MARKETING,

INMOTION ENTERTAINMENT GROUP

JASON GREENSPAN

CEO, WHOOSH!

JASON VOORHEES

PRESIDENT, CANTARA

JERRY LIU

CEO, HISENSE NORTH AMERICA

JESSE ROBBINS

CEO/CO-FOUNDER, ORION LABS

JONATHAN STELZER

SYSTEMS INTEGRATION SPECIALIST,

JAMIESON’S AUDIO VIDEO

KARISSA LONG

CFO, TEMPOE

KEVIN CUNDIFF

VP OF RETAIL, FORTEGRA

MATT SCHRAMECK

E-COMMERCE ACCOUNT MANAGER,

PETRA INDUSTRIES

MIKE LIPSKI

SALES MANAGER

D&H DISTRIBUTING

MIRANDA GRANTHAM

NATIONAL SALES MANAGER,

METRA HOME THEATER

RANDY MORA

SENIOR DIRECTOR, U.S. SALES,

NEW AGE ELECTRONICS

RONNY SHMOEL

CEO, CIRCUIT CITY

RYAN CALACCI

MERCHANDISING MANAGER,

NATIONWIDE

STEVEN VANHOOSE

APPLIANCE/ELECTR. BUYER,

BIG SANDY SUPERSTORES

TIMO HILDEBRANDT

SENIOR MANAGER,

VENDOR BUSINESS, AVAD, LLC

TOM HEFFERNAN

DIRECTOR OF MARKETING, TCL

VANESSA ZITZMANN

MARKETING DIRECTOR,

21ST CENTURY DISTRIBUTING

WIN CRAMER

PRESIDENT, JLAB AUDIO

ZAHEER ALLI

REGIONAL SALES MANAGER,

MERIDIAN AMERICA, INC.

To learn more, contact Sherry Dantonio, Director of Membership at 562.810.1706, sherry.dantonio@prosourceinfo.com, or visit www.prosourceinfo.com.


Appliances

SAMSUNG’S FAMILY HUB

A ‘game-changing’ fridge

BY NANCY KLOSEK

THE FAMILY HUB’S FEATURE “MENU”

Smart device connectivity in the service

of “food watching” may not at first seem

a likely application in the admittedly vast

Internet of Things universe, but it makes

sense, once you get a demonstration of the

Samsung Family Hub refrigerator – a product

that has begun shipping in a variety

of finishes and configurations ranging in

price from $5,799.99 to $5,999.99. One of

the more conversation-starting features on

this premiere product is its three interior

cameras, which take photos when the door

is closed and send notifications to a mobile

device about what’s inside for easy reference

while the owner is standing in the

supermarket, trying to remember that item

that he or she neglected to add to the shopping

list.

John Herrington, senior vice president

and general manager, home appliances for

Samsung Electronics America, said at the

Family Hub’s New York City product unveiling

last month that it “will change the game

in the kitchen, and change how families

interact,” pointing out its roster of intuitive

features that meld intra-family communication

and home entertainment along with

all the features of a top-tier refrigerator, in

addition to enabling high-level food management,

organization and purchasing.

THE ‘FAMILY BILLBOARD’

Owners, via a 21.5-inch vertical Full HD

LCD screen on the right-hand door, can

share photos, family calendars, notes, and

watch TV or listen to streaming audio.

The roster of other management features

includes:


grocery delivery service, which will deliver

groceries from store to door;


whereby the shopper can order groceries

online from retailers like Fresh Direct and

ShopRite and pay for them through a single

checkout with any U.S.-issued credit or

debit cards;


rated and reviewed recipes as well as cooking

advice tips and how-to videos;

tion

and keeping track of your grocery lists,

which seamlessly sync between fridge and

smartphone;


Hub’s screen or a smartphone to drag and

drop expiration dates to the image of items

inside to know what needs to be used, and

by when;


simply control the refrigerator

and freezer temperatures, and

check the status of the water

filter;


families keep in touch through

sharing multiple calendars,

posting photos and writing

notes directly on the screen

[or with] your mobile device;


members can write notes and

draw pictures, and, through a

mobile device, leave messages;

HERRINGTON, WITH THE FAMILY HUB



updates; and

-


a full browser.

The Family Hub is being promoted via

a series of TV ads as well as with print and

online ad support.

Samsung also announced the Flex Duo


allows simplified control of meal preparation

time and temperature without the

cook actually having to be in the kitchen.

Electric and gas versions are available

($2,999 and $3,299, respectively). ■

A SCREEN PROJECTION ILLUSTRATED HOW THE INTERIOR

CAMERAS IN THE FAMILY HUB WORK

16 | June 2016 |


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DEALERSCOPE’S 2016

40 UNDER 40 HONOREES

ZAHEER ALLI, 32, NORTHEAST

REGIONAL SALES MANAGER, MAI,

LITHIA SPRINGS, GA.

Background: Grew

up in Brooklyn, N.Y.;

now lives in Bayonne,

N.J.

Education: AAS,

Business Management,

Marketing,

and Related Support,

BMCC (Borough

of Manhattan Community College)

Years in Industry: 8

Description of Role: To support and manage

sales in the Northeast.

Industry Accomplishments/Proudest

Achievement: Growing a small sales department

at a custom integrator that allowed

the principal to expand his business.

What I Like Best About My Job: Working

with different level of dealerships within

the territory.

What I Like Least About My Job: Since

I travel 75 percent of my time, inclement

weather can wreck my schedule in a

heartbeat.

Favorite Pastime/Hobby: Attending live

music and comedy clubs

Last Book I Read: One-Minute Manager,

by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson

Favorite Movie: Austin Powers: Man of

Mystery

Best Concert Ever Seen: Buddy Guy

Who’s My Hero, and Why: My parents, who

moved here in the 1980s to give us a better

life, and the opportunity to succeed.

Favorite CE Product of the Year: Meridian

DSP8000-SE loudspeaker.

If You Could Be Anyplace Else Right Now,

Where Would it Be and What Would You

Be Doing?: In the Caribbean, rocking in a

hammock.

HAYRO BEKARIAN, 39, E-COMMERCE

MANAGER, ELECTRONICS EXPO,

WAYNE, N.J.

Background: Grew

up in and now lives

in Cliffside Park, N.J.

Education: Bergen

Community College,

Paramus, N.J.

Years in Industry: 20

Description of Role:

Responsible for the oversight of online

sales and company presence.

Industry Accomplishments/Proudest

Achievement: We have been recognized as

one of the Top 100 Retailers of Consumer

Electronics 12 years in a row.

What I Like Best About My Job: The gratification

of working in a family-like atmosphere

and tackling day-to-day challenges

with my team.

Favorite Pastime/Hobby: Football and

soccer

Last Book I Read: The Knock at the Door,

by Margaret Ajemian Ahnert

Favorite Movie: Goodfellas

Favorite CE Product of the Year: Ricoh

Theta S

If You Could Be Anyplace Else Right Now,

Where Would it Be and What Would You

Be Doing?: Relaxing on a beach with my

wife and daughter.

DOUG BELDEN, 31, VICE PRESIDENT,

TECHNOLOGY, SAFEWARE, DUBLIN,

OHIO

Twitter Handle: @

douglasbelden

Background: Grew

up in Lima, Ohio

and now lives in

Dublin, Ohio.

Education: Management

Information

Systems (MIS), Urbana University, Urbana,

Ohio

Years in Industry: 13

Description of Role: I develop and implement

the organization’s short- and longterm

IT strategies. I also drive the vision

and oversee the development of missioncritical

applications and technology to

support company goals, as well as engage

external partners to achieve cross-system

technology integration.

Industry Accomplishments/Proudest

Achievement: I am most proud of the work

my team has done to incorporate numerous

automated processes, driven by data

and business rules, across various departments

to provide an exceptional customer

experience and reach industry-best operational

efficiency

Awards: Columbus Business first “People

on the Move (2016);” Safeware Leader of

the Year (2015); Safeware Innovator of

the Year (2014); Safeware Commitment to

Excellence (2012-13); Buckeye Big Buck

Club (2016)

What I Like Best About My Job: The

people I work with, and seeing my team

succeed. When people take natural passion

and apply it to their job, amazing things

happen. I love seeing this occur regularly

at Safeware.

What I Like Least About My Job: Not having

enough hours in the day

Favorite Pastime/Hobby: Deer hunting

and spending time with my two-year-old

daughter.

18 | June 2016 |


Last Book I Read: IT Business Partnerships,

by Joe Topinka

Favorite Movie: Tommy Boy

Best Concert Ever Seen: Rolling Stones at

Ohio Stadium

Who’s My Hero, and Why: My parents

are my heroes. They raised my brother

and I to never give up and always strive to

be the best at whatever it is we chose to

do. They taught me that goals are always

reachable with enough belief, passion and

persistence. They also instilled in me the

importance of schooling and earning good

grades while playing baseball all four years

of college.

Favorite CE Product of the Year: Wearable

technology: Fitbit Blaze

If You Could Be Anyplace Else Right Now,

Where Would it Be and What Would You

Be Doing?: At Lake Cumberland, Ky., boating

with my family.

RYAN CALACCI, 30, EXCHANGE MER-

CHANDISE MANAGER, NATIONWIDE

MARKETING GROUP, WINSTON-

SALEM, N.C.

Background: Grew

up in Lake Zurich,

Ill.; now lives in

Chicago

Education: B.S., Sociology

and Criminal

Justice, University of

La Crosse Wisconsin,

La Crosse, Wisc.

Years in Industry: 9

Description of Role: I work with NMG’s

distributor partners on marketing, promotions,

and product assortments for our

exclusive distributor marketplace called

the eXchange.

Awards: TWICE Magazine 10 Young Tech

Execs to Watch

Favorite Pastime/Hobby: Riding my motorcycle,

water skiing and running

Favorite Movies: Gladiator and Departed

Best Concert Ever Seen: Dashboard Confessionals

with Motion City Soundtrack

Favorite CE Product of the Year: Yamaha

YSP-5600 and LGE’s G6 Series OLED

If You Could Be Anyplace Else Right Now,

Where Would it Be and What Would You

Be Doing?: I would be at my lake house,

water skiing and enjoying the day on my

Harley

WIN CRAMER, 39, PRESIDENT, JLAB

AUDIO, OCEANSIDE, CALIF.

Twitter Handle:

win.cramer

Background: Grew

up in Santa Fe,

N.M.; now lives in

Carlsbad, Calif.

Education: University

of Oklahoma

Years in Industry: 16

Description of Role: As the president, I

wear many hats. I like to think of myself as

a product guy.

Industry Accomplishments/Proudest

Achievement: Being lucky enough to hire

a group of people smarter than me. Then

getting out of their way to let them grow

this amazing company.

Awards: USA headphone of the year.

Wirecutter fitness earbud of the year.

TWICE Best of Show

What I Like Best About My Job: Coaching

a team and collaborating with vendors and

partners

What I Like Least About My Job: 16-hour

days

Favorite Pastime/Hobby: Mountain biking

Last Book I Read: The Life-Changing

Magic of Tidying Up

Favorite Movies: Spaceballs or Three

Amigos.

Best Concert Ever Seen: Jimmy Buffet at

the Belly Up

Who’s My Hero, and Why: My stepdad,

Mike Hall. While we don’t always agree, he

taught me how to outwork everyone.

Favorite CE Product of the Year: Microsoft

Surface Book. Finally, an elegantly designed

Windows-based laptop

If You Could Be Anyplace Else Right Now,

Where Would it Be and What Would You

Be Doing?: I’m where I want to be right

now. I can’t imagine being anyplace else.

KEVIN CUNDIFF, 36, VICE PRESI-

DENT OF RETAIL, FORTEGRA, JACK-

SONVILLE, FLA.

Twitter Handle: @

Fortegra

Background: Grew

up in and now lives

in Washington, Mo.

Education: Southeast

Missouri State

University, B.S., Secondary Education –

Social Sciences

Years in Industry: 16

Description of Role: Vice President of

Retail for Fortegra, a multinational insurance

company that, through a network of

retail partners, offers a range of warranty,

underwriting, and credit protection products.

Responsible for leading customer

experience and partner relationships in

the company’s warranty division, which

includes protection programs for wireless,

furniture, appliance, automotive, and

jewelry products. Utilizing his more than

17 years of experience working with both

carriers and dealers in the wireless industry,

focuses on data-driven analysis, team

member growth, and the overall development

of the Fortegra organization.

Previously, served as National Sales Director

of Fortegra subsidiary ProtectCELL

for three years prior to the companies’

merger, where he helped retailers better

align resources to maximize total wireless

sales through the adoption of a strategy he

dubbed “Retail Moneyball.” Before that,

spent time at T-Mobile where he helped

multiple wireless dealers develop into national

brands. Early in his career, he served

as a secondary social sciences teacher. Has

been credited with scores of editorials and

white papers in numerous national retail

publications.

Industry Accomplishments/Proudest

Achievement: Chief architect of “Retail

Moneyball,” a strategy that’s helped

hundreds of retailers improve sales performance

even without additional traffic.

Instrumental in the growth of the Protect-

CELL brand and its expansion into the

wireless carrier space, leading up to its

acquisition. Has applied his experience as

a secondary education teacher to improve

teaching versus training concepts in retail.

Was instrumental in developing a 15-store

wireless client onto one of AT&T’s largest

national retailers. Is considered an expert

on M&A activity and is frequently consulted

by wireless dealer executives.

Awards: Has won numerous sales performance

awards on internal KPIs.

What I Like Best About My Job: Consulting

on partner business to drive better results.

Far more than just a vendor, Fortegra is

a deeply engaged partner. Our clients


| June 2016 | 19


DEALERSCOPE’S 2016 40 UNDER 40 HONOREES

depend on us for consultation well beyond

the products and services we supply. Being

a key to their success is truly rewarding.

Favorite Pastime/Hobby: Spending time

with my kids, wife, brothers, parents and

grandma. Family is the only reason I work,

and it’s important that I frequently return

to my roots to reconnect and recharge.

That’s helped drive my career growth.

Who’s My Hero, and Why: My dad. Growing

up, he always demonstrated the appropriate

balance between a father and a

business executive. His quiet wisdom and

restraint to only provide solicited opinions

modeled the right path for his four sons,

both personally and professionally. My dad

has served as the best man at each of our

weddings. I pray I’m able to become even

half the man he is.

If You Could Be Anyplace Else Right Now,

Where Would it Be and What Would You

Be Doing?: I’d be home with my family

and parents watching St. Louis Cardinals

baseball!

DAVID DAWSON, 38, SENIOR

DIRECTOR, PROCUREMENT, WYNIT,

GREENVILLE, S.C.

Background: Grew

up in Syracuse, N.Y.

Transitioning to new

corporate headquarters

in Greenville,

S.C.

Education: LeMoyne

College,

Syracuse, N.Y. B.S.,

Business Administration, Marketing concentration

Years in Industry: 12

Description of Role: I have responsibility

for our Procurement team, which combines

the functions of purchasing and

product management into a single team to

serve our seven Strategic Business Units.

Our Procurement team is responsible for

buying and managing of inventory, managing

the day-to-day relationships with our

suppliers, and working with our Business

Development, Sales and Finance teams in

negotiating, contracting, and promoting

our suppliers.

What I Like Best About My Job: At

WYNIT, we work with a tremendously diverse

set of supplier partners. It is exciting

to learn about new products, whether it be

with world-class manufacturers or a new

startup. At WYNIT, we want to be involved

in creating strategies with our partners to

help achieve their goals. Each day brings

new products and new relationships, which

is what makes my job so dynamic.

What I Like Least About My Job: What

may be considered the most challenging

part of my position is the management of

excess or slow-moving inventory. My team

works hard to find alternatives to returning

product to a supplier, as it’s costly for both

parties. It’s rewarding when we can find

alternative solutions to returning product.

Favorite Pastime/Hobby: I take a lot of

pleasure in fixing/repairing and re-engineering

things around the house. It’s rewarding

to see something old become new

again, easier to use, or more functional.

Last Book I Read: The Reagan Diaries,

which is an incredible view into the daily

thoughts, tendencies and observations of

the President

Favorite Movie: Back to the Future

Best Concert Ever Seen: Billy Joel in the

Carrier Dome, Syracuse

Who’s My Hero, and Why: Michael J.

Fox – I admire his determination to build

his career, care and spend time with his

family, and fight the disease that he’s been

stricken with. He’s found balance with it

all while maintaining the positive attitude

and image that helped build his career.

Favorite CE Product of the Year: Fitbit!

If You Could Be Anyplace Else Right Now,

Where Would it Be and What Would You

Be Doing?: DisneyWorld, with my family.

My kids have never been, and I see the

excitement building with every advertisement

or movie they see. I really look

forward to that experience for them.

CHRIS GIBBY, 39, MARKETING

DIRECTOR, VOLUTONE DISTRIBUT-

ING CO., SIMI VALLEY, CALIF.

YouTube Handle:

Funaquariums

Background: Grew

up in Santa Clarita,

Calif.; now lives in

Simi Valley, Calif.

Education: United

States Air Force

Years in Industry: 13

Description of Role: In charge of digital

and print publications, online Web content

and in-store digital signage ads

Industry Accomplishments/Proudest

Achievement: Being able to create and

theme an event or large training for our

dealers with the look and feel of something

that will be remembered year after

year. Taking new and exciting products

and highlighting them through interesting

and unique advertisements.

What I Like Best About My Job: The freedom

to create ads and put together trainings

and events that result in higher sales

and help dealers increase their knowledge

of industry technology.

What I Like Least About My Job: The days

go by too fast.

Favorite Pastime/Hobby: Mountain biking,

aquascaping and gardening

Favorite Movie: Amadeus

Favorite CE Product of the Year: Music-

Cast from Yamaha

If You Could Be Anyplace Else Right Now,

Where Would it Be and What Would You

Be Doing?: Hanging out with my son at a

baseball game.

EDEN GOLDBERG, 39,

VICE PRESIDENT, MARKETING &

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, INMO-

TION ENTERTAINMENT GROUP, LLC,

JACKSONVILLE, FLA.

Twitter Handle:

@inmotionent

Background: Grew

up in Port Washington,

N.Y.; now lives

in Muttontown, N.Y.

Education: B.S.,

Journalism, Indiana

20 | June 2016 |


University; Strategic Branding & Marketing

specialization certification at NYU

Years in Industry: 13

Description of Role: As Vice President

of Marketing and Business Development

at InMotion Entertainment Group, LLC

(IMEG), responsible for the overall brand

management and marketing for the

national airport retailer and portfolio of

retail brands. Involvement includes store +

POP design; creation of marketing materials

and the integration of all customer

communications. Also responsible for

procuring exclusive partnerships, new

vendors and executing product launches.

Has successfully introduced sales programs

and special events, and oversees media

relations and social media activities.

She collaborates across all departments, including

the executive offices, to review and

assess industry trends and to offer strategic

recommendations to drive sales.

Produces an annual training and partner

brand activation summit each year that is

attended by over 350 employees and industry

partners. The four-day summit provides

training and education on the latest and

greatest technologies, as well as hosting

celebrity-visited parties. This has become

one of the most coveted events within the

CE industry.

Industry Accomplishments/Proudest

Achievement: The most amazing thing has

been to see the InMotion Entertainment

Group company vision come to fruition. I

joined the organization in 2002, and have

had the opportunity to build a national

brand that is widely recognizable and

respected.

Awards: IMEG has been the recipient of

numerous industry awards that include

recognition by Airport Revenue News for

“Best Concessions, Highest Regard for

Customer Service,” and by USA Today as

one of the “10 Best” Airport Concession

Stores nationwide. InMotion Entertainment

Group also remains the only airport

retailer to appear in Dealerscope’s Top 101

consumer electronics retailer list for five

consecutive years.

What I Like Best About My Job: What I

like best about my job is the opportunity

to work across all facets of the organization.

On a daily basis, I am able collaborate

with diverse talents and minds with one

goal in mind: to create a retail experience

that engages users, enhances the customer

experience and increases overall sales.

What I Like Least About My Job: Flight

cancellations

Favorite Pastime/Hobby: Tennis

Last Book I Read: My mother’s novel,

Hotel Moscow, by Talia Carner

Favorite Movie: I loved working on the

set of The Thomas Crown Affair. I helped

produce the action shots scenes.

Best Concert Ever Seen: Red Hot Chili

Peppers on Ellis Island, or Anything at The

Gorge in Washington

If You Could Be Anyplace Else Right Now,

Where Would it Be and What Would You

Be Doing?: On the beach (any beach!)

with my family.

MIRANDA GRANTHAM, 26, NATION-

AL SALES MANAGER, METRA HOME

THEATER GROUP, HOLLY HILL, FLA.

Twitter Handle: I

do not tweet but my

company does: @

MetraHome

Background: Grew

up in Ocala, Fla.;

now lives in Daytona

Beach, Fla.

Years in Industry: 4

Description of Role: At Metra Home

Theater Group, I work with my team of

sales associates for the U.S. to grow and

maintain our key accounts. I work very

closely with our engineers and product

development team to stay on top of

industry and technological changes to

ensure that our sales team is current on all

information. Additionally, I work closely

with our integrators to educate them on

how to prepare for the future, as technology

continues to change more rapidly than

ever before.

Industry Accomplishments/Proudest

Achievement: My proudest achievement

is the amount of knowledge I have gained

over time in HDMI and all things cablerelated.

Awards: I have had an integral role in accomplishing

the following awards for our

company: Mark of Excellence Award for

Multi Room Audio/Video Product of the

Year 2015; CE Pro Best of Show - Peripherals

and Enhancements/Multi Room AV;

Residential Systems Best in Show - CEDIA

2015 (HDM-GA1); Technology Integrator

EXC!TE Award (HDM-GA1)

What I Like Best About My Job: What I

enjoy most about my job is the ability to

connect with and work with people in an

industry I am passionate about. I get to

travel across the country to meet with integrators

while troubleshooting HDMI issues

and finding solutions to problems.

What I Like Least About My Job: Earlymorning

flights!

Favorite Pastime/Hobby: When I’m not

working, I enjoy woodworking, repurposing

furniture, and paddle boarding.

Last Book I Read: Outliers, by Malcolm

Gladwell

Favorite Movie: The Green Mile

Best Concert Ever Seen: This is a tough

question. I enjoy many different genres

of music, but two of my most memorable

concerts would have to be Garth Brooks

and Sister Hazel.

Who’s My Hero, and Why: My mom is my

hero. She beat leukemia when I was very

young and after no longer being able to

have children of her own, she adopted two

children, one of which is highly special

needs. She has the patience of a saint and

continues to view life in a positive and uplifting

way, despite all of the trials life has

thrown at her. I strive every day to gain her

patience and positive outlook.

Favorite CE Product of the Year: It’s a

tough choice between the M3B and the

HDM-GA1. Both products are groundbreaking

and innovating, which makes me

proud to be a part of Metra Home Theater

Group.

If You Could Be Anyplace Else Right Now,

Where Would it Be and What Would You

Be Doing?: If I could be anyplace right

now, I would want to be somewhere with

Oakley, my Shiba Inu.

JASON GREENSPAN, 39,

CO-FOUNDER & CEO, WHOOSH!,

TORONTO/ONTARIO, CANADA

Twitter Handle: @

jasongreenspan /

@whoosh

Background: Grew

up in and now lives

in Toronto/Ontario,

Canada

Education: MBA,

Schulich School of Business, York University,

Toronto, Ontario


| June 2016 | 21


DEALERSCOPE’S 2016 40 UNDER 40 HONOREES

Years in Industry: 3

Description of Role: CEO

Industry Accomplishments/Proudest

Achievement: Defining and educating the

industry on the importance of keeping

their screens and CE devices clean. Everything

in our lives is going to be connected

and, like we keep our hands, dishes and

clothing clean, all of these amazing devices

are going to need to be kept clean as well.

Proudest achievement: Having the latest

and greatest smartphones and consumer

electronic hardware manufacturers trust

WHOOSH! to clean their screens and

devices before these incredible devices are

introduced to the world!

Awards: 2x CES Innovation Award nominee

(2014); Family Choice Award Winner

(2015); Parent-tested, Parent Approved

Winner (2015)

What I Like Best About My Job: Everything!

Building an incredible company

with the best people and team.

Favorite Pastime/Hobby: Skiing

Favorite Movie: The Usual Suspects

Best Concert Ever Seen: Bruce Springsteen

Who’s My Hero, and Why: My dad. Smartest,

strongest, kindest and most generous

person I know.

Favorite CE Product of the Year: (Other

than WHOOSH!) Love the Amazon Echo

and the Ring doorbell

If You Could Be Anyplace Else Right Now,

Where Would it Be and What Would You

Be Doing?: Skiing in Colorado!

RYAN HAGBERG, 38, DIRECTOR OF

MARKETING, SANUS, EDEN PRAIRIE,

MINN.

Background: Grew

up in and now lives

in Minneapolis,

Minn.

Education: Augsburg

College, Minneapolis,

Minn.;

B.A. degree

Years in Industry:

10

Description of Role: I lead the consumer

marketing team, where we define and

manage our brand identities and develop

and implement strategic programs with

our resellers. My team also cultivates engagement

with consumers throughout the

entire purchase process, from awareness to

purchase and advocacy.

Industry Accomplishments/Proudest

Achievement: At SANUS, we continue

to maintain leading market share, which

is a true testament to the work we do to

develop the highest-performing and safest

products that enhance our customers’

experiences. I am so proud of the team

we have and the service we provide to our

resellers and our consumers.

Awards: SANUS has earned over 45 industry

product awards in just the past five

years, including the CEDIA Hall of Fame

in 2012 for our VMPL, the first universal

tilting mount.

What I Like Best About My Job: The dedication

we have to providing our resellers

and consumers the absolute highest level

of service and innovative products.

Best Concert Ever Seen: There’s so many,

but here are my favorites… Maynard

Ferguson at Anoka High School; Mighty

Mighty Bosstones at 7th Street Entry; Jamie

Cullum at The Fitzgerald; Trombone

Shorty at the Minnesota State Fair; 311 at

Hard Rock; Heart at Austin City Limits;

U2 at TCF Stadium; The Foo Fighters at

Fenway.

Who Are My Heroes, and Why: My parents.

They taught me to do what you love, treat

people with respect, have patience and

perseverance.

If You Could Be Anyplace Else Right Now,

Where Would it Be and What Would You

Be Doing?: Laying in a hammock at the

Soggy Dollar Bar is pretty hard to beat.

AMANDA LEE HANOLD, 33, GENER-

AL MANAGER, HUDSON GROUP,

BASED IN LAS VEGAS, NEV.

(COMPANY HEADQUARTERS -

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.)

Twitter Handle:

Punkystar7373

Background: Grew

up in Boise, Idaho;

now lives in Las

Vegas

Education: Boise

State University,

Boise, Idaho

Years in Industry: 16

Description of Role: Ensuring operational

excellence of 23 Hudson Newsstands

within the McCarran International Airport.

This includes: being the “Traveler’s

Best Friend” to all of the airport passengers,

budget and cost controls, merchandising

standards, people development,

maintaining business relationships with the

Department of Aviation, maintaining business

relationships with DBE Partners and

maintaining relationships with vendors.

Industry Accomplishments/Proudest

Achievement: The Most Monstrous Store

Manager of the Year 2015 – Monster Electronics

Awards: 2013 - General Manager of the

Year Medium Location 1st place; Office

Admin award 1st place; Most Improved

Operation 2nd place. 2014 - Compliance

and Marketing 1st place;

NSC Collaboration 2nd Place. 2015 - General

Manager of the Year Large Location

1st place;

Merchandising and Operational Excellence

1st place; NSC Collaboration 1st

place; Media Management and Compliance

2nd Place; Monster Store Manager of

the Year 1st Place

What I Like Best About My Job: People

development Last Book I Read: Emotional

Intelligence 2.0, by Travis Bradburry &

Jean Greaves

Favorite Movie: The Shining

Best Concert Ever Seen: Janet Jackson

Who’s My Hero, and Why: My Father is

my hero. My father is an amazing person

and an amazing leader. I have my father

22 | June 2016 |


to thank for achieving what I have today.

He believed in me when I didn’t believe in

myself and pushed me each day to achieve

more. He lives his life each day strictly

having a positive outlook. I remember

him telling me on many occasions while

growing up, “If you believe it, you achieve

it.” If one day I am half the person that my

father is, I am proud of my life’s accomplishments.

DELIA HANSEN, 37, VICE PRESIDENT

OF MARKETING, CLARE CONTROLS,

SARASOTA, FLA.

Twitter Handle: @

delia_hansen

Background: Grew

up in Chicago, Ill.;

now lives in Los

Angeles, Calif.

Education: Associate

Degree, Business

Management, University of Phoenix

Years in Industry: 16

Description of Role: I am responsible for

developing marketing and service policies,

programs and systems to support strategic

direction and aligning business plans with

organizational objectives. I also work with

strategic partners, sales, engineering, and

management teams to ensure the bestpossible

solutions and effective communications

to company customers.

What I Like Best About My Job: Clare has

given me the opportunity to introduce the

cutting-edge CEDIA channel to an open

market and its mainstream consumers. I

love working in this fast-paced industry

that is constantly evolving. It forces us to

stay nimble and relevant, which is important

in developing great solutions and

service offerings to our clients. In this

position, I get to have business discussions

with our clients and learn what their needs

and challenges are instead of just selling a

better widget.

What I Like Least About My Job: With any

job, it’s difficult to find that work/life balance.

Luckily, Clare has afforded me the

opportunity to work remotely, which allows

me to spend more time with my family.

Favorite Pastime/Hobby: GT racing (although

I rarely get the chance)

Last Book I Read: Elon Musk: Tesla,

SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic

Future

Favorite Movie: The English Patient

Best Concert Ever Seen: Brice Woodall

(unplugged) in a little coffee shop: Uncommon

Ground

Who’s My Hero, and Why: Tina Fey. She is

smart, funny, and successful (on merit and

without resentment) in a predominantly

male industry.

Favorite CE Product of the Year: Amazon

Echo; it was introduced last year, but I still

consider this a hot product. Since Amazon

Echo opened its API to smart home companies

in 2016, it’s opening up a world of

possibilities for home tech and appliances

to be controlled via voice command. I’m

excited to see where it goes and what Echo

will enable.

If You Could Be Anyplace Else Right Now,

Where Would it Be and What Would You

Be Doing?: At Road America in Elkhart

Lake, Wisc., about to jump into a Porsche

991 GT3.

TOM HEFFERNAN, 37, DIRECTOR OF

MARKETING, TCL

Background: Grew

up in Upstate N.Y.;

now lives in Orange,

Calif.

Education: University

of Michigan, Ann

Arbor, Mich.; MBA

Years in Industry: 7

Description of

Role: As TCL’s first Director of Marketing

in North America, I’ve had the opportunity

to build the brand from the ground

up, overseeing all of our PR, advertising,

branding and sponsorship initiatives in the

U.S.

Industry Accomplishments/Proudest

Achievement: Being a part of the rapid

growth of TCL in the U.S., including

seeing our sales triple each of the last two

years, with more than a million of our

award-winning TCL Roku TVs sold in the

first year of introduction. In a competitive

product category that is seeing lots

of brands exit, it’s great to be a part of

a brand that is investing in their vertical

capabilities ($15B panel factory) and innovating

(research centers across the world

including a talented team in Silicon Valley)

to be able to deliver the latest technology

to consumers at a great value. As satisfying

as it is to grow a brand, I’m most proud of

the growth and success of the people that

have been on my team, both at TCL and

in previous roles, and the success they have

gone on to achieve personally and professionally.

Awards: This honor joins a collection of illustrious

awards including WH Elementary

School Spelling Bee Winner (1989) and

MFAF Fantasy Football League Champion

(2009).

What I Like Best About My Job: Opportunity

to build a brand while being encouraged

by TCL’s exec team to think differently

about the way we approach it.

Favorite Pastime/Hobby: Restoring a

1920s English Tudor. Most recent (largely

unnecessary) project was putting in a

hidden, motorized trap door to the wine

cellar. The joy I felt when it opened and

closed via remote the first time after several

weekends of work is what I imagine it’s

like to hold your first child. Only this involved

wine, so it was probably a bit better.

Last Book I Read: A Supposedly Fun

Thing I’ll Never Do Again, by David Foster

Wallace

Favorite Movie: Idiocracy - It’s eerie how

prophetic that movie is proving to be in

just 10 years. We can’t be many elections

away from President Dwayne Elizondo

Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho.

Best Concert Ever Seen: Wu-Tang Clan

Who’s My Hero, and Why: Michigan Football

Coach Jim Harbaugh, because he attacks

his job with an enthusiasm unknown

to mankind.

Favorite CE Product of the Year: Laundroid

– it washes, dries, and FOLDS your

clothes. I can’t overstate how much I

HATE folding clothes.

If You Could Be Anyplace Else Right Now,

Where Would it Be and What Would You

Be Doing?: Not sure where I’d be, but I

definitely wouldn’t be folding clothes.


| June 2016 | 23


DEALERSCOPE’S 2016 40 UNDER 40 HONOREES

TIMO HILDEBRANDT, 32, SENIOR

VENDOR BUSINESS MANAGER,

AVAD, LLC, LOS ANGELES, CALIF.

Background: Grew

up in Simi Valley,

Calif.; now lives in

Valencia, Calif.

Education: California

State University

Northridge, Bachelor’s

in Systems and

Operations Management

Years in Industry: 17

Description of Role: I lead the team

responsible for managing the vendor

side of AVAD’s business. We are responsible

for determining product selection,

establishing and managing the mix, as well

as for the flow of goods from purchase

to sell-through. We work with marketing

and vendor partners on demand creation,

promotions and to build trainings for our

customers and staff.

Awards: A + Certified Hardware Technician

(IT); Company Recognition at

Volkswagen AG in Wolfsburg, Germany for

contributions to the advancement of the

Autonomous Driving Project

Favorite Pastime/Hobby: Boating and

golfing

Last Book I Read: 13 Hours, by Mitchell

Zuckoff

Best Concert Ever Seen: Kenny Chesney at

the Rose Bowl

Favorite CE Product of the Year: JVC DLA-

RS600U [4K projector]

TOMMY JACOBS, 34, VICE PRESI-

DENT OF SALES, NORTH AMERICA,

KLIPSCH GROUP

Background: Grew

up in and now lives

in Indianapolis, Ind.

Education: Kelley

School of Business,

Indianapolis

Years in Industry: 10

Description of Role:

Lead an awesome

sales team and sell the best speakers on the

planet

Industry Accomplishments/Proudest

Achievement: Won the coveted Klipsch

Salesman of the Year Award in 2009

Awards: Klipsch Salesman of the Year

Award, TWICE Millennial To Watch

What I Like Best About My Job: My team

and the partners we work with every day

What I Like Least About My Job: Being

away from my daughter, Ave Grace

Favorite Pastime/Hobby: Golf and basketball

Last Book I Read: Fred 2.0: New Ideas on

How to Keep Delivering Extraordinary

Results

Favorite Movie: Jerry Maguire

Best Concert Ever Seen: Mumford and

Sons at the Bluebird in Bloomington, Ind.,

in June 2010, in front of 400 people

Favorite CE Product of the Year: Klipsch

Reference Premiere HD Wireless Speakers

If You Could Be Anyplace Else Right Now,

Where Would it Be and What Would You

Be Doing?: I would be in Key West, Fla., at

the Schooner Wharf Bar drinking a Painkiller,

listening to live local music through

Klipsch speakers.

MICHAEL LINDSEY, 36, VICE PRESI-

DENT, BILL SMITH ELECTRONICS &

APPLIANCES, FORT MYERS, FLA.

Twitter Handle: @

MikexLindsey

Background: Grew

up in Fort Myers,

Fla.; now lives in

Cape Coral, Fla.

Years in Industry:

16

Description of

Role: I’m directly involved in every aspect

of our business (sales, operations, merchandising,

HR, marketing).

What I Like Best About My Job: The challenges

that allow me to grow both professionally

and personally.

What I Like Least About My Job: I miss

being on the sales floor. This is where the

excitement is. I thrived on the customer

engagement and positive feedback.

Favorite Pastime/Hobby: Sports: baseball,

football and basketball

Last Book I Read: Game of Thrones series

Favorite Movie: The Shawshank Redemption

Best Concert Ever Seen: Never been

Who’s My Hero, and Why: My son, Jordan

– his accomplishments and what he’s

overcome to achieve them.

Favorite CE Product of the Year: LG’s 4K

OLED TVs (OLED77G6P)

If You Could Be Anyplace Else Right Now,

Where Would it Be and What Would You

Be Doing?: In Jamaica, laying in a hammock

between two palm trees.

MIKE E. LIPSKI, 34, REGIONAL KEY

ACCOUNTS SALES MANAGER, D&H

DISTRIBUTING, FT. LAUDERDALE,

FLA. (COMPANY HEADQUARTERS –

HARRISBURG, PA.)

Background: Grew

up in Staten Island,

N.Y.; now lives in

Fort Lauderdale,

Fla.

Years in Industry: 17

Description of Role:

Manage Tier One

retail and etail accounts. Work closely with

the vendor community. Manage all aspects

of business from contractual negotiations

to deal inceptions. Relationship-builder.

Proven results-driver.

Industry Accomplishments/Proudest

Achievement: Was a major player in bringing

an expanded selection CE products to

the Home Improvement and Department

Store channels.

Awards: Awarded Video Game Salesman of

The Year by customer TWEC (FYE Music

Stores) in 2008.

What I Like Best About My Job: I love

building partnerships with my customers

and helping them grow their business.

What I Like Least About My Job: Traveling

for 30-minute meetings.

Favorite Pastime/Hobby: Baseball

Favorite Movie: Casino

Best Concert Ever Seen: Jay Z

Who’s My Hero, and Why: My mother. She

was a widowed single mother of four who

did a fantastic job raising me and my sisters

even through challenging times.

Favorite CE Product of the Year: Fitbit

Blaze


24 | June 2016 |


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DEALERSCOPE’S 2016 40 UNDER 40 HONOREES

If You Could Be Anyplace Else Right Now,

Where Would it Be and What Would You

Be Doing?: I would be in Bora Bora, relaxing

in the sun with my son, Adam, girlfriend,

Dana, and her daughter, Madison.

JERRY LIU, 36, CEO, HISENSE AMER-

ICAS, QINGDAO, CHINA (HEAD-

QUARTERS OF HISENSE); SUWANEE,

GA. (HEADQUARTERS OF HISENSE

USA)

Background: Grew

up in Lanzhou,

Gansu Province

(China); now lives

in Qingdao, China

and Suwanee, Ga.

Education:

Huazhong University of Science and

Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, China, B.Sc.;

Shandong University, Shandong, China,

MBA

Years in Industry: 14+

Description of Role: CEO of Hisense

Americas, where he is responsible for overseeing

and driving the strategy of Hisense’s

North and South American operations.

He is focused on improving operational efficiency

across Canada, the U.S. and South

America. Duties also include overseeing

supply chain, enhancing internal and

external communications, manufacturing,

marketing and sales. He is also the representative

of research and development in

the Americas and advises on developing

the company’s newest products. He is also

the chairman of the new HIMEX factory.

Industry Accomplishments/Proudest

Achievement: Has quickly risen through

the ranks to become CEO of one of the

fastest-growing TV manufacturers in key

markets (USA, Mexico, Canada). Hisense

is focused on becoming the #3 TV manufacturer

in the U.S. over the next thre

years. While he served as president of

Hisense South Africa from 2007 to 2010,

he was extremely dedicated to garnering

brand awareness of Hisense, and under

his leadership, Hisense became one of

the most notable CE and home appliance

brands in South Africa. Helped Hisense

grow from the #7 share to the #2 share in

the country. Hisense also sponsored the

UNEP SEED Award, which aims to create

a national community of successful social

and environmental entrepreneurs, and the

company also regularly donated products

to orphanages and underprivileged children.

Oversaw the purchase of the HIMEX

factory that opened earlier this year and

will drastically accelerate manufacturing

efforts and supply chain efficiency and

optimization of Hisense and Sharp TV

models in North America, contributing to

Hisense’s turnout of quality products with

advanced technology that echo industry

trends. Introduced the only four-year 4K

TV warranty to the industry, which demonstrates

Hisense’s dedication to quality

and shows the U.S. marketplace that they

stand behind their product. Has made a

dedicated effort to build brand awareness

for Hisense in the North American market

through aggressive growth strategies, the

expansion of the U.S.-based R&D teams

and a dedicated NASCAR sponsorship.

Awards: Has been chosen as the Leader of

the Year across all Hisense branches consecutively

for the past four to five years

What I Like Best About My Job: Enjoys

bringing happiness to people through

technology and having the potential to

improve their lives with Hisense products.

Favorite Pastime/Hobby: Playing sports

like golf, soccer, basketball, tennis and

ping pong.

Last Book Read: Has been reading several

books by Japanese entrepreneur Kazuo

Inamori.

Favorite Movies: X-Men, Braveheart,

Forrest Gump

Who’s My Hero, and Why: Steve Jobs,

because he has continued to have such

a huge impact on our daily lives. Dr. Lan

Lin, Vice President of Hisense Company,

Ltd., is also one of his mentors because

he has led the company to success and

recognition outside of China. He also does

an exceptional job of balancing influences

from the East and the West, which contributes

to Hisense’s impressive growth.

Favorite CE Product of the Year: Hisense

Laser Cast

KARISSA LONG, 35, CFO, TEMPOE,

CINCINNATI, OHIO

Twitter Handle: Sadly,

I don’t have one – I

am more of an Instagram

fan

Background: Grew

up in Cincinnati; now

lives in New York, N.Y.

Education: Miami

University, Oxford,

Ohio; Masters of Accountancy

Years in Industry: 4

Description of Role: I lead the finance and

accounting functions for TEMPOE and act

as a valued business partner to Executive

Management and the functional leaders

of the organization. My responsibilities

include direct oversight of the company’s

capital structure, financial reporting,

monthly accounting close process, financial

planning and analysis, internal control

implementation, and fundraising.

Industry Accomplishments/Proudest

Achievement: My main accomplishment

in the consumer electronics industry

would be putting retail within reach for

our business partners and their customers.

My position ensures that TEMPOE can

continue to assist the consumer electronics

changing landscape, giving stores and their

customers a different way to take what they

want home today without the commitment

of a purchase. With the rise of Millennials

and their non-committal attitude towards

consumer electronics, we are putting what

is current in their hands, and they have the

ability to keep getting the newest gadgets.

Think ‘consumer car leasing model;’ electronics

trend so fast, and leasing is exactly

what the consumer electronic industry

needs.

What I Like Best About My Job: I love the

entrepreneurial mindset of TEMPOE,

which challenges me to juggle multiple

tasks and solve complex problems. I have

also loved creating a successful team, implementing

change, and producing results

in my current role.

What I Like Least About My Job: There is

not enough time in the day!

Favorite Pastime/Hobby: Cooking and

watching football

26 | June 2016 |


Last Book I Read: It Starts with Food, by

Melissa & Dallas Hartwig

Favorite Movie: I can’t pick just one! Let’s

see: Pretty Woman; Love, Actually; and

When Harry Met Sally, to name a few!

Best Concert Ever Seen: Beyoncé!!

Who’s My Hero, and Why: I continue to

be inspired by innovators. People that are

constantly thinking outside of the box and

are not satisfied with status quo are my

heroes.

Favorite CE Product of the Year: My

favorite CE product of the year would have

to be the Amazon Echo. Not only can the

Echo stream music, order pizza, get an

Uber and help to research industry news,

but the Echo can connect house alarms,

NEST thermostats and lighting, all to a device

that is voice-commanded. Pretty cool!

If You Could Be Anyplace Else Right Now,

Where Would it Be and What Would You

Be Doing?: Sitting oceanside in Capri, Italy,

eating pasta and drinking wine with family

and friends.

COLE LYNCH, 25, SALES, JEFF

LYNCH, GREENVILLE, S.C.

Twitter Handle: @

lynchmx249

Background: Grew

up in and now lives

in Greenville, S.C.

Education: The Citadel

(Military College

of South Carolina)

2009-12, three years only.

Years in Industry: Born and raised in the

industry

Description of Role: My main focus is

sales; I sell it all: furniture, appliances,

bedding and electronics. I’m also the team

leader for the electronics division, and

do minimal monitoring of the electronic

website.

Industry Accomplishments/Proudest

Achievement: Making it through the ranks:

Delivery to warehouse, to warehouse management,

and now, sales.

What I Like Best About My Job: The freedom

to create. In our positions we are able

to take the consumer, get a baseline for

what they’re wanting, and then be able to

show them the true possibility of what we

can do. This is where we take their childhood

dream and turn it into a reality – and

now, everything is about the experience

for them.

What I Like Least About My Job: This is a

loaded question. Like every job, it has its

ups and downs. I can’t really complain. But

the worst part about my job is actually not

being able to deliver [to a consumer] an

experience like they have not seen before.

Favorite Pastime/Hobby: Motocross - 18

years and still racing.

Last Book I Read: The last full book would

have to be questions for my college English

professor. Most of my reading now is

product-based. I mostly prefer mathematical

reading, especially when discussing

Ohm’s law.

Favorite Movie: 13 Hours

Best Concert Ever Seen: Not a big concert

person, But I am looking to go to the 21

Pilots concert

Who’s My Hero, and Why: My dad - to see

what he has overcome and the struggle he

has overcome.

Favorite CE Product of the Year: This is

a tough question. It would have to be the

AudioQuest NightHawk headphones

If You Could Be Anyplace Else Right Now,

Where Would it Be and What Would You

Be Doing?: Middle of nowhere. Just relaxing

in nature.

SKYLER MEEK, 30, DIRECTOR OF

MARKETING, SCREEN INNOVA-

TIONS, AUSTIN, TEXAS

Twitter Handle:

@SkylerObrien

Background: Grew

up in and now lives

in Austin, Texas

Education: University

of Texas at San

Antonio

Years in Industry: 2

Description of Role: My responsibilities

include, but are not limited to: managing

and leading the marketing team and all

marketing projects.

Industry Accomplishments/Proudest

Achievement: The first thing that comes to

mind when considering main industry accomplishments

is the project that involved

marketing our projection screen, which

became the first screen to be used in space

– onboard the International Space Station.

Being commissioned by NASA is no small

feat and it serves to confirm all of the hard

work that we have been doing over the

years to establish SI as innovators and industry

leaders. I took on the project, which

for the video alone included all of the

pre-production, shooting, directing and

editing. There was also a major website

construction which I also took charge of

– and to top it off, a case study and article

which I decided to also dump on my plate.

All back when our team consisted of one

person – myself. My proudest achievement

was when all of the hard work and late

nights became instantaneously worth it,

when our video went viral and landed on

the home page of a national news publication,

NBC.

What I Like Best About My Job: There

are many reasons why I love my job, like

getting to play with cool tech toys, or

expressing my creativity, but I have to give

credit to our CEO, Ryan Gustafson, for the

#1 reason I love my job; The incredible

“SI culture” he has built. Simply put, it is

unlike any other team and environment I

have been a part of, and that’s not something

that you can create by better salaries

or bigger bonuses.

Last Book I Read: Insanely Simple – The

Obsession that Drives Apple’s Success, by

Ken Segall

Who’s My Hero, and Why: Despite the risk

of a cliché answer, I am a believer in God,

and a follower of Christ so - Jesus Christ.

RANDY MORA, 39, SENIOR DIREC-

TOR, U.S. SALES, NEW AGE ELEC-

TRONICS, CARSON, CALIF.

Background: Grew

up in Los Angeles,

Calif.; now lives in

Hollywood, Calif.

Years in Industry:

16

Description of

Role: I oversee and

manage all aspects

of consumer sales within the retail channel

for National, eCommerce, Office Product

Superstores and Fashion accounts at New

Age Electronics.

Industry Accomplishments/Proudest

Achievement: One of my proudest achievements

is being recognized by executive

management with the SYNNEX President’s

Club Award, which recognizes employees

for excellent service, over-achievement,

ethics and overall commitment to the


| June 2016 | 27


DEALERSCOPE’S 2016 40 UNDER 40 HONOREES

organization.

What I Like Best About My Job: Selling the

latest and greatest technology

Favorite Pastime/Hobby: Traveling abroad

Favorite CE Product of the Year: Connected-home

products

TAYLOR NICHOLS, 26, DIRECTOR OF

MARKETING, ORIGIN ACOUSTICS

Instagram & Facebook

URLs: facebook.com/tayloryanichols;

instagram.

com/tayloryanichols

Background: Grew

up in Las Vegas,

Nev.; now lives in

Riverside, Calif.

Education: UNLV, Las Vegas, Economics

– B.A.; USC, Los Angeles, Calif. – MBA,

Marketing & Entrepreneurship, Class of

2018

Years in Industry: 2

Description of Role: At Origin Acoustics,

I am responsible for directing our marketing

initiatives including products, promotions,

communications and events.

Industry Accomplishments/Proudest

Achievement: (Origin’s outdoor living

brand) AcoustaScape is a completely oneof-a-kind

product in the marketplace. We

definitely hit a home run with this product.

The performance is just ridiculous!

AcoustaScape is a creatively destructive

force in the outdoor audio market. Our

partner portal is another huge accomplishment.

It’s amazing what we were able to

do with our website and portal, given we’ve

only been around for a few years. The

website totally changes the way we interact

and provide service to our partners. Everything

is super-convenient!

Awards: CEDIA 2014 Best of Show, 2015

EXC!TE Award for Excellence in Custom

Installation Technologies and Products

What I Like Best About My Job: Working

alongside the original pioneers of our

category, in addition to Jeremy Burkhardt,

who has helped shaped this industry into

what it is today. It’s given me a very unique

starting point in the industry. I look forward

to bringing my knowledge of technology

and love for music as a “Millennial” to

the custom experience.

What I Like Least About My Job: The

stress.

Favorite Pastime/Hobby: Live music,

movies, running, writing music, and DIY

projects

Last Book I Read: Zero to One, by Peter

Thiel

Favorite Movie: Slumdog Millionaire

Best Concert Ever Seen: Animal Collective

at Coachella 2011

Who’s My Hero, and Why: God, because

he saves me every day.

Favorite CE Product of the Year: AcoustaScape.

. . hands down

If You Could Be Anyplace Else Right Now,

Where Would it Be and What Would You

Be Doing?: Hawaii. . . admiring the world’s

beauty, goofing off, surfing, and dreaming

up creative ways to make a positive impact

on the world.

DAN PAULSON, 36, VICE PRESIDENT

OF TECHNICAL SALES, PAULSON’S

AUDIO & VIDEO, FARMINGTON

HILLS, MICH.

Background: Grew

up in and now lives

in Farmington Hills,

Mich.

Education: B.A.,

General Business

Administration,

Michigan State University,

East Lansing, Mich.

Years in Industry: 14 years full time, 8

years part time during high school and

college

Description of Role: I oversee sales in our

retail store as well as assist in the Technical

Sales for our design department for our

Custom Installation division, as well as the

day-to-day operations.

Industry Accomplishments/Proudest

Achievement: Successfully increased our

audio presence and sales over the past six

years. We began as a TV store and are now

the destination for hi-fi in our area. Continue

to grow our business year over year

and most importantly, we are very involved

in our community and a key partner with

our neighbors.

Awards: Dealer of the Year for BDI, Sonos,

Screen Innovations. I was chosen to represent

my peers and serve on the board of

HTSA

What I Like Best About My Job: The opportunity

to take care of our clients’ needs

one by one, and reminding them why

they worked with us in the first place. We

sell fun “toys,” and I love sharing it with

everyone.

What I Like Least About My Job: Direct

competition from the manufacturers we

support.

Favorite Pastime/Hobby: Golf, and spending

time with my wife and three-year-old

daughter

Last Book I Read: Game of Thrones

Favorite Movie: True Lies

Best Concert Ever Seen: Metallica

Who’s My Hero, and Why: My dad is

my hero. He is the most unselfish, loving

individual I have ever met. Everyone

around him, family, friends and clients, all

say the same thing. I hope to live up to the

standard he has set.

Favorite CE Product of the Year: LG 4K

OLED. Consumers love their TVs and are

always looking for a reason to upgrade,

and OLED is the best picture I have ever

seen.

If You Could Be Anyplace Else Right Now,

Where Would it Be and What Would You

Be Doing?: I would be teeing off at Augusta

Nation Golf Course in Georgia!

CHRISTOPHER PEARSON, 32,CHAN-

NEL MARKETING MANAGER, DI-

RECTED ELECTRONICS, VISTA,

CALIF.

Background: Grew

up in Minneapolis,

Minn.; now lives in

San Diego County

Education: Graduating

May 2017 from

California State

University – San Marcos, San Marcos, Calif.,

with a B.S. in Applied Physics – Applied

Electronics

Years in Industry: 16

Description of Role: I manage all aspects

of Directed’s technical marketing to our

customers (automotive electrical technicians).

Industry Accomplishments/Proudest

Achievement: I think the thing I’m most

proud of is that I found my own path – I

28 | June 2016 |


went from a naïve (some might say punk)

18-year-old working on cars at Best Buy to

being less than a year away from having a

Physics degree. It’s been quite the journey.

Getting to work for some of the industry’s

best in Directed and Best Buy has also

been very rewarding.

Awards: Sigma Pi Sigma Physics Honor

Society; CSUSM Dean’s List; MECP Subject

Matter Expert

What I Like Best About My Job: The people

I work with and the people I work for.

Also I’m very happy to work at Directed

because they allow me to work a crazy

schedule so I can finish my degree.

Favorite Pastime/Hobby: Right now, my

favorite hobby is definitely surfing.

Last Book I Read: I just re-read The Charisma

Myth, by Olivia Fox Cabane; it’s been

a meaningful book for me the last several

years. The last book I read (for the first

time) is The Car Hacker’s Handbook, by

Craig Smith.

Favorite Movie: Requiem for a Dream

Favorite CE Product of the Year: Nixon

Ultratide smartwatch

NICOLE ELIZABETH RIDDLE, 32,

DISTRICT MANAGER, PROSOURCE,

MINNEAPOLIS,

MINN.

Background: Grew

up in Pittsburgh,

Pa.; now lives in

Minneapolis

Years in Industry: 7

Description of Role:

Manage members in

the mid/northwest with our programs and

member services, and assist with vendor

relationships.

Industry Accomplishments/Proudest

Achievement: Being involved with the

Women in Consumer Technology (group)

and also helping to form the Young Professionals

group for our company

What I Like Best About My Job: I love people.

Our membership feels like a family

– building relationships is key to retention

and success.

Favorite Movie: The Godfather

Who’s My Hero, and Why: My hero is my

father. He has been in the industry for

over 30 years and continues to be a leader

for change and innovation. He has taught

my brother and I that people just want to

be heard, and to stop and listen. My Dad

gives me the greatest gift anyone could

give another person: he believes in me.

Favorite CE Product of the Year: OLED

everything! Also, VR/AR (VR/AR is a

wireless virtual reality HMD [head-mounted

display] that features 3D gesture input,

position tracking and augmented reality

overlays) – this technology feels like the

Jetsons!

If You Could Be Anyplace Else Right Now,

Where Would it Be and What Would You

Be Doing?: At a Denver Broncos game with

my son.

JESSE ROBBINS, 37, FOUNDER AND

CEO, ORION

LABS, MAKER OF

ONYX

Twitter Handle:

https://twitter.

com/jesserobbins

Background: Grew

up in Manchesterby-the-Sea,

Mass.,

and Palo Alto, Calif.; now lives in San

Francisco, Calif.

Education: Mission College Firefighter

Academy, Calif. - Firefighter 1

Years in Industry: 3

Description of Role: Founder and CEO of

Orion, an instant communication network

that works with a constellation of connected

devices, thinking about ways to examine,

address and build solutions that move

today’s communication forward.

Industry Accomplishments/Proudest

Achievement: Has brought two consumer

electronic devices to market in two years,

secured funding from top telecom company

Motorola and was selected as a featured

speaker alongside Google and Microsoft

for 2016 SXSW panel on the future of

voice technology. These accomplishments

validated the company’s vision for a future

powered by voice.

Awards: Business Journal’s 40 Under 40

(2010); MIT Tech Review’s 35 Under 35

(2011) for Chef & Operations leadership

at Amazon; TechTarget’s Top Cloud Computing

Leader (2012)

Favorite Pastime/Hobby: Sailing and diving

Favorite Movie: The Fifth Element

Best Concert Ever Seen: Daft Punk at a

festival in Nevada

Who’s My Hero, and Why: Richard

Branson

Favorite CE Products of the Year: Onyx

from Orion and Amazon Echo

MATT SCHRAMECK, 33, E-COM-

MERCE AC-

COUNT MANAG-

ER, PETRA

INDUSTRIES, LLC,

EDMOND, OKLA.

Background: Grew

up in Oklahoma

City, Okla.; now lives

in Piedmont, Okla.

Education: Texas A&M University, College

Station, Texas; University of Central Oklahoma,

Edmond, Okla.

Years in Industry: 9

Description of Role: I am responsible for

managing Petra’s partnerships with Amazon

and Costco

Industry Accomplishments/Proudest

Achievement: I started my Petra career as

a member of the E-Commerce customer

service team, and I now manage Petra’s

partnerships with some of the largest retailers

in the CE industry.

Awards: (2011) Petra E-Commerce Team

of the Year

What I Like Best About My Job: My role

at Petra requires problem-solving, project

management and teamwork, and with the

support of my superiors and peers, I have

great opportunities every day to make

impactful contributions.

Favorite Pastime/Hobby: Working on my

cars, storm-chasing; working on my house

Favorite CE Product of the Year: Microsoft

Lumia 950

If You Could Be Anyplace Else Right Now,

Where Would it Be and What Would You

Be Doing?: Working on my cars or working

on my house.

ALEX ALIREZA SHIRDEL, 36, VICE

PRESIDENT, BUSINESS DEVELOP-

MENT, PRO-

MOUNTS AND

MONSTER

MOUNTS, TOR-

RANCE, CALIF.

Twitter Handle: @

ashirdel3

Background: Grew

up in Ft. Lauderd-


| June 2016 | 29


DEALERSCOPE’S 2016 40 UNDER 40 HONOREES

ale, Fla.; now lives in Irvine, Calif.

Education: BBA, Finance, Florida International

University

Years in Industry: 6

Description of Role: I oversee the manufacturing

and business development of our

consumer electronics accessories. My manufacturing

responsibilities include sourcing,

cost control and quality assurance.

My business development responsibilities

include projecting sales, identifying and

closing targets in the hospitality, distribution,

ecommerce, and retail channels.

Industry Accomplishments/Proudest

Achievement: My primary achievement has

been establishing relationships and partnerships

throughout the world such as our

MGM partnership and establishing our

retail channels in Mexico, Canada, and the

U.S. This has helped our company scale at

a healthy, sustainable rate.

What I Like Best About My Job: I love

the freedom I have to conceptualize new

products, realize them in the manufacturing

process and ultimately see them on the

shelf and in the hands of consumers. This

is only possible through the hard work and

dedication of the team I work with; they

are truly my second family.

What I Like Least About My Job: My daily

commute, as it can be in excess of two

hours a day.

Favorite Pastime/Hobby: I love to play

soccer and listen to music, seldom at the

same time. :)

Last Book I Read: How to Win Friends &

Influence People, by Dale Carnegie

Favorite Movie: The Godfather Trilogy

Best Concert Ever Seen: I would have

loved to see Michael Jackson

Who’s My Hero, and Why: My parents are

my heroes. They migrated to the U.S. from

Iran in the late ’80s, and gave up their own

livelihood so that my siblings and I could

have a bright future.

Favorite CE Product of the Year: Amazon

Echo

If You Could Be Anyplace Else Right Now,

Where Would it Be and What Would You

Be Doing?: In space.

RONNY E. SHMOEL, 39, CEO, CIR-

CUIT CITY, NEW YORK, N.Y.

Twitter Handle:

https://twitter.com/

ronnyshmoel

Background: Grew

up and now lives in

New York, N.Y.

Years in Industry: 18

Description of Role:

CEO

Industry Accomplishments/Proudest

Achievement: Becoming one of the Top

500 Internet retailers. It helps us keep on

top of the latest improvements in Internet

technologies.

What I Like Best About My Job: I get to

see and interact with all new emerging

products

What I Like Least About My Job: Not

enough hours in the day

Favorite Pastime/Hobby: Cycling; catching

up on reading

Last Book I Read: Delivering Happiness,

By Tony Hsieh

Favorite Movie: Avatar

Best Concert Ever Seen: Justin Timberlake

at Madison Square Garden, NYC

Who’s My Hero, and Why: Thomas Edison,

being a visionary beyond his years.

Favorite CE Products of the Year: GoPro

Omni; Apple Watch; Samsung VR

LAUREN SIMMEN, 30, REGIONAL

SALES AT SURGEX, KNIGHTDALE,

N.C.

Twitter Handle: @

laurensimmen

Background: Grew

up in Emerson, N.J.;

now lives in Bristol,

R.I.

Education: B.S.,

Marketing Communications,

Johnson & Wales University,

Providence, R.I.

Years in Industry: 10

Description of Role: At SurgeX, I handle

sales for the Northeast, Middle Atlantic

and Florida territories, as well as national

key accounts. As part of my role, I also

manage inside sales as well as communication

strategies for the SurgeX brand in

the AV channel. I work on strengthening

SurgeX’s B2B and B2C communications

in an effort to cultivate and strengthen our

customer and dealer interactions.

Industry Accomplishments/Proudest

Achievement: One of my main accomplishments

at SurgeX has been working

to improve the lines of communications

between us and our customers. By being

more proactive with our communications

and messaging, it has allowed us to build a

better relationship and level of trust with

our customers. I think one of my proudest

achievements has been the transition into

my current role. I came into my current

role and was tasked with replacing an

industry veteran who had been with the

company since its inception. While I will

never replace him, I take pride in the fact

that I have been able to seamlessly transition

my customers and have worked hard

to gain their respect and comradery.

Awards: Custom Retailer Young Turk

What I Like Best About My Job: I love that

every day is different. Each customer of

mine is so unique and faces different challenges;

I love working with them individually

to understand what makes their business

tick and what we can do to help them

reach their goals. I have pretty awesome

coworkers, too!

What I Like Least About My Job: Being

away from my kids when I travel

Favorite Pastime/Hobby: As a huge sports

fan, I love watching baseball and football.

Last Book I Read: Wake Up Happy, by

Michael Strahan

Favorite Movie: Major League

Best Concert Ever Seen: Tie between Metallica

and Eric Church

Who’s My Hero, and Why: My grandmother.

I grew up in a family of strong, independent

women and no one exudes this

character trait more than my grandmother.

She has taught me the true meaning of

hard work, humility and doing the right

thing and I cherish the support and advice

she continues to give me.

Favorite CE Product of the Year: There are

too many to choose from, but I am always

amazed at the leaps our industry takes in

technology advancements each year.

If You Could Be Anyplace Else Right Now,

Where Would it Be and What Would You

Be Doing?: If I could be anyplace else right

30 | June 2016 |


now, it would be on a farm somewhere riding

horses with my family.

JONATHAN STELZER, 26, SYSTEM

INTEGRATION SPECIALIST, JAMIE-

SONS AUDIO/VIDEO, TOLEDO, OHIO

Twitter Handle: @

JonathanStelzer

Background: Grew

up in Temperance,

Mich.; now lives in

Toledo, Ohio

Education: Siena

Heights University;

Adrian, Mich.; B.A.

Years in Industry: Less than 1

Description of Role: Installation and service

of audio, video, and network systems.

Industry Accomplishments/Proudest

Achievement: I have yet to hang a TV

crooked, or on the wrong wall.

What I Like Best About My Job: Meeting

clients; seeing the architecture and design

of homes. I love when a client is completely

blown away by an installation.

Favorite Pastime/Hobby: Wrenching on

my racecar.

Last Book I Read: The Talisman; Stephen

King & Peter Straub

Favorite Movie: The Emperor’s New

Groove

Favorite CE Product of the Year: LG’s

OLED 4K TV. Holy cow, what a picture!

If You Could Be Anyplace Else Right Now,

Where Would it Be and What Would You

Be Doing?: In a time machine, traveling

one week into the past with this week’s

Powerball numbers.

DAVIN SUFER, 37, CHIEF TECH

OFFICER, WOWWEE, MONTREAL,

QUEBEC, CANADA

Twitter Handle: @

WowWeeWorld

(Company Handle)

Background: Grew

up in London, England

and Montreal,

Quebec; now lives in

Montreal.

Education: University of Waterloo, Bachelor

of Applied Science: Systems Design

Engineering, with an option in the field of

Cognitive Science.

Years in Industry: 11

Description of Role: Manage the day-today

R&D and product development efforts

across WowWee’s multiple R&D Centers.

Primary responsibility is the conceiving of

new product platforms, identifying emerging

technologies, and integrating these

elements with WowWee’s highly creative

vision to create cutting-edge, consumerready

products.

Industry Accomplishments/Proudest

Achievement: Bringing technology into

WowWee and weaving it into all our

products would be my main achievement.

Across the board, WowWee’s products tend

to Wow with the level of sophistication,

depth of play, and technical innovation.

Awards: As Chief Tech Officer of Wow-

Wee, won Toy Industry Association-TIA

Innovative Toy of the Year in 2015 for the

MiP robot, and Best of Awards (for MiP)

from Popular Science, Parenting (Toy of

the Year), Good Housekeeping (Toy of

the Year), Dealerscope (for MiPosaur) and

many more.

What I Like Best About My Job: Nonstop

pace; very challenging; really, really

rewarding to see a product go from idea to

shelf within a year.

Last Book I Read: I read a lot of science

fiction. The Three-Body Problem, by Cixin

Liu

Favorite Movie: The Godfather

Favorite CE Product of the Year: Very

impressed with what Amazon is doing with

Echo.

If You Could Be Anyplace Else Right Now,

Where Would it Be and What Would You

Be Doing?: Sounds cheesy, but I really

like what I do. I don’t know that I would

change that.

STEPHEN VANHOOSE, 32, VICE

PRESIDENT, BIG SANDY DISTRIBU-

TION, FRANKLIN FURNACE, OHIO

Twitter Handle:

@SoftHandsVan-

Hoose

Background: Grew

up in and now lives

in Ashland, Ky.

Education: Formal

Education can

make you a living; self education can make

you a fortune. In other words, I dropped

out of college three times, but I learned a

lot.

Years in Industry: 14

Description of Role: Television and appliance

purchaser

Industry Accomplishments/Proudest

Achievement: Youngest to reach the Million-Dollar

Club on the sales floor (2006),

Store manager of the Year (2008). Proudest

achievement: Not getting fired

What I Like Best About My Job: Growing

and training with the sales staff on how

to do it the right way. So many seem to

waste so much time and energy searching

for that magic success button, when it

still always comes down to hard work and

execution.

What I Like Least About My Job: The

amount of touch points that the manufacturers

are continually placing on the

retailer to get their money.

Favorite Pastime/Hobby: Partying at the

moon tower

Last Book I Read: I don’t read books; I

prefer to live them.

Favorite Movie: Wedding Crashers

Best Concert Ever Seen: Nate Dogg

Who¹s My Hero, and Why: Terry Oates; his

hair is always phenomenal, and the way he

moves is so effortless. It’s like a crab at the

beach.

Favorite CE Product of the Year: OLED

If You Could Be Anyplace Else Right Now,

Where Would it Be and What Would You

Be Doing?: NBA head coach (I’d be a combination

of Popovich and Brad Stevens,

with a small side of Jimmy V.).

JASON VOORHEES, 36, PRESIDENT,

CANTARA, COSTA MESA, CALIF.

Background: Grew

up in Orange County,

Calif; Houston,

Texas; Washington

D.C.; and Chicago,

Ill. Now lives in

Huntington Beach,

Calif.

Education: Chapman University, Orange,

Calif.; Literature

Years in Industry: 16

Description of Role: President, with focus

on marketing, design, sales, service – basically

parts of Cantara that clients interact

with and experience

Industry Accomplishments/Proudest

Achievement: Building a business culture

that consistently attracts truly dedicated

and passionate people within our industry

Awards: Personal Accomplishments/

Awards/Recognition: 2013 Young Turks –

Technology Integrator Magazine; Azione


| June 2016 | 31


DEALERSCOPE’S 2016 40 UNDER 40 HONOREES

Advisory Board; Savant Advisory Council;

On-camera interview and feature segment

on CNBC’s “Secret Lives of the Super

Rich,” May 2016 episode. Cantara recognition:

2011: AMX’s Excellence in Service

& Design. 2012: CEDIA Lifestyles Awards:

Best Overall Home Theater; CEDIA

Lifestyles Awards: Silver Theater Technical

Design Level 5 ($815k+); CEDIA Lifestyles

Awards: Bronze Theater Technical Design

Level 3 ($140k+); Electronic House Magazine:

Gold Theater under $75k; Electronic

House Magazine: Silver Amazing Application.

2013: CEDIA Lifestyles Awards: Silver

Technical Theater Design Level 6 ($1M+);

Electronic House Magazine: Gold Theater

over $250k (their highest level). 2014:

CEDIA Lifestyles Awards: Best Original

Graphic User Interface; CEDIA Lifestyles

Awards: Gold Best Technical Design Integrated

Home Level 5 ($450k+); CEDIA

Lifestyles Awards: Bronze Best Technical

Design Integrated Home Level 5 ($450k+);

Electronic House Magazine: Gold Theater

$150k; Azione Unlimited: Most Growth 1st

half; Azione Unlimited: 2014 Most Growth

Overall; Azione Unlimited: Business

Doubler. 2015: CEA TechHome Mark of

Excellence Award: Sustainable Project of

the Year; CEDIA Lifestyles Awards: Best

Integrated Home Finalist; we have also had

our projects published in: The New York

Times, The Washington Post, The Robb

Report, Dwell Magazine, and more.

What I Like Best About My Job: We are

very fortunate to meet and become friends

with some of the most interesting and

successful people in the world. It is equally

enormously satisfying to be able to work at

the highest level in the industry, to do the

best work possible, and to build a culture

focused on quality.

Favorite Pastime/Hobby: Wine, cycling,

reading

Last Book I Read: Elon Musk: Tesla,

SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic

Future (Biography of Elon Musk)

Favorite Movie: The Matrix

Best Concert Ever Seen: Bon Iver at sunrise

in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Who’s My Hero, and Why: Chef Thomas

Keller, chef-owner of French Laundry, Per

Se, Bouchon and Ad Hoc. Chef Keller is

singularly focused on reaching towards

perfection in his craft – both in the food

and the level of welcoming hospitality.

Through this religious-like dedication, he

has been able to attract and build a culture

that extends his reach nationally while

meeting the world’s highest standards.

Favorite CE Product of the Year: Savant

Pro handheld remote

If You Could Be Anyplace Else Right Now,

Where Would it Be and What Would You

Be Doing?: In Napa Valley, pruning my

vines on a cold, foggy morning with Miles

Davis playing in my headphones.

DAVID WATT, 39, REGIONAL SALES

MANAGER, HOME ENTERTAINMENT/

EAST REGION, LG ELECTRONICS,

BASED IN LAUDERDALE BY THE

SEA, FLA. (COMPANY HEADQUAR-

TERED IN ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS,

N.J.)

Background: Grew

up in Slidell, La.;

now lives in Ft. Lauderdale,

Fla.

Education: MBA,

University of Phoenix

Years in Industry: 14

Description of Role: Account executive

for the East Region including Brandsmart,

AAAA Distribution and the Home Shopping

Networks

Industry Accomplishments/Proudest

Achievement: Promoted from Field Support

Representative to Regional Sales

Manager in 2004 with Toshiba (CE). Responsibilities

- Brandsmart, SYX, and Latin

America Export Division. Promoted from

Regional Sales Manager to National Account

Sales Manager in 2006 with Toshiba

(CE). Responsibilities - Circuit City, Wal

Mart, Costco. Helped further develop vendor

partnerships with the Home Shopping

Networks in the CE category for Toshiba

and LG - fulfilled through AAAA World.

Developed Top to Top business partnership

with Toshiba and Circuit City, which

was recognized as the second-largest generated

revenue account in 2006. Perrformed

sales training for accounts in 2002-2004

(BBY, Conn’s, Brandsmart, Video Only,

Bill Smith, Jetson’s, and other strategic

retailers). Helped roll out demand forecast

supply chain systems with regional and

national accounts.

Awards: Salesperson of the Year, 2004,

2005, 2008 for Toshiba; Cambridge Who’s

Who, 2007

What I Like Best About My Job: Comradery

with other sales executives.

Favorite Pastime/Hobby: Skiing and

spending time with my daughters

Last Book I Read: Multipliers

Favorite Movies: Rounders and Tommy

Boy

Favorite CE Product of the Year: OLED

If You Could Be Anyplace Else Right Now,

Where Would it Be and What Would You

Be Doing?: Touring Dublin, Ireland.

DOUG WREDE, 38, DIRECTOR OF

MERCHANDISING – CE, NATION-

WIDE MARKETING GROUP,

WINSTON-

SALEM, N.C.

Twitter Handle:

CETwitter@nationwidegroup.org

Background: Grew

up in Colorado

Springs, Colo; now

lives in Winston-

Salem, N.C.

Education: Bachelor’s, Marketing/Advertising,

University of Colorado

Years in Industry: 15

Description of Role: Develop and drive

profitable go-to-market merchandising

and marketing strategies and programs for

independent retail to compete in today’s

marketplace.

Industry Accomplishments/Proudest

Achievement: Having been fully entrenched

in the consumer electronics

retail industry going on 15 years now, I can

honestly say I feel lucky to be a part of this

business. Yes, it comes with many ups and

downs, but at the end of the day, it is an

exciting and evolving business with many

moving parts. With that, it presents new

challenges and opportunities to grow both

individually and, with an organization such

as Nationwide Marketing Group, to move

the business forward.

Awards: CE Leaders Who Rock (2015)

Who’s My Hero, and Why: My family… I

owe all my success to them, and their love

and support is what’s helped to shape me

into the person I am today.

32 | June 2016 |


VANESSA ZITZMANN, 35, MARKET-

ING AND SALES, 21ST CENTURY

DISTRIBUTING, GARNER, N.C.

Twitter Handle: @

nessa_21stCent and

@21stCenturyDist

Background: I’m an

Army brat, so I grew

up a little bit of everywhere.

Now lives

in Benson, N.C.

Education: ECU

- Musical Theater and Liberty University -

Psychology

Years in Industry: 3 - I started as part-time

help to answer phones

Description of Role: I have been working

on raising brand awareness of 21st Century

through marketing and helping our vendors

grow their lines with our dealers.

Industry Accomplishments/Proudest

Achievement: Planning, coordinating and

implementing our Integration Innovation

Roadshow. Because of how spread out our

dealer base is, the roadshow lets us bring

our vendors, products and our 50-foot

display to seven cities to accommodate a

larger segment of our dealers. It’s a lot of

work, but it has been amazing watching

the show grow year to year.

Awards: Women to Watch, 2016 - Women

in Consumer Technology

What I Like Best About My Job: I love the

people that I work with in my office – and

that I get paid to talk!

What I Like Least About My Job: I am not

a huge fan of having to do the graphics for

ads, etc. It takes me forever!

Favorite Pastime/Hobby: If I’m not being

Soccer Mom or Army Wife, I try to stay involved

in local theater. I also like pretending

I am crafty and artistic.

Last Book I Read: Alexander Hamilton, by

Ron Chernow

Favorite Movie: I have so many I love, it’s

hard to pick.

Best Concert Ever Seen: Lady Gaga; not

only was she great, her fans get all dressed

up, too!

Who’s My Hero, and Why: My parents and

my husband are my heroes. I wouldn’t

be who I am without their sacrifices and

support. My industry hero is my co-worker,

Kenny Thugut. He’s gone out of his way to

support and teach me the last two years.

Favorite CE Product of the Year: My

favorite is the articulating mount from

MantelMount. It not only does the mount

tilt and move side to side, but it also pulls

down. I was able to hang the mount above

my fireplace. They won a CEDIA best new

product award this past year.

If You Could Be Anyplace Else Right

Now, Where Would it Be and What Would

You Be Doing?: In NYC, with the family,

sitting in great seats for the Broadway

show, Hamilton. If anyone can get me

tickets, call me! ■

| June 2016 | 33


40 Under 40

P.O.V.

Commentary on the industry from our 40 Under 40 honorees

Q. What do you think is a major problem

with the industry today, and what

needs to be done to fix it?

Win Cramer, President, JLab Audio

I think the industry, generally, is in a good

place. I’d like to see innovators rewarded

for innovating more than they are. By that

I mean, brands still win in stores. There

are tons of “little” guys that are driving significant

change with better products and

price points. Aging brands, however, still

get shelf space, as it’s what people know.

I’d love to see big-box have an Innovation

area to reward those that are working hard

to be better.

Lauren Simmen, Regional Sales

Manager, SurgeX

I think one of the biggest issues facing the

industry today is the lack of talented “young

blood” being recruited into the industry.

If you ask most people how they got into

the AV industry, the story is either filled

with family ties or sheer happenstance; I

know mine is. There are very few people

who make the career decision in high

school or college that they want to work in

our industry, and I think that’s a shame.

We’ve got to do a better job of getting our

industry out there as a viable place to work,

and getting kids in high school and college

excited about the opportunities in the AV

industry. I believe the programs that the

NSCA Education Foundation are putting

into place are fantastic, but we need to keep

pushing and recruiting. Without expanding

the pool of talent we hire from, and this

includes everything from marketing, sales,

engineering, accounting and in between, I

think it will be difficult for the industry to

take the next step forward.

Amanda Lee Hanold, General

Manager, Hudson Group/Las Vegas

What I perceive as the major industry

problem today is the gap in understanding

between the Millennial workforce

generation and the previous workforce

generations. In my opinion, there has

never been a larger disconnect between

generations of people in the workforce.

The introduction of the Internet created

a largely different lifestyle than we had

20 years ago. This creates many issues

within the industry. Many industry leaders

do not understand how to engage

and keep talent in the new and emerging

workforce. I think there needs to be more

information and training on both sides to

teach us how to work together as a more

cohesive team. We have so much to learn

from each other.

Tom Heffernan, Director of Marketing,

TCL

Too often, CE brands are pushing technologies

on the consumer without helping

them understand the true benefit, or in

34 | June 2016 |


some cases not delivering a benefit at all.

We need to take a more consumer-centric

approach that focuses on the benefit,

rather than the technology. Our focus

should be on marketing meaningful product

benefits, rather than pushing specs

that don’t actually elevate the consumer

experience.

Mike E. Lipski, Regional Key Accounts

Sales Manager, D&H Distributing

Retailer consolidation and the driving of

retail [prices] down. Each time we fight for

a better loss leader, the market reacts to

that pricing and sets the new bar for the

valuation of that product.

Vanessa Zitzmann, Marketing & Sales,

21st Century Distributing

I feel like we are all at a race to zero, when

it comes to prices. The competitor across

town is selling a product a few bucks below

what you are selling it for, so you match

their price. If we all keep doing that, eventually,

the margin will disappear and then

where will we be? It’s a tough problem to

fix, and I don’t think we can truly eliminate

this issue. We as an industry need to

be aware of the problem and not fall into

the trap of losing margin to gain a sale.

Karissa Long, CFO, TEMPOE

The consumer electronics industry is continually

undergoing a transformation from

entertaining and enriching our lives to

becoming a mandatory necessity that is essential

in daily life. From my perspective,

this certainly isn’t a problem, but rather,

an opportunity.

Skyler Meek, Director of Marketing,

Screen Innovations

Plain and simple: a lack of leadership and

innovation. It’s one of the reasons I feel

so blessed to be a part of this company;

that is, that I am a part of a company that

is working to put a stop to the “same old

way of doing things.” Our leader and our

company are working to push the industry

in the direction it needs to go. Why has

the technology behind projection screens,

by and large, remained the same for the

last 100 years? I’m proud that ALR screen

technology is finally becoming something

that our competition has started to adopt

and also push into the market, but that’s

just the start. The solution to this problem

is simple: innovate. We need to start creating

products that change the world, not

just hold the status quo.

Taylor Nichols, Director of Marketing,

Origin Acoustics

I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily an immediate

problem right now, but I think that

integrators in our community should be

leveraging on-demand service platforms

like Thumbtack to expand our market. I’m

seeing more and more people use service

exchange platforms to request mounting a

TV and installing an audio system.

Miranda Grantham, National Sales

Manager, Metra Home Theater Group

I think a major problem with the industry

is that dealers can’t get accurate information

and it becomes costly for them.

Ronny E. Shmoel, CEO, Circuit City

There is a gap that exists between online

and brick-and-mortar retail. No one has

truly integrated the right technologies

to make a seamless shopping experience

for customers. With Circuit City and my

experience with online retailing, we have

the opportunity to bring in solutions that

allow customers to shop the way they want

to: in-store, online or both. We will also

utilize technology that will help us study

consumer shopping habits, which will not

only help us pair customers with the right

products and solutions for their individual

needs, but also help our vendors stay on

top of consumer behavior patterns, both

in-store and online.

Jonathan Stelzer, System Integration

Specialist, Jamiesons Audio/Video

Much of the problem in the industry is a

lack of communication between like-minded

businesses. We need to learn to work

closer with designers and contractors to

develop mutually beneficial relationships.

Our industry is dependent on reputation;

developing good referral habits allows us

to increase our client base and keep our

business strong.

Davin Sufer, CTO, WowWee

I don’t see this as a major problem, it’s

more of a challenge: The advent of crowdfunded

product has led to many high-profile

examples of companies that announce

new product, crowdfund and then never

manage to ship. This tends to hurt consumer

confidence in new tech entries. As a

company that prides itself on shipping real

product in a timely way without overpromising,

this is frustrating. It’s doubly frustrating,

as these crowdfunding platforms

are amazing community-builders, springboards

for new items, and really raise the

bar in the industry. The solution is for a

little bit more scrutiny to verify that videos

are legitimate, that samples exist and work

well, and for new-entrant developers to

partner with established players to reduce

their time to market and get through the

development hurdles.

Stephen VanHoose, Vice President,

Big Sandy Distribution

It’s easily the gross amount of way too

many touch points the manufacturers

are throwing on the retailer to execute.

At some point, the retailers have to rise

up and throw the touch points back onto

the manufacturer, or they are going to

be spread so thin that they can’t execute

at all. I think there are several retailers

already past the tipping point; they just

don’t know it yet.

Jason Voorhees, President, Cantara

The barrier to entry into the custom

residential integration business is far too

low. Manufacturers, reps and CE organizations

celebrate and enable new companies

seemingly without considering the quality

of work unprofessional companies deliver

to end users. The result is a pervasively

negative opinion from partners like architects,

builders and clients. Our industry

needs to limit the ability for “anyone” to

buy product and represent themselves as

a professional integrator. Simultaneously,

the overall bar needs to be raised on the

standard of engineering and customer

service we expect from each other.

Q. What makes you believe the CE

industry will get healthier and thrive

during the next five years?

Mike E. Lipski, Regional Key Accounts

Sales Manager, D&H Distributing

I feel like the next five years will be exciting,

due to the evolution of virtual reality,

connected home and artificial intelligence

– although AI might be a little more than

five years out.

Jason Greenspan, Co-founder & CEO,

WHOOSH!

I think that the CE industry will thrive

over the next five years due to a) the

growth of the middle class in emerging

markets (like China) and their desire to

be connected and b) consumers replacing

their dumb things with new and smart/

connected things. For example, I just replaced

my doorbell with a Ring-connected

doorbell, and it’s awesome.


| June 2016 | 35


40 Under 40 P.O.V.

Nicole Elizabeth Riddle, District

Manager, ProSource

“Consumer technology is about constant

and continuous innovation and that is

what we are seeing in 2015,” said CTA

president and CEO, Gary Shapiro. “As the

technology industry naturally ebbs and

flows, a new class of tech is generating lots

of enthusiasm among consumers. Emerging

categories such as 4K Ultra HD, smart

home and health and fitness technology,

are the breakout stars driving the industry

onward and upward.” I like this quote

from Gary Shapiro and believe he is correct.

Consumer technology is ever changing

and does not remain stale. I believe

the next generation is going to push this

industry to the next level, with connected

home, health and fitness, drones, smartphones

as well as video, and I can’t wait!

Ronny E. Shmoel, CEO, Circuit City

Home automation is a growing category

that not many consumers understand.

There is a huge opportunity to grow this

segment of the business. By curating the

right products and developing a culture of

education in our staff, we can help customers

not only understand what these new

products do, but how they can fit together

and work in their homes.

Delia Hansen, Vice President of

Marketing, Clare Controls

The industry will get healthier in the next

five years. I believe the market has evolved

and become comfortable with incorporating

technology into every facet of their

lives. This connection with technology

is going to continue to get stronger and

provide people with compelling reasons

to budget more of their income to the CE

channel. On the flip side, higher expectations

and even greater price compression

will erode margins – making it imperative

that CE installers line up cost-effective,

value-based solutions and focus on increasing

efficiencies and market-reach capabilities.

Timo Hildebrandt, Senior Vendor

Business Manager, AVAD

IoT is a perfect example of our industry’s

thriving health. As more and more devices

get smarter over the next few years, CE

professionals will be in higher and higher

demand. The lower costs of the hardware

required to build smart devices, the availability

of bandwidth and the continuous

evolution in software development have

enabled rapid growth within not only our

industry but also other high-tech segments.

The crossover between different

device platforms and within different segments

of our lives will continue to expand

over the next three to five years into categories

such as appliances, virtual reality

and even medical devices. The capabilities

are truly endless. The professionals who

not only understand the technology but

who also understand how to make it all

work together will continue to be highly

sought after.

Eden Goldberg, Vice President,

Marketing & Business Development,

InMotion Entertainment

In our category, we continue to see steady

growth. More and more business travelers

are looking for increased mobility and

power for their connected devices. InMotion

Entertainment Group researches and

curates the best mobile solutions available.

Our highly educated and tech-savvy

sales associates are extensively trained to

provide a hands-on demonstration of every

product in the store, so that customers can

make an educated and informed purchase.

Our retail concepts and product offerings

remain fluid to best respond to consumer

demand.

Doug Belden, Vice President,

Technology, Safeware

The CE industry is thriving, and I believe

it will continue to get healthier over the

next several years, as everything continues

to move digital. Classrooms are replacing

books with tablets, airlines are replacing

flight manuals with tablets, wristwatches

track and report on physical activity which

is reported on through a separate device,

people are engaging with each other

through live video streams from anywhere

with cellular service. Furthermore,

because electronic devices are becoming

more and more prominent in our everyday

lives, it introduces the need for consumers

to protect these devices. This opens up tremendous

opportunity for companies that

offer protection plans on these devices,

such as Safeware!

David Dawson, Senior Director,

Procurement, WYNIT

Continued ingenuity should help drive the

CE industry with support from crowdfunding

websites, and that help make it

easier to bring new technologies to market

quicker. I’ve found through WYNIT that

some of America’s largest national retailers

are helping facilitate opportunities from

new manufacturers by making it easier to

do business with them.

Win Cramer, President, JLab Audio

CE is healthy and will thrive over the next

five years. We’re at an exciting time as

technology matures and becomes mainstream.

Be it Bluetooth, improvement in

battery life, or wireless charging, it’s all

coming, and it’s coming fast. Manufacturers

will be able to innovate and bring

products and ideas to the table like never

before.

Zaheer Alli, Northeast Regional Sales

Manager, MAI

I think that as new technologies continue

to emerge and gain momentum, there

will be an increase in interest from the

consumer.

Miranda Grantham, National Sales

Manager, Metra Home Theater Group

I think that the CE industry will get healthier

because new formats in video, such as

4K, HDR and now virtual reality will help

to drive sales. Additionally, dealers are

stronger than ever before with better business

skills and partners.

Karissa Long, CFO, TEMPOE

During periods of rapid change and innovation,

many new players vie to become the

standard. As the foundation of consumer

electronics stabilizes, the industry standards

will also stabilize and those nonearly

adopters, which are most of us, will

come back into the consumer electronics

marketplace. We are in the period of

stabilization of platforms and a Millennial

generation that understands technology.

The future is bright!

Skyler Meek, Director of Marketing,

Screen Innovations

Actually, this question made me think

first about the last five years first. We have

made incredible advances in technology

that, well, basically blow my mind. We

have new technologies made available

in the last five years which I would have

only dreamed of as a kid. If the next five

years prove to be anything like the last five

years, I would say we’re going to have quite

a ride.

36 | June 2016 |


Taylor Nichols, Director of Marketing,

Origin Acoustics

The stability of the housing and building

markets are tested and true indicators

that there are plenty of opportunities out

there. I’m very optimistic of the outlook

for our industry over the next five years, as

building and renovation projects continue

to grow.

Dan Paulson, Vice President of Technical

Sales, Paulson’s Audio & Video

I think the CE industry will continue to

get healthier, but it won’t look the same as

it does today. Change is inevitable. Technology

is constantly changing, as are the

consumer’s wants and needs. Three years

ago, smartwatches didn’t exist and now,

Apple has sold 12 million of them over

the past year. We are in a very exciting

industry, and people continue to desire

the products we sell and install. I feel the

home network will continue to rise to the

surface as the key products we will sell and

install. Whether you want a smart home or

simply want to browse the Internet while

your children stream a movie on Netflix,

consumers will need a robust and secure

network in their home. Our industry will

continue to evolve, and it will all revolve

around the network. We must continue to

educate our employees on how to sell, set

up and install networks in order to continue

to provide important service to our

clients. Big-screen theaters and wonderfulsounding

speakers will always continue

to be a part of our business. As long as

Hollywood continues to make blockbusters

and musicians continue to record music,

we will all have jobs.

Christopher Pearson, Channel Marketing

Manager, Directed Electronics

The CE industry is going to thrive over

the next years, as we literally integrate

electronics into people’s lives and on their

persons. We will see microcontrollers in

products previously unimaginable. We’re

witnessing the birth of an ecosystem of

data, people, and devices the likes of

which has never been seen before. The CE

industry is clearly a good one to be in!

Jesse Robbins, Founder and CEO,

Orion Labs

I think that more great CE products are

emerging that are personal, humanfriendly,

and easy for regular people to use

every day.

Alex Alireza Shirdel, Vice President,

Business Development, Promounts &

Monster Mounts

Cross-device connectivity will help the

CE industry further thrive in the next five

years. Devices are no longer becoming

obsolete as quickly, given that they can

now connect with the Internet, update

themselves, and provide an enhanced

user experience by connecting with other

devices. This connectivity has created an

ecosystem that requires innovation – and

that innovation will help the CE industry

get healthier and thrive.

Stephen VanHoose, Vice President,

Big Sandy Distribution

I think the successful implementation of

UPP pricing by LG and Samsung has saved

the TV industry, and I think its carryover

into appliances saved the appliance industry

before it ever got to the level that the

CE industry did. That has laid the groundwork

for everyone to maintain profit, and

now we are waiting for a revolutionary new

technology to drive demand in electronics

again. I think Black Stainless in appliances

is a demand game-changer, so that those

who put themselves in a position to get

fully behind it will reap the rewards this

year.

Jason Voorhees, President, Cantara

I am enormously optimistic our industry

is on the verge of a new era and will thrive

if we can meet client expectations for total

ownership experience. The concept of

an automated and “smart” home is now

becoming mainstream, and will drive huge

demand for more and more technology in

the home that enables clients to have an

enhanced lifestyle.

Vanessa Zitzmann, Marketing & Sales,

21st Century Distributing

One thing I noticed at CEDIA this past

year was how many more young people

were in attendance compared to the previous

years, both attendees and vendors.

They (we?) were excited, there was buzz

on the floor and that energy is infectious!

Right now we are at a pretty exciting time

in our industry, where our industry veterans

are beginning to turn the reins over to

the next generation. We have the best of

both worlds, with experience and youth.

Over the next several years we can all learn

from each other and bring the industry to

the next level. ■

| June 2016 | 37

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Connected CAR Feature

We recently attended a technology expo

for the automotive press to explain OEM

vehicle technologies from three key suppliers.

Harman demonstrated its Clari-Fi

audio enhancer, Gentex its full-vision rearview

mirror, and Autoliv its night-vision

system. Coincidentally, all three exhibitors

already offer product for the

aftermarket, and OEMs have taken

to the suppliers’ technologies so

well, it is just a matter of time before

we can expect aftermarket products

with these features. In fact, some

are here already.

Connected Car

LEADING OEM TECHS FOR 2016

Three key players in the manufacturing realm show their hands

BY BRETT SOLOMON

and partnered with Cadillac on the new

CT6 sedan and the upcoming Chevrolet

Bolt EV. One hurdle with rear-view mirror

technology is getting the units approved by

NHTSA with its sometimes archaic FMVSS

(Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards).

These huge tomes date back to the 1970s,

camera, and actually provide two different

functions. The backup cameras look down

and low, whereas the FDM gives a wider

unobstructed view out of the rear without

any worry of tall passengers or headrests.

Clearly, those who make frequent trips to

Party City to buy helium balloons will love

the tech! Neil Boehm, president of

engineering, said, “The lenses are

hydrophobic to help keep water away

so no rain settles on the lenses.” Ultimately,

if the tech becomes robust,

we may be able to do away with rear

windshields in cars of the future.

HARMAN’S CLARI-FI

The first OEM iteration of Harman’s

Clari-Fi technology was introduced

in the Lexus NX SUV. Using

high-end AKG headphones, we were

able to listen to tracks with and

without Clari-Fi. It works especially

well with satellite radio sources that

have the lowest bitrate, bringing

back the high end of the music

spectrum and making it sound closer

to a CD rather than a low-bitrate

source. Right now, Harman and

OEMs have so much ‘faith’ in the

technology, there actually is no way

to turn it off. Clari-Fi just comes in

and adds musicality to low-bitrate

sources in the background without

the consumer having to do

anything. Harman’s Dawn Geary

noted, “Typically, we integrate the Clari-

Fi technology into our OEM amplifiers,

but it can also be integrated directly into

the head unit.” The new aftermarket JBL

head units will have it built right in. “The

technology can predict and reconstruct

the audio signal based on what source you

are listening to,” she continued.

THE GENTEX MIRROR

Gentex mirrors have been sold in the

aftermarket, especially through MITO

Corp., which many 12-volt retailers are

very familiar with. Recently, they wanted

to take mirror technology to the next level

38 | June 2016 |

AUTOLIV NIGHT VISION GIVING A PEDESTRIAN ALERT

THE GENTEX MIRROR – YES, THAT IS A DISPLAY GIVING A

WIDER IMAGE THAN USUAL

with such crazy items as exactly how fast

the windshield wiper should operate at

the high setting vs. the low setting (exactly

double, by the way). Luckily under

NHTSA’s new leadership, they were able to

get the Gentex FDM (Full Display Mirror)

through the legislative hurdles. The

hybrid electronic mirror can turn itself

back into a standard mirror if the weather

conditions block the rear-mounted

camera. The cool part is that the mirror

offers multiple camera options, including

a Gentex-designed high dynamic range

imager. Gentex notes, though, that the

FDM mirrors do not replace a backup

AUTOLIV NIGHT VISION

Autoliv Night Vision is also available

in the aftermarket through FLIR

and through some partnerships with

NAV-TV. The Night Vision technology

is known in BMW, Mercedes, Audi,

and also the upcoming Cadillac CT6.

Stuart Klapper, managing director,

stated, “The first units we had, the

customers thought of them as more

gimmicky, as they thought they could

be a distraction. But as we advance

the Human-Machine interface for

the vehicle, it has become much more

comfortable for the driver to use it.

It becomes more of regular driving

habit as you drive at night.” I was able

to test the system in a new BMW 7-series.

Amazingly, the technology can

alert you on animals or pedestrians

right within the Heads-Up display, so there

is no need to take your eyes off of the road.

According to Klapper, “Pedestrians typically

appear about three to four times farther

than your headlights allow you to see.”

Klapper noted that with every generation

of Night Vision Autoliv has introduced, it

has been able to reduce the cost of to the

OEM automaker by 50 percent. However,

the vehicle manufacturers are keeping the

price of the technology around $2,000. As

units get less expensive, it will be a viable

aftermarket alternative. The tech makes

even more sense than loading up on KC

Lights, for those living in rural areas.


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Connected CAR Feature

BY BRETT SOLOMON

Ahhh, springtime in the 12-volt

world. Even as the doldrums of

installing yet another remote

start are fading away and summer

is just around the corner,

the propensity for customers

to roll their windows down and

share their music with the world

takes over. To make sure dealers

are ready for the challenge,

two events took place aimed at

educating retailers to prepare

them for the lucrative summer

months of system design and

installation. The first is the

in.car.EXPO retailer part of the

Spring Break Nationals. The

second is Mobile Electronics

KnowledgeFest Spring Training.

SBN/IN.CAR.EXPO

In late March, the in.car.EXPO

rolled into the Ocean Center in Daytona

Beach, Fla. “We’re thrilled to reach this

30-year milestone of the event that has

served the industry for so long,” Paul

Papadeas, the organizer of the event,

said. “Every year, we offer manufacturers,

distributors and dealers the opportunity to

come together at this industry institution

to network, sharing information, training

and consumer exposure. Our industry has

changed over the years; we’ve modified

and adapted the event to the contemporary

needs of industry. The one thing that

hasn’t changed is the need for continuing

dealer education and consumer exposure

to our category. To do all this in a funfilled

environment is unique. I’m thrilled

that companies use SBN/in.car.EXPO as

their Southeast Mobile E trade show. It

shows that they take stock in their dealers’

success. Within the 30 years of our events,

supporting brands have found the value of

SBN/in.car.EXPO in coming face to face

with dealers and their customers; the networking

opportunity is great.” As Florida

has always been a hotbed of activity for the

12-volt market, it is nice to see a show that

is geared toward the Southeast.

Getting Connected

SPRINGING INTO SUMMER IN 12V

Spring Break Nationals/in.car.EXPO; Spring KnowledgeFest

ANDY WEHMEYER OF AUDIOFROG DISCUSSES ACOUSTICS WITH TECHS

AT KNOWLEDGEFEST SPRING TRAINING

KNOWLEDGEFEST

SPRING TRAINING

In a bit colder weather, KnowledgeFest

Spring Training rolled into the Indiana

Convention Center – a venue chosen for

its logistics as a close travel destination for

Midwest retailers. Now in its second year,

KnowledgeFest Spring Trainings have

been a success; the event nearly doubled

last year’s attendee numbers, with 750

attendees and 40 exhibitors. Chris Cook,

Mobile Electronics president, noted, “We

are extremely pleased with the turnout of

the event. We had a steady presence of

retailers during exhibit floor hours and

workshop attendance was strong. Exhibitors

we’ve spoken to are pleased with the

traffic they received, both in their booths

and their individual product training

workshops. In fact onsite, we received

strong commitments from exhibitors to

come back to Indy next year.” According

to Mobile Electronics representative Ted

Goslin, “Taking place at the beginning

of April, a time when most companies are

planning the year ahead with new product

purchases, manufacturers see the event as

an opportunity to teach new products and

gain new retailers for those products at the

event. The centerpiece of the show was the

theme of training. Regardless of whether

it took place in the seminars, on the show

floor, in manufacturer trainings, or at a

table in one of the bars of the JW Marriott

where attendees hung out after hours

to talk, over tasty libations, the word was

getting out about anything and everything

12-volt-related.”

The Town Hall discussion, the midway

point of the conference, which allows

everyone to regroup, focused on “Breaking

Through the Retail Ceiling.” The five

retailers who contributed were Eric Carter

of Cartronix in Valparaiso, Ind., Brian

Layton of Sound FX in Lewes, Del., Josh

Mojica of GNC Customs in Goshen, Ind.,

Matt Schaeffer of Safe and Sound Mobile

Electronics in Manassas, Va., and Ken

Ward of Musicar Northwest in Portland,

Ore. The panel focused on the strategies

and practices that elevate a business from

moderate performance to legitimate success

and sustainability. Cook summed up:

“This year, we felt it was important to let

retailers speak to retailers. KnowledgeFest

has always thrived as a peer environment,

where people in the same profession can

network and share ideas. For the Town

40 | June 2016 |


Hall, we selected a group of retailers who

have achieved above-average levels of

profit, market share and repeat clientele,

and all of them are excited to relay their

experiences and advice to our attendees.”

One theme honed in on by Cartronix was

the notion of Cross Training – in other

words, the ability of an installation technician

to help jump in as a salesperson as

needed, or the ability of anyone in the

shop to be able to answer questions over

the phone and try to get the customer into

the store. Another topic was documenting

installations using quality photography

for use on social media. That may mean

investing in better camera equipment and

perhaps an area dedicated to photography

in the bay with good lighting.

Eight meeting rooms rotated educational

and manufacturer training workshops

throughout the show. Attendees received

peer-based instruction, tips and advice

through 18 workshops segmented for

owners and managers, sales professionals

and installation technicians. An additional

40 workshops were allotted to exhibitors

whose trainers conducted brand-specific

instruction, with most opening their

workshops to prospective as well as current

authorized retailers. This pattern will set

the stage in August for KnowledgeFest

in Dallas; timing the meetings to allow

more face time with manufacturers will be

strongly considered. Even the distributors

got in on the action: Davis Distribution,

which recently opened up an Indianapolis

distribution center, invited all of its dealers

to a Grand Opening after-hours party at

The Rathskeller in Downtown Indianapolis

One very popular seminar series was

done by Bryan Schmitt of Mobile Solutions,

who talked about creating cost-effective

A-Pillars. The ability to create custom A-

Pillars can separate your shop from other

competitors (as well as help tweeter or component

speaker sales), but unfortunately,

consumers sometimes do not know the labor

that goes into them. Schmitt discussed

how to fabricate them in a timely manner.

“I’m pleased to continue to be a part of

KnowledgeFest, and as a result, part of the

industry community,” said Schmitt. “Every

year my team and I try to bring something

fresh to teach attendees. I look forward to

the opportunity to give technicians productive

tips to take back to their stores.”

VOXX’S SUPPORT

VOXX Electronics also gave a strong show

of support for KnowledgeFest. They were

excited to give demonstrations of its Prestige

ProCore remote security system that

can be upgradeable to include CarLinkBT.

When the two units are used together,

it gives both the customer and installer

a great experience. Prestige ProCore is

a ‘one-module’ solution allowing dealers

to build any style of remote start by

focusing on customized features based on

what is most important to their customers

– without stocking multiple complete

kits. Your customer gets to choose one of

five different transmitter systems. With

the Bluetooth connection to the vehicle,

CarLinkBT can talk to ProCore. This

essentially turns the customer’s smartphone

into a virtual transmitter. It allows

for remote access to the vehicle and gives

the customer OE-style safety and convenience

features; the customer can lock,

unlock and remote start through an app.

Additionally, the customer can choose to

have OBDII data streamed directly to the

insurance company for UBI (Use Based

Insurance). It’s probably not the best for

those driving Corvettes and Porsches, but

a winner for the Prius crowd.

Springtime is the perfect time for training

and gearing up the staff for audio season.

We are glad to see these two conferences

taking place that inject excitement

back into the industry at a time when we

all can use it.

PETRA’S 14TH ANNUAL CAR AUDIO EXPO

We love to see distributors do regional shows to make it easy for

staff who may not get to see the latest-and-greatest at CES. No

one does it better than Petra, which gives an emphasis on education

as well as good deals for buyers. The show was held at the

company’s new distribution center, about a half-mile from HQ.

Tate Morgan, president of Petra, noted, “Our dealers always look

forward to our Car Audio Expo, but this one was particularly special

because it was the first Expo held in our newest facility. We

were really able to take advantage of this new space and we’re

grateful to our vendors and dealers who came out to make connections

over some super-hot deals, and have a great afternoon.”

One popular segment of the show is the ‘Dealer Olympics,’ and

the favorite event is the Subwoofer Toss. The only thing that

can get more attention than a pounding subwoofer is one being

thrown into the air! “This year’s show was the best one I’ve ever

attended and we had terrific dealer response to the products we

showed,” John Jordan of SAS/Bazooka said.

PETRA EXPO ATTENDEES GET UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL

WITH VENDOR REPS AND THEIR PRODUCTS

| June 2016 | 41


Retailing

SAME COMPANY, NEW LOOK

Legendary Philadelphia-area CE retailer World Wide Stereo adds a Digital Playground

BY KATIE NALE

A large black-and-white picture sits in the

patio area of the newly renovated World

Wide Stereo in Montgomeryville, Pa. The

picture was hardly noticeable amidst the

celebratory setup of this spring’s VIP event

for the store’s renovation, but those who

happened to notice it would certainly be

able to recognize the faces.

Dressed in his ’70s finest,

founder Bob Cole stands

with his arm around his wife,

Karen. They, along with fellow

original Ron Rumer, stand frozen

in time at the store’s Grand

Opening in the fall of 1978.

The picture is inarguably

nostalgic, which is why it is perhaps

a little disconcerting to

see the exact same faces at the

store’s 2016 Grand Reopening.

Sure enough, though, Bob,

Ron and Karen, all still with

the company, spent the night

proudly showing off the store’s

new aesthetics.

The store, which sells a

variety of categories, including

high-end audio, video, home

theater, lighting, shading and

climate control, is now broken

up into a number of different

rooms and areas, all of which

host a large array of products

suited to the specific space.

Designated areas include the

patio, living room, signature

sound room, den, study, bathroom,

family theater, car, digital playground,

common area and Kambic room,

amongst others.

The Kambic room hosts a variety of

speakers, including indoor and outdoor

sound solutions. Hidden amidst potted

plants, outdoor speakers are displayed to

show how they can “promote but not interrupt”

the outdoor experience.

This theme seems to run through the

house-like setup, as most areas host a

blend of both discreet and obvious sound

solutions. While large, minimalist-looking

speakers stand like pieces of art in the

center of the bedroom, others blend seamlessly

into the wall, appearing, at most, like

an intended part of the room’s design.

To make room for the new layout, the

car stereos were cleared from the store

THE DIGITAL PLAYGROUND

BOB COLE, RON RUMER, RYAN RUMER

floor and replaced with representative

solutions. The store’s Web site can be accessed

from the car area for any customer

searching for something they cannot find.

In the spirit of organization, all “excess,”

including a large selection of headphones,

has been migrated into a Digital Playground

area.

More expensive solutions can be found

in other rooms like the Signature Sound

Room, where World Wide Stereo’s highestquality

receivers and speakers now live.

According to Cole, without having to

close the store, 90 percent of the renovation

was completed within six weeks. When

asked what remained of the original setup,

he replied, “Nothing. It’s all new.”

The VIP event included raffle prizes

and an appearance by Steve Morrison

of the Preston and Steve

radio show. The event

served as a precursor to an

actual store opening event,

where World Wide Stereo

products and services were

offered at special pricing.

Later in the evening,

Cole and Ron Rumer

posed for a photo op with

Rumer’s son, Ryan, a new

World Wide Stereo employee

himself. The store also

runs in Cole’s family, as his

daughter, Emily, serves as

director of e-commerce.

Despite the renovation,

that 1970s photo of

the store’s grand opening

is still representative

of the store. World Wide

Stereo’s “Our Story” Web

page sums up the successful

combination of the

company’s evolution and

family-like mentality that

has kept it going so strong

for so long:

In many ways, today’s

World Wide Stereo feels a lot like the 1979 version.

(If it ain’t broke…)

But with the addition of e-commerce (and

winner of the prestigious STELLA Service Excellent

rating), two more storefronts and a growing

international customer base, we’ve grown up

some, too.

Though Bob and Karen – and Ron and

Mark and Kristin and Gavin and Frank, pretty

much the whole original gang – are still here.

After all, why would we ever leave? ■

42 | June 2016 |


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