As part of our I AM CEDIA series of profiles, we had a chance to spend some time with Amanda Wildman at the 2017 CEDIA Business Xchange in San Antonio. Wildman co-owns TruMedia
with her husband Ponch in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
ON STARTING TRUMEDIA WITH HER HUSBAND
We initially actually started off in the satellite industry. My husband was working really, really hard making a lot of money on the hamster wheel for somebody else. I was in a totally different industry, but I said, "You know, why don't we take a year, see if you can make a go of this, and we'll live off of my salary."
It got to the point where we grew and said we both needed to be a part of this. We're able to offer a unique way of relating to clients since we have both perspectives, male and female. ON RUNNING A FAMILY-OWNED BUSINESS
It brings down a lot of barriers with clients. We're going into their home and we're presenting an experience for their family and we understand that as a family.
Technology is a living and breathing organism in their houses. We get to bring that and make dreams come true, even if it is on a small scale smack dab in the middle of Michigan. ON WOMEN IN THE CEDIA CHANNEL
Three years ago, I took the COI (CEDIA Certified Outreach Instructor) course. Peggy Ward was leading it, and she was really great. She wanted to get some more women involved in the industry. We had some great conversations about how we could lend a different perspective and just get women excited about it.
I think it's important for women to be in this industry and to join in at the table. We're part of the conversation. Women are sometimes the ones that hold the purse strings, right? Happy wife, happy life. ON WHAT MAKES THE WORK EXCITING
The thing that I love about this work is we get to make people's dreams come true.
Everyone's talking about how technology separates us. We sit down, we're looking at our phones, our kids aren't paying attention to us. Well if we can create anexperience that uses technology to bring people together instead of pulling them apart, that's cool. ON HER FAMILY
I am blessed to have two kids.
I have a teenage daughter -- she's 15; we've owned this business for 14 years. Just this last fall, we brought her in doing some sales stuff in our office. I just had to take a step back and say, "Gosh, we must have done something right." I was pretty impressed. That's what you can hope for as a parent.
Then I have an 11-year-old son. He's definitely the tinkerer, interested in the technical side of things. ON THE IMPORTANCE OF CEDIA AND EVENTS LIKE BUSINESS XCHANGE
Where else can you have the opportunity to walk into a room and be honored by the fact that you're with these people that started this 30, 40, 50 years ago? They're the pioneers and they know so much. Yet you come in, and you're this little newbie from little hole in the wall in Michigan, and they're willing to share with you.
I'm all about learning, I love learning, and I think that's why CEDIA's such a great thing to be involved in. Learn from other people, share your perspective, and grow from there.