How did Premier Group get started and how has it evolved since its founding?
We were founded in 1999 when the industry was still largely an audio/video industry - helping wealthy customers setup house audio systems and home theaters. Everything was analog. There was no network. Control systems grew out of the desire to remove the clutter of remotes on the coffee table in the family room. Early on we embraced home security and surveillance. As the network and Wi-Fi, lighting and shades, and other critical categories came along, we were early adopters of testing, refining, and ultimately offering these technologies to our customers in a consistent manner.
In the big picture, where would you like to see Premier Group go in the future?
We’re continuing to grow our value proposition as a one-stop shop for all things technology related. One thing that’s critical to us is that everything we do requires power. As the power grid has become more taxed, it affects the reliability of electronics systems. So, we’ve paid a lot more attention to the electrical standards on our projects from whole house surge protection and backup generator systems to component level surge and online battery backup systems. These all contribute to the lifespan and effective operation of our systems.
We see the biggest growth in the lighting category. A well-designed lighting plan and proper fixture specification can make or break the look and feel of your home. It’s possibly the most impactful service we provide, and combined with an efficient lighting control system, can effectively change how you live in your home.
What’s your favorite part about working in the industry?
The reward is happy clients. When we can provide them something, anything - whatever it is we uncovered as their biggest priorities from our initial exploration conversations - that exceeds their expectations. That’s my favorite part!
How long have you been a CEDIA member? What compelled you to join?
I created our founding documents and executed our operating agreement on October 25, 1999, and we were off and running. I think we attended our first CEDIA trade show that next year as “guests.” We joined CEDIA the following year in 2001. At the time, it was about the trade show, the camaraderie of the industry, and the direct access to the amazing manufacturers that support our craft. Since then, it’s been the ongoing insight, education, and support to promote and protect the industry. I’m excited about the future of CEDIA with the new leadership.
What does it mean to you that you have won multiple CEDIA Awards?
It means the world to our whole team. I don’t personally need the recognition, but I realize how important it is to recognize others. It provides me immense joy and pride to be able to lead a team that cares so much and works so diligently to be able to even be a finalist for these awards. We wouldn’t have won the awards we have without the entire group effort. Our industry can get overwhelming at times. It truly takes a well-oiled machine to pull off what we do, especially on the large projects that have won the Integrated Home of the Year awards at the top level.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the industry?
You can be smart, you can learn quickly, you can work long hours, but it really takes grit! Grit is the perseverance and passion to meet and exceed your goals over the long term. It takes stamina, focus, and determination to make your vision a reality for yourself and/or your company.
Find a person or company who shares those qualities and go work for or with them. You’ll reach and exceed your individual goals and be a part of something bigger than yourself. I know one thing for sure, you can’t do it yourself. I’m thankful every day for the team we’ve built and the success we’ve had. After 23 years, I still often feel like we’re just getting started!