As CEDIA turns 30, we talk to members who are celebrating successful businesses.
Tell us how and when your company was established:
Steve Moore – SMC (25 years): The late 1980s saw London caught in a post big-bang boom, and I opened The Cornflake Shop with Chris Adair. Property prices were rising and city workers, young musicians, actors, and entrepreneurs were spending money on their homes. In the early 90s, when the economy was under pressure, the custom installation business was still thriving, so I struck out on my own, and SMC was born.
Marvin Dudziec – MDfx (10 years): Simon Perks and I had a keen interest in hi-fi and technology, and this led to us getting into the AV industry in 1998 and never looking back. In the summer of 2008, while Simon was away on holiday, an opportunity sprung that I couldn’t ignore. Having an AV business of our own had always been a bit of a dream, and this was the ticket. By the time Simon had returned, MDfx was born.
Mark C. Popkowski – Modern System Concepts, Inc. (20 years): In 1998, after working in the industry for 10 years, I thought I could offer a better service and do a better job as my own boss. At his point, Modern System Concept, Inc., started out of my garage with myself and one other person.
Louis Clarke – ECS Services Pty Ltd (20 years): ECS Services Pty Ltd was established in September 1998. The primary objective of the company was to be a premium security solutions service provider in the domestic, commercial, and within the government market in Australia. Raj Masson has developed a culture and reputation as a high-level integrator of complex and sophisticated solutions. Our business model and culture of “relentless customer service” is what separates ECS from our competitors, as we continue to set new heights for service quality right across the industry.
Guy Singleton – Imagine This (20 years): I am an electrical engineer by trade but have always been interested in home cinema and home technology. Thanks to my love of the Star Wars saga, from trying to recapture that cinematic experience and from my father’s advice about specialising, I joined the home integration industry. We were initially called Audio Visual Services, but I changed the name in 2001 to Imagine This and we joined CEDIA.
Aaron Flint – Acoustic Architects (10 years): In March of 2008, Spencer Hauldren and I were co-managing a hi-fi shop in Coral Gables, Florida. As the business grew, we realized there was not a single company equipped to handle the quickly evolving technology. After a search of other area companies, we decided it was time to start a business based on a mission to create a more holistic model of providing automation as a service. We started Acoustic Architects that year. Since then, we’ve built a reputation for preventing problems, as well as solving intricate issues before they happen. No matter where the trouble is, whether it’s the internet service, modem, router, or a smart-product, we can take care of it for the client.
Robert May – Sounds Good AVS Solutions Inc. (10 years): After working on high-end projects in Vancouver for two years, I felt it was time to return to my hometown and go all in on my dream of being an entrepreneur. I went to school for business and had two years of high-end experience, but I was still very green. The first year was scary. I had a new mortgage and an inconsistent amount of work! If we did not have a job booked, I would walk through luxury neighborhoods with door hangers, eight hours a day, until we got work.
Jay Dibley and Alain Pfanner – WR Integration (10 years): Now doing business as WR Integration, we formed Wire Right Audio, Video, and Electric, Inc., after learning our long-time employer, Tweeter, decided to close its doors. Originally starting with five partners, it is now the two of us, but it may be time to get some help.
Karen Chugg – Intelligent Abodes (10 years): The company was established in June 2008, following an interesting discussion with Tim, my husband, and business partner. We both liked our gadgets and this, combined with our experience in the building and electrical industry, inspired us to explore the potential of a smart home control company in the South West of England. I set up the company with a view to do all the marketing and sales. It was slow going initially, but then the hard work paid off and we started to work on some very exciting projects.