SCN’s 2015 Hall of Fame: Jeff Irvin

SCN’s 2015 Hall of Fame: Jeff Irvin
  • The ability to foresee and act on changes in the marketplace are hallmarks of successful leadership. Spinitar founder Jeff Irvin has based his career on his ability to evolve and learn, with a survivalist streak that has helped grow his company into a more than $30 million concern.

Jeff IrvinIrvin began his career in marketing with Karsten Manufacturing, makers of PING brand golf products, before graduating from Arizona State University. After college, he made the leap to sales at KROY, a company that made lettering systems for overhead transparency systems. He began to see the potential for helping customers achieve their communication goals, and ended up buying the Los Angeles office.

In May 1986, he and his wife Barbara founded Presentation Products, Inc., and expanded its services to presentation accessories. Revenues took off when the company added LCD panels and projectors to its lineup.

“As the distribution streams for AV gear began to widen and margins eroded, it became evident that for us to sustain as a business, we needed to quickly start getting more of our revenues from services,” said Irvin.

Irvin made the difficult decision to learn how to be a systems integrator. He reached out to friends like Gary Kayye for help in converting his business, now known as Spinitar, from a transactional model to an integrator model. He referred Irvin to Jay Rogina, who has been his partner for 15 years.

“Jay knew the services business, and immediately got us much further and faster down the transition path,” said Irvin. Because of that relationship and success, Spinitar leads with a ‘services first’ approach that aims to provide best-in-class service.

Kent Cawthorne, vice president of sales at Kramer Electronics USA, said that Irvin’s real key to success is integrity.

“When Jeff gives his word, it happens. In my experience, he never over commits and always does his best. Through his leadership, I have seen this character quality transform others around him. When a leader leads by example, others will follow and strive to meet the same quality levels.”

Jim Beaugez, APR, is a freelance writer and accredited communications professional with a decade of experience in the MI and pro audio industries. You can reach him at jimbeaugez@gmail.com and on Twitter @JimBeaugez.