The Nine 2014: Tory Holmwood, The Connector

The Nine: Tory Holmwood, The Connector
Tory Holmwood

Name: Tory Holmwood
Title: Services Sales and Project Manager
Company: Advanced AV
Certifications: CTS

Why You Should Know Her: Holmwood was destined to be a huge influence on the AV industry before she ever knew it existed. Focused on client experience since before it was cool, she joined Advanced AV immediately after completing college and quickly translated her communications skills into project management. After a brief sojourn in the manufacturing world, where she launched a project management division within Scala, she returned to Advanced AV to focus on the rapidly changing and growing service department. Now her interest in client experience is combined with application knowledge for the ultimate ambassadorship to usher in the new era of AV.

How It All Began: Holmwood has always been into networking, both in the sense of connecting people and from a technological standpoint. When she first launched her career as a project coordinator and saw past the hardware to the end goal of making it easier for people to communicate within businesses or across oceans, she was hooked. Now she’s a real-world proponent of the abstract concepts that are sending technologists back to graduate school to understand the human factor. To her, it’s second nature: “If we don’t understand the user experience, then we’re just putting hardware into a room.”

How She Translates What Clients Want to Hear: Clients don’t necessarily want to hear all the specifications of hardware, “they just want to know why we’re putting it in their room, so let’s speak to that,” Holmwood advised. “In terms of the aesthetics of what we do, I like technology to fall back into the wall and when clients need it, it comes to life.”

What It Means To Really Be Client-Facing:
“It’s our job to help clients understand what we’re doing and why, and understand the how of what we’re putting together. It’s very necessary, and the biggest tool that we have when we go into the first client meeting is just our ears. We need to ask what the client is trying to accomplish in this room, and then let them know what we heard them ask for, and recommend technology to make that possible.”

Can’t We Have Something Like in Minority Report? “We’re working in a little bit of a deficit here, because the motion picture industry makes it look like we already have a lot of technology. But we’re in some beta stages with some of this equipment and software. We can’t oversimplify what we do, because what we do is actually quite complicated.”

Tory Holmwood

Holmwood embodies the spirit of new AV, handling both sales and project management within the service department at Advanced AV.

How a Service Program Model Actually Looks: Holmwood embodies the spirit of new AV, handling both sales and project management within the service department at Advanced AV. She helped launch the new Express Services division, which provides quick turnaround on small-scale projects via a separate entity within Advanced AV’s large-scale operations. She also handles onboarding for remote monitoring clients with the Advanced Connect service, which “allows clients to feel like we have an on-site presence, but at the cost level of remote monitoring, which means we take care of their technology for a really reasonable price. The service division is growing rapidly—that’s the future of our industry.”

How She Uses Technology to Really Connect People: Holmwood sits on the advisory board for a non-profit, and last year she traveled to Uganda to help launch Deahla, a start-up that produces short, sharable videos to help promote charitable giving for nonprofit causes. “We created a micro documentary of the work that's being done on the ground so we can connect that work with our donors, who are here.”

Get to know the rest of The Nine...

SCN's 2014 Class of The Nine

SCN's 2014 Class of The Nine
Kirsten Nelson is a freelance content producer who translates the expertise and passion of technologists into the vernacular of an audience curious about their creations. Nelson has written about audio and video technology in all its permutations for almost 20 years; she was the editor of SCN for 17 years. Her experience in the commercial AV and acoustics design and integration market has also led her to develop presentation programs and events for AVIXA and SCN, deliver keynote speeches, and moderate and participate in panel discussions. In addition to technology, she also writes about motorcycles—she is a MotoGP super fan.