Name: Jeff Davis
Position: Chief Executive Officer
Company: Avidex Industries
SCN: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your experience in the industry.
JEFF DAVIS: I grew up in the security space, and I transitioned over to pro AV about four or five years ago. They are, interestingly enough, very similar business models when you start to look at the two industries and their two spaces. They share a similar client base, and are both adopting rapidly evolving technology—which is really impacting the space. It’s a natural fit, and a fairly good transition. My entry point was with one of our larger competitors, and it was a great experience. I enjoyed the business, but I’m glad I made the move, and coming over to Avidex has been an amazing experience.
It’s an organization of very passionate and bright people, including some of the best technical minds in the AV industry on the West Coast. I think, from an organizational perspective, there are many of opportunities on the horizon. We’re looking at a combination of talented people, great customer population, and some really nice offerings.
SCN: How has your background prepared you for your role as the new CEO of Avidex?
JD: I have a fairly long, healthy background of integrating acquisitions and trying to create synergy between organizations. We have two very strong players in D&G and Avidex on the West Coast, and the idea is to cross pollinate and really get the best out of both, and span the entire state, up into the Pacific Northwest.
SCN: Avidex recently won the NSCA 2018 Excellence in Business Award in the category of Employee Engagement. How do you plan on sustaining such a thriving company culture?
JD: I learned early on that you have to surround yourself with good people, and you must foster an environment of growth within the organization. Seeing people excel within the organization is a valuable testament to your company. California has got a great economy with an extremely tight labor market, so there are a lot of organizations that are looking for talented people to bring on board. We need to continue to build on our foundation to make sure that we’re the employer of choice in the marketplaces that we’re in.
I think once someone joins our organization, they’ve got to make sure that they see a career path and a future. Everybody wants to be part of a growing organization, so you want to make sure they understand the story—where we are today, where we’ve been, and where we see ourselves in the next three, to five, to ten years—and how they fit into that story. Part of that is making sure they have a learning plan within the organization.
Investing in our employees’ training and development—not only technical training, but robust leadership training as well—really resonated with people. It’s important to identify good talent and nurture their potential so they truly see you as their employer of choice.
SCN: With such a large events sector, how is Avidex planning on educating meeting planners on AV? How do you create an optimal attendee experiences using AV?
JD: It’s great to get the word out there with social media and social marketing campaigns. If you look within our organization—especially from the perspective of an account executive or an engineer—they spend a lot of time in front of our customers talking about the technologies that are out there, and the ways that they can benefit from utilization of that technology, giving them some real-life case studies on where we’ve implemented products and how our customers have benefited. It’s an ongoing campaign, and there’s no magic bullet. I think it’s an all-hands effort from marketing, boots on the ground, and the front line with the customer.
SCN: Security and privacy are major areas of concern throughout the AV industry. How do you assure clients that you are keeping all that information secure?
JD: Security issues are becoming more and more important every day. You’ve got physical security, cyber security, and then the pro AV component, and they’re all starting to converge. When you’re out there and you’re having conversations with clients, they want to make sure that you understand the necessity to secure the environment. They want to make sure that when you’re talking IT with them, that you know what you’re talking about. It’s our responsibility to make sure that we continue to stay current with the latest IT processes and procedures—especially as it relates to securing information on people’s networks.
I think you’ll see a lot of partnering of AV companies and cyber security companies, too; as the two industries converge, there’s a necessity for more partnerships. In some of my prior engagements, cyber security was at the forefront of a lot of organizations we talked to, and people have been through some horrible experiences. The press associated with you not being able to secure your own data, let alone someone else’s, is not good for your business.
SCN: Any closing remarks?
JD: I can’t say enough how excited I am to be a part of the Avidex organization. The road ahead looks extremely bright, and I think when you start to look at the fundamental foundation of the opportunities in front of us—in K-12 and higher ed, and blending that with our current corporate offerings—I think you’re going to see a lot of good things coming out of our organization in the very near future!