Fourteen-year-old Joseph “Joey” D’Angelo found himself in an interesting situation. With CD players becoming a must-have item in the late 1980s and early 1990s, D’Angelo had launched a business installing car stereos out of his parents’ Bakersfield, CA, garage. Before he knew it, he had a three-month waiting list of clients. As his skill grew, D’Angelo began to build trade show vehicles … and even had a vehicle in the Tokyo Auto Show when he was just 19.
Watch the video below to learn more about Joey D'Angelo.
Once he felt he’d gone as far as he could in this endeavor, D’Angelo enrolled at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) and hoped his studies there would help him settle on a future career path. Little did he know that his former hobby would turn into a career breakthrough.
As luck would have it, he installed a car stereo for Ethan Salter, the son of Charles Salter, founder of San Francisco-based AV consulting firm Salter Associates. The senior Salter was so impressed by D’Angelo’s work that he invited him to visit with his firm and interview for a position. A week after graduating from Cal Poly in 1998, D’Angelo started working with Salter. He stayed there for 17 years. “I have been on vacation ever since because I absolutely love everything about everything I do. You couldn’t have dreamt up a better job for me. I am truly blessed,” he said.
He began there as a consultant and was promoted to principal after three years. Before the promotion, he briefly considered quitting to become a fighter pilot, another lifelong dream, but the promotion kept him in San Francisco.
After 17 years with Salter, D’Angelo wanted to try something different. He ended up joining QSC in a business development role. Going from a small consulting business to a large manufacturer was a big change, however, and D’Angelo found the transition from consulting to sales difficult. With a baby on the way, D’Angelo reversed course and went back to consulting, starting his own firm, Joseph D’Angelo and Associates.
When he was getting his business off the ground, D’Angelo worked for a software company on the side, but eventually D’Angelo and Associates consumed all of his attention. Since its launch in 2017, the company has grown to 11 employees, including drafters, virtual installers, software developers, and consultants, who ar based all over the world.
“We’re changing the way drawings and system diagrams are done. We’re kind of going over the top with it,” D’Angelo said. Using custom proprietary software designed for consulting and document development, the Joseph D’Angelo and Associates team is able to develop document packages for clients that read almost like an Ikea style step-by-step instruction manual.
Changing the way consultants do business is a passion of D’Angelo’s. After years of working on successful projects, he began to sense a declining perception of the consulting industry’s value proposition. In response, he engaged with AVIXA to relaunch the association’s Consultant’s Council. He and Peter Hunt of Hewshott served as co-chairs.
As a consultant, D’Angelo never feels like he’s doing glamorous work, but he loves the challenge of figuring out how to do something and making custom solutions for a variety of clients. “I have always been able to find a way, and I honestly believe that thanks to the great products and people in this industry, we will always be able to find a way. The answer is out there. You just have to find it.”
One interesting fact about Joseph D’Angelo and Associates: it is a woman-owned business. D’Angelo’s wife, Lauren, is majority owner with a 51 percent stake in the company. If anyone labors under the mistaken impression that she is not a driving force in the business, D’Angelo is quick to correct them. “My wife handles all the financials, all the billing, all the invoicing, and she deals with a husband who is working until 2 a.m. every night. She also raises two children and has a day job. So if you think my wife is not a contributing force in this company, you are sorely mistaken.”
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