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Staying Power

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Franklin Moore, AVFranklin

Name: Franklin Moore

Position: President / Owner

Company: AV Franklin

Overtime: Moore volunteers as an assistant scout leader for his son Eliot’s Boy Scout Troop. He also plays several types of racquet sports including tennis, squash, racquet ball, and pickle ball. He’s currently playing paddle (platform) tennis which can be played outdoors all year long in all types of weather—a key ingredient for getting outside in cold Chicago winters.

SCN: What is your position, and what does it entail? What are your responsibilities?

FRANKLIN MOORE: As the owner of a company that now bears my name, my greatest responsibility is to maintain the integrity of my business. In my role as the president of AV Franklin, I must direct the strategic goals of the company to ensure that we get the growth we expect. This includes the onboarding of new products. Taking this view as the overarching job description, I get to define the expectations of the various positions within the company. We do our best to empower our employees to take the initiative and make the best decision on behalf of the company. The joy for me in this role is to see that the processes we have created are successful and deliver results as expected.

SCN: How long have you been in this position?

FM: I’ve been the president and owner of AV Franklin—formerly AV Stumpfl USA—for the past 18 years. I established the company in 2001 without a single customer. I built my business into a successful distribution company that I believe offers real value to our customers, as well as our vendors.

SCN: How has your background prepared you for your role?

FM: My experience was in sales—first in retail, then in wholesale. I came from the consumer electronics industry in the late 1970s. This led me to become an independent sales representative for most of the 1980s, continuing to serve in consumer electronics, specifically serving B2B. A friend of mine introduced me to George Cassnave, who was the owner of Audio Visual Techniques here in Chicago. He became a customer and launched me to projection screens. My past 40 years of experience in consumer electronics and AV have prepared me for the challenges I face as a business owner.

SCN: What are your short- and long-term goals? 

FM: My short-term goal is to add new products to sell to my customers in the rental and staging and live events industries. Long term, I’d like to keep doing what I do now, which is providing superior product solutions to customers.

SCN: What is the greatest challenge that you face?

FM: Having been a single-brand distributor for the past 18 years, I realize that I can support the sales of new products—but building the team that can support those additional products becomes the real challenge.

SCN: Where do you see the projection market heading?

FM: Although there is a lot of capital in the rental and staging market chasing LED products right now, the projector manufacturers say they have no intention of discontinuing projectors anytime soon. I believe that even if LED continues to drop in price, a projector and a screen will continue to be the least expensive way to deliver a large-format projection image. We have historical precedents for this, since the first projectors were in use many years ago using only candlelight.

SCN: Are there new initiatives we are likely to see from AV Franklin?

FM: Integrators and consultants will see the addition of more products that complement the projection screens we currently sell. Specifically, we have added products like modular scenic systems offered by MBP Scenic, a longstanding manufacturer of these unique products in support of this growing product category. We see these portable scenic systems as a category for growth in the AV industry. We will also continue to offer projectors from Digital Projection.

SCN: How can systems contractors better position themselves to profit from products and/or services you have to offer? 

FM: The AV Franklin product lines are extremely high-quality and technologically advanced—these product features deliver a better than average return on investment to our customers. We intend to continue to be the leader in customer service to support the needs of the rental, staging, and live events industries.

ICYMI: The Evolution of AV Franklin

On May 1, 2018, AV Stumpfl USA changed its name to AV Franklin. The company, which had been an exclusive pipeline for AV Stumpfl products for more than 18 years, continued to carry the AV Stumpfl brand, in addition to a number of complementary projection solutions.

“We’ve done a great job of promoting the brand and creating [a] marketing and brand for AV Stumpfl worldwide and specifically in North America,” said Moore in an interview with AVNation at the time. “We thought it was important for us to be able to provide more solutions for our customers. We’d like to offer a wider selection of products that serves the audiovisual and staging industry. We wanted to be in a position to provide that.”

Megan A. Dutta

Megan A. Dutta is a pro AV industry journalist, and the former content director for Systems Contractor News (SCN) and Digital Signage Magazine, both Future U.S. publications. Dutta previously served as the marketing communications manager at Peerless-AV, where she led the company’s marketing and communications department. Dutta is the recipient of AVIXA's 2017 Young AV Professional Award and Women in Consumer Technology's 2018 Woman to Watch Award. Dutta is co-founder of Women of Digital Signage, an organization designed to provide a pathway to promote networking, mentoring, and personal growth.