40 Under 40: Paulson, Pedigo, Savage, Schillerstrom, Sigal, Sircar, Swanke, Thomas, Valbuena

Welcome to our annual listing of 40 leaders in the CE industry who are under 40 years old. Every year we take this time to profile the young leaders who provide the energy, enthusiasm and ideas that drive this industry forward. Make sure to see the June issue of Dealerscope for the full report.

As in the past, we have reached out to retailers, vendors, distributors, buying groups and software developers to submit their best young talent. While we’re familiar with many of the choices, we’re delighted with some of the people who haven’t been on our radar. Stay tuned throughout the next two weeks for more 40 Under 40 inductees, as well as some outtakes we’ve compiled from their interviews.

Kris Paulson, 38

Custom Installation Director, Paulson’s Audio & Video, Farmington Hills, Mich.

Years in the Industry: 20

Education: B.S. in Information Systems Management, Wayne State University; enrolled in M.B.A. program

Career History/Accomplishments: Paulson has helped the company his father founded establish its custom installation division. He wanted to be a veterinarian but joined Paulson’s AV in 1997, right after college. “I realized this is where I’d rather be. I wanted to see something that my dad created live on.”

Knowing the company had to do more than sell boxes, Paulson slowly built the staff and skill sets needed to install more complex systems. He hired his first full-time installer in 1998 and grew the department to its current size: four team leaders, four trucks, up to four installers (depending on work load), an administrator and three sales people.

Proudest Achievement: “Started a customer service department within an existing AV retail location, growing sales to $1.5 million with a staff of six.”

Hobbies: Golf, playing hockey, movies and fostering labrador retrievers for Central Michigan Labrador Rescue Network.

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