40 Under 40: Garelli, Ghazarian, Hensel, Herzberger, Hettinger, Huddleston, Kaplan, Kaplan, Karp, Koutsky, Kwasnik

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.

James Garelli, 32

Director of Stores, East, Paul’s TV, Irvine, Calif.

Years in the Industry: 15

Education: Central Connecticut State University; Bunker Hill Community College, Charlestown, Mass.

Career History/Accomplishments: Garelli started at Tweeter when he was 16, selling auto sound and accessories. When Tweeter closed late 2008, Garelli was its New England regional manager. The 12-year company veteran suddenly found himself with a liquidator as a boss and despondent Tweeter employees from Maine to Connecticut. He worked fielding logistics and consoling staff until the chain’s last day.

In 2009, Paul’s TV hired Garelli as district manager to open AV departments within three Jordan’s Furniture stores in Massachusetts, plus one in New Hampshire. That done, Garelli next opened 33 Paul’s TV locations within Art Van Furniture stores in Michigan, all in a matter of 14 months. “There’s nothing more exciting than opening up a market from beginning to end,” said Garelli, who hired many ex-Tweeter employees for Paul’s TV. “Most of them still work for us today.”

Awards: Tweeter’s General Manager of the Year, 2007