KnowledgeFest culminates in an industry awards ceremony where the industry’s brightest stars are recognized for their efforts, whether as individuals or as part of a company. Career-changing awards like Installer of the Year, Trusted Tech and Retailer of the Year offer those on the retail side of the industry to vie for the title of the top among their peers. For 2015, the Retailer of the Year awards were expanded to cover specific elements of success, including customer retention, online presence and others. For the manufacturers, distributors and sales reps dedicated to independent retailers, there are also a host of awards to recognize their efforts as suppliers and business partners.
This year’s Installer of the Year award went to Juan (JT) Torres, Owner and Lead Install Technician at Al & Ed’s Autosound in Huntington Beach, Calif. Torres accepted this award with a grateful speech thanking his mentors, family and colleagues. Runner-up for Installer of the Year was Matt Schaeffer of Safe & Sound in Manassas, Va. Schaeffer is also an MECP Advanced Installation Technician. Both Torres and Schaeffer are humble and very experienced technicians who are highly dedicated to expanding their knowledge and skills. The final installer award, Trusted Tech, award went to Bryan Piper of Audio Visions in Corpus Christi, Texas.
The independent Retailer of the Year went John Schwartz of Perfectionist Autosound & Security in Anchorage, Alaska. Schwartz had just flown in from a business trip to Australia to accept the award. This is the second time in five years Perfectionist has won Retailer of the Year. It’s also the company’s 25th anniversary in 2015. Runner-up in the Retailer of the Year category was Musicar Northwest in Portland, Ore. Ken Ward and Tom Miller, co-owners, accepted the award with their entire staff on stage.