What They’re Thinking: Ken Smith
Prior to founding Custom Electronics, I worked for Digital Equipment Corporation in their human resources department. I was an inside consultant dedicated to training. I used to teach a class called “Career Management.” I wasn’t happy there, and I gave myself my own class and came up with an outline of what the ideal career would be for me. And about two weeks later after I did that outline, I picked up the premiere copy of Audio Video Interiors, and I said “Oh, this is it.”
My hero in this industry is Chris Stevens. I went to a training that he offered through Audio Access in 1989 or 1990, and he taught me everything in that session that anybody would need, to this day, to be successful in this business. I patterned my company after his “Phoenix Systems” and his words still ring strongly in my ears. I also met friends in that session that are still my friends in the industry.
One of the most influential people in my life is Marilyn Sanford. (president of LaScala Home Cinema + Integrated Media in Vancouver, B.C.) She doesn’t hesitate to tell me where she believes I am going right or wrong, and she backs it up with facts. She has been incredibly helpful and supportive through very difficult times, and has pointed out things to me that I never would have figured out without her.