Michelle Troupe

The Women in CE organization announced Wednesday the honorees for its annual Women in CE Legacy Awards. The four main honorees are Amy College, senior vice president of merchandizing at Best Buy; Amy Jo Smith, president of DEG: the Digital Entertainment Group; journalist Andrea Smith, formerly of ABC News; and Revenew founder and CEO Nasrin Thierer. 

These are the times when a Marilyn Monroe impersonator sauntering in front of a hot car can really do some good

Michelle Troupe, a true Jane-of-all-trades, put herself through college nearly two decades ago while simultaneously holding down a full-time accounting position at a fast-growing Washington CE retail operation, Definitive Audio.  Dabbling in the inventory and human resources departments back then, Troupe found herself becoming increasingly interested in the store's products themselves. At age 20, she purchased a 35-inch Mitshubishi TV.  "My boyfriend was really jealous," she laughed. "I love video, and I bought a great digital camera too. During my years on the business side, I was slowly getting to know our manufacturer reps and more importantly, our credit managers."

Troupe's business business acument and her relationships with vendors were catching the attention of the Definitive Audio management. When one of their buyers left the business, they gave Troupe a shot at the position. That internal promotion in 2000 was all the incentive Troupe needed to throw herself into all aspects of the company, from writing most of the store's procedural manuals to implementing a barcoding system which decreased inventory shrinkage by over 50%.  "I've grown right along with the company," said Troupe. "I found I could do a little bit of everything."

This month, Troupe's turns her attention toward event marketing, working hard on the company's annual "Home Theater Experience," a 2-day display of the latest in AV technologies.  She says the goal is to generate excitement about new products and to highlight new possibilities for all budgets, all part of Definitive Audio's lean-times sales strategy.

"With this recession, we've gone back to the basics. We're getting on the phone, connecting with our existing and non-active customers. We're trying hard to get back into the customer's home," said Troupe. "Business isn't what we'd like it to be right now, but whoever can weather this horrific storm is going to come out really strong in the end."

LAS VEGAS—Dealerscope and E-Gear's Best of 2000 awards reception, held January 6, the opening night of the 2001 International CES, featured cold beer, good blues and an impressive awards roster. A multimedia presentation sponsored by Forbes Magazine honored five Dealerscope Hall of Fame inductees (including the first two retailers in the Hall of Fame's 10-year history), four retail Dealerscope Pride Awards and the innovative, designated winners of the Dealerscope Editors' Choice and E-Gear All-Star Awards. Tired feet and busy schedules notwithstanding, we had a blast. Eric Schwartz, vice president and group publisher of Dealerscope and sister consumer magazine E-Gear, chats with Tom DeVesto

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