On-line product and industry news
June 22, 1999
United opens system fabrication center
Systems team now at ten
Due to rapid growth, United Visual's a/v systems department recently expanded into a new 3500-square foot area in United's Itasca headquarters.
"The new space allows us to bring our equipment and parts stock, rack prefabrication area and pre-installation testing all into one place," says Santo DiBenardo, United's Field Installation Manager. "Really, it comes down to a need to control the quality of our work as we handle more volume."
That same need brought the addition of two new team members this year.
Dave Michel moved into the role of United's systems design engineer, CAD draftsman and AMX programmer. Dave has an unusual background for this position: over twenty years experience as a video service tech and service manager. The hope is that his component-level knowledge will allow United to build simpler, more reliable systems than others in the business. That seems to be the case so far.
Shelley Johnson came on board with the mission to organize the work flow and keep better track of staff and customers. She, too, has been a big contributor in her three months with the company. "We've become extremely flexible," says DiBenardo. "We're able to reconfigure our teams job by job with Shelly fitting particular installers and team leaders to particular customers, depending on their backgrounds and the needs of the job."
Shown in the photo above (from left): Installers Brad Busse, Dan McGoldrick, Noah Beilfuss, Mike Mueller (engineer/installer), Ron Beilfuss, Santo DiBenardo (department manager), Shelley Johnson (installation coordinator), George Houck, Chuck Pechtel, and Dave Michel (design engineer).
June 1, 1999
Tim Edwards brings stage lighting department to United Visual
Tim Edwards has joined United Visual as Stage Lighting Manager, bringing professional lighting to our Rental Department.
Tim joins United with over 16 years experience as a lighting designer and operator. His resume includes stage lighting design for Guns and Roses, the Reggae Sunsplash Festival in Jamaica, and ongoing work for the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Since starting at United two months ago, Tim has designed and set up lighting for a number of corporate and public events, including the Society of Biomaterials Convention in Providence, RI (shown at left) an after-game concert at Soldier Field for the Chicago Fire soccer team and Jam Productions, and a reception for Jessie Jackson at the Hyatt Regency, Chicago.
If you have questions about lighting, you can phone Tim at 800/ 680-4221 or e-mail him at [email protected]
April 19, 1999
United Visual Rentals moves to bigger quarters
United Visual’s Rental Department has moved to larger quarters at 399 Wall Street, Glendale Heights, Illinois
According to John Toomey, Rental Operations Manager, "the move was necessary because of the addition of our new lighting department headed by Tim Edwards. We’ve made a major investment in lighting equipment and that, together with the increases we’ve made over the last three years in sound and projection inventory, kind of overwhelmed our space in the Itasca building."
The new space, pictured here, is in a brand new building with interiors custom built for United. But Toomey isn’t getting too comfortable. "We like it here, but, with any luck, we’ll outgrow it by the time our lease is up in three years."
February 12, 1999
Mergens and Gosstrom join United Visual
Two veterans of the a/v industry have joined the United staff.
Lori Gosstrom joins United Visual’s internet sales department with over 12 years in a/v repair service, a/v and computer customer service and sales. "When I heard she was looking around," says Don Kreski, United’s Director of Marketing, "I called her right away. She was obviously someone we had to have."
Jim Mergens, who has over 18 years experience in a/v and a/v systems support to hospital and university environments, has joined United Visual as our health care and higher education account manager. "These are customers with some very specialized needs," says Rick Nelson, Sales Manager, "and Jim has the background and experience to really take care of them. Hiring him was another no-brainer."
Mergens, for his part, told me, "I was really surprised how United has been able to approach its pricing structure. For example, to be able to offer a top-quality LCD projection package, installed with sound system, VCR, interfacing and AC power for under $10,000 is just amazing."
| December 11, 1998
Cascio joins United's Service Division
Tony Cascio has just completed his first month at United Visual as Service Marketing Manager and co-manager of the firm's Service Division. Cascio, a former conference services manager for Ameritech and sales manager for Marriott International, is working side-by-side with John Lenox to expedite equipment repairs and to develop maintenance programs for United's a/v systems customers. His experience in managing conference and training centers adds a new, welcome perspective to the Service Division.
"Many equipment problems can be avoided with regularly scheduled maintenance," Cascio says. "But when equipment falters, our customers must be assured that their equipment is in caring hands and will be returned as soon as possible. After all, we're not just fixing equipment, but helping people with their next class or presentation."
United Visual was founded in 1949 as a repair company: United Projector Service. Cascio points out that, after five decades of growth, it would be easy for many firms to forget their roots. "My job," says Cascio, "is to make sure we don't forget where we came from or to let growth get in the way of taking care of our customers."
November 12, 1998
UNITED VISUAL FALL
October 1, 1998
Knutson heads videoconferencing division
Paul Knutson, formerly of Andersen Worldwide and Amoco Corporation, will head United Visual's new videoconferencing systems support division. Knutson, shown here working with a PictureTel Concord, has over 15 years providing videoconferencing technical support and management. "You have to be willing to get fully inside these systems sometimes to keep them on track for your customers," he says. Paul has been instrumental in bringing a number of customers on line, though his role at United has, until now, been divided between a/v systems and videoconferencing support. The need for a full-time videoconferencing specialist has becoming more and more obvious at United Visual. The firm has moved rapidly into the field this year, gaining significant successes through its dealerships with PictureTel and 3M Advanced Meeting Systems. United's rental division has also been active, adding portable videoconferencing and audioconferencing systems to its Illinois and Wisconsin inventories. Knutson is also close to completion of a dedicated videoconferencing system at United's Itasca headquarters. It should be available for rentals in December.
UNITED VISUAL IS AWARDED
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