A Personal Note to Total Marketing’s CEO, Ron DeVoe, Upon His Retirement

By Gary Kayye, CTS

ron-0110First things, first: Thanks, Ron!  Thanks for all the ways you supported me and your dealers!!!

In the ProAV market, I am perceived as a manufacturer’s rep-hater.  Interestingly enough, this couldn’t be farther from the truth.  I am, in fact, a manufacturer’s rep supporter – at least of the good ones!

During my VP of Marketing and Sales days at AMX, I got to know their rep firms well.  And, although AMX had some of the best in the industry, they also had some of the worst.  So, I was asked (this is back in 1997, mind you) to fire the bad ones.  And, I did.  Those bad ones labeled me as a rep-hater and that label stuck.

AMX’s best rep firm was Ron’s company Total Marketing.  He didn’t sit back at rep meetings and complain that we at AMX weren’t giving him enough leads to sell; he built his own training center to generate leads on his own.  He didn’t ask for us to pay for his demo center; he stocked it full of gear he paid for himself.  And, he was constantly giving me new product ideas from his on-going dealer visits – we literally had dealers telling us he was visiting them too often!

Ron, I can’t believe you’re old enough to retire, but you have had gray hair as long as I’ve known you, it seems – not that gray hair is an indicator of age!  I hope you enjoy retirement as much as you’ve enjoyed working.  The ProAV industry’s losing a pioneer and La Quinta Hotels is losing a frequent customer that they, and we, will never replace…

And, finally, congratulations to Darcy Harrell, Total’s new president and CEO, and Ron’s daughter – you must be proud…