If you’ve been in the AV industry for any length of time, you know Loyd Ivey. Maybe you haven’t met him in person, but you know his name. You know his work ethic. You know the respect everyone has for him.
Currently the president and CEO of MiTek Corporation, Loyd has been been living, eating, breathing, drinking and sleeping AV since he could get first get his hands on a radio — and he hasn’t stopped working his way to the top since.
As a young boy, his curiosity with electronics started when he just wanted to take the wall plate off the electrical outlet. “I wanted to know how the energy came through the wires,” Loyd remembers. “I would wonder why, when it was raining, that he could touch a wire fence and get a shock from it. I was always fascinated by things like that.”
He started his first company, Ivey Electronics, at the age of 18. There was one employee (Loyd) and he worked all three shifts. He was very driven.
But, the truth is, even though Loyd knows pretty much everything and anything there is to know about AV, it’s the experiences he’s had, the knowledge he’s gained and the wisdom he’s acquired over the years that makes him successful.
He’s just one of those people that you want to talk to for hours and soak up everything he has to say. And, when you get to this point in your career, it’s about the legacy and the impact that you leave versus the nitty gritty of the work you did.
So, that’s what we talked about. We talked about what it means to leave a legacy, what it means to be a good person and what it means to work hard. And I thought I’d share with you some of the knowledge Loyd shared with me.
“My life has been like Forrest Gump,” Loyd said. “I always run into people, not because I planned it, but because it seems to be happenstance. If you’re there, in the moment, paying attention, once in a lifetime opportunities go by you every day. You have to have a sense of awareness and be able to identify the good opportunities from the bad ones. And that’s been my philosophy in life. I’ve had the opportunity to meet some incredible people and it wasn’t because of anything other than just being there. Introducing myself. Treating everyone with dignity and respect. Being humble. Humility is the strongest thing that any one person can possess.”
“I would say that for people, and we’re really ALL sales people, that if you go through life, treat everyone you meet as though they are your very best customer,” Loyd said. “In fact, they are. Every day, every way, everyone you encounter is your very best customer. The customer has the ability to say yes or no and control your livelihood. If you treat people this way, and do it honestly, genuinely and sincerely, you’ll be very successful. It’s just the right thing to do.”
Loyd has loved his professional work over the years. He STILL loves what he does. But, what Loyd REALLY loves is learning. Anything and everything. Loyd wants to learn. His passion lies in education.
Loyd helped to found the NSCA Education Foundation with Chuck Wilson. He served as the chairman of the board of the CE Industry and has been a member of the CES and CEA show for 16 years and chairman of the board for two years. He also sits on the CE Foundation board funding education and charitable work throughout the country.
Volunteerism and education – making the world a better place – that’s where his heart is.
Loyd has been married to his wife Debbie for 45 years and they have two children. His daughter Elizabeth owns an electronics company and his son, Jonathan, is with Atlas Sound. So you could say that AV is in the family.
He was born in Missouri and maintains a residence there, but loves spending winters in Arizona. But, in his life, after family, it all comes back to being humble and learning as much as he can. And he hopes to pass that legacy onto the next generation.
I asked Loyd, out of everything that he’s learned and experienced in his life, what advice does he have for the next generation, the younger generation, the new generation?
“In my humble opinion,” Loyd said, “if you feel entitled to something, that means you think you’re better than someone else. And if you think you’re better than someone else, you just blew your humility right out the window.
“Forget about being entitled. Forget about having a degree in something or other. Study. Learn. Listen. That’s what I did. I studied everywhere. I still study every single day.
“If you feel entitled for whatever reason, then you’re really in trouble. A college degree proves you have the ability to learn, but the real learning starts on the first day of your first job. That sets a precedent for what you do for the rest of your life.
“Have a good work ethic, then learn. Have humility, then learn. Humility and work ethic are two things that can’t be inherited. Do yourself a favor and do everything you can to learn those two things and they will last you all your life and you’ll be very successful. If you don’t, you’ll learn to pay for it the rest of your life.”
Molly Stillman is the director of marketing and new business development for rAVe [Publications]. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you know someone in the industry with an interesting story that should be featured in our monthly column? Email Molly and let her know.