In my biweekly blog series, I am highlighting some of the incredible people who work for the Audio Video Industry and in this post, we are profiling Dave DiGirolamo. Here is his brief introduction.
Dave DiGirolamo is the Director of Audio Video Systems at Building Infrastructure Group located in Virginia, USA. He is a Certified Technology Specialist for Design(CTS-D) from the AVIXA organization.
1. Describe your journey in the AV industry? How did it start?
I was first introduced to AV when I worked at Circuit City part-time while studying at the University of Virginia. Once I completed my degree, I landed my first job in Pro-AV as an entry-level installation technician. Since then I have held technical, sales, and management positions in the professional integration field.
2. What do you think are the challenges that are facing a new person who wants to join the industry?
For a new person entering AV, there are some obstacles to overcome. Mainly it’s finding a company that is willing to work with someone who doesn’t have experience in the industry. That can be challenging. However, if someone has experience in a related field (IT particularly), then the transition can be easier. A person can likewise study and obtain a CTS certification from AVIXA, which would likely be enough to receive an entry-level position. My first job was as a technician, and I have always been thankful that my career started that way because it gave me insight into how challenging it really is to get a project installed correctly.
3. What are the positives of working in this industry?
We would need several pages of text to tell the readers all of the positive aspects of our industry. Simply put, it’s extremely gratifying to go to work and make a living in a field that is interesting, dynamic, and challenging. Another huge positive is the close-knit nature of the AV industry. It allows people to build a robust network of industry contacts. Those relationships are very important, and your network can help you throughout your career.
[RELATED] : If you have missed any of my previous interviews, please click here.
4. What in your opinion would you change in the industry? What are the negatives that are prevalent?
One thing our industry is wrestling with right now is the establishment of companies with deep resources such as Microsoft, Dell, and Google. These IT giants are talking directly to clients about AV and IT and are often times not including the AV channel in the discussions. It would not surprise me if these large IT companies start to participate in the mergers and acquisitions that we have seen over the last couple of years. This isn’t necessarily negative, but it could present a big change to our industry.
5. Describe your ideal client? What do you wish clients to know before hiring you?
At Building Infrastructure Group, our ideal client is one that values a long-term partnership with us. BIG is more than just another vendor in a construction project. We spend time to really understand what our clients’ needs are and make recommendations that best fit the situation. There are always less expensive vendors out there, but we work hard to become a partner and add value through our design expertise, installation skills, and our Perfect Plus Support ™ program. I wish more clients were open to the idea of a partnership. Many times clients have preconceived ideas that the salesperson is only after the highest revenue possible, and does not care about the clients’ necessities or the project outcome. This is simply not true, at least not at BIG.
6. If you were going to start over, what would you do differently?
If I were starting over today, I would concentrate on learning IT skillsets as much as I have learning AV. The merger between AV and IT is complete, and you have to be savvy in both to be successful in the future.
7. Describe a typical work day for you. What are your daily disciplines?
A typical day includes visiting clients, phone calls, and working with members of the BIG team on various processes and issues. I always try to devote time on the “BIG picture” and try to ask myself “What is one task I need to do today to consider the day a success?”. Then I make it a priority to accomplish that task.
8. Describe the apps and gear that you use daily which makes you more productive?
I utilize the standard Microsoft Office software most people use like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams, and Outlook. MS Teams and its suite of apps have been especially valuable, as they allow our entire staff to communicate, coordinate, and share information more efficiently than ever before. When at client sites, I prefer to use a Surface Pro for presentations, design reviews and note taking.
9. How do you stay relevant in this industry?
Staying relevant can be difficult, but is critical in our industry. I attend regular training classes, webinars, and conferences such as the AVIXA Executive Conference (AVEC), the NSCA Business Leadership Conference (BLC), and the Total Tech Summit which all offer great insights into industry trends and how to capitalize on them.
To know more about him or his business, please connect with him on Linkedin.
Also please drop your questions in the comments below and I will make sure that he sees them.