One of the cool things I found out at this year’s LDI is that my good buddy, Tim Brennan, was promoted, and FINALLY given some recognition in his career. Sure, he’s had some great jobs, and made decent money, but for whatever reason, his prior employer chose to clip his wings, and try to tie him down instead of really putting him out there to shine.
You probably know the storied history of the Brennan family, and their close relationship (and eventual sale of their company, Cinema Services) with Jere Harris’ and his family, so lets not go into these details. Instead, I’d like to talk about MY relationship, and history with Tim.
It all started about 15 years ago, when I was Director of Sales for Martin (actually, the US distributor, Tracoman). I went to Vegas in an effort to try and START sales into that area. It was right about the time that High End were at the PEAK of their dominance. It was one of those things… VL was the KING in the market, and due to their arrogance, brushed off High End to the point where they didn’t even consider High End would be able to compete. Not only did High End compete in the lucrative Vegas Market, they dominated it for a number of years. A large part of High End’s control in this marketplace came from a VERY happening sales guy at a local shop called Cinema Services. This sales guy, who happened to also be the son of the Owner, did not care that EVERYONE told him High End had no shot. He didn’t care that all the showrooms wanted VL or nothing. He had a toolbox, and was going to use that little box of tools to take over the Vegas market.
I will never forget. I flew into Vegas, and asked my sales rep at the time, Richard Wilson, okay – where do we start. He said “Well, here are the players”… and proceeded to list about 10 companies. I said “We’ve only got a half a day, who is THE player. He said “well, we better go see Mr. Brennan”. As luck would have it, Tim was able to see us that day, and I think my door to the Vegas market began opening right that moment.
Tim liked me (for some reason!) and decided he wanted to help me to gain exposure into the Vegas market. He walked me into some of the smaller deals where our lights made sense, and High End either didn’t have a product, or was priced out.
The rest is really history. Tim single handedly introduced Martin to the Vegas market. He eventually made sure that the line was every bit the leading brand in the city, and Martin was wise to recognize that, and bring him on in 1998. For whatever reason, they lost site of those early reasons, and his welcome wore out. In my opinion, this will prove to be a mistake, and will cost some Market Share in Vegas.
I guess that Martin’s loss was DEFINITELY PRG’s gain. He seems to have found himself a home, and in speaking with Tim, the future is definitely a good place. I think Tim will do very well with Jere, and will be there for a long time. Way to go Tim – and Jere for having the foresight (and resources of course) to bring him on. Tim has quickly proven his value there, and having been rewarded with a new title, it’s certain I am not the only person to have noticed.