Commercial Integrator March 2022 - 32

LEADERSHIP Bold Vision
Fresh Perspectives
FROM YOUNG LEADERSHIP
Bobby Swartz, CTS,
exemplifies the vibrancy
of AV's next generation
of executive management.
By Dan Ferrisi
THE COMMERCIAL AV industry benefits
from the experience, knowledge and
perspective of seasoned leaders who've
seen the economy expand and contract,
technology fads emerge and vanish,
and vertical markets evolve. However,
our trade and practice also benefit from
fresh, vibrant perspectives. And those are
exactly what the next generation of AV
leadership is offering. Bobby Swartz, CTS,
who ascended to CEO of Starin on January
1, 2021, is a prime example. Here, we'll
explore a bit about Swartz's background,
delve into the daring transformation he
helped usher in throughout his first year
as CEO and consider the importance of
32
Commercial Integrator MARCH 2022
being amenable to change and directional
shifts. In so doing, we'll glimpse, in microcosm,
the exciting future that these new
AV leaders are bringing into focus.
Working His Way Up
Sometimes, when you hear about an
under-40 working in the C-suite, you
assume it's a gilded chair that they
inherited right out of an MBA program.
For Swartz, the path was much more
relatable. During his college years, he
pursued his passion for music by gigging.
(In fact, during our interview, I noticed
an impressive collection of electric and
acoustic guitars as part of his backdrop.)
As family responsibilities materialized,
Swartz pivoted to positions at Woodwind
& Brasswind, Guitar Center and Musician's
Friend, continuing to indulge his
musical passions. From there, he joined
the Starin organization in an entry-level
position, embarking on what has now become
a 15-year career with the venerable,
Chesterton, Ind.-based distributor.
Swartz's first role was as an inside support
representative. Over time, he worked
as market development manager, channel
sales associate and in other, increasingly
responsible roles. " There's almost no department
I haven't worked in, " he chuckles.
Swartz hastens to add, however,
that he didn't have his mind on a C-suite
position in those early days. Noting that
Starin was a relatively small company with
lots of long-tenured associates, he figured
his best course was simply to do his job
well. And because he did, management
encouraged him to contribute even more
meaningfully. " Anytime I found something
that needed to be done, the company just
said, 'Well, go ahead and do it,' Swartz
says. " I was always empowered to do
something new...take something further. "
A Boundary-Pushing Year
Swartz is something of a disrupter
- pushing boundaries to help Starin
succeed - but there was no greater
disrupter than the COVID-19 pandemic,
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Commercial Integrator March 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Commercial Integrator March 2022

Commercial Integrator March 2022 - Cover1
Commercial Integrator March 2022 - Cover2
Commercial Integrator March 2022 - 1
Commercial Integrator March 2022 - 2
Commercial Integrator March 2022 - 3
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Commercial Integrator March 2022 - Cover3
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