Commercial Integrator September 2022 - 57

C llab rati n
TODAY and TOMORROW
just relocated.
Immediately, Bridwell set
" I had every symptom you
could imagine, " he explains.
That unfortunate turn of
events inspired Bridwell to
reflect on the pandemic's
early days.
Thinking back to ISE 2020
in Amsterdam, the Netherlands,
Bridwell knew things
had changed shortly after
he returned when the NBA
suspended the 2020 season
and lockdowns began. " The
hardest part of being a
leader of people is not having
answers, " he opines. " No one
had ever dealt with this type
of situation before. " Thoughts
of how to keep his team motivated
and how to help them
structure their day raced
through his head. Soon,
however, Bridwell came to
a realization: " I hired adults
to be adults, " he declares.
" If you hire the right people,
leading is easy. "
Survival Kit
In those early days, Bridwell
reached out to AV industry
gurus, such as Starin's Chris
Neto, and quickly developed
what he dubs a work-fromhome
survival kit. It included
a set of dual monitors, a great
camera and a mic. He was
lucky that, pre-pandemic, he
had carved out an office in his
home. Therefore, very quickly,
it was business as usual -
commercialintegrator.com
up virtual open forums every
Friday to touch base with
fellow employees. He also
arranged for outside companies
to join those Friday
forums to offer visibility into
how other people were working
through the pandemic.
The Friday forums helped
spur ideas on how to continue
making sales virtually. One
such idea centered on virtual
experience center tours.
Business Diversity
One of Sonance's real
strengths is its diversity as
company, having both a
strong residential business
and a strong commercial
business. Bridwell knew that,
once the lockdowns ended,
Sonance had to remain in a
strong position to ship gear.
Thus, even during the toughest
days of the pandemic,
the company focused on
maintaining manufacturing
and keeping inventory management
strong. " Everyone
pulled together, " Bridwell
enthuses. " The company
worked together and put us
in a better position to hire
coming out of the pandemic. "
COVID-19 notwithstanding,
the day-to-day work-fromhome
situation for Bridwell
was phenomenal. " I love
where I live in Decatur, "
he says, " and I jokingly say
our lives got better during
COVID. " He believes that
people will return to office at
their own pace. " Companies
don't need everyone back
under one roof, " he says, acknowledging
that things will
not revert to earlier days.
With all the success he's
had growing Sonance's
commercial business, you
wouldn't know that Bridwell
never thought his career
would be in AV. At the end of
2007, when the global economy
was on the precipice of a
massive economic downturn
- the deepest and worst
since the early 20th century
- he found a job posting for
Digital Projection's marketing
communications manager.
About a decade later, after
rising through the ranks at
Digital Projection, he joined
Sonance and has continued
his ascent.
But as great as Bridwell's
career path is right now, his
heart is set on his ultimate
personal journey to be a park
ranger at 63. He also wants to
buy an RV and travel around
with his wife. Here's one more
fun fact about Bridwell: His
great aunt was the amazing
author Harper Lee, who wrote
" To Kill a Mockingbird. "
Connect with Bridwell via
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/
michaelbridwell.
'During " the
Great Furlough, "
we were able
to acquire good
talent and made
a strategic
investment in
new staff.'
- Frank McCann,
McCann Systems
apprentice electrician. He
spent those next three years
honing that trade. Eventually,
in 1984, he left his homeland
of Ireland for Brooklyn, N.Y.
When McCann was 22, he
found himself working on
the original AT&T network
operations center in Bedminster,
N.J. Little did he realize
he would meet AV royalty.
With a laugh, McCann says,
" I terminated cables and got
coffee for Steve Emspak of
Shen Milsom & Wilke! "
Over 50
Frank McCann,
founder of McCann
Systems - Holmdel, N.J.
Frank McCann jumpstarted
his life in technology
when he left school in the
10th
grade and became an
Laying the Groundwork
Fast forwarding a few years
later, McCann laid the
groundwork for his namesake
company - McCann
Systems - in his Old Bridge,
N.J. basement. The company,
which had its official
launch in 1996, has grown
remarkably in the years that
followed. McCann Systems
now has eight locations
throughout the U.S. and
about 175 employees. And
with McCann not answering
to a private-equity board,
his decisions to grow the
company and support his
national clients were not
challenged.
SEPTEMBER 2022 Commercial Integrator 57
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Commercial Integrator September 2022

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

Commercial Integrator September 2022 - Cover1
Commercial Integrator September 2022 - Cover2
Commercial Integrator September 2022 - 1
Commercial Integrator September 2022 - 2
Commercial Integrator September 2022 - 3
Commercial Integrator September 2022 - 4
Commercial Integrator September 2022 - 5
Commercial Integrator September 2022 - 6
Commercial Integrator September 2022 - 7
Commercial Integrator September 2022 - 8
Commercial Integrator September 2022 - 9
Commercial Integrator September 2022 - 10
Commercial Integrator September 2022 - 11
Commercial Integrator September 2022 - 12
Commercial Integrator September 2022 - 13
Commercial Integrator September 2022 - 14
Commercial Integrator September 2022 - 15
Commercial Integrator September 2022 - 16
Commercial Integrator September 2022 - 17
Commercial Integrator September 2022 - 18
Commercial Integrator September 2022 - 19
Commercial Integrator September 2022 - 20
Commercial Integrator September 2022 - 21
Commercial Integrator September 2022 - 22
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Commercial Integrator September 2022 - 25
Commercial Integrator September 2022 - 26
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Commercial Integrator September 2022 - 28
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Commercial Integrator September 2022 - 33
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Commercial Integrator September 2022 - 38
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Commercial Integrator September 2022 - 40
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Commercial Integrator September 2022 - Cover3
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