Lenbrook President & CEO Miller: On a Mad Mission? Or Simply Misunderstood?

Lenbrook website<June 1, 2011> Lenbrook America Corporation President and CEO Dean Miller began with an apology. In a May 20th email communication with BEACON editor Ted Green, Miller apologized for his lack of responsiveness, saying that until he read last month’s BEACON he was unaware that attempts had been made by its editors to contact him. Miller, it seems, was on an aggressive two-week spin through Europe to attend a Tivoli event in Italy, a Munich high-end show in Germany, and finally a Lenbrook International distributor show.

See more on our interview with Lenbrook’s Dean Miller… Continue reading

IPRO Prez to the ALERT: Reps Reconceived Remain Really Relevant

IPRO2<May 18, 2011> Shortly after a story appeared in last week’s BEACON about Lenbrook’s decision to terminate its national independent sales force and transition to a direct sales model, we were contacted by David Humphries, president of IPRO, the nation’s most prominent organization of independent sales representatives. Humphries shared with us the organization’s perspective on the Lenbrook decision and the role of the independent rep in today’s industry.

A strong proponent… Continue reading

Have Tech Industry Trends Rendered Reps Irrelevant?

Photo from show floor<May 18, 2011> The specialty segment is still buzzing about the decision by Lenbrook earlier this month to hire Dean Miller and terminate their entire U.S. sales force of independent sales representatives. The story, originally run last week in the BEACON, [ See: Lenbrook Lunacy? Or Crazy Like a Fox? Market Reacts to Recent Moves ] caused an explosion of email messages and telephone calls to the ALERT’s offices and there appears to be no shortage of comments…except from Lenbrook America, who has not yet returned multiple messages left by the ALERT’s editor.

Distress and dire predictions pour in… Continue reading

Lenbrook Lunacy? Or Crazy Like a Fox? Market Reacts to Recent Moves

Lenbrook websiteOne Rep Stands Up for Specialty

<May 12, 2011> The specialty market is reacting to the announcement last week that Lenbrook America has hired Dean Miller as President/CEO and will dismiss its sales representative network, its sales manager, and take the sales process direct hiring regional sales managers. And at least one of the affected representatives, Peter Dyroff of Jarmac, went public with his reaction, sending a letter to all Jarmac dealers that has virtually gone “viral” throughout the specialty industry.

The specialty formula…

Continue reading

Russound Pulls the Plug on Colorado vNet

Colorado Town Council Plans Lawsuit

Russound Logo<December 29, 2010> In a move that will not surprise many in the industry, Russound has decided to close Colorado vNet fourteen months after purchasing it in October 2009. The move appears to be related to a breakdown in negotiations with the town of Loveland, Colorado which had provided the company’s previous owners with $900,000 in incentives to move operations there…and had renegotiated a $500,000 deal with new owner Russound. Continue reading

Electronics Manufacturer ATI to Acquire B&K Components from Bank

Graphic showing B&K R707


B&K Components, Ltd., a small privately owned company founded in 1981 in Buffalo, NY, had carved out a niche for itself as a provider of a fairly wide range of stereo, home theater, and multizone audio components. But apparently B&K Components has also become the latest victim of a continuing industry contraction as sources tell the ALERT that, barring any unforseen last-minute glitches, Amplifier Technologies, Inc. (ATI) will acquire B&K soon…perhaps as early as by the end of this week. Continue reading

Russound Hopes to Beat the Odds with Acquisition of Colorado vNet; But Some Question Deal

Colorado vNet Building

Colorado vNet Facility in Loveland, CO

<October 7, 2009>Newmarket, RI-based Russound announced this past Monday that it had signed a letter of intent to purchase recently shuttered Colorado vNet in a deal for which terms were not disclosed and that is expected to close by the end of October. The deal was a surprise to many in the industry as Colorado vNet recently announced the collapse of discussions with multiple potential suitors causing the company to cease operations, lay off staff, and close their doors in late September. Continue reading