by Jeremy J. Glowacki
There’s really no one else in the custom installation business quite like Jeremy Burkhardt. He’s outspoken, outlandish, and maybe just a little rough around the edges. But he’s also the president of one of the most admired brands in the custom installation channel and a really thoughtful person.
Click here to access a PDF copy of the SpeakerCraft-sponsored "Love Your Choices" editorial supplement to the January 2012 Residential Systems magazine.
Beyond the tattoos, rocker T-shirts, and biker beard, anyone who’s gotten close to SpeakerCraft’s president also knows him as a person of integrity, with a warm heart, an astute mind for business, and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge.
It’s that insatiable curiosity that inspires Burkhardt to hit the road to share his observations and motivational messages with dealers around the country, and through the written word in his columns for Residential Systems.
During his three years as a contributing writer, Burkhardt has served as a guide to managing a custom installation business through the most difficult economic periods since the Great Depression. His initial columns now serve as a time capsule for those early months of the economic downturn before most of us realized that things would get worse before they started getting better.
And remember the SpeakerCraft booth at CEDIA EXPO 2008 when Burkhardt ruffled feathers by featuring exotic dancers and business advice pods, rather than new products? It was there that he also debuted his Tarot card-style business conversation icebreakers that he writes about on p. 5 of this publication. Few companies think outside the box for a trade show, but SpeakerCraft did, and it worked.
At times, Burkhardt has played the role of Residential Systems reporter at events like CEDIA Management Conference, relaying advice from Cranium board game inventor Richard Tait and Nike executive Kevin Carroll on enjoying your career. Other times he has been a self-help guru, passing along suggestions for creating paths for change and success and establishing healthy lifestyle habits. Once, he even turned over the keyboard to his son, Cody, who wrote about the importance of acknowledging his generation as our industry’s future customer base. Then there were the columns where he applied the wisdom of NBA coach Phil Jackson, and U.S. statesman Ben Franklin to help guide us through difficult business decisions.
Sure there was the controversial “save the whales” column prior to CEDIA EXPO 2010 that angered about as many people as it inspired, but there also was the excellent “call to action” column featuring the young owner of a California surf and skate shop that featured some of best management tips that a CI business owner could want.
It’s all featured here in “Love Your Choices,” which is the title of one Burkhardt’s columns and his personal mantra. Enjoy this special supplement to Residential Systems, where we offer the best of Jeremy Burkhardt, a one-of-a-kind type of guy.