Bob Gartland, president and founding principal of AVAD LLC, distributor of custom home electronics, has chosen to step down from his position, effective September 30, 2008. Gartland concluded a three-year commitment following the July 2005 Ingram Micro acquisition of AVAD. John Soumbasakis, senior vice president, strategic divisions, will run the company on an interim basis and lead an internal and external search for a president.
“We have a strong and talented management team, and I feel the time is right for them to take AVAD to the next level, Gartland said. “The company is in a great position to move forward, and I am honored to have had the opportunity to see AVAD grow from an idea, to the industry’s leading supplier of custom electronics. We founded AVAD with the vision of developing a company that would be entirely devoted to serving the needs of custom installation experts, and we succeeded in a way that I only could have hoped.
Soumbasakis noted that Ingram Micro will continue to operate AVAD as a separate, autonomous division to ensure the company maintains its competitive advantage in the marketplace. We are committed to the consumer electronics industry, and AVAD will continue to redefine the custom installation market with revolutionary ideas that focus on service,” he said.
Serving as company president since its inception in 1998, Gartland has been instrumental in building AVAD into the premier national supplier to custom audio/video dealers. “Bob has been a great leader. AVAD now boasts 37 U.S. locations coast-to-coast, serving more than 10,000 dealers nationwide. Recently, we also expanded into the Canadian market with new facilities opening in Toronto and Calgary,” said Keith Bradley, executive vice president and president of Ingram Micro North America. “The AVAD management team is very strong and I look forward to seeing AVAD continue to evolve and grow for many years to come,” said Bradley.
Gartland has been a leading force behind many initiatives set forth by AVAD. Among the highlights include AVAD’s Integration Partner program which creates complete solutions from the company’s roster of home technology manufacturers. Gartland also helped spearhead AVAD’s groundbreaking Dealer to Builder (D2B) program, linking AVAD’s certified Electronic Systems Contractors with local homebuilders. Under his direction, AVAD also established the “AVAD University” dealer continuing education program, Gear Head magazine, an innovative quarterly book aimed at dealer’s everyday business challenges, and AVAD’s “Customer Service Guarantee.”