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AVAD’s Whinna Plans End-of-Year Retirement

Wally Whinna, one of the founders of AVAD, plans to retire from his position as executive vice president of sales and marketing at the end of 2009.

Whinna has served on the distributor’s executive committee and as vice president of marketing since its inception in 1997.

Over the course of his tenure with AVAD, Whinna has been integral in developing AVAD from a simple concept to the custom electronics industry’s leading distributor with 28 North American locations, hundreds of vendor partners and thousands of dealers.

Wally Whinna poses during the Van Nuys, California, stop on the 2009 Vend-O-Palooza tour.

“Without question, AVAD would not be in the leading position it is today without the services of Wally,” said AVAD vice president and general manager, Jim Annes. “Wally’s valuable insight into sales and marketing strategies combined with his understanding of how to connect directly with dealers by understanding their specific needs has helped to develop AVAD into a trusted resource within the industry. Wally has built a strong sales and marketing team at AVAD, and is a trusted advisor to me personally. We cannot thank Wally enough for his years of commitment and dedication in helping AVAD to succeed.”

Under his direction, AVAD has implemented numerous initiatives designed to better serve its dealers, including the AVAD Advisor, AVAD’s bi-monthly, all-inclusive, electronic newsletter featuring tips and product information. Whinna has also been responsible for the development of AVAD’s highly-successful Vend-O-Palooza tour, a series of one-day events connecting area dealers with leading manufacturers in an interactive forum at local AVAD branches.

“I feel extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to be a part of the AVAD family,” Whinna said. “From day one, AVAD has been committed to serving the needs of the custom installation community and over the years, I have seen this company grow from simply a distributor of products into a valued partner for our dealers and their businesses. With the talented management team AVAD has in place, I’m confident this company will continue to serve the custom installation market like no other and look forward to seeing the continued success of AVAD.”

Whinna has been a member of CEDIA for 20 years, and a principal of Tandem Marketing, a manufacturer’s representative that represents companies in specialty audio and custom installation projects, for over 30 years.

Recognized for his insight and contributions to the industry, he serves on the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) Home Audio Division Board and most recently was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from lighting control manufacturer and AVAD partner, Lutron Electronics.