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Screen Innovations Grows, Adds Staff

To support what it says is 40-percent growth over last year, U.S.-based projection screen manufacturer Screen Innovations (SI) has made several strategic personnel appointments.     Dan Poirier. Brandon Holmes. Brandon Holmes and Dan Poirier join the SI engineering

To support what it says is 40-percent growth over last year, U.S.-based projection screen manufacturer Screen Innovations (SI) has made several strategic personnel appointments.

Dan Poirier.Brandon Holmes.

Brandon Holmes and Dan Poirier join the SI engineering team, providing needed skills and intelligence to further develop and expand the line. Shannon Gustafson and Jay Biedermann also have joined Blake Vackar in leading the sales team, managing accounts for their respective territories, further developing the company’s network and reach through strategic partnerships.

Holmes brings more than a decade’s worth of engineering and technical sales experience in the commercial screen industry (LCD/plasma/projector) to the SI team. Culminating from many years as the principle engineer for outdoor LCD displays and digital signage solutions architecture, Holmes demonstrates “solid design and testing fundamentals which lend well to SI’s commitment of delivering perfectly reliable and finished products,” according to SI.

Poirier possesses nearly 30 years of invention, manufacturing, engineering, product, and process equipment development, plus precision machining and fabrication skills to SI. His prior creative accomplishments include the invention of processing equipment using linear servos, rotary servos, and piezo linear actuators, as well as pneumatic logic, stepper and PLC controls. This, plus his background with consumer product development and custom thin film manufacturing process equipment design and build fits perfectly with SI’s initiatives, make him a valuable addition to the engineering team, the company says.

The company credits both domestic and international sales expansion and other strategic employee appointments as the primary catalyst for its recent performance.

Shannon Gustafson.
Jay Biedermann.
SI president Ryan Gustafson also attributes some of the company’s growth to the lack of margin found in traditional pixel-based flat panel displays. “TVs still have a place in the world for sure, but they are being replaced by larger, more energy efficient display technologies, and projection screens are now part of that equation,” Gustafson said. “We knew we were on to something big back in 2005 when we manufactured and sold our first screens to Gary Wermuth at WAVE Electronics in Houston, TX. Since then, we’ve expanded the scope of our operation significantly, and continue to evolve our product line at a feverish pace in order to meet market needs.”

Shannon recently made her re-entry back into the SI workforce after a brief stint away to start a family. The proud mother of three-year old twins, Taylor and Austin, Shannon manages all aspects of the company’s international sales and marketing efforts. Living abroad for much of her life, Shannon has a unique ability to successfully manage a diverse international clientele. Boasting double-digit growth figures during challenging economic times, she has made her mark on the company. “As a woman, wife, and mother, I appreciate the products we design and sell. As an employee, I am thrilled at the solutions we provide,” Shannon said. “By increasing our international presence, dealers and distributors worldwide now recognize that SI represents an unparalleled opportunity to provide their customers a superior entertainment experience.”

Jay Biedermann joined SI in January as the company’s director of commercial sales sevelopment. Formerly with DMX Music, where he won the Annual Circle of Excellence Award several years in a row, Biedermann brings a wealth of hands-on experience to the newly formed position. Already familiar with the SI line and market strategies, Biedermann has developed a keen strategy to expand SI’s reach into the commercial market. With a consultative approach and an eye for detail, he works closely with integrators and systems designers to ensure they have the tools and resources needed to properly design, specify, and install two-piece projection systems utilizing Screen Innovations screens.

Blake Vackar.

Blake Vackar, who is now a well-known face for the SI brand, joined the company from D-Tools, and serves as the director of U.S. sales. Managing all aspects of the company’s domestic sales strategy, Vackar spends his time educating and inspiring others on the virtues and benefits of using Screen Innovations’ products. The face and voice behind many of the company’s educational videos that are showcased on the SI website, Vackar utilizes his prior experience as an integrator to guide dealers to projection screen technology.

Screen Innovations’ trajectory from a garage-based business to a well-established internationally recognized projection screen powerhouse has been “a labor of love,” according to Ryan Gustafson. “It has been incredibly fulfilling, and I am both proud and humbled at the same time whenever I think about how far we have come in such a short time,” he said. “Projection screen technology is finally hitting the mainstream now, and although we’ve been banging on this drum for many years, the technology has finally progressed to a state where it is truly a viable and appealing solution for many of today’s video-centric installations. In fact, this evolution is what motivates and drives us. While we understand and appreciate the world’s dependence on pixel-based displays, we believe that two-piece projection can–and will–justifiably surpass those technologies in both the residential and commercial spaces in the near future.”