Relationship Born Over Multiple CI Summits Now Reaping Rewards

Integrator finds perfect product for project thanks to event sponsor he met years earlier.

A relationship between a guest and a sponsor at the Commercial Integrator Summit crafted over several years is now paying dividends.

USIS AudioVisual Systems’ vice president of operations Joe Legato needed a product to complete a project for a communications provider in Stamford, Conn. The company wanted video walls outside two boardrooms, which it would use to provide content to through its own set-top boxes.

Just Add Power sales manager Taft Stricklin right) enjoyed the 2016 Total Tech Summit.
Just Add Power sales manager Taft Stricklin (right) enjoyed the 2016 CI Summit.

After completing the needs analysis with his client, Legato selected components including video displays, media player and controller. He knew he needed a powerful system to tie it all together. Legato turned to Just Add Power for that final piece of the puzzle.

Legato had met Just Add Power sales manager Taft Stricklin for the first time at the Commercial Integrator Summit in 2014. Legato liked what he saw from Stricklin and his products and, though there wasn’t an opportunity at the time to work together, he made sure he didn’t forget about them. They met again at the 2015 Summit, but it wasn’t until the 2016 event when  Legato saw Stricklin’s presentation before the Best Practices Soup Roundtable session that the right opportunity arose.

“He had a new product offering, and it seemed like it was great,” says Legato. “So, I sought him out on the show floor, just to get a better look at it and I liked it a lot.”

“He was a familiar name and a familiar face from a couple of Summits,” says Stricklin. “And, at the last one we did, he came up and said, ‘I actually have a project, and I’m going to need your help.’ He literally just walked right up. It was kind of like we had known each other for a long time.”

Joe Legato says the networking opportunities at the CI Summit make it one of his favorite events.
Joe Legato says the networking opportunities at the CI Summit make it one of his favorite events.

And, the pair hopes they’ll know each other much longer.

Their initial project together is still underway, but should be finished in a matter of weeks. And, even though this first job is not yet completed, both Stricklin and Legato agree they can see themselves working together on other opportunities well into the future.

“Ultimately the proof is in the pudding in terms of a future partnership, but I don’t foresee any problems,” says Legato. “I was very impressed with it in the multiple times I had seen the product and here in the shop when it made it through the QA. So, I don’t see any problems coming.”

So, when Legato and Stricklin see each other again at the 2017 CI Summit, the pair will no longer be waiting for what’s first. Instead, they’ll be talking about what’s next.