MERA Town Hall Meeting
Saturday, August 16, 2014 at 5:00 to 5:30 PM - Reception
Saturday, August 16, 2014 at 5:30 PM - Town Hall
The state of our industry will be presented followed by a dynamic panel of industry leaders (both retailers and suppliers) presenting their predictions for the future of the mobile electronics industry. Panelist will field questions from the audience in the interactive town hall style meeting that will be an event to remember. Join forward thinking industry leaders for a highly energized session that holds nothing back and willingly share their vision for the future of our industry.
Opening Remarks & Moderator: Chris Cook - MERA President
2014 Panelists: TBA
Last year's Panelists:
Mike Anderson of Alpine Electronics is the Assistant Vice-President of Sales for Alpine Electronics where he has spent the past 21 years. In his current role, he is responsible for setting the sales strategy for the Aftermarket Business Unit as well as developing strategic tactical elements to ensure sell through. He is responsible for managing the outside sales force, consisting of nearly 60 representatives across the country. Mike also serves as Leadership Council Chairperson of the Mobile Electronics Retailers Association (MERA).
Keith Lehmann of Kenwood entered the consumer electronics industry in 1984 as a Product Specialist with Yamaha Electronics Corporation, responsible for research and development of home, mobile and video products. Focusing on mobile electronics in 1986, he joined Alpine Electronics of America as a technical services engineer and led the team effort to document and develop the Car Audio Nationals program. In 1988 he became the Product Manager for the mobile division of JBL International and eventually Strategic Marketing Manager for the Harman Consumer Group, during which time he was elected President of IASCA in 1991. In 1996, he was appointed President of MB QUART Electronics USA and evolved the company over the course of five years to the point where it became suitable for sale to Rockford Corporation in 2001. After a brief time as Senior Vice President of Phoenix Gold, he joined Kenwood USA Corporation in 2003 and is currently Senior Vice President of Kenwood's Consumer Electronics Sector. Active in the Consumer Electronics Association for over twelve years, Lehmann served as Chairman of the Automotive Electronics Division Board from 2007 to 2009.
Jon Kowanetz - Handcrafted Car Audio - At just over 30 years old, Jon Kowanetz has been installing Mobile Electronics products more than half of his life. What started out as a way to earn a bit of extra money as a teenager has blossomed into a full-fledged career as he grew older. Since facing the rigors of opening his location in 2009, Jon has become a father, achieved re-certification as an MECP Master Installation Technician, won Mobile Electronics Magazine's Installer of the Year award in 2010, and had his establishment be named as one of Mobile Electronics Magazine's Top 12 Retailers in 2012. Jon also serves as a member of the Leadership Council of the Mobile Electronics Retailers Association (MERA).
Jason Kranitz - Kingpin Car and Marine Audio - At 42, has been in the mobile electronics business for 20 years. In 2006 started Kingpin Car & Marine Audio specializing in custom fabrication. Jason has been featured in over 32 Magazines including: Me Mag, Car Audio and Electronics, Car Stereo Review, DUB, Iron horse, and PSMAG. In 2005 He was featured in the Movie Ride Culture that showed the build process of a custom Boat. Jason has been recognized as ME Top One hundred Installers several years running, Top 12 Installers twice, and Retailer of the year 2007-2008. And while all this is impressive, Jason would rather just be know as a Realist and just a guy that builds cool stuff! Jason also serves as a member of the Leadership Council of the Mobile Electronics Retailers Association (MERA).
John Schwartz - Just 36, having been in the industry for 22 years starting on the east coast, working in Las Vegas and living in Alaska, John has worked in some tough climates. When John took over Perfectionist 13 years ago, the shop had the worst reputation in Alaska. Through hard work, dedication and lots of lessons John was able to turn the business around and now runs an award winning shop. Most recent awards include 2011 Mobile Electronics Retailer of the Year, Anchorage Press Picks Best Car Customizer, Best Car Stereo Shop 2010-2011, Anchorage Daily News Best of Alaska Platinum Award, Multiple manufactures awards for Retailer of the Year, and most recently Anchorage Chamber of Commerce individual award for Entrepreneurial Excellence finalist.
Steve Witt - Stephen Witt, Vice President of Mobile Audio and Advanced Accessories – Audiovox Electronics Corp. Steve is an industry veteran with 30 years experience in automotive electronics in both the aftermarket and Tier 1 automotive supply. Witt held key senior management positions at Alpine Electronics in the US and Canada. He has lead brand and product strategy, new business development and has a proven track record in creating successful brand and product positioning and sales. He is an active member of CEA and served as the chair of the Automotive Electronics Division and has served on CEA's Executive Board. Witt provides consulting for automotive industry analysts and speaks frequently on the future automotive electronics, technology adoption and driver safety. Steve's continued dedication to delivering saleable product solutions focusing on carry in device integration solutions, Driver Assistance and Safety Systems as well as evolving the in dash and sound systems with relevant products that today's consumers demand.