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North Andover, Mass., – October 09, 2020 – Mobile Electronics announced the finalists for the 2020 Industry Awards yesterday, live on Zoom and its Facebook page. MEA President, Chris Cook held the Finalists Presentation, in which The Top 12 Retailers, Top 12 Installers, Top 5 Technicians and new Top 5 Sales Professionals and other awards were announced. Also noted were the "Top 3" and "Top 5" awards for finalists in the vendor, expeditor, sales rep, rep firm and distributor categories, as well as the top 5 Technicians denoting the finalists for the coveted Trusted Tech award. Each "Top" award recipient will receive a signed wall certificate.
 
While the final stage of the Industry Awards will be held in Dallas during KnowledgeFest, Cook noted that the announcement produced its own set of winners.
"It's important to recognize that making it to the Top 12, Top 5 and Top 3 categories signals a major achievement in this industry," he explained. "It means that these individuals, stores, brands and companies are part of a unique group that represents the best of our industry. We're overdue in recognizing the significance of their efforts, and I am proud to create a special event for that purpose.
 
Some of the award categories are decided solely on industry votes. For these, the top vote-getter will be announced at KnowledgeFest as the ultimate winner of the category. For the Top 12 retailers, Top 12 Installers, Top 5 Technicians and Top 5 Sales Professionals, each recipient will need to submit additional materials for judging to determine the winner in each category.
 
The finalists lists can be viewed at meindustryawards.com by clicking on the Winners tab and selecting '2020' winners. To view the 2020 Industry Awards Finalists Presentation, visit the Mobile Electronics magazine page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MobileElectronics. The final awards will be announced at the Mobile Electronics Industry Awards celebration during the KnowledgeFest trade show and conference in Dallas, December 4-6. For more information, visit www.meindustryawards.com.
 
2020 Top 12 Installers
Marty Adamschek – Andres Electronics – Courtenay, BC
Nick Apicella – Apicella Auto Sound – Stony Point, NY
Dean Beyett – Five Star Car Stereo – Clearwater, FL
Michael Bischoff – Traffic Jams Motorsports – Buford, GA
John Brettle – Cartunes of Atlanta – Atlanta, GA
Phillip Cantu – Elevated Audio – Lakewood, CO
Adam Devine – Devine Concepts – Naples, FL
Nicholas Frazier – iNNovative Concepts – Wilbraham, MA
Justin Kush – Mobile Toys Inc. – College Station, TX
Jaime Palafox – Agoura Autosounds – Agoura Hills, CA
Dalton Trainer – Car-Tunes Inc. – Greenville, MS
Matt Vowell – Mobile Toys Inc. – College Station, TX
Alternants:
#2: Christopher – Labonte Vibe Car Audio – Red Deer, AB
#1: Jesse Rhodes – Boomers Audio – Tulsa, OK
 
2020 Top 12 Retailers
Absolute Electronix – Rockville, MD
Apicella Auto Sound – Stony Point, NY
Audio Systems – Moreno Valley, CA
Car-Tunes – Greenville, MS
Devine Concepts – Naples, FL
Elevated Audio – Lakewood, CO
iNNovative Concepts – Wilbraham, MA
Mobile Toys Inc. – College Station, TX
NVS Audio – Roselle, NJ
Traffic Jams Motorsports – Buford, GA
Showtime Audio – Chicago, IL
Titan Motoring – Nashville, TN
Alternants:
#2: SoundsGood Auto – Burnaby, BC
#1: Foss Audio & Tint – Tukwila, WA
 
2020 Top 5 Sales Professionals
Donald Darouse Elevated Audio Lakewood, CO
Jason Kranitz Kingpin Car & Marine Audio Henderson, NV
Corbin May Visions Electronics Grand Prairie, AB
Jim Skaggs Mobile Toys Inc. College Station, TX
Ronald Venable Traffic Jams Motorsports Buford, GA
 
2020 Top 5 Technicians
Dean Beyett Five Star Car Stereo Clearwater, FL
John Brettle Cartunes of Atlanta Atlanta, GA
Phillip Cantu Elevated Audio Lakewood, CO
Nicholas Frazier – Innovative Concepts – West Springfield, MA
Matt Vowell Mobile Toys Inc. College Station, TX
 
2020 Rookie of the Year
Timothy Langevin Innovative Concepts – Wilbraham, MA
Oscar Rodriguez J’s Tint & Car Audio – Dallas
Saul Sanchez  NVS Audio – Roselle, NJ
 
2020 Performance Awards
Most Improved Location
806 Autoworks
Apicella Auto Sound
KarTele Mobile Electronics
 
Best Online Presence
Apicella Auto Sound
Elevated Audio
NVS Audio
 
Best Customer Retention Program
JML Audio of St. Louis
The Car Audio Shop
Tunes-N-Tint
 
Best Customer Experience
Apicella Auto Sound
Elevated Audio
JML Audio of St. Louis
 
Best Store Culture
Apicella Auto Sound
Ocala Car Audio
Traffic Jams Motorsports
 
2020 Top 3 Expeditors
American Radio
Sound FX
Titan Motoring
 
2020 Top 3 Distributors
Davis Distribution
DOW Electronics
GoFast Solutions
 
2020 Top 5 Rep Firms
12 Volt Marketing Group
12 Volt Specialist
Echo Sales
MAG Sales
Marketing Pros
 
2020 Top 5 Sales Reps
Nalaka Adikari ORCA Designe
Jon Brothers Metra Electronics
Mike Eckley AAMP Gloobal
Jonathan Mercado GoFast
Mike Rundel SONY
 
2020 Top 3 Vendors - Autosound & Processing
AudioControl
JL Audio
Sony
 
2020 Top 3 Vendors - Accessories & Materials
AAMP Global
Metra Electronics
Mobile Solutions
 
2020 Top 3 Vendors - Infotainment & Multimedia
Alpine Electronics
KENWOOD
SONY
 
2020 Top 3 Vendors - Security, Safety & Driver Assistance
AAMP Global
Firstech
Voxx Electronics
 
2020 Top 3 Vendors - Powersports & Marine
JL Audio
Kicker
Rockford Fosgate

Mobile Electronics July Issue, July 13, 2016 -- In the business world, they say it takes an average of five years for a new business to turn a profit. In that time, the business must establish itself into the company it will be for the rest of its existence. The job of the owner/manager during this time is to work out the kinks with processes, employees, sales, execution and customer presentation.

For a 12-volt retailer, those elements are easier said than done. But thanks to the way industry insiders support one another with suggestions and communicating best practices, the amount of failures the company must endure is significantly lowered. All that the shop needs to be successful rests on how much the owner/manager and employees are willing to learn through communication.

This year's Top 12 Retailer class is filled with people who have learned lessons both ways. Those lessons allow them to enhance their chances of not only surviving times of economic hardship, but completely bypassing them to remain in a state of constant growth. Take Richard Grimm, owner of Cartunes in Atlanta, Ga., who has been in the industry since 1972. Over that time he's seen multiple recessions, an oil crisis and has worked for other companies that have gone under. Thankfully, he had people he could turn to for advice, which he used to survive some of the harshest economic climates in the history of the country.

On the opposite side of the spectrum sits Josh Mojica, co-owner of GNC Customs in Goshen, Ind. Growing up in the family business, Mojica learned a great deal about not just 12-volt, but business in general from his parents, who operated several business ventures that included car audio, furniture and jewelry. While his background is different from Grimm, it proves one thing is for sure in 12-volt: the more you know, the better off you are.

Relative Foundations

Active in the 12-volt industry since 1972, Grimm of Cartunes has always had a passion for music and cars. From his early days of installing 8-track radios in a parking lot part-time, Grimm has gone the distance in the industry by becoming a specialist in dealer work and car audio. "I was sidetracked into the cell phone business in the early 90s, made a lot of money but it suddenly ended and we had to start all over in the mobile electronics and audio business. We did it the right way, survived it all, and the rest is history," Grim said.

One of Grimm's biggest strengths was hiring people smarter than he to represent the company. This strategy largely contributed to the shop's specialist reputation, helping the business survive turbulent times over the years, including an oil crisis and multiple recessions. "My biggest mistake was hiring people who were not smarter than me," he said.

In fact, survival is something he prides himself on, given those aforementioned times of crisis. "There are so many recessions that I've survived that it's difficult to choose one. Simply put, surviving is what I'm proudest of in my career."

Dan Ungaro, owner of Soundscape Car Audio in Plano, Texas, started from scratch in 12-volt, not knowing a thing when he began at Circuit City in 2000. "I worked there for about four and a half years learning the basics of everything from radio to remote start and video installs. From there I went to Tweeter and was given the space to experiment with custom work which revitalized my passion for car audio," he said. "A few years later I went to work for Car Toys where I did mostly custom work and some wiring mixed in. In 2009, I left Car Toys to start my own shop under the name Ungaro Custom Designs with the idea that I could be a custom shop for other car audio shops. This didn't work well, so I opened a retail location in 2010 under the name Soundscape. Over the last six years, I have moved from doing most of the sales and install to mostly sales and management."

While the experience of going through the gambit of jobs over the years likely taught Ungaro some huge lessons, it's not the only path forward. Sometimes family can provide lessons in a more formulated way.

"I am the oldest of three sons that run GNC Customs. I did whatever our dad asked us to do," said Josh Mojica, co-owner of GNC Customs. "As I gained experience I took over most installations as my brother honed in his fabrication skills. Now with a crew of six, my duties are mostly managerial and sales related."

Read the rest of the story HERE.

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