Steve Greenblatt and Tammy Fuqua of Control Concepts recount how AVNation’s Spring Learn From Home Summit brought them into a working partnership
We at AVNation love a feel-good story, especially during hard times like we are experiencing in the present moment. This past spring, we developed and delivered one of the first virtual events for the AV industry with our Learn From Home Summits for the residential and commercial integration sectors. The idea was and continues to be to connect all of us in this beautifully evolving field to stay in touch with each other and keep our community fortified with ideas, experiences, and the inspiration we have grown so used to at our in-person events. So, it was with real joy that AVNation learned that LFH actually brought together two people in search of each other’s experience and know-how.
Tammy Fuqua, and active and enthusiastic member of the AVIXA Women’s Council, has been a sales management expert in the public and private sector of the AV industry since 2001. Starting out at a small CD/DVD duplicator as the sales administrator, she has since held sales management positions at Christie Digital, Epson and most recently, at an UK interactive flat panel company. When she was laid off at the end of February, Fuqua decided to take some time off to chart a different course for her career.
“While I was off work, it was all about keeping up with the industry trends and getting as involved as possible to keep myself relevant to the AV community,” Fuqua says. “Now that I am back to work, this philosophy still holds true, only now I am bringing my new company into it. It is tough though with so many changes. I listen to podcast, join virtual conferences, like LFH Summit, and network heavily to stay in the know.”
Fuqua’s road to Control Concepts started during AVNation’s Learn From Home Summit, where she was a panelist during the “Branding Yourself During a Crisis With AVIXA Women’s Council” session this past April.
“It has been absolutely vital to my career development,” Fuqua says of AVIXA’s Women’s Council. “In the past four years I have built a network of women and yes, men, by being involved with this dynamic group. It was incredibly empowering for me to surround myself with so many like-minded women in the industry and men supporting us. I can honestly say I would not be where I am in my career without connecting with AWC.
“I tell Brandy Alvarado, AWC president, quite often I want to be just like her when I grow up – helping women change the AV industry to be more inclusive when it comes to women. Now, as a leader of a local group, I am helping with that. When I lost my job, I was inundated with job opportunities by AWC members. It reassured me that I had a network of people looking out for me. They got my back and in return, I got theirs!”
It was during that Learn From Home panel discussion as an attendee that Steve Greenblatt, president of Control Concepts based in Fairfield, NJ, first encountered Fuqua.
“I wanted to connect with Tammy after hearing her on the LFH Summit because she mentioned she was recently available and had experience in an account manager role,” Greenblatt says. “We had been looking for account manager prior to the pandemic. Due to the uncertainty of business, I wasn’t sure if we were in the position to hire at the time. However, I thought it would be valuable to connect and see if I could provide help either within or outside of our organization.”
Fuqua’s involvement with AVIXA’s Women’s Council was of importance to Greenblatt, who is also a supporter and advocate for the organization. He reached out to her via Linkedin to introduce himself and to begin a conversation about her possibly joining Control Concepts. A short time later Fuqua interviewed for the job.
“Tammy’s people skills, passion and commitment to the AV industry, cultural fit, and ability to promote our brand were the key elements that helped ensure she would be a quality candidate for the role,” Greenblatt says. “Additionally, after speaking with Tammy’s references, I felt convinced that she had what it took to succeed in this role and on our team. I felt that Tammy’s past experience provided a crescendo that prepared her to make the leap from the tangible role of selling hardware products and solutions to the more dynamic and varied area of software and services.”
In her new role as account manager at Control Concepts, Fuqua is charged with fostering relationships with AV manufacturers and software providers to help the Control Concepts make their products easier for programmers and integrators to implement through the availability of modules, drivers, and middleware for various control platforms and operating systems.
“This is a future growth area for our business that will contribute to making products more robust, making projects more efficient, reducing programming time, minimizing troubleshooting requirements, increasing system reliability, and enhancing client satisfaction,” says Greenblatt.
Fuqua has set out on the new course that she was hoping to develop in February during her time off. She says she joined Control Concepts first and foremost because the company works as a team as well as the great reputation that Greenblatt has in the AV industry. “I believe in his goals and vision for the company and our module/driver development,” she adds. “I liked that we are a small company with big goals and even bigger values. Lastly, it was important to me, as the account manager, that I could bring my skillset to the company to help grow the business and develop the already existing relationships.”