A/V Spotlight ◊ Penny Sitler
Marketing Manager at Draper, Inc.
I’m the marketing manager at Draper, Inc. I’ve been helping grow this company for 36 years, because Draper is a great place: dedicated to manufacturing in Indiana and loyal to community, customers, and employees.
In AV, Draper is a leading manufacturer of projection screens with a growing capacity for custom solutions to lift, mount, and support displays and equipment. Diversity, deep capacity, and a global audience have made Draper much more than an AV company—we are also a leading manufacturer of commercial window shades, and of gymnasium equipment.
Watch for us on Twitter (@draperinc and @draperav), LinkedIn, Facebook and wherever you like to hang out! I’m also honored to serve as the chair of the AVIXA Women’s Council.
What is something unique about the Audio Visual industry that not many people know?
The thing that is really cool about the AV industry is the sense of community. People in the AV industry do know this, but they may not realize how special it is. I do, because I’m working in several industries, and I really appreciate my AV network! Our trade organization, AVIXA, has helped to build this community, bringing together people from all parts of the channel for a common goal: to grow the market together. I know that when I come to an AV industry event, I’m always among friends.
What is something in life that you are passionate about?
I love to help people reach for their potential. I’m excited to support my colleagues and team members at Draper as we build one of the industry’s great brands. I get huge satisfaction from my volunteer work with the AVIXA Women’s Council too. We have an industry in need of great people, and we also have many women who are ready to step into the gaps. Our council helps women grow and stretch. And, outside the workplace, I’m really passionate about competitive Scrabble! My husband and I play in several tournaments each year.
What would you do differently if you were starting in your industry now?
I spent several years working inside our office, with little direct contact in the field. When I did step out, my understanding of the industry and effectiveness in my work exploded. If I could step back, I’d push hard to make those human connections with our dealers and end users much sooner.
What’s the best advice about the Audio Visual industry you have ever received?
This is an industry that never stands still. Keep sharing what you know, and keep learning more. (Sadly, I can’t credit a single source—this is a composite of good input I’ve absorbed from several great people.)
What does a usual workday look like for you?
There is no “usual”. I put in long days, with lots of interaction with colleagues, dealers, suppliers, and end users. I’m defining the message for all of Draper’s products and markets, and directing the process of sharing that message. I shift gears a lot. It’s exciting and sometimes overwhelming!
What’s your definition of an ‘influencer’?
There’s always a buzzword. I’d say “influencer” is one of this year’s buzzwords. We’ve called people experts, mentors, thought leaders, and now influencers. The fact is that we all have influence. Some of us share our knowledge and experience generously, so we use our influence. And, like a muscle, influence grows when it is put to work. The greatest influencers are happy to share, not keeping score, but knowing that sharing benefits the whole community—the giver, the receiver, and whoever happens to be next in line. I’ve watched some of our industry’s most influential people, and I’ve benefited greatly from their generous sharing. I am more than happy to pass it on.
How would you describe the relationship between A/V and IT?
It’s symbiotic. AV needs IT’s foundational data, analysis, distributive power, and security. But IT needs AV to complete the picture, building on that foundation to create immersive experiences with images, audio, and movement. Put AV and IT together in an effective team, and you can make magic!
What do you see as the future of A/V?
I’m excited. I love collaboration, creativity, finding solutions, and building partnerships. I see a future filled with creative opportunity. Bring it on!
Connect with Penny Sitler on social and check out Draper, inc.’s Innovative Solutions today!