Blog: Full Circle
February 21, 2017
Vice President of Sales, Jim Guido, shares his experiences with RoseWater and the HUB
My introduction to the technology industry came in the mid 1980's during a two-week sales training class after being hired by Sound Advice. The class was taught by a larger than life person who would later become a mentor and friend for my 30+ year journey in our industry. The class, led by Joe Piccirilli, began the process of turning me into a professional salesman and introducing me to the passionate people behind the wonderful, life changing products we sell. For me, sales flows out of the stories of these remarkable innovators and the incredible products their genius and drive create.
The late 70's and 80's was an incredible time at Sound Advice. There was an astonishing number of smart, passionate people that were attracted by the culture of excellence - Joe Piccirilli was the spiritual and intellectual center of that culture. As one of the founding partners, Joe had a rare understanding of the technology by combining his background as an electrical engineering major in college with his personal passion for music and film. He possessed, and continues to possess, an innate sales ability, sharpened by years of intellectual analysis of what sales principles work. During our years at Sound Advice, he was a compelling and effective teacher and coach. It was easy to understand why so many talented, likeminded people were (and still are) attracted to Joe.
Slowly, the group of "Jedi's" that Joe trained and nurtured moved on from Sound Advice and began to pepper leadership roles in our industry. Today, if you look around it is astounding the number of important integrators and industry leaders that come from that original group. Eventually, after Sound Advice went public and became a behemoth interested in short term profits, the culture started to change and even Joe left to pursue other things.
What did Joe do next? He identified another need within the industry and had a vision for how it could be fulfilled. He saw a need for localized training and availability on products that require a large dealer base to survive. From this idea came Joe's next venture, the distribution company AVAD. While I was not there for this chapter, I have spoken with many of those who were and Joe created another culture of excellence and created a second group of talented and passionate people attracted by his vision and excellence. As time progressed, other companies tried to copy the AVAD model and AVAD was later sold to Ingram Micro, a Fortune 100 company.
Throughout all the years and transitions, a group of us industry 'elders,' including Joe, met for dinner a few times a year. I was lucky to be privy to how Joe's brilliance and passion was leading not only to his success but to the success of those around him. After leaving AVAD, Joe's focus turned to energy and battery technology. At our dinners, we would hear about a company developing battery technology based on the age-old lead acid battery and using modern materials and techniques to create batteries with incredible power density and longevity. Joe invested in that company because of the engineering brilliance. Although the company ultimately failed due to engineers trying to manage a business, which we known would have been different if Joe was in charge, his intellectual thirst for issues of power quality and storage led to a new company - Rosewater Energy Group.
Fast forward to a few months ago, Joe asked me to join the team and spearhead the national sales efforts. Of course, I accepted. The thought of working with Joe again took me back to my time at Sound Advice and one of the most important lessons Joe taught us about the importance of people behind the product. Now the same individual who taught me people matter, is the brilliant person who has enlisted my help in growing RoseWater's presence in our market.
Joe's creation, the Rosewater Energy Management HUB, is a very relevant and creative solution to the present and increasing issues of reliable power for the modern luxury home and critical infrastructure for light commercial and government installations. The HUB is an innovative, panel level device that delivers perfect, uninterruptable power no matter what havoc is effecting the power coming in from either the grid, generators or renewables. It supplies "mission critical" power to "mission critical" systems. The importance of the HUB for our industry is why I joined Rosewater and I look forward to explaining to all of you why that is so. It is no surprise to me that this product stems from Joe's wealth of knowledge, insight and effort.
I remember Joe during my time at Sound Advice as almost a second father. I was just a kid. Since then I have married, raised two wonderful kids and owned and ran a couple of businesses. My relationship with Joe has evolved into that of friend and peer (and now boss). I must admit, however, that when Joe says "good job on that" just for a moment I am transported back and I am that kid in that training class.