Van Nuys, Calif. - Wally Whinna, executive VP of sales and marketing for AVAD, the custom electronics distributor based here, will retire at the end of 2009.
Whinna is one of the original founders of AVAD, serving on the distributor's executive committee and as marketing VP since its inception in 1997.
Over the course of his tenure with AVAD, Whinna has been integral in developing AVAD to a custom electronics distributor with 28 North American locations, hundreds of vendor partners and thousands of dealers, AVAD said.
"Without question, AVAD would not be in the leading position it is today without the services of Wally," Jim Annes, VP/general manager of AVAD.
"Wally's valuable insight into sales and marketing strategies combined with his understanding of how to connect directly with dealers by understanding their specific needs has helped to develop AVAD into a trusted resource within the industry. Wally has built a strong sales and marketing team at AVAD, and is a trusted advisor to me personally."
Under his direction, AVAD has implemented numerous initiatives designed to better serve its dealers, including the AVAD Advisor, AVAD's bi-monthly, all-inclusive, electronic newsletter featuring tips and product information. Whinna has also been responsible for the development of AVAD's highly-successful Vend-O-Palooza tour, a series of one-day events connecting area dealers with leading manufacturers in an interactive forum at local AVAD branches.
Whinna has been a member of CEDIA for 20 years, and a principal of Tandem Marketing, a manufacturer's representative that represents companies in specialty audio and custom installation projects, for over 30 years.
Recognized for his insight and contributions to the industry, he serves on the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) Home Audio Division Board and most recently was honored with a prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from lighting control manufacturer and AVAD partner, Lutron Electronics.