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New Sonance Management Makes Changes

3/12/2004 09:03:00 AM Eastern

San Clemente, Calif. — Sonance is stripping the Architectural Audio brand from a series of company products and replacing it with the Sonance brand under one of the first changes implemented since founders Scott Struthers and Geoff Spencer resumed day-to-day control of the company.

Last year Sonance launched the lower priced custom-install brand and targeted it to tract-home builders. The Architectural Audio brand was sold to the builders by Sonance’s traditional dealers, but it was also open to nontraditional installers, such as security installers and electricians, through distributors.

As part of the change, the products will no longer be sold through distributors and will be available only to traditional Sonance dealers, who are custom A/V installers and systems integrators.

In another change, Sonance veteran Julie Hazard will return to the company, effective March 15, in the new position of sales relationship manager. She will act as a liaison between the company and its reps and dealers, will supervise the development and implementation of new sales strategies, and focus on enhancing relationships with its customers, Struthers said.

"She has an in-depth understanding of the company and its values, " Struthers said. Before leaving Sonance in 2003, Hazard held several positions in sales and customer service, most recently as district sales manager.

The Architectural Audio strategy was the brainchild of CEO Chip Brown, who was put on paid administrative leave earlier this year. Both are owners and board members. Struthers is now also president.

When they announced the management change, Struthers and Spencer said they returned to day-to-day management positions to strengthen the brand and dealer relations. Struthers also said he and Spencer wanted "to focus more on branding" to "make sure the message is clear that we have the best, cutting-edge products and that we’re not a commodity." Citing "confusion in the market," he said he and Spencer want to make sure that dealers are "excited" about the brand.

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