The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship.
Jim Carlson is Co-Founder and Partner of A of the I. With over 22 years of experience owning and growing companies, he recently came out of retirement to start A of the I after selling a leading company in the event technology industry, American Audio Visual Center (AAVC), to another competitor. AAVC was recognized by INC. 500 as one of the fastest growing privately held companies in the United States, and he believes that became possible through unmatched emotional content and customer service. Partnering once again with his former marketing leader at AAVC, his dream is to continue the successful journey together they once started.
A Letter from Jim
A gentleman came up to me the other day and said, you owned three companies and sold two of them. Why would you start up Artists of the Industry? Why not just retire? A fair question, which deserved a fair answer.
I said let me take you back 22 years ago when I started up American Audio Visual Center (AAVC). With borrowed money off of credit cards the company was able to grow with revenues exceeding over a 100 million.
Shortly after I sold the company I found myself wanting to get back in the business world. That’s when Duane Tornquist, my VP of Sales and Marketing with AAVC, came to me with an idea. Keep in mind that Duane’s expertise in Marketing and thinking outside the box was what set us apart from our competitors while at AAVC.
Duane’s idea of a multifaceted studio, including sound recording, video editing, virtual reality and an ad agency, sounded way too interesting to turn down.
After eight months of building a studio from scratch, producing a website, second to none, and instituting a company culture of extreme customer service, we opened Artists of The Industry. I have never been so excited in my life. We are looking forward to showing our first commercial on the largest digital screen in Times Square the end of April.
With Duane’s artistry and my experience in business, watch out world…we are on our way!
A Letter from Duane
As Executive Producer and Co-Creator of Artists of the Industry (A of the I), I am truly elated to launch an idea several years in the making. A of the I are the many partners, customers, designers, makers, marketers, builders and ambassadors that have all contributed first to my life and career and now have taken a developing role in this new agency and content company called Artists of the Industry. The values and foundation on which A of the I is built comes from my own journey of personal and professional growth.
One of my most inspirational books, as well as my philosophy behind building my team, is based on “Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming Unforeseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration” by Ed Catmull, President of Pixar Animation and Disney Animation. I was absolutely moved by its underlying theme and built A of the I’s heart and soul around it. Our motivation for defying convention and transforming the creative process for our clients is nothing without the superpowers the A of the I team bring to us everyday.
As I refer to we, it is for many reasons that I take partial credit in this endeavor. Without my partnership with Jim Carlson, Partner and Co-Founder at A of the I, this dream would never have become a reality. As we moved mountains at AAVC, we will continue to move larger ones at A of the I. Beyond the partnership of Jim Carlson and Duane Tornquist, I would like to tip my hat to the real magical contributions of A of the I team; including our Artists, partners and friends.