Amy Madden and I started at Draper almost the same week back in 1999. I was starting a second career and in my mid-thirties. Amy was just out of college, and starting hers as a Regional Sales Manager. I remember thinking how young she was, and also how dedicated. Over the years she’s accomplished quite a bit with Draper. Now she can add being a top talent in the custom integration industry to the list. Amy is among those recently named a Top Talent Under 40 by Technology Integrator Magazine.
“When I started Draper at 22 as a RSM, I was doing what I thought was my ‘ideal” job,” Amy recalls. “That ‘ideal’ has changed over the years, just as I have. In a lot of ways, I have grown up at Draper, having been there almost half my life.”
17 years later, Amy has added several groups of letters after her name, including MBA, CTS, LEED®AP, and ISF. Over the years she’s also managed Draper’s industry-leading line of projector and custom lifts, taken on management functions and last year was named the company’s Residential Market Manager.
“One great thing about Draper is the stability and longevity of people’s careers. The Double edge sword is that advancement can be difficult,” Amy points out. “I was blessed that Draper financed my MBA, no strings attached. Shortly thereafter, I was given the opportunity to manage part our inside sales team and our sales efforts for our lifts. That morphed to include our video conference products and then last year, to take over as our Residential Market Manager. Recognizing that I was juggling too many eggs in the proverbial basket, I gave up my inside sales responsibilities and later the lift management to focus on our residential sales and also our relaunch of window shades to the AV market.”
Amy is one of 20 members of the custom integration industry to make the list. Nominees were submitted by colleagues, co-works, and industry professionals, and magazine editors then whittled that list down.
“They come from all walks of life and parts of industry,” according to the magazine, “but their drive and commitment to the profession brings them all together as this year’s nominees.”
“Amy is a key member of our leadership team,” according to Draper Marketing Manager and InfoComm WIN Council Chair Penny Sitler. “She brings energy and innovation to our sales and marketing efforts. We’re proud of her accomplishments at Draper and across the industry.”
Although her role at Draper has changed and expanded over the years, Amy feels like she’s really come full circle.
“When I started as an RSM, I worked very closely with our rep firm in the territory, Tandem Marketing, and have attended 16 of the last 17 CEDIA Expos, so I’ve had relationships with our other reps and customers throughout the country for years. I always kept my hand in our shade business as well and am extremely satisfied that we are now making a concerted effort to bring our product to our AV dealers, both pro and residential.”
Despite her success, though Amy isn’t resting on her laurels. She continues to see challenges ahead waiting for her to tackle.
“Although we have been making shades for 114 years, we weren’t even on the list for recognized brands in the CE pro top 100 survey, and we were third or fourth on the list for screens,” she points out. “Rebuilding the entire Draper brand in the residential market and introducing the shade brand to the pro market is not an easy task. That being said, we are more ready now than we ever have been with not only the right product but the sales/marketing tools to support our efforts. It’s a team effort, and we have a great one, so we will be successful!”
To see Amy’s Top Talent Under 40 entry, and see the other custom integration industry leaders named, click here.