IMAX servicing division opens Canadian office while new personnel and reorganization foster growth within the Media Integration division.
Birmingham, AL August 21, 2006 — MediaMerge, the largest third-party IMAX servicing agent in the world, has further expanded its reach by opening a new remote service office in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, to be led by certified IMAX theater technician Lauren Bacala. Additionally, growth within MediaMerge’s media systems integration division has triggered the hiring of three new staff members and a reorganization of the service and installation departments at its Chelsea, Alabama headquarters.
“The kind of exponential growth that MediaMerge has been experiencing requires vigilance,” said Ken McKibben, who oversees Operations for MediaMerge. “As a growth oriented company, we’re constantly re-evaluating where we are in the marketplace and where we’re heading next. The recent changes to our organization and the establishment of our first remote service office are simply the next logical steps in our plan to add more value for our customers. We’re out to change the way our industry interacts with the customer. That requires good planning as well as a solid infrastructure.”
With the addition of Bacala, MediaMerge now counts three certified IMAX technicians among its staff, servicing the 10 theaters currently maintained by the company. The new Canadian office makes it likely that more IMAX service contracts will be obtained in the coming months, increasing the company’s already significant IMAX service revenue of approximately 12.5% of gross sales.
“As MediaMerge grows, our challenge is finding employees that not only have the required technical skills, but also possess the communication and customer relations talent necessary to provide the product MediaMerge customers have come to expect,” explained Doug Jackson, Vice President of Technical Services for MediaMerge. “Lauren Bacala is a perfect example of the MediaMerge spirit. I have known Lauren for many years, and have always been impressed with his desire and ability to learn about new technology. Lauren’s technical skills, along with his problem solving and customer relations skills made him an obvious choice when it came to expanding the Technical Services staff.”
Jackson himself has taken on a new leadership role within the MediaMerge organization, heading up the restructured MediaMerge Technical Services division, which now encompasses the service and installation departments. Over time, MediaMerge plans to transition the Technical Services division from a centralized workforce to a group of highly-skilled technicians strategically located across North America, cutting down on response time and reducing the effects of extended travel on employees.
“Early on, we realized that having technicians focused on service issues was essential to providing the same experience to our clients both before and after the sale,” Jackson explained. “We realized that the skill sets of installation specialists and service specialists may seem similar, but they are very different. During the recent growth and a re-evaluation of our organization, we realized that having two sets of technicians with different skill sets didn’t necessarily mean that there had to be two different departments. Having the entire technical operations, both service and install, under one management area allows for greater efficiency through sharing of skills and resources and a streamlined transition of projects from install to service. All of these benefits allow MediaMerge to provide a better product to our clients.”
“Doug was the obvious choice to head up the newly consolidated Technical Services department,” McKibben concluded. “His years of management experience and commitment to the customer’s best interests will serve to bolster the strengths of our installation team.”
In other personnel news, MediaMerge has increased its resources with the hiring of three new team members. In the Design department, Jim Walker is the newest systems engineer on staff. Walker was previously the Director of Theaters at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, TX. On the Technical Services side, Charles Pittman, formerly with Birmingham-based Odeon, has joined the company as a systems installer. Also accepting an appointment to the post of systems installer is Jarrod Hitson, formerly an installer for Montgomery-based Electronic Engineers.
MediaMerge, Inc. was established in February 2001 to provide design, installation, service and support for sound, video, control, acoustics and theatrical lighting systems. In 2002, the company established an IMAX service division which rapidly grew to become the largest such operation in the world.
The company’s media integration customer base consists primarily of houses of worship and other facilities utilizing media systems to deliver high-impact audio and visual presentations. Since its inception, MediaMerge has been growing at a steady pace and currently has a client list that includes churches in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia.