Meet Our Sales TeamIn-Depth Assistance Team: Kirk Holbert - David McLain - Dieter Gilkey - Stephen McCullough - Bob Searl
Rapid Response Team: Randy Lundmark - Danette Bakewell - Jeff Brown
We invest in unusually gifted individuals to serve on our sales team. Unlike the vendors who outsource their phone sales to 24/7 call centers staffed by people whose professional audio and video knowledge is limited to what appears on their computer screens, every member of our sales team shares the following qualities:
Deep Technical Training – All of our sales people receive ongoing, year-round training on the products we carry, including hands-on experience with new technologies. For example, our In-Depth Assistance team has completed advanced training in sound reinforcement, system interfacing, equalization, and sound system design with Syn-Aud-Con, widely recognized as the premier source for technical training in the audio industry.
Extensive Experience – The most tenured member of our sales team has been with us for 17 years, and the “newest” has been with us for seven years. Many have worked in the pro audio and video industry for upwards of 25 years. What’s more, every member of our team has extensive experience volunteering for their own churches in roles ranging from AV techs and finance committee members to contemporary Christian musicians and worship leaders.
Strong Values – Our team’s focus is on providing professional audio and video solutions, not just sales, to those who need to be seen and heard. Even if you’re working with a local vendor and simply want a second opinion on their recommendations, our goal is to help you make informed decisions with the help of people who fully understand your organization’s needs.
Collaborative Spirit – Each member of our sales team has specialized technical knowledge, interests and skills – but when you work with one member, you’re working with the entire team. That’s because they regularly consult with each other to solve the customer’s problem.
Excellent Communication Skills – Our people intuitively know how to ask the right questions to make sure the solutions we recommend are appropriate for your goals. In addition, each team member is adept at communicating complex information clearly and on par with the customer’s technical knowledge.
Due to the sheer number of customers who keep coming back to consult with our sales team, manufacturers have come to recognize CCI Solutions as a leading provider of audio, video and lighting solutions in the worship community. They give us volume discounts that we pass on to our customers – because our goal is to help churches and organizations of all types to stretch limited budgets as far as possible without compromising quality.
In order to deliver the exact level of service you need, we have organized our sales team into two groups, our Rapid Response and In-Depth Assistance Teams. We hope you’ll take a moment to get to know the unique and talented people who help make it possible for CCI Solutions to offer you the highest quality and most complete solutions at the best prices.
In addition to in-depth product knowledge, these team members are application specialists whose primary role is providing in-depth consultation and solving complex challenges.
In-Depth Assistance Team
Kirk Holbert claims his favorite pastime is relaxing on a tropical beach – yet he seems to volunteer most of his vacations and free time to design, install and produce audio and video for churches.
For the last 30 years, Kirk has done everything from running sound at the fellowship coffeehouse to producing sound and video for dozens of major musical and dramatic events. He spent 15 years as lead technician for his 1500-member church, producing sound for the church’s full choir, orchestra, and worship band. Kirk regularly offers his own portable audio-visual system for local churches to use at special events, and he often contributes his sound mixing and videography skills to aid local church productions.
Given his experience integrating video into audio systems, Kirk is considered the team’s resident expert in cameras and videography. Customers value Kirk's ability to solve sound and video problems just by asking the right questions over the phone.
Even if he doesn’t get to the beach as often as he’d like, Kirk’s priorities lie with his wife of 24 years, his two grown children, his woodworking and his volunteering. "I care about the church's presented message, getting that to the masses with quality. God gave us the commission to teach the word, but if people can't hear, see or understand you, you might as well be in a closet talking to yourself."
One way or another, David McLain’s mind, body and spirit are always on the go when it comes to church audio.
For the last thirty years, he’s been a worship musician performing in services and on the road, currently in a contemporary Christian band along with his wife. In addition, David has personally assisted with church plants and mission work throughout North America, Europe and Asia, designing and setting up sound systems and even running audio in foreign languages. And with the rest of his free time, he’s often taking his wife and three kids out in his audio-rigged camper for the spiritual boost of nature.
Because he’s dedicated to the work of church plants and missionaries, David is recognized for his in-depth knowledge of portable churches, with specialized portable sound and video solutions. He’s also a card-carrying computer geek (SDI cards and USB keys, that is), with an aptitude for solving almost any problem where computers intersect with sound systems and video projection systems.
David is best known among his customers – and the rest of the sales team - for taking on almost any challenge, no matter how daunting. "The way I see it, I’m on staff with 10,000 churches. The pastor's job is to be an expert in the Word, and my job is to serve the church’s pastor or technical department so the word can reach as many people as possible.”
As a member of his own church's finance committee, Dieter Gilkey understands the challenging decisions churches face when they invest God's money - especially when it comes to technologies that help spread the word.
The experience has given Dieter valuable skills in maximizing budgets to get the most value for any sound system expenditure. Even before Dieter joined CCI Solutions in 1987, he'd been an active volunteer with congregations of 250 to 1000 members, running live sound and providing support for any system.
Whether it’s training other volunteers or helping customers make decisions, Dieter prides himself on his ability to convey complex, technical information clearly to just about anyone, even if they don’t have a technical background. His dedication to communicating clearly - at the right level of detail – helps ensure a successful outcome.
But most people consider Dieter a good friend – both for his charming, funny disposition and for his detail-oriented nature. “When a customer has a need, it’s very satisfying to provide them with high-quality gear. But sometimes the real solution lies within the extra effort I can provide by asking the right questions, or confirming information, just to make sure everything happens as expected.”
From his rock ’n’ roll youth to his 25 years in worship technology, Stephen McCullough brings a lot of firsthand experience playing and mixing live music to his career at CCI Solutions.
Having served as a worship pastor for ten years, Stephen understands the importance of any church investment in audio and video systems, and he knows how to design solutions that satisfy church budgets, committees and advisory boards.
Yet he also knows firsthand how to deploy those solutions and train others to use them. On a typical Sunday, you'll find Stephen running his church's audio, playing keyboard or guitar on the platform, or training others to run the sound and video equipment. Just ask his seven kids - four of whom run sound at church, while one is planning a career around teaching audio and video technologies.
Most importantly, Stephen prides himself on being the first line of support for his clients. “My job at CCI is a direct extension of the interests I’ve pursued my entire life. I enjoy sharing the benefit of my experience with technology that enhances worship, since I use it and train people to use it all the time.”
People who know Bob Searl find his passions just as rewarding as Bob does himself. That's because Bob is equally passionate about sharing the fruits of his labor.
Among friends, Bob is best known for his fishing. Equipped with his home-made poles, lures and hand tied flies, Bob goes river-fishing about three times a week, and then he smokes and freezes the steelhead and salmon, giving most of it away as gifts.
At work, he likes sharing his expert knowledge about cables. Having gained tremendous knowledge while previously working for a distributor of electrical wire and connectivity equipment, Bob knows everything there is to know about impedance, cable ratings, termination methods and connectivity. His specialized knowledge helps customers make the most out of their equipment by optimizing the signal stream from one device to the next.
Bob has also spent eight years as a technician for his church, running sound and projection. His tenure there includes a complete redesign and rewiring the church’s sound system. In the past few years, he's taken an interest in theatrical lighting applications for churches.
Customers know Bob for his willingness to give all of his knowledge and energy to solve their problems. "I love working with churches because I get to interact with people who give of themselves for the higher purpose that all Christians share. My job is about helping customers with their application, not simply pushing a product.”
Rapid Response TeamWith expertise in every catalog product we carry, these team members are on-hand to support customers who need express service and less in-depth consultation.
It's no surprise that Randy Lundmark enjoys using his talents and experience to inspire people. After all, that's what Christian musicians are called to do.
In college, Randy played percussion and piano in a contemporary Christian band that toured and even recorded songs for the local Christian radio station. His career in church audio began by volunteering with a startup church that used to meet in a community center, where he had to setup and teardown the sound system every week.
Over the years, he lent his musical and audio talents to numerous camps, retreats, and other local churches, where he did everything from setting up the audio system and training others to run sound, to singing and playing music. Eventually, Randy spent five years serving as worship leader for his church.
Randy views his job as a chance to inspire customers and help spread the word. "Many churches work with vendors who don't fully understand their goals, so they feel lost in the system. Then they find us. Not only do we have great prices, but we share our customer’s values so we relate well to their needs. My favorite part of this job is the feeling I get when I show a new customer how to solve a problem they've struggled with for years."
Danette Bakewell likes using her compassion and creativity to help people get what they need to fulfill God’s plan. Originally, that meant delivering sustenance to indigent families in her community. During her six years managing the local Salvation Army’s foodservice program, Danette stretched limited food donations into a thousand meals per week, half of which were delivered to the elderly through the Meals on Wheels program she led.
After assisting her husband – another CCI Solutions staffer - with the audio equipment at church, she discovered her own capacity for audio and video technology. Danette’s extensive technical training, superior problem-solving skills and strong intuition have combined to make her an invaluable resource for her customers.
Customers appreciate the way Danette solves challenges they never anticipated, such as researching the documentation and shipping logistics of sending equipment to an overseas missionary, or double-checking that they’re ordering the appropriate media for their duplication systems.
Yet Danette is best known for being approachable and cheerfully helpful with complex or confusing challenges. “When churches place orders with other companies featuring staff members with limited industry knowledge, those staff members get impatient or talk over their heads. When they switch to CCI Solutions, I can tell they find me to be more compassionate, and more willing to do whatever it takesto help them.”
Jeff Brown has mastered the art of yielding practical benefits out of his hobbies and interests. By investing in rental properties, Jeff gets to enjoy his handyman skills. He and his wife love animals, so they’ve started raising and breeding alpacas.
It’s no surprise that he’s made a career out of his biggest passion – worship sound and video – and countless churches have reaped the benefits over the last 25 years. Jeff was 11 when he learned to run sound at his church. By the time he was 16, he’d earned the role of lead sound tech for the church’s new offshoot location. By age 20, Jeff had already designed and installed several new church sound systems from the ground up.
Jeff is particularly interested in the digital technologies that help churches reduce costs, improve quality, and speed production. In addition to studying every new digital technology he can find, Jeff has helped his own church gain practical benefits by designing, installing and running the church’s digital capturing and mixing systems, along with its video distribution system.
Customers are thankful that Jeff brings the same investment-minded approach to their needs that he brings to his alpaca ranch and other hobbies. “My favorite challenge is helping churches get the functionality they need out of existing equipment and the fixed dollar amount in the budget. It’s especially satisfying that I can walk them through their entire system and recommend things I’ve actually used to solve similar problems in my church.”