Small Business & Startups and Technology

Founder sells long-time audiovisual company

November 21, 2016
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Central Interconnect Wade Thompson left and Neil Brown
Wade Thompson, left, and Neil Brown. Courtesy Central Interconnect

Two local entrepreneurs have purchased a long-time audiovisual company in town and plan to double its revenue.

Wade Thompson and Neil Brown, both of Cascade, have purchased Central Interconnect in Grand Rapids, at 1425 Coit Ave. NE, from Founder Arlen Smith.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The deal was brokered by Max Friar, managing partner of Grand Rapids-based Calder Capital.

Brown said the sale took awhile to finalize, but all parties are ready to move forward now.

“Arlen wanted to make sure it was done properly for his customers and employees, and we’re really excited to continue the business he’s done a great job building,” said Brown, the company’s new president.

What’s next

Thompson and Brown, who are members of the Creston Neighborhood Association, said their plan is to double the company’s annual revenue from $5 million within five years, by expanding its products and services.

Brown said all 28 of the company’s employees will be retained, and the company will look to hire “a couple new sales people in the near future.”

It also will stay in its current location.

Thompson, Central Interconnect’s new VP, said the company will continue to be customer focused under its new ownership.

“We work within our customers’ budgets to come up with rightsized and robust solutions for applications that can range from a performance hall to a meeting room in a law firm,” Thompson said.

Central Interconnect

Smith established the audiovisual and communication systems company in 1981.

Central Interconnect designs, installs and maintains audiovisual systems for a range of clients across the region, such as Kent County Department of Human Services, ChoiceOne Bank in Sparta, the pavilion at Roselle Park in Ada and more.

The company said it has radio-dispatched service technicians, trucks, tools, test equipment and a stock of repair parts to fix problems.

Central Interconnect also rents commercial-grade projectors, large screens and portable sound systems and equipment.

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