Professional Sound - April 2018 - Page 21

PROFILE John Coniglio By Andrew King J ohn Coniglio knows the value of strong relationships, and that’s been key to his long and successful career in AV system sales. Consider that, professionally speaking, Coniglio has been with show services and system integration firm Westbury National for nearly 20 years, and has worked alongside mentor Brock McGinnis for nearly 30. On the personal side, he and his wife Jacqueline have been married for 21 years and together for 26. Now, as a senior account representative with Westbury, Coniglio is developing and maintaining relationships on a daily basis. “My favourite part about the industry is sitting with a client that needs Westbury to solve a problem,” he shares. “Listening, learning the client’s business, designing with our team, devising a solution, and then seeing the clien t 100 per cent satisfied is the most rewarding part of my work.” Coniglio was born and raised in Guelph, ON, and had his first experience with production technologies in the AV depart- ment at John F. Ross Collegiate Vocational Institute. Some productions required him to rent some equipment from the local audio house, Palmer Audio. “I took an interest in audio equipment and shortly after started working for Palmer Audio as a stage hand,” Coniglio recalls. “The more shows that I worked, the more I learned about audio systems, and soon, I was a lead technician and mixing engineer.” The sea change in his career came a few years later with the transition from tech to sales person. “I had been working in a club and we’d just put in our first intelligent light- ing system,” Coniglio explains. “There was one light in particular that kept breaking down and I had to make several trips out to the vendor that was servicing the fixtures, which is how I met and got to know Brock McGinnis, who at the time was the owner of Novatec. He couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t in sales and said I should consider giving up being a technician. Soon after, I was working for Brock as a sales representative.” After seven years with Novatec, the company dissolved but McGinnis and Co- niglio continued working together at West- bury. “The rest is a 19-year history of some truly amazing projects that have been built by this incredible team,” Coniglio enthuses. Lately, he’s kept plenty busy with cor- porate AV integration projects in addition to being active with performance venues, sports and hospitality, and other entertain- ment applications. “Video is certainly a very large portion of the work,” he notes, “but audio still has many opportunities.” Coniglio admits it can be a challenge keeping pace with the constant evolution of the technologies in which Westbury specializes. Lately, that’s necessitated an understanding of networking and IT. Of course, he also needs to be able to com- municate those technical concepts with his clients, and share ways that they can be put to use in today’s business world. He particularly enjoys when his proj- ects involve some creativity on his part. “I think that’s the biggest reason I like the design-build projects,” he shares. “It allows my creative side to flourish with the client in any market.” Outside of his work with Westbury, Coniglio moonlights as a “personal Uber driver” for his kids – 19- and 17-year-old daughters and a 15-year-old son – “minus the getting paid part.” He and his wife share a passion for phys- ical activity and can be found together at the gym several times per week. As another testament to the importance of longstand- ing relationships in his life, Coniglio plays hockey every Thursday with the same group that’s been skating together for 12 years. “Anything to do with fitness, I’m in,” he says bluntly. “I’m willing to try almost anything, and in the past few years, that’s included hiking, skydiving, Sea-Dooing, cycling, and even visiting the American Ninja Warrior training facility in Las Vegas a few times.” Despite all the exercise, though, he says he still hasn’t lost his belly on account of an- other passion: food and food experiences. Looking ahead, Coniglio plans to con- tinue collaborating on unique technical solutions by growing his relationships with vendors and clients. “These strong relation- ships typically also become friendships, and I’m honoured that I have such a depth of friendships in my life,” he says. “They’ve all have had an impact on me in the almost 30 years I’ve been in the industry and I hope that this continues to flourish in the next 30 years.” Andrew King is the Editor-in-Chief of Professional Sound. PROFESSIONAL SOUND 21