In any given career, you will find opportunities that present themselves and your job is to take that opportunity and run with it. In past blog posts I have written about my opportunities like being offered the role of Business Development Manager for Harman, being asked to visit the Harman Experience Center in Northridge, CA, and utilizing Almo’s Tuition Program to further my education and development. In a year full of challenges and obstacles, the latest opportunity came in the form of sadness turned to generosity and happiness. Allow me to explain.
My wife’s grandmother had been experiencing failing health for quite some time and sadly, she passed away in the beginning of 2020. Her services were held at Groveville United Methodist Church in NJ where she had been a longtime and very active member. After a few days had gone by, my mother-in-law approached me to mention that her mom had always wanted to update the sound system at the church because during the sermons and choir concerts she had a hard time hearing everything. Apparently, it was always a thorn in her side! Certainly, I was glad to help and began looking for someone who could not only install the needed hardware, but also handle the situation with the care, understanding, and delicacy it warranted. Through a recommendation from our Regional Sales Director, I was brought to Jak Daragjati and DARA AV from Staten Island, NY. Jak was more than willing to help us and offered to make the drive from NY to conduct a site visit. I saw this as the perfect opportunity to not only help my mother-in-law and the church, but also attend the site visit myself to gain a better understanding of what it entails and to learn more about the House of Worship vertical. What we found that day was an antiquated system that certainly lacked the technology, not to mention organization that this house of worship deserved. There were some items we found that were not even plugged in and functional, not to mention switches and cords that younger members had easy access to. What I learned from attending this site visit was not only was Jak very thorough with his questions and with surveying even the tiny basement of the church, but he was knowledgeable to boot. Jak knew about different forms of religion from all over the world and could tell us what type of system would work best for the types of sermons they held on Sundays. He was thoughtful enough to ask about the members who might have trouble hearing and what they would want. It all blew me away to be quite honest.
Thanks to many generous donations from family, friends, and the congregation, the church was able to move forward with the entire set up that Jak had recommended. No thanks to the Covid-related delays we experienced this year, the church reopened recently and Jak wasted no time in scheduling the install. Now, when members show up on Sundays they will be greeted by two Samsung UN75RU7100F displays hanging on Chief RLT2 mounts with a pair of JBL CBT70J arrays, so not only can the members see what is being presented but also they will certainly hear it from all corners of the church. Additionally, there is a Crown DCI2x1250 amplifier powering this and a BSS Blu-100 for the control functionality. All of this is sitting in a Middle Atlantic rack with a Middle Atlantic PDS-615R Power Sequencer for organization and safety. As I was writing this, my mother-in-law received a call from the minister simply telling her how thrilled he was the amazing outcome. He could not wait for Sunday!
In the end, this opportunity was unlike any others I had been presented with. We were able to honor the wishes of my wife’s grandmother while at the same time I was able to experience what our integrators are capable of when presented with a project. Jak and the team from DARA AV went above and beyond in our time of need and left all of us thoroughly impressed. I would ask all of you look for opportunities similar to this in which we have a chance to help someone solve a long-term issue while at the same time continue to further our own education and development by learning something new every day. A special “THANK YOU” goes out to everyone at Groveville United Methodist Church and DARA AV for being the best choice when it comes to any house of worship project!
Rob Voorhees, CTS, CTP, DSCE, CTNS
Business Development Manager