Matt Smiley is trading Arizona summers for the comfort of his Detroit-area roots—and becoming a business owner in the process—with the official launch this month of CCS Detroit. This gives CI 2013 Integrator of the Year CCS Presentation Systems a major presence in a space it hadn’t previously populated.
Smiley, 47, moved from CCS headquarters in Scottsdale, Ariz., where he was focused on sales in the corporate and education markets as senior technology consultant for the past few years.
“One day, I walked into [CCS founder and CEO] John [Godbout]’s office to ask him about the CCS partner program,” says Smiley. “I’m still not quite sure what motivated me to do that.” After vetting manufacturers in the area, Smiley became more excited about the opportunity to start CCS Detroit.
Other CCS partners are “very encouraging and willing to help,” says Smiley.
“Knowing I’d have the support made the decision to do this easier,” he says.
Smiley is leasing space from Palmer Moving and Storage in Warren, Mich., as he launches CCS Detroit. That includes office and warehouse space along with commercial furniture from a division of Palmer. Palmer is building a larger showroom, which will incorporate AV and furniture.
CCS Detroit will primarily focus on work in the Michigan area, including burgeoning communities such as Detroit and Battle Creek, says Smiley. In the first several weeks of the new company, he’s trying to meet with as many architects, designers and general contractors to build awareness and create relationships.
The parent company recently celebrated its first quarter-century and remains unique in its approach in the space. Each CCS partner is tied to the parent company through a licensing agreement, with Godbout emphasizing this is not a franchise setup. Each partner also owns his or her own business and can build and create his or her own equity through the relationship.
Smiley calls himself “hands-on,” but knows he’ll have to rely on others to ensure the success of CCS Detroit.
The timing of his move coincides with his oldest daughter starting at Michigan State University and his youngest daughter starting high school in the fall. Smiley’s wife will be involved with CCS Detroit too, he says.
“Our goal is to develop and maintain long-term partnerships with partners and customers by becoming their trusted resource and providing systems that blend into their environment,” Smiley says.
Smiley gets “regular calls” from Godbout and knows he can get support in engineering, project management, accounting and more from the corporate office if he needs it.
“Knowing I’m on [Godbout]’s radar is comforting and made it a really smooth transition,” says Smiley. “It’s given me a lot of confidence.”
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