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BAM!’s Brandy Alvarado-Miranda: AV Living Legends #50

Published: May 13, 2024
Photo courtesy: Brandy Alvarado-Miranda

The Commercial Integrator #AVLivingLegends initiative is meant to celebrate and honor our industry’s biggest contributors. With this series, we strive to spotlight the difference-makers and world-changers who move among us. This week, Brandy Alvarado-Miranda, CEO/owner of BAM! Marketing & PR Agency, joins as our milestone 50th inductee in the #AVLivingLegends family!

Brandy Alvarado-Miranda is a familiar name to all in the AV industry. A marketing and PR professional, Alvarado-Miranda is the leader of BAM! Marketing and PR Agency. She is also co-founder and director at Women in AV/IT (WAVIT). Moreover, Alvarado-Miranda served as the chair of the AVIXA Women’s Council, a post from which she championed the cause for elevating women and all other marginalized groups in the AV industry.

Indeed, Alvarado-Miranda deserves the honor of being an AV Living Legend! In this interview, she reflects on her beginnings and stellar mentorship experience under another AV Living Legend, Cory Schaeffer. She also recalls the amusing story behind the moniker of “Squeaky 1 and Squeaky 2” at InfoComm!

And if you’d like to read even more coverage relating to our #AVLivingLegends, like Brandy Alvarado-Miranda, check out our hub page. It includes direct links to every living legend!

Commercial Integrator: What motivated you to join the commercial AV industry?

Brandy Alvarado-Miranda: I like so many, fell into this industry. I had been working in a totally unrelated field — insurance — as a director of marketing and sales. That company had gone through a really awful acquisition, and I felt I needed a change. I got recruited by an AV manufacturer for a similar marketing position, and instantly felt so at home. I’m #AVForLife now, and I can’t see myself doing anything else.

Commercial Integrator: What has kept you motivated and engaged in the decades that followed?

Brandy Alvarado-Miranda: Slight correction: I’ve only been in AV a decade now, but it feels like such a short amount of time. Initially, I would have said that the constant evolution of technology would have been my main motivation. I have such a thirst for knowledge. Currently, my answer would be way different. What keeps me engaged now is helping others — my clients, my colleagues and people new to this industry. I started BAM! three-and-a-half years ago because I love marketing and this industry. I, like many, lost my job during the pandemic. BAM! then rose out of the ashes of the pandemic and has grown beyond my wildest dreams. That coupled with founding WAVIT a year-and-a-half year ago feeds my motivation to help others. Even though both organizations have seen amazing growth, I’m still far from done.

Commercial Integrator: Reflect on your role as both a mentee early in your career and as a mentor later in your career. Who helped shape the trajectory of your professional life? How have you tried to help shape others’ careers?

Brandy Alvarado-Miranda: I have been very fortunate all throughout my career, even before AV, to have very influential mentors that have molded and shaped me. First and foremost, Sandy [Taber]. When I started in insurance, she took me under her wing and taught me some valuable lessons. She was one that instilled in me the concept of “fighting and speaking up for people, in rooms they aren’t in.” She did that for me countless times. “You want to take a course?” “Get your insurance license?” “Can I put you up for this promotion?” — she was always going to bat for me in rooms I wasn’t in. Sandy believed in me and encouraged me to the extent that I flourished. I now take that concept and pay it forward to others.

Second, if it wasn’t for the incredible Cory Schaeffer, I wouldn’t be in the position I am in today. I met Cory early on in my AV career, and, like Sandy, she took me under her wing. She has been, and remains, my confidant and biggest cheerleader. Cory and I banded together to form the local Women of InfoComm groups that are now the AVIXA Women’s Council. It was also with Cory and a few others that, after my three-year term as the chair for the AVIXA Women’s Council, we decided to continue our mission to retain and attract more women into the AV industry through our non-profit, WAVIT. I am and will be forever grateful for her friendship and support.

Just like I pay it forward by speaking others’ names in rooms they are not in, I also believe in paying it forward through mentoring others now myself. I cannot stress enough the importance mentoring has on women. That’s why WAVIT will soon be rolling out a robust mentor program.

Commercial Integrator: What’s the most memorable story/anecdote of your career in commercial AV?

Brandy Alvarado-Miranda: I think it was InfoComm 2018. Gina Sansivero and I had been tapped by AVIXA to give the keynote for the Women’s Council. We both arrived for the breakfast that morning bright and early only to discover that both of us had no voices! Oh my gosh, I still laugh about it to this day. We did the ole “the show must go on” bit, and quite literally squeaked our way horribly through our speech. People in the audience took pity on us and brought us water. LOL. Not sure who it was, but we were dubbed “Squeaky 1 and Squeaky 2” from then on.

Commercial Integrator: What has been your greatest professional accomplishment to date?

Brandy Alvarado-Miranda: Without a doubt, starting BAM! and WAVIT have been my biggest accomplishments. I “blame” my good friend Hal Truax for the idea of starting BAM! And, for WAVIT, I “blame” COVID and a memorable Zoom Happy Hour where Gina Sansivero, Cory Schaeffer, Megan Dutta and I conceived WAVIT.

Commercial Integrator: What has been your biggest professional regret to date?

Brandy Alvarado-Miranda: This one hurts deeply, but not moving the needle and growing the number of women in our industry. It is still abysmally low, in my opinion. I had hopes of growth as the Women’s Council Chair, but then COVID came along and crushed that hope. We lost numbers and have yet to fully recover. That’s one of the main reasons and missions of WAVIT. I want to leave this industry better than I found it. Sounds simple, but it’s not. We really must work together to create awareness and outreach as well as a community to help women thrive in the industry.

Commercial Integrator: What’s the best advice or pearl of wisdom you either received during your career or came to realize on your own?

Brandy Alvarado-Miranda: During many mentoring sessions with Cory Schaeffer, we worked through several things. One conversation sticks out in my mind about failing. I was getting ready to launch a massive project — a rebranding and relaunch of a website. I had done this previously at other companies and had learned a lot of lessons along the way. The “Gotchas” as I like to call them. With all that under my belt I was still scared to death of failing. It kept me up at night and had given me some serious anxiety. I was detailing this with Cory, and she said “Stop! You got this; you’ve ridden this bike before. Right?” “Yes, of course.” Then she asked “And have you fallen off your bike before or got lost going somewhere? “Yes of course, we all do that!” “Ok then what did you do after the fall?” I said, “I got back on my bike and on that path and kept going.” She said “right, you kept going. Bran, what you did in that instant on the bike is what is called failing forward. You fell, you rubbed some dirt in it and got back into the game, and on the bike. You’re resilient and that’s the lesson. Fail forward. With the intention that if you fall, know that you’re strong and courageous enough to get up and fall again and again if necessary.”

Cory went on to encourage me to dig deeper and think about all the ways I could fail in this project and think of ways I could fail forward. Essentially outlining an “if this happens, I’ll do this” kind of mentality. I went into that project super prepared, and it turned out amazing! This was the biggest piece of advice I ever received.


Would you also like to nominate a peer or colleague — or perhaps yourself!  in this #AVLivingLegends series just like Brandy Alvarado-Miranda? If so, just email Dan Ferrisi, group editor, commercial and security, Emerald, at dan.ferrisi@emeraldx.com.

Posted in: Insights

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