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A Broader Vision

If you've viewed it chances are they've had a hand in it.


If you've watched a storm approaching on television from an observation camera perched high atop a local tower or glanced at a replay at Jones/SBC Stadium, chances are Lubbock Audio Visual Inc. had a hand in it.

"We're largely an unknown commodity in this market," said Stan Wagnon, president of LAV, which is celebrating its 25th year in business — a business that operates pretty much behind the scenes.

But now LAV, which has operations in Lubbock and Amarillo, is about to branch out in a big way with an expansion that will more than double the size of its 2120 Ave. Q headquarters.

Wagnon, who started the company on a shoestring budget, today employs 30 account managers, engineers/designers, technicians and support staff with plans to add more once construction begins on its 12,500-square-foot addition.

"When I started this company we basically sold traditional audio/visual equipment such as projection screens and overhead projectors and things like that," he said.

But my what a difference 25 years makes.

Today, LAV is heavily involved in design-build projects making use of more than 300 manufacturers of professional video, audio and telecommunications products that have had an impact on dozens upon dozens of West Texas businesses, state agencies, educational organizations and religious groups.

"We've just evolved as a company from (selling/renting) traditional audio/visual to commercial video/audio telecommunication products," he said.

"When you see those (television) observation cams, that's a product we designed and built. We built the control room at the bottom of the United Spirit Arena (that controls replays and other information) and we were greatly instrumental in getting FOX-Channel 34 (Ramar Communications) virtual news set, broadcast operation up and running," he added.

LAV is also heavily involved in security, designing and building video security systems for the likes of Pantex and Federal Express.

In addition, LAV has played a substantial role in providing its audio/video expertise in the development of broadcasts centers, training/conference centers and sanctuary presentations.

"A lot of what we do is custom build, but our rental and staging (for business video conferences) are also a strong part of our business," he said.

Wagnon said LAV has staged regional video conferences for Coca-Cola, John Deere — even Ford Motor Co. "And we've been doing that for years," he said.

Wagnon said with the exception of the first year he was in business, LAV has continued to operate in the black.

Wagnon said LAV plans to begin construction in the next 45- to-50 days on a new addition having acquired and demolished two homes west of its office.

"We're already in trouble here. We have way too many people and too many things going on to do what we need to do," he said.

LAV plans to invest from $750,000 to $1 million on its expansion.

Wagnon said he considered leaving the downtown area for Southwest Lubbock, but changed his mind once he got a whiff of land costs, which have been rising steadily.

He said while the project will take about a year to complete, it will be well worth it in the long run.

He said LAV plans to add a new conference center, a technical operations center for its rack fabrication/system fabrication operations, an enlarged customer service department and much needed warehouse space.

Wagnon said if LAV has any challenges it's finding qualified workers.

"I come from an electronics background. It's difficult recruiting people who understand what we do so we hire for attitude and train for skill," he said.

Wagnon said while many of the companies clients are located in Lubbock, Amarillo, El Paso, Midland and Odessa, LAV is looking to eventually expand into Albuquerque.

"We've been incredibly lucky. We have no debt, very little competition outside the major markets, a great customer base and people who are focused and dedicated to their clients," he said.


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