Paul Builds His Career
Working for Others
It was the early years working in the factory at Kliegl that taught Paul so much about the commercial lighting industry. Paul was coordinating many shows, where he was responsible for booth design, set-up and operation. Paul had the chance to build connections with big (and soon-to-be-big) names in the theatre industry. During this time, Paul was introduced to the film and television lighting industry. His inquisitive nature left him wanting to learn more about this aspect of lighting. In early 1976, Paul was hired to be the Midwest Regional Sales Manager for Colortran, which was a division of Berkey Photo at the time. Although still based out of New York City, Paul’s territory included Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan and Tennessee, in addition to a section of NYC. He traveled much of the time, all by car.
The Birth of the Company
Although Paul loved the sales aspect of working for Colortran, life on the road was taking its toll on him. He took a job as Inside Operations Manager for Strand Lighting, then in 1977, Paul learned of an opportunity to be a manufacter’s rep for Strand in northern/central Ohio as well as Indiana. He and his wife moved to Cleveland and started Paul Vincent Associates in January 1978. The next month, during The Great Blizzard of ’78, he sold his very first lighting system, then got stuck in an Indianapolis hotel for three days afterward, waiting out the snowstorm. Paul always liked a good challenge, and his ability to overcome that ordeal just made him more determined. In those early days, he worked as sales, customer service, project management and field service, always taking good care of his customers.
- Next Section: Joining Forces