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60-Second Interview: Rich Plushner, GC Pro

Q: What is your new position, and what does it entail?

Q: What is your new position, and what does it entail?

A: Vice President, GC Pro, a newly created position that is a direct result of the growth of GC Pro over the last 10 years. It entails oversight for the division’s sales, marketing, operations and budget planning. The creation of this position highlights the success of GC Pro and its importance within the Guitar Center organization, as we are poised for continued success.

Q: How has your background prepared you for your new role?

A: My previous positions with Sony, Neve, Euphonix and SSL have provided seniorlevel management training, a wide variety of industry contacts, and experience with sales/marketing and building a loyal, satisfied customer base. I have been fortunate to be in positions that dealt with emerging industry trends and new technologies—I have been involved with many successful ventures, and GC Pro itself is consistently successful and growing every day. My background provided me with the knowhow to develop and implement business plans—short- and long-term growth opportunities, including potential new market sectors and P&L responsibilities.

Q: What new marketing initiatives are we likely to see from the company?

A: GC Pro is building on our Affiliate Program by adding technical services directly. This year, we’re rolling out tech services staff in both NYC and L.A. We’ll provide custom Mac recording systems offering full integration of software, Pro Tools HD/ Native and other high-end recording technologies such as Apogee Symphony. We’ll be advertising our services in print, web and within the stores. Also you’ll see continued developments in the areas of print, online digital, website and GC Pro Audio Solutions magazine releases.

Q: What are your short- and long-term goals?

A: Our short-term goals are to maintain our high level of service and customer satisfaction on a day-to-day basis. That leads into our long-term goals, which are to be known as the nation’s foremost provider of audio systems for all professional market segments, leading in equipment sales, design and installations services.

Q: What is the greatest challenge that you face?

A: The most challenging and rewarding part of the job is finding, hiring, training and incentivizing sales and administrative talent. GC Pro draws from a fine talent pool of sales staff currently working in our stores. We provide them with the tools and sales management necessary to grow business-to-business relationships. We also hire from outside Guitar Center as a steady stream of qualified sales professionals seek us out on a monthly basis. Finding the right personnel, who share and embrace our GC Pro vision, while managing our growth and maintaining the highest level of customer satisfaction, is the main challenge.