The Future Is Now: Megan Zeller of Peerless-AV On How Their Technological Innovation Will Shake Up The Tech Scene

Fotis Georgiadis
Nov 1 · 11 min read
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Our direct view LED mounting solutions are a game changer. Peerless-AV provides mounting solutions for fine pixel pitch direct view LEDs which are easy to install and at a reasonable price. We are bringing this technology to the masses, as LCD screens have limitations as to the maximum size display you can have in your home. Imagine the evolution of the television. It started with the black and white television, advancing to color in the 1960s. The 16:9 format became the standard, and OEM television manufacturers were continuously developing in quality and design. And now, unique forms of displays are beginning to make an appearance for lifestyle integration. Direct view LED displays deliver an absolute perfect picture quality, are flexibility for a modular configuration, and unaffected by ambient lighting conditions, thus providing excellent displays in any room.

As a part of our series about cutting edge technological breakthroughs, I had the pleasure of interviewing Megan Zeller.

Business Development Director, Megan Zeller is responsible for driving Peerless-AV’s outside sales initiatives, increasing its revenue, identifying and developing new business opportunities, and building and expanding the presence of the company and its brand. Zeller brings over a decade of experience in the service industry to her position at Peerless-AV. Zeller holds a Bachelor of Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Sport Business from Saint Leo University.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I am the daughter of an engineer and spent my childhood summers going to work with my dad at his machine shop and traveling with him to see customers all over the world. His company manufactured parts for large ships and built custom shipping containers for top secret government work. Growing up, I wanted to be just like him and take over the family business. But, when I was 15,he closed the doors and shut the company down as he was losing projects to overseas manufactures. My dreams of running and working in the family business were crushed.

I graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a Bachelor’s degree in Meteorology during the recession and reasonable paying jobs were hard to find. My first job out of school was at a newspaper company selling classified advertisements. While my advertising career only lasted a handful of years, I learned so much being on 100% commission. I am very grateful for the sales education. After my stint in advertising, I went back to school to get my Masters in Sports Business. Upon receiving my MBA, I worked in hospitality and then landed a position in sports sales at a major stadium.

I met the Sales Team and Executives at Peerless-AV during my time with the stadium. Peerless-AV was the “Official Outdoor Display Provider” and had over 800 displays at the facility. I had the pleasure of working with them for a few years. During the last event together, I mentioned that I was planning on leaving and taking a job outside of sports. They were shocked and said if I was really leaving, I should work for them instead. Fast forward 3 months later, I relocated to Illinois and joined them as a member of their Business Development team and was eventually promoted to Director.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

In 2017, Peerless-AV began a foray into retail with our 4K Outdoor TVs. In the beginning it was a special in-store event. I volunteered to go set up the first store and man the in-store display. On my 3rd day in the store, a businessman walked by and said, “hey I know your company, I think we purchase your products or your competitor’s products” (he really wasn’t sure). We started speaking and he gave me his card asking me to send him a follow up. After my follow up, I was introduced to the head of operations for the company and he said timing wasn’t right for a change of suppliers (they did in fact use our competitor’s products). A year after my first initial discussion with them, they gave us a chance and allowed us to become their supplier. We have completed some great projects together and I am so grateful for their partnership and business. It was a long road but I am so glad we got there.

What did I learn from this chance encounter?

I learned that you never know where you will get your big break. People of great influence can be anywhere.

“No” just means no right now, not no forever; remain persistent and responsive.

Your competition will screw up and so will you. It is all about how you recover from those mistakes.

Can you tell us about the “Bleeding edge” technological breakthroughs that you are working on? How do you think that will help people?

Our direct view LED mounting solutions are a game changer. Peerless-AV provides mounting solutions for fine pixel pitch direct view LEDs which are easy to install and at a reasonable price. We are bringing this technology to the masses, as LCD screens have limitations as to the maximum size display you can have in your home. Imagine the evolution of the television. It started with the black and white television, advancing to color in the 1960s. The 16:9 format became the standard, and OEM television manufacturers were continuously developing in quality and design. And now, unique forms of displays are beginning to make an appearance for lifestyle integration. Direct view LED displays deliver an absolute perfect picture quality, are flexibility for a modular configuration, and unaffected by ambient lighting conditions, thus providing excellent displays in any room.

How do you think this might change the world?

This should lead to a widespread adoption of direct view LED technology in the home, allowing homeowners with a seamless screen in a size larger than 98” inches.

Keeping “Black Mirror” in mind can you see any potential drawbacks about this technology that people should think more deeply about?

One is price. But, as time passes and technology improves, prices will fall like technology products always do. Another is technology is always constantly changing. What is new today will not be new next year. Just look at the iPhone! Plus, there will be competition. But competition is good for the market. OEM manufacturers will work to outdo each other, pushing the limits of what is available and building on the new technology of today.

Was there a “tipping point” that led you to this breakthrough? Can you tell us that story?

A tipping point for me was when I learned first-hand from my OEM partners about the manufacturing process and knew that dvLED will eventually cost less than an LCD video wall or large format displays. The manufacturing process is constantly improving, and these improvements are lowering the cost of ownership allowing you and I to eventually have an entire wall be our television where we either sit and watch Netflix or let it display famous artwork to compliment a room.

What do you need to lead this technology to widespread adoption?

We need people to understand what dvLED can provide and early adopters to purchase, install and share their experiences with their followers.

What have you been doing to publicize this idea? Have you been using any innovative marketing strategies?

When I see awesome residential or commercial applications that WOW me, I take videos or pictures and post to my social media sites. But, the most innovative of all is word of mouth. The best publicity is one customer, an early adopter, telling others about their success. History has shown good news travels fast and everyone wants what the influencers have.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I am humbled everyday by my success in the industry. I have an incredible Executive Team who believes in me and are constantly pushing me to be my best self. I want to thank John Potts, Nick Belcore and Brian McClimans for believing in me when I knew nothing about our industry. I appreciate their unwavering support. And to my colleagues, Kathy Petrin, Rob Meiner and Chad Gebhardt. I am so grateful for their patience, assistance and knowledge. Peerless-AV would not be the same without them. Thank you for teaching me so much and dealing with my frantic requests.

I have been blessed to have made amazing industry connections. My customers, resellers and OEM partners are some of my closest friends. Together, we have spent years building relationships and winning major projects throughout the world. To this incredible group of people, I am proud to call them my friends. I am eternally grateful for their help and for believing in me and Peerless-AV.

About a year into my career with Peerless-AV, I began cold calling customers in Las Vegas attempting to get a foot into major casinos and new gaming projects. Initially, two very special end users took my telephone calls. Fast forward to today, these two people are indirectly responsible for so much of my business and our company’s new product development. They pushed Peerless-AV to develop new products. Products such as new in-room and public area hospitality mounts for displays, digital kiosks for wayfinding and advertising, in-wall electrical boxes to hide cables and cords, and custom/bespoke direct-view LED mounting solutions for sports book, lobbies and other public areas.

One of my reseller friends, who I have nicknamed Santa Claus, took a chance on me and Peerless-AV when we were just getting started with direct view LED mounting solutions in the USA. We were already an industry leader in Europe, but we were just easing into this with the US. Santa Claus believed in me, my team at Peerless-AV US, and our custom design and manufacturing capabilities while we were still learning and growing our dv-LED business He took me to industry events and tradeshows, introduced me to his competition and OEM partners, and helped me further my career. He took a chance on us with one of his largest projects ever and it turned out to be one of our best installation solution case studies and most talked about projects.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

1. Through gratitude and a positive outlook. Peerless-AV allowed me to travel to amazing places and make incredible friends. I stay grounded and am grateful.

2. Paying it forward.

3. Becoming a mentor.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)

1. Think outside of the box, do whatever it takes to get the job done, you only get one shot to impress your customers.

One of our industry OEM partners helped sell our kiosks into a brand-new cruise terminal in South Florida. The job had an extremely fast turnaround and the grand opening was just a couple days after the kiosks were scheduled for delivery. Our sales engineer, Rob Meiner, and I traveled to the terminal to oversee the install and meet the customer. While onsite we discovered an issue with the kiosks. Every single door which is part of the display mount was welded incorrectly. Rob and I made multiple calls and attempted anin-field fix. We were unable to fix the kiosks onsite and it would be days before spare parts would be manufactured and delivered due to an impending snowstorm in the Midwest.

Rob and I searched and were unable to find a solution that would be possible due to our tight timeline. As we were sitting there completely defeated, I called my father to say hello. During our conversation, I explained how difficult our day was going and how we were so scared to disappoint our new customer. My dad said he would call his friend who owned a local machine shop in my hometown, just four hours north of the cruise terminal, to see if his welders would be willing to stay late to assist with our issue. He called back and said if we could get there by 8 PM they would be able to help. Rob and I dashed to the airport, talked the sold-out rental car company for a minivan, and loaded the van with the defective parts. We drove north, arrived in time for the machine shop to cut out the welded part and replace with a flat piece of metal allowing us to close the kiosk door flush with the frame. We then purchased Velcro to adhere the kiosk doors on temporarily. Rob and I waited a few hours while the welders worked their magic and we loaded up the car and drove back to South Florida. After no sleep, we returned to the cruise terminal to install the kiosk doors just minutes before the terminal was to open for the ribbon cutting.

The cruise line was not our customer before this adventure. They were thrilled to see first-hand Rob and my “whatever it takes attitude”. So thrilled, that we were able to flip them from our competitor in all areas of their business and since then they have become loyal to us and our brand.

2. Get Technical.

When I was hired by Peerless-AV, I didn’t know anything about the LCD or LED display market. Nor did I care about a 16:9 aspect ratio or other technical AV lingo. I learned quickly though, just how important being technical and being up-to-date with technology trends is to your customers. I now “speak nerd”.

Before I am willing to quote an dv-LED project, I have a long list of required questions to ask a customer. You have to know where your product is being installed and what they are planning to do. I don’t want to just sell something to sell something. I want to ensure I offer a solution for the customer’s application, assuring that the end customer will be happy with what is installed. You only get one chance to get it right!

3. Be a subject matter expert. Know your product, educate your customers

Do everything you can to teach your customer about the product and competition. I spend countless hours learning about my partners, my competitors, and how we can make it better for my customers. If you aren’t doing this, your competition will. People want to buy from someone who knows what they are talking about.

4. Answer your phone.

One of my first customers at Peerless-AV said to me, if you don’t answer your phone your competition will. Being in a highly competitive environment it is very important to set myself apart from my competition. Responsiveness will win business. A customer will always call you first if they know you will answer the phone.

5. Find a mentor.

If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

It would be to promote clean energy, discourage the use of fossil fuels, and other sources of energy that harm our environment that speeds up climate change. We need to make a change today for our future. We have already changed many manufacturing practices and followed in the footsteps of our fellow Forbes Travel Guide Brand officials to modify our practices to become a more sustainable supplier. On Earth Day 2020, we announced our Peerless-AV mount recycling program

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Life is inherently risky. There is only one big risk you should avoid at all costs, and that is the risk of doing nothing.” ―Denis Waitley

How can our readers follow you on social media?

I am active on LinkedIn!

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film…

Fotis Georgiadis

Written by

Passionate about bringing emerging technologies to the market

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Fotis Georgiadis

Written by

Passionate about bringing emerging technologies to the market

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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