Case Studies and Testimonials

Advanced Staging Productions

Advanced Staging’s owner Steve Wildemann knew it was time to Burn the Ships. Steve was committed to growing the company, and knew that fundamental changes were needed to achieve that goal. Tom Stimson’s initial assessment identified several key issues that were inhibiting growth and developed a customized job cost analysis tool that along with updated pricing, helped the team to deliver 15% revenue growth and a 50% increase in net profit in the next two business quarters. Learn about this and other successes of this ongoing engagement in this interview.

“Tom being able to come in and get my team to understand what growth meant and how growth could be achieved differently was critical to making this a success.”
Steve Wildemann, CEO, Advanced Staging Productions


DWP Live

Danny Whetstone was ready to step up from the classic owner-operator role and become a businessman. He knew he needed a mentor that could teach him how to work on his business instead of just in it. That’s why he chose to Burn the Ships and engage Tom Stimson on an annual basis. Now in year two, Danny has expanded the company, added a General Manager, and is now focusing on Intentional Success®. Listen to Danny talk about working with Tom here.

“I think the biggest hurdle I had to overcome was how do I step into the business [owner’s] role. I needed a mentor and a leader…someone willing to help teach and guide me to do that.”
– Danny Whetstone, President, DWP Live


CLE Productions

When owner Arren Wetzel contacted Tom Stimson, he felt that his company CLE Productions was not realizing its potential. It was time for some changes and Arren was ready to commit, which is why Burn the Ships was the perfect engagement for CLE. That commitment has paid off and Arren has re-launched his brand, hired an industry veteran to help develop new accounts, and refocused his team on profitable best practices. Arren talks about his experience with Tom Stimson in this interview.

“Tom helped me find out where I wanted the company to go. After the first day, the cloud of smoke was lifted. I realized that I was going to have fun again.”
– Arren Wetzel, Owner, CLE Productions


Complete Crewing

Another Burn the Ships client, Floyd Dillman is challenging his company to grow, profit, and Succeed Intentionally. He has already discovered how to better leverage the company’s remarkable value proposition into ongoing growth. Stay tuned on this one!

“Tom has done a lot to advance our business, and I can recommend him and his services without reservation. He’s truly been there and done that, so the advice and insights he offers are grounded and practical. No pie in the sky.”
– Floyd Dillman, Owner, Complete Crewing


Cory’s Audio Visual Services

When owners Brad Poarch and his business partner John Cory purchased the family business, they suddenly found themselves in the driver’s seat and moving quickly. Their ongoing Advisory Program engagement with Tom Stimson is helping them continue to grow – and even more profitably – while learning the ropes of executive management and ownership.

“His experienced, outside insight has been an invaluable tool for our third generation family business. Whenever we have a question; from best practices, to team development, to tackling sacred cows, he has been able to help guide us to being a more efficient and profitable organization. As Tom always says: “Do the math!” Margins are up, costs & expenses are managed via well developed processes, and we have continued to see strong growth year after year. Tom has helped us get where we are today.”
– Brad Poarch, CEO, Cory’s Audio Visual Services LLC



Owner Matt Emerson made a bold commitment to Burn the Ships, engaging Tom Stimson to help the company grow again, restore profitability, and create a more scalable business. Intentional Growth is already taking place as the company embraces new outlooks on Business Development, Customer Experience, and Pricing.

“Working with Tom has really helped my team identify inefficient or missing processes that were both costing us money and frustrating employees. We’ve identified and implemented several organizational changes that are already making a huge difference in our results. Tom’s insight, perspective, and experience are just what my company needed to implement long-overdue changes.”
– Matt Emerson, Owner, CEAVCO


Meeting Tomorrow

Tom helped this young, growing company gain more insight into the impact of its products and services on customers and how that in turn affected internal processes, staffing, and value. Watch what owner Mark Aistrope has to say.

“Tom has a remarkable ability to cut through the clutter and identify the most important barriers to success for a company. His mix of industry knowledge, business know-how, and strategic problem solving skills is unmatched. His unique insights have been hugely impactful to Meeting Tomorrow. Tom’s one of a kind!”
– Mark Aistrope, CEO, Meeting Tomorrow


Live! Technologies

One of Tom’s oldest clients, Live! Technologies has engaged Tom in both its Live Events and Systems Integration divisions on projects involving Evaluation, Strategy, Best Practices, and Sales Training. Tom’s advice helped Live earn the coveted Integrator of the Year award from NSCA. Rusty Ranney, CEO, talks about working with Tom in this interview.

“If you are ready to get better and if you are ready to challenge yourself and be challenged, the Tom’s then guy for you. It’s not that he’s just some no-nonsense guy. There’s a lot of humor and camaraderie in the relationship with you.”
– Rusty Ranney, CEO, Live! Technologies


NMR Events

When owner Mike Meduri invited Tom in, the company was struggling with cash flow and profits were shrinking. Tom’s financial analysis pinpointed key areas of concern, which lead to a hands-on, two-year reorganization of the business. Each initiative dramatically restored profit levels, which fueled growth and expansion and more profit. Mike talks about his experiences here.

“The biggest benefit we have received from his services is that the fundamental health and condition of the company is vastly improved.”
– Michael Meduri, CEO, NMR Events


Creative Visions

Another successful Under the Hood® evaluation helped fuel long-term success. Hear what owner Allin Foulkrod has to say about learning to ask better questions.

“He seeded the conversations that were yet to come. The employees and I felt more empowered to ask questions…that really changed how we worked. We as an organization now are more profitable than we’ve ever been. The impact on us financially and organizationally is just huge. We are focused on our time, and our execution, and our strategy in a different way.”
– Allin Foulkrod, CEO, Creative Visions


AV Concepts

Founder Nick Smith wasn’t convinced that his executive team was prepared to support his vision, so he asked Tom Stimson to help them assess the firm’s resources and then take a fresh look at overall strategy. Tom was able to identify key areas of the company that were ready for a refresh and then he took the team through a strategic thinking process that clarified the direction of the company. Hear how Nick recounts the experience and the successful outcomes.

“The one thing he does is really listens well and understands your company and what your goals are. We are in a great growth position.”
– Nick Smith, CEO, AV Concepts



Owner Murray Lapides wanted to help his most valuable employees become part-owners in his successful company and needed a logical and simple approach to allocate shares while ensuring his team stuck around to succeed him.

“Tom is the outside independent observer that has knowledge of the business, that can come in and look at all aspects of the business.”
– Murray Lapides, CEO, AVFX


Magic Production Group

Strategy, goals, process, brand, and innovation – these are just a few of the topics that Tom Stimson and Magic Productions’ Founder Massoum Mirzaei tackle in their frequent conversations. Tom has been working with Magic for years as an Advisor, while in turn Magic has been a branding and marketing consultant to Tom.

“I think that it is very clear that Tom wants your business to succeed.”
– Massoum Mirzaei, CEO, Magic Production Group


Audiovisual Professional Group

Tom’s Under the Hood evaluation launched multiple initiatives with fantastic results: Established new benchmarks for profitability. Reduced obstacles to sales growth. Launched capital investments in building, infrastructure, and inventory. Improved cash flow. Improved morale. Better sales pipeline. Happier Owner!

“My first thought of hiring a “consultant” was the fear of some stuffed business man in a suit arriving on site and proposing changes of a business he knows nothing about.  That was certainly not you!  I think you are that “blue jean” guy that’s certainly not afraid to get dirty with his clients.”
– Mike Rape, Owner, Audiovisual Professional Group


Heroic Productions

What began with an Under the Hood® evaluation has evolved into a multi-year relationship. Heroic has reorganized its team, added key leadership positions, established more profitable pricing and delivery methods, reduced overhead costs, advanced a marketing plan, solidified banking relationships, and ensured the long range viability of the company.

“OK, so I can now see the screen. Windshield wipers stopped working for awhile…Thank you. I’m humbled, honored and grateful.”
– Jon Young, Owner, Heroic Productions



Tom worked closely with the Whitlock team to redesign the entire sales and delivery workflow. The resulting change project had long-reaching benefits: improving internal communications, streamlining processes, and recapturing valuable time for key knowledge workers. The result was a scalable system that could be rolled out to the entire organization.

“We achieved tremendous results by streamlining processes and improving communications. Tom defined a solution to not only meet our needs today but one that is scalable for every other Whitlock operation and the future.”
– Roger Patrick, COO, Whitlock



After an initial Strategic Thinking engagement to refresh the firm’s strategic intent, mission, vision, and values, Tom Stimson helped Spinitar evaluate its business processes, which led to a major overhaul of enterprise software systems.

“Tom helped us put together our strategic plan…the results were fabulous! Tom has an incredible skill to have all participants feel comfortable and he draws on their creativity to think outside the day to day…He has done a Terrific Job for us & I would highly recommend him!”
– Jay Rogina, CEO, Spinitar



Managing Partner BJ Singh had a growing business but lacked expertise in managing a special event production company. He engaged Tom Stimson for an Under the Hood® evaluation and soon adopted Tom’s advice and best practices, which have helped his company more than triple in size in four years.

“Tom took the time to really study our firm and our team at an in-depth level and provided us a very specific list of recommendations and action items that I believe strongly will result in significant enhancements to our processes and our bottom line. I would highly recommend Tom to any firm that wants actionable, unbiased advice from an industry veteran that has been there and done that.”
– BJ Singh, Managing Partner, EventEQ


Intelligent Lighting Creations

After hearing Tom Stimson speak at an industry event, Samantha Falbe knew she had found the right adviser for her company. After an Under the Hood® engagement, Tom was able to help the sales team focus on more profitable business while coaching the owners towards a better overall strategy.

“Tom’s expertise has been an invaluable resource in the strategic planning and process improvements at Intelligent Lighting Creations. He’s a charismatic individual who delivers the right kind of advice propelling the advancement of an organization. He has become one of our trusted advisors, and always available for the simple and the very complex questions that we have on an ongoing basis.”
– Samantha Falbe, President, Intelligent Lighting Creations


BIAMP Systems

Tom Stimson facilitated multiple Strategic Thinking sessions with BIAMP’s Executive Team. The outcome was a comprehensive strategy to expand the company into a global leader in unified communications.

“Tom comes in very well prepared. He takes control of the room and gets the most out of all the participants. Tom’s personality is energizing thus perfect for what he does, and it really is a plus that he knows our industry.”
– Ron Camden, Vice President, BIAMP Systems


Bluewater Technologies

Strategic Planning, Sales Training, Industry Briefings, Evaluations – Tom Stimson has been involved in all aspects of this innovative organization.

“Tom is unique in his understanding of the core processes required to meet the goals of quality execution and profit. Tom’s advice and wisdom have been a key component to our success.”
– Robert (Bob) Daniels, COO, Bluewater Technologies



Bartha is one of the oldest continuously operating companies in the Audiovisual Industry. Over multiple engagements over many years, Tom Stimson has helped train, advise, and coach the Bartha team as it has grown and broadened its strategy. Today, Bartha is growing intentionally, enjoying above average profits, and is a leader in its market.

“We have hired Tom to consult with us about the future of our company, including business strategies, sales workshops, and management plans. Tom has a wealth of knowledge, and we are seeing great results. I would recommend Tom to anyone looking for ways to improve their overall process, strategies, and bottom line.”
– Jerry Spencer, Vice President Sales and Marketing, Bartha


Hudson Valley AV

A longtime coaching client Joe Harrington has relied on Tom Stimson to help him grow Hudson Valley AV from a home office to become the regional leader in audiovisual sales and installation. Joe’s company now has an office/warehouse, fulltime staff, and is the preferred supplier for Universities, Colleges, Municipalities, and meeting and events facilities across New York’s Hudson Valley.

“Tom has been instrumental in our success. I was just a humble fire chief when I decided to start an AV company. I was lucky enough to meet Tom, who not only understood this industry, he knew how to run a successful business. Because of him I have become a competent business owner and the company is expanding profitably.”
– Joe Harrington, Owner, Hudson Valley AV