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Joseph Utley

Joseph Utley
Sales Director
Screen Innovations
10 years in the industry

Tell us about your career so far.

As I begin to tell you about my career in the CE industry, the one thing that’s always been true is the ability to grow in this space. My career started in retail sales. Then, I moved into a technical sales manager role.

As I grew in this role, I had a yearning to get back on the sales side of things and learn more about business operations. So, I transitioned into a regional sales manager and now to a director of sales.

Describe your current role.

With some of my talent themes being analytical and arranger, my current role allows me to play to my strengths by:

  1. Developing and executing strategic plans
  2. Building and maintaining strong relationships with customers

When it comes to diversity and inclusion, how is the CE industry doing both historically, and also in the past year?

As an industry when it comes to inclusion, I feel that we have done a much better job in the last few years versus historically. In the past, being the only person of color in the room (leadership & business meetings) was a normal occurrence. However, I’ve certainly seen a change in the last few years.

What could the CE industry do to improve diversity and inclusion?

I feel there are two keys to diversity and inclusion:

  1. Submersing yourself in the community and being intentional about recruitment practices. Actively seeking out talent not just from people of color but all spectrums.
  2. Inclusion and diversity directly link to leadership training. Expanding the training process helps a salesperson, installer, etc. become a leader of people. Training and education help bridge the gaps that a person may be missing to make the next step. A new employee grows into a supervisor, and then into a manager who one day may become the leader of your company.

What would you tell non-black professionals in the CE industry who want to support the inclusion of black people in the industry?

Be intentional about relationship-building with people of color. Communication is key because they need to be included in the conversation about what they need. Keep an open mind during these conversations and collaborations to find the right path for the business and team.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

I have several accomplishments that I am extremely proud of. One of those is being the first in my family to earn a degree and work my way up through the ranks to a leadership position. Along the way, I am proud of coaching successful teams and future leaders!

What technology are you most interested in at the moment?

The easy answer would be to say everything because I love two channel audios, along with the big screen experience. In fact, you can find me at home most weekends watching a movie or playing video games on my 110-in. Black Diamond screen. However, I do have a real passion for all things green, like renewable energy, solar power, etc. As the green moment continues to become more mainstream, I’m very excited to see how our industry will be influenced.

What’s the top trend in CE for you right now?

Going back to my passion for being green, shading is certainly the top trend for me. The ability to control light and limit the amount of heat that’s transferred to your home, which directly ties into energy consumption, is huge. In addition to these benefits, shades make your space more enjoyable while being visually pleasing at the same time. This is the main reason why shades were the first upgrade I made to my new home.

What’s your favorite gadget right now?

I’m in love with my new NAS server that I built. It allows me to stay organized by keeping all my data in a central local on my home network but also gives me the flexibility to access my data remotely.