Breakfast of Champions (The 2020 NAMM Show): Whitney Brown Grisaffi


In the last six years, Whitney Brown Grisaffi, president of Ted Brown Music, saw growth in the service side of her six-store retail chain. At “Breakfast of Champions” during The 2020 NAMM Show, she shared that growth story with NAMM President and CEO Joe Lamond. In particular, she focused on the expansion of the installed AV business and how it ties into other aspects of Ted Brown Music’s business, particularly school music.

She explained how her business was at a crossroads six years ago. She was looking for areas of growth, and at the same time, a Ted Brown Music employee was seeking professional growth. This led to an expansion of the company’s installed AV business.

“We were already doing installs on a small level, like at churches and school gymnasiums,” Grisaffi said. “We had an opportunity to bring someone in that brought us more expertise, more connections and was able to take us to that next level. I was able to grow my employee, Bill, who needed that challenge.

“It is still churches and gymnasiums and football stadiums, but now it’s [also] court houses, it’s full schools, it’s hotels. It’s on that bigger level because we brought that expertise in.

“We took a leap of faith. We put the people on. We trained them. We got them the certification that they needed."

Having education reps at schools to service their music programs also provided Ted Brown Music with an existing customer base for installs.

“We were already doing some school gyms and football stadiums,” Grisaffi said. “By having the ed reps out there, there’s other opportunities.

“The nice thing is we already have that relationship with the school. We’re already there. They already know that we can help with some stuff.

“We started off with two guys. It’s now a department of eight. That’s in about five years. And we’re only limited right now by how many people we have.”