Meet the HARMAN Luxury Audio Team
Name: Patrick Gaffney
Position/Job Title: Senior Sales Manager
With HARMAN Since 2007
With Meet The HARMAN Luxury Team, our goal is for you to get to know us better. In each edition we be feature a different member of the team, and this month it’s Patrick Gaffney, Senior Sales Manager.
How would you describe what you do in your current role?
Have you ever been to the circus and seen the guy spinning plates on sticks and then on his chin with multiple stacks of plates? That’s my job, including maintaining dealer relationships, troubleshooting, system design, calibration, technical support, field support, creating and executing sales promotions and programs, price sheets, forecasting, supply chain, crafting and executing virtual and in-person dealer trainings, setting up trade shows, dealer events, extensive traveling and living out of a suitcase. That covers most of the job. I’m sure I forgot a few things.
What did you study in school? Did you always imagine yourself doing something like what you’re doing now, or did the fates just take you in that direction?
Music. I always imagined working for a drum company as a “clinician.” I attended many drum clinics in my youth and my father was very patient with my ambitions and took me to several drum clinics where I got first-hand exposure at an early age to some of the great drummers such as Ed Shaughnessy, Roy Burns, and Buddy Rich. At Crane School of Music under the instruction of Jim Petercsak, clinics were called master classes and we had first-hand exposure to great career percussionists like Ed Thigpen, Ed Soph and John Bergamo. Post-college, and after a three-year detour in a full time rock band, I was ready to work for Zildjian or Yamaha percussion but I was told I needed five years of retail experience. So I was sent to the front lines and worked for a music store where I survived three-and-a-half years until I found my exit into a “professional” job as a recruiter, because I had a family at that point. I later sold my way into a custom integration company in Boston where I learned the business of selling expensive high performance audio, video and control systems.
How did your career path lead you to HARMAN?
After working in the CI business for eight years I had an opportunity to work for Audio ReQuest, a manufacturer of music servers that I sold in the CI business, and the same guy (Hank Finke) who hired me for Audio ReQuest later went to HARMAN Specialty Group and hired me to work for Lexicon and Revel.
What is the most important thing you have learned over your career?
Always do the right thing.
Any other advice you would offer people just starting out in this industry?
Be passionate, patient and work hard at it. Stay connected to the end result and your customers.
A wise college professor (Dr. William Crowder) once told me when learning a new piece of music to work all the way through it with the end in sight. I used to get stuck on a few hard parts and never see the end.
What are you most proud of in your life?
My relationship with God, my two beautiful children and my career accomplishments.
When did you first realize you had a passion for music or audio? Was there any one song, band or movie that did it for you?
It started one day when my father took me to see a parade in our town. When the high school marching band came by with the drum line I was captivated by the power of the drums and marched along the sidewalk with the band another two miles to the end of the parade. Drums called to me that day and my mother, who was an accomplished organist, got me drum lessons and eventually my first drum set, a silver sparkle Slingerland.
What kind of gear are you rocking at home these days?
The Arcam SR250 connected to a pair of Revel F32s mostly but I have the opportunity to hear and play with a lot of our awesome gear.
What current technology impresses you the most?
What’s your favorite music genre?
The desert island question, of course. If you were marooned for eternity and could listen to only three albums, what would they be?
Eternally this island would be in heaven, and I expect there will be a lot of really good music there! “Trick of the Tale” by Genesis, “The Yes Album” and “Come Away with Me” by Norah Jones.
In closing, please tell us anything else you want us to know about yourself.
Make every day count! We never know when the last one will be. Give hugs and smiles whenever possible.