Photo of the design engineering team at Fearing's Audio Video Security in Madison and Milwaukee Wisconsin

The Design Team at Fearing’s Audio Video Security

Doug Fearing Audio/Video Design Build, Digital Signage, Employee, General, Home or Residential, Making a Difference, Security, Video

Jake Smith, AV Design Engineer; Ehren Tresner, VP of Engineering; David Poley, Project Manager; Rene Mirabal, Director of Special Projects; John Zukowski, Estimator

An Inside Look at the Audio Video Team of Designers of Fearing’s Audio Video Security: An Interview with VP of Engineering Ehren Tresner

Q: Do you call yourself a designer, engineer or both?
A: Design Engineer.

Q: What is the process that goes into your job from start to finish?
A: It involves many things. It means:

  • Staying on top of new product offerings as well as current offerings and what works well/what doesn’t.

  • Being front end technical support for the sales team with initial customer visits, site walks and surveys for larger or complex projects.

  • Staying on top of a large number of tasks for requested system designs, which includes:

    • filtering sales requests and asking for more info if needed,

    • coming up with a conceptual design,

    • putting together a proposal with detailed parts and labor,

    • making sure the proposal hits specific target margins and has all aspects of the project covered.

  • We also support sales in presenting larger or more complex systems.

  • Then, if the project becomes a sale, my team puts together documentation needed for the install including submittals, layout plans, schematic plans, elevations, detail drawings, spreadsheets, risers and more.

  • When we become back-end support for the project, We'll provide assistance with any onsite conflicts, issues, change orders, job meetings and more.

  • Finally, when the job is completed, we take any marked-up plans and drawings and create as-built drawings for our business and our customer’s records.

  • Plus, for me specifically, being a VP, I have other responsibilities like executive and management meetings, planning, procedures, and other company functions.

Wow, putting it in writing really explains why I am always so busy!

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Q: What expertise does your role play in the overall end goal of projects, what can you offer that other companies, who may not have this position, offer?
A: I think most companies do have this position, but my overall experience and expertise does have a great deal of impact on securing large and complicated jobs by instilling confidence in our customers. We are more than capable of listening to their needs and coming up with a custom solution to meet their needs and exceed their expectations.

Q: How did YOU become a professional in this field/what are your qualifications?
A: I don’t think anyone really intentionally sets a career path in this field. Almost everyone started in the music business or another field and found their path led them into this field.  The same goes for me! I actually went to school to become a recording engineer, graduating in ‘98. Shortly after, in 2000, I started my own company providing audio and lighting for live events as well as system designs, installation, and studio recording services. I also started mixing and working with music when I bought my first audio mixer at age 15. After about 7 years of being in business, I had a friend working at Fearing’s ask me if I would be interested in part-time service work during the week. I had free time during the week, so it was a no-brainer to pick up some extra money doing some AV work. I had also worked for a few AV integrators while in school, so I had some experience already with this type of work. It didn’t take long for Fearing’s to offer me a full-time project manager position, which I accepted and found to be a fun challenge!  Shortly after that, our main design engineer, my friend who brought me into Fearing’s, left for a different career path and I was offered his position. I dove in head first and went for my Certified Technology Specialist ― Design certification right away. At that time, I was 1 of only 500 in the world with this certification. I also studied and took many other product and manufacturer certifications. In the end, it has been a culmination of skills and knowledge that I have acquired throughout my life’s adventures that have led me to where I am now.

Q: How many people are on the design team at Fearing's?
A: At the moment, we have 5 designers. Two of us are commercial AV designers, one security and access control designer, one residential and small commercial designer and one structured cabling and bid desk designer.

Q: What else would you like to say that we haven't touched on?
A: Our design team is a big part of our success. We offer a bunch of different services, so having specialized experts in each field not only helps Fearing’s be a one-stop shop for our customers but, instead of being a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none, we have the key people to make Fearing’s a master of all!