Brent Bowyer leaves IPI

The IPI board of directors has named Ron Mohney as IPI’s executive director, replacing the long-serving Brent Bowyer.

Ron_IPIAccording to the IPI announcement, Mr Bowyer has ‘resigned to pursue other opportunities.’ He assumed the role of executive director of IPI in 2002 after serving on its Board of Directors and as an officer beginning in 1995.

Ron Mohney (pictured right) has served as director of Supplying Partner operations at IPI since 2010 and will continue in that role in addition to the new one as executive director.

‘The Board wishes to thank Brent for his many years of dedicated service and we wish him well in his new pursuits. We are very confident that IPI’s exceptional staff has the vision, passion and determination to execute at the high level our members expect as IPI builds on and extends our past successes,’ said IPI chairman, Larry Steiner.

In addition, IPI announced that current Board member Neil Hoversten will continue on beyond the expiration of his board term at the end of May 2014 as IPI’s Key Supply Partner Advocate.

‘Having had a sneak peek at revolutionary program additions that will be announced at our upcoming annual conference, IPIC, I am excited about the coming innovations that the entire IPI team is developing for the membership. Keeping experience on board while extending member services refreshes and expands our enthusiasm for the IPI mission,’ added Mr Steiner.

Stuart Holmes, managing director of Independent Photo Supplies, IPI’s partner for Australia and New Zealand added: ‘On behalf of IPS I can only add that from a Southern Hemisphere perspective Brent Bowyer will be sorely missed as it was through his proactive energy that the IPI Group reached out to the wider world of photo specialty retailers in Australia and New Zealand and embraced and celebrated different cultures from the Northern to Southern Hemisphere with great empathy, consideration and gusto!

‘However like all great organisations the IPI Marketing Group is bigger than just one person, and whilst Brent will be long remembered as a great founder and developer of an Expert Marketing Group there are many fine people in place on the IPI Board and within the general membership of the group to progress and improve on that original plan.

‘I would personally encourage all photo specialty store owners and managers in Australia and New Zealand to do something very worthwhile for their businesses by joining the IPI marketing group and attending the upcoming IPIC 2014 Conference on June 23 to 26 to be part of something larger than just yourselves,’ he added.

Brent Bowyer’s LinkedIn page describes his current role as CEO, Oasis Financial and Executive Management, Las Vegas.


30 thoughts on “Brent Bowyer leaves IPI

  1. Well said Stuart. I would love to see more colleagues from Australia and New Zealand at IPIC this summer. We hope to share great ideas and moreover learn from the progressive retailers that we know operate in those markets. Last season we had a great contingent from Canada and I strongly feel that really added to the range of great ideas and networking opportunities at the conference. I know the long flight is tough, but a couple of great ideas could pay off in a big way.

    • If you are buying the beers we will be there Larry! Lets hope under new leadership we can get a more Oz centric format for at least some of the MSP.

      • Hi Phil, not sure what needs to be more Oz-centric. I understand Camera House has joined up to IPI and have the MSP, as it is – straight out of the US.
        There is already over two years of marketing collateral available, and it is growing every quarter. So, If you’re worried about seasonal differences – don’t be – they have got you covered.
        Also, every piece of marketing collateral is supplied in layered PSD files – so if you feel the need to change “hello” to “g’day” (not that you’d really want to) it’s easy.

        • Bruno, I do understand the MSP, better than most, we have been with it since it’s inception. What is harder to understand is that just by buying the “box” you have the solution. This can only come with experience and perseverance and “walking the talk”. We sell more of our own local grown rather than from the MSP. When you open the box you can be overwhelmed a bit like seeing a full version of Photoshop for the first time, you need help! PS Not all is in PS format 🙂

  2. Despite what happened at IPI Brent was a lovely guy. I echo Stuart Holmes comments. We thought he was a lovely person and will be sorely missed. Hopefully folk can look beyond the situation and welcome a new leader with open arms.

  3. One very meaningful way IPI could show international awareness and outreach is to have representation from Australasia on their Board. That way they could truly understand the market – and it’s significant differences from North America. A good start maybe their foundation members downunder such as Phil Gresham, Alan Logue or Graham Boswell.

    IPI members I have spoken with said the biggest benefit from the organisation has been the buying advantages they have with Fujifilm and other suppliers. Perhaps this is the way forward in this part of the world too.

    • Hi Chris, perhaps the ‘most’ meaningful way forward for Photo Specialty Retailers in Australia & New Zealand is to actually join the IPI Group, Book in and Attend the next IPIC Conference 23rd to 26th June, and find out for themselves that infact the Major Benefit of Membership isn’t the Nth America buying group anymore, that’s been well and truly overshadowed by the Marketing Solutions Program (MSP) for for the last 3 years! Also, the other fact you appear to have missed is that Independent Photographic Supplies in A & NZ have committed over 3 Years Ago as IPI Group Sth Hemisphere Exclusive Partner and have actively supported and promoted this expert Marketing at every opportunity as the real solution to ‘Retail Sales Woes’, as the old addage remains that “You will never save your way into a good business, you must Market yourself into one” – Come on Chris ‘get off the sidelines’ and Join the IPI Marketing Group as an International Member and be part of something bigger than just yourself, Cheers, Stuart.

      • Chris some good points but count me out of being on the board, PMA is quite sufficient! I don’t think that FujiFilm Oz would be quite as generous as they have been in the US, FujiFilm USA are outstanding in this regard.

        Re the IPIC conference unless you intend to jump in with more than just canvas, (though IPI have some great tools for growing that) you need to embrace the photo gifting area across the board. Some of the best “gifting” dealers in the US are also very large camera and hardware sellers, they are seeking margin and this is the best area that they can still get it, as well as from PRO accessories of course. Apart from some buying advantages that we get here and the US, we originally joined in 2008 for the networking advantages. The MSP isn’t the be all that some think it is, it is part of a package.

  4. We are all looking for the holy grail of marketing help. It is clear to me that membership of IPI is not that. A fair bit of hype but as even the key Australian members say, its not a turn key marketing solution.

    And Stuart, no point lecturing some of your more aware industry colleagues, we are all capable of examining a proposition and reaching a logical decision.

  5. I’m not sure a marketing plan that has to help over 700 locations can be turn key. The idea of trying to have every piece just the way every store would want it without making ANY changes? Given the fact that we all focus on our strengths or what we enjoy doing, and with all the different product and services we offer, how could it? That being said it is the best out of the box program I have ever seen and the price is right. If I want anything more true turn key I guess I need to hire my own full time person.

    Stuart- keep up the great work! See you in a few weeks. Rumor has it that Phil G is buying drinks Sunday night???

    • Joel I think the comment turnkey is because IPI is probably being “sold” here as the holy grail and the answer to the woes of the industry which clearly it is not. The biggest challenge and opportunity is the implementation but that is the part that many do not get and need help with.

        • Bruce it is turnkey, but from experience it is hard to know where to start. We use bits & pieces but not the whole program as it tends to be a bit US centric with images etc but it does give you ideas to modify.

    • Hey Joel, as Phil G. said below “if all things being equal and we could choose only one show it would be IPIC” (especially to see him actually buy the beers) 🙂
      Seriously though, we are all looking forward reconnecting with you guys, and networking with some of the most switched on marketeers around.

  6. Let me add some details that might help the discussion. In the USA, IPI provides a Marketing, Networking, Education/Training AND a Buying function. For International Member there is no Buying function provided. The buying function didn’t seem to make sense considering all the obstacles for international commerce, mostly from vendors. Likewise, because International members cannot benefit from the IPI buying function, the price of an International membership is lower than a regular USA Membership. Likewise, the higher price USA membership has some additional corporate rights and responsibilities based on the IPI State of Delaware, USA, legal organization status as a member owned cooperative.
    The IPI MSP Marketing component has been very useful for a number of international members. Because of cost and distance, not as many international members have been able to attend IPIC, but I think those who have would give it a high recommendation. I do think there is an opportunity for those international members to experience market and product insights early in the lifecycle of market trends by attending IPIC. For those members who cannot attend, there is a wealth of written information, webinar recordings and our crown jewel – the Member Forum.

    • I see no reason why there could not be a buying advantage for international members, starting perhaps with FujiFilm!

  7. I posted on this topic last week but obviously I pushed the delete button instead of the “post” button. First I would like to say I have known Brent and Fran for 12+ years and want to wish them all the good luck in the world with the next chapter of their lives. As a member of IPI in the States I have always felt that the biggest advantage of IPI was the “Forum” and the knowledge base there…it has saved me on many occasions. The next advantage is the MSP, and it may even be bigger than the “Forum”. But just buying the box will not make you a marketing genius. It is like any other program in that it must be worked and advertised.

    With all that being said, the absolute biggest advantage of IPI is the yearly meeting IPIC. You cannot fathom the knowledge that you will receive from just networking and talking to other members that are going through the exact same things that you are on a daily basis. It is a great time but too much beer (Phil).

    I hope all of you will make the effort to go to IPIC this year…you won’t be sorry. Plus the fact that you folks downunder bring new perspectives and are a lot of fun to talk to and get to know, even with the accents ( I’m from Tennessee). Hope to see you all this June.

    • Frank totally agree with what you say, if all things being equal and we could choose only one show it would be IPIC.

  8. 9 cent prints… 1500 IPI templates, 9 cent prints…. I’m sure I know which one will make you more money! Come on people pull together and appreciate someone sticking their nads on the line and presenting a point of difference. While many of you sound like your are giving this program a go, those DVD’s ain’t gunna jump on top of the counter and sell themselves!

    • Hey Anon, 😉
      You are right, the marketing program takes work, but the MSP can dramatically reduce the amount of work needed. I can throw up a store sign in 10 minutes that know for a fact drives extra business. If I did it from scratch, I would probably never get around to it. As you indicate, there is still a lot work to be done at the store level, but MSP makes it doable for the single store operator like me.
      As for 9 cents prints, IPI Members often use the new designs and products in the MSP to try to avoid the whole 9 cent print disaster zone.

  9. Its great to see the comments from US members and in an ideal world we would all come to one of your conferences and have a look. It would be stupid not to.
    However the cost is huge when you add airfares to accommodation to conference fees to membership fees and on it goes. When I did the sums last year it came to $7000.
    That is too much.

    • Hi Tim, I absolutely agree 100% with you that these are tough times particularly in Photo Retail, that’s the reason IPS are a big advocate for ramping up the marketing of Photo Specialty Services as opposed to just commoditising the product with 9 cent prints at HN & Big Dub…I would be very happy to give you a call and discuss, Cheers,Stuart

  10. I reckon I have about 24 different projects on with ideas from various PMA shows, Leading Edge conventions and other meetings of various sorts as well as from discussions with a range of fellow dealers and others outside the photo industry. On top of that we are taking on board the Kodak Print Place as a focus for phone printing.
    So in the middle of all sorts of stuff and that’s just the retail side of our business.
    So thank you but no I don’t want to go to the IPI meeting.

  11. All retailers had sales increases . . . Yes, that is 100%.

    Every retailer I have interviewed that adopted the entire MSP strategy had a sales increase over prior years. Most who “dabbled” in it or picked out only their favourite bits and pieces had mixed results. I interviewed approximately three dozen users, not every user.

    Before recommitting to help finance part of the MSP costs, Fuji (USA) evaluated those retailers under the progam and those not using it. Fuji’s beancounters and marketing analysts found enough volume increase to funding further expansion and updating.

    What more do reluctant retailers need for proof? It’s not a rational decision to pass MSP by. It’s pure emotion. We are frustrated that someone outside our store can do it better than we can. I can’t help you understand the psychology of this. I can tell you the facts, if you truly want to take control of your profit frustrations, MSP is part of your solution.

    Continuous improvement beats delayed perfection. Launch the program and tweak it as you go. If you wait to tweak it before you launch you won’t get it launched. Smaller specialty retailers don’t have full time marketing departments. Now you do through MSP.

    There is strength through working together. More so today than ever.

    Disclosure for cynics . . . IPI is not a client of McCurry Associates. PRO (ProMaster) is a McCurry Associates client. There is a very close working relationship between PRO and IPI. There is no financial relationship between the two groups. More than half of the PRO members are IPI members. If you sell hardware you need ProMaster. If you offer services you need IPI.

  12. There is much interesting discussion going on here about IPI.
    We joined several years ago before they expanded outside the US and were one of only 3 stores in Oz who were members.
    Brent was instrumental in getting us involved in the group and I can never thank him enough for doing that.
    It is safe to say that if we had not been in IPI and seen some of the services we could offer, plus being helped in how to offer those services, we would not be as successful as we are now.
    With the help of the IPI group AND ITS MEMBERS, we have continually achieved double digit increases in sales and triple digit increases in profit!
    The MSP has certainly helped us, but the interaction with other like minded retailers is what has really helped us grow.
    If you don’t want to be in it, then fine – go do your own thing and good luck figuring out what you can do and how you do it. They do not have the mortgage on good ideas! But if you are a time stressed small retailer always trying to work out what to do next, and what promotion do I run next, and how do I put it all together by tomorrow, then you will find IPI can really help you.
    If you are looking at where you can grow your business into new areas, then they can also help.
    As Tim has said, there are lots of ideas out there – the issue is getting the time to put them into practice and make them work. Some will find this easier than others!

    • Thanks for the comment Alan – as expected, I agree strongly. One thing that get’s lost sometimes is that IPI is a member organization. It is organized as a cooperative and the members contribute greatly to its success. Much of what is in the MSP has been battle tested by progressive dealers and is known to work because of that. It is a very different approach to the top-down concepts that have been tried in the past.
      I love the opportunity to talk about IPI and contentious discussion doesn’t bother us at all. We are all about the Independent dealer and value all opinions even when we politely disagree. Inside of IPI the discussions can be quite raucous. And finally, thanks to the Publisher of this trade press for providing a vehicle for good discussion.

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