Following the funeral services for Bill Mckinley, the much loved rep who passed away during CES, there will be a gathering at his home where industry members will be able to share memories.
Funeral Services For Bill McKinley
The funeral services are tentatively scheduled as follows:
Date/Time: Sunday 1/15/17 @ 12:00.
Location: Todd Memorial Chapel. 325 N. Indian Hill Blvd. Claremont, CA 91711
Following the funeral service, for those of you who would like to meet Shari and some of Bill’s family, and share your memories you had with Bill, Shari has extended an invitation to stop by their Rancho Cucamonga home. Bill spent the last 25+ years giving 100% to the industry and people he’s worked with. His family would love to hear more about that.
The Future of Paragon Sales & Marketing
Following spending some time with the McKinley family, I had a meeting with Bill’s wife Shari, Bill’s dad, and Cindy, Shari’s good friend and family CPA. We discussed Paragon, and they decided they wanted to see the company continue in honor of Bill, and I agreed. So, effective the morning of 1/9/17, I, Wayne Smedile, am now the Principal Representative for Paragon Sales & Marketing. I have spoken with each of the vendors and ALL of them intend to continue to support and doing business with Paragon. ALL of our vendors have extended the offer to help the McKinley family in any and every way possible. I couldn’t be more proud of the vendors we represent. I am including a written statement from Audio Control, Arc Audio, and ORCA Design (Focal, etc.) which these vendors united together to make the statement that they stand behind the McKinley family, Paragon Sales & Marketing, and myself, Wayne Smedile. Please take a moment to read through the attached letter.
Bill McKinley, the principal rep at Paragon Sales and Marketing passed away in his sleep during CES at the age of 51, triggering an outpouring of grief among industry members, who could be seen visibly mourning in the halls and corridors of the show.
At present, “natural causes” is cited as the cause of death.
McKinley was much loved as an honest, kind, straight shooter who was passionate about the industry. He started his career working for California Sound, Los Angeles. He then worked as a rep and then a regional sales manager at Clarion. Eventually he started Paragon Sales near Los Angeles where he represented key brands for 17 years until his passing this weekend. He was Arc Audio’s first manufacturer’s representative. AudioControl and Orca Design & Manufacturing were also key brands.
McKinley won many industry awards but he was humble and shunned the lime light. And yet he was a true businessman who was highly competitive.
“He was a real person, not a phony. He said what he meant and you could disagree with him, discuss it and argue, but he was always nice,” said Orca’s Duane Pilgrim. “All the dealers loved Bill. He understood them….He was family. We could discuss our life problems together. He’d help you and give you the shirt off his back.”
Retailer and long-time friend, Mike Stoeckmann said, “Bill happened to be one of the nicest guys. He tried to help everyone out. If you had a question, he’d get you an answer. He was just one of the best reps around and no one would argue with that I think,” said the owner of Tune Time in Redlands, CA.
Paragon Sales will continue under Wayne Smedile, who becomes the new principal. Smedile has served as a sale rep for Paragon for the past three years. He said of McKinley in business, “He just wanted to be the honest to God best.”
McKinley is survived by his wife Shari and three children. For information on funeral arrangements contact Smedile at [email protected]
Pictured above, Bill McKinley is second from the right. Shown here also from left to right is Chris Kane and Chris Bennett of AudioControl and Wayne Smedile of Paragon Sales.