Ford Montgomery Jr.
With Chelsea/ListenUp since 1975
Ford Montgomery Jr.
Let’s let Ford tell the story of Chelsea’s origins: “I was working for someone else who promised to let me buy into the business. I was 25 and stupid and would have paid all the money I earned for the next 25 years for one percent or something like that. But he stalled and stalled and finally said he wasn’t going to let me buy in. So… I told him to bug off, I’d start my own business. Being young and stupid, I didn’t know I couldn’t do it. Basically, I turned my avocation into my vocation. I went from being a major user of audio products to a major pusher of same. Turns out to have been good because my passion for the stuff has never died.
“I love this stuff. I’m a pusher and user of adult toys. They’re what got me into the business and it hasn’t really changed. These are the coolest high-tech toys and I get to play with them and talk to people about them every day. My doctor and lawyer friends are all retiring because they’re tired of sick people and angry people . I only see people who want to buy adult toys and they’re happy about it. Why would I stop doing this?”
Ford Montgomery III
Employee since 2002
Ford Montgomery III
You’ve got to figure that Ford Montgomery III was a pretty popular kid in high school. He was a three-sport athlete (basketball, soccer and golf) and, as the son of Chelsea owner Ford Montgomery Jr., the A/V system in his home was the perfect party machine. “We always had a 50 or 60-inch rear projection TV and our B&W 803 speakers really rocked. We had a lot of fun cranking them up when our parents were gone,” admits Ford III, now that he’s too old to be grounded.
After graduating from UO, where he was on the golf team, Ford III came to work for Chelsea full-time. He started out working in the warehouse before becoming a salesman, so he has learned the business from the ground up. “With all the performance and features of today’s equipment, I really enjoy designing systems. Plus, we have a great group of people here — everyone works together very well.”
Employee since 1996
Originally from a small farming community in eastern Washington, Kyle Grimm moved to Oregon to start college in 1996. With the exception of a two-year hiatus to Anchorage, Alaska to be with his new wife who was in the Air Force, he has been in Oregon and with Chelsea the whole time.
He gives credit for his love of Hi-Fi to his best friend in high school, who saved up for a year and bought a pair of Vandersteen speakers. "That introduced me to what was possible in terms of reproducing music as accurately as possible," says Kyle, "and I have been hooked ever since.
"I love Chelsea because we have a perfect combination of excellent products, but more importantly, exceptional customer service... I am especially excited about a project I am working on in Anacortes, Washington where longtime clients of mine are building a home that will feature a dedicated home theater with a Meridian digital theater, a dedicated two-channel music room, and the whole house will be controlled with a state-of-the-art Control4 automation system. The home and the products in it will be spectacular!"
When Kyle is not at the store, answering emails, or on the phone with clients, you can find him with his wife and three kids hiking in the Gorge or playing at the beach.
Employee since 1977
Back in the 1970s, Midwesterner Peder Moluf packed up his bell-bottoms and came west to study electrical engineering at Oregon State University. His tenure at Chelsea began in 1977 as a service support person, and over the years he’s been instrumental in the expansion of Chelsea’s capabilities – in fact, he helped develop the whole custom installation department.
Today, as our in-house technology guru, every proposal the company does is subject to Peder’s watchful eye before it goes out the door, because we want to make sure all the technical specifications are done right the first time.
“It’s all about taming the technology so the customer experience can be more enjoyable,” he says. “These days just about every piece in a system is essentially a mini-computer, and making them all interface properly is an exciting challenge. One of the reasons I like working at Chelsea is that we all have a heartfelt desire to make everything work perfectly for our clients.” Spoken like a true guru.
Employee since 1992
Portland native Brenda Huber came to us as a receptionist at the tender age of 20 – this is only the second company she’s ever worked for – and she’s been moving up the ranks ever since. She is our jack of all trades, handling inventory management in addition to being responsible for accounts receivable and payable, scheduling installers, and now project management. Thank goodness she has a laser-like eye for detail, or we’d be in trouble.
“I love that our customers are buying fun products that enhance their lifestyle,” she says. “Buying home audio/video products is so much more enjoyable than shopping for refrigerators... Our customers have an excitement and energy around their projects that is really contagious. I like the company culture at Chelsea, too, as we really are like a family and work together as a team.”
A couple years ago Brenda returned to school to obtain her Accounting Degree, and she hopes to use her new skills at Chelsea.
Employee since 1997
Jeff Kinnaman is our Installation Manager and leads a skilled team of technicians who install your new gear perfectly and leave your house as clean as it was when they got there. He’s like the tooth fairy… he does what he came for, leaves, and you can barely tell he’s been there.
In 1997, Beaverton native Jeff was an avid car audio hobbyist, happily toiling for hour after hour to create his own mobile Temple of Boom. A buddy told him that Chelsea had an opening for a home-system installer, and Jeff figured that would be the perfect gig to broaden his electronic horizons.
A lot has changed in his years here. Back in ’97 DVD was the new kid on the block, HDTV was not yet ready for primetime, and Jeff mostly worked on fairly simple whole-house sound systems and home theaters with those humungous rear-projection TVs. Today, he installs a lot of wall-mounted flat-panel TVs and complex whole-house systems that feature distributed audio and video.
Employee since 2013
Scott Mason has been involved in retail sales since he was 16 years old, and started selling A/V equipment at Circuit City when I was 18. Over the years he has worked for many different companies, most recently Sony Electronics as a retail manager in their since-retired location in Washington Square Mall.
“Working at Circuit City and the Sony Store,” says Scott, “we focused primarily on retail sales where we would hand someone a few items and I would usually never see them again. At Chelsea, the experience with customers has been very different because we do so many custom installation projects you have to be in constant contact with the clients to make sure their expectations are being met. Our process of uncovering clients’ needs and coming up with a solution that will delight them is fresh and exciting every time! I like being able to build relationships with people and create solutions that make their daily lives easier, and hopefully more enjoyable.
Born and raised in Vancouver, WA, Scott still lives there with his wife Melissa and their two young kids, Cassidy and Tucker. Outside of work he loves to spend time with his family, play tennis and watch the Portland Trail Blazers. And, of course, tinker with his own A/V system!
Employee since 2014
Mark was raised in Utah along with his two brothers and three sisters in a very artistic environment. His father was an audio engineer who worked at Control4 as a lighting engineer for a while, and his mother is a stained glass artist and oil painter, and very passionate about music, as well. Mark played the bass guitar growing up and his passion for music inspired him and his brothers to start a band.
Mark started working at Magnolia home theater in 2010 in Utah where he got to learn quite a bit about the audio video industry and all of the cool equipment on the market. He transferred to a Magnolia location when he moved to Portland in 2013, and then came on board with Chelsea in 2014.
In his spare time Mark and his band have been recording an album that is almost complete! “From recording in the studio to replicating the event in your home, I just can't get enough music,” he says. “I am gear obsessed and am constantly daydreaming about the perfect system that is invisible and allows the music to be felt as if the artist were in the room with you."