New York-based McCann Systems names ’96 Waldorf graduate new director of operations
On a busy Wednesday morning, Cory Crawford ’96 sits in his plush New York office and looks back at the time he attended Waldorf College, a period that changed his life 360-degrees.
Crawford, who always wanted to be a broadcast sports reporter, realized his love for audiovisual production when he flew to London as part of a Waldorf program and interned with the British Airways.
“It was a great experience for a farm boy from Iowa,” said Crawford, noting the college taught him a lot about what happens behind the scenes. After he returned home from producing safety videos for the airlines, he knew he had a career waiting in the business of AVs.
Today, Crawford works with McCann Systems, an audio video design-build company based in New York, where he was recently promoted to the director of operations.
“The promotion was unexpected – it wasn’t something I had asked for, it was kind of an opportunity given to me,” he said.
The company delivers audiovisual communication solutions for companies worldwide. Some of the clients include, CNN Communication Center, Elizabeth Arden, NHL, Nintendo World and JP Morgan Chase Manhattan Bank.
Crawford landed a job with McCann six years ago as an account executive and worked on high profile clients such as Yankees.
“I always worked in education, it was nice. But at the same time, the real opportunities were in the commercial world, so I thought let’s go after the Yankees,” said Crawford who bagged a $2 million project with the New York baseball team to design the audiovisual system of their stadium.
His tryst with the Big Apple began 14 years ago when Crawford interviewed with Safari Technology and was later offered the position of a project manager at the City University of New York. Crawford shocked his friends and family by packing his bags and leaving on an airplane to the New York. He has continued to live in the city ever since.
A native of Hampton, IA., Crawford loves his work at McCann. Another big client under his supervision is NASDAQ. “One of the greatest things about my job is that the customers seem to become good friends,” said Crawford.
The 35-year-old, who first graduated from Waldorf with an associate’s degree in 1995 and later with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications in 1996, had started preparing for the real world way before he finished school.
During his three-year program at Waldorf, he rigorously prepared for his career by grabbing every opportunity that came his way. With his adviser, Mark Newcom’s guidance and direction, he interned with a video production company, MidVid in Minneapolis, KIMT in Mason City and left for London a few months later. Upon his return, he got another internship with Loviel Technology, the company that designed and installed equipment in the Waldorf multimedia lab. Crawford’s first job after graduating was with Loviel through which he traveled across the west coast.
At his first New York job, Safari Technology, his position entailed designing and selling video distribution systems in the education industry. Within a year, he was promoted to the position of sales manager for the northeast region and by the time he quit the company in 2004, he was in-charge of the whole east coast region.
“It was fun for a while. Then I set out to have a family, got married in 2003 and in 2004 I started my own company,” said Crawford. At his company, Digital Lynks, he was a small integrator, with five employees, carrying out small projects for public schools in the New York and New Jersey area.
The communication classes and the multimedia lab are not the only memories Crawford has of his time at Waldorf. He fondly remembers hanging out at Gatsby’s and spending good times with friends from his hometown in residence halls.
“I look at my career, I am right where I wanted to be,” said Crawford. “Someday, I think of going back to Iowa, teach at Waldorf and have a lot of valid experience to help students learn.”
He advises Waldorf’s communication students to spread their wings in different directions and not follow a strict discipline.He also emphasizes the importance of real-time experience. “Nobody wants to hire people who don’t have experience,” he said. “Get as much real world experience, even work while you’re at school.”