My First Job

By Hannah Wallace October 31, 2004

Andrew Guenther is founder and president of Advanced Audio Design, designer and installer of home theaters and automated audio, video and lighting systems for high-end residences throughout Southwest Florida.

I moved to Manasota Key in 1976 between 8th and 9th grade. That following summer I got a construction job with the company that built Lemon Bay High School. I lay the footers and put in the rebars for the school. Then the next summer I worked for a seawall company that put in concrete seawalls down in Placida. I stood in the canals up to my shoulders in water holding a fire hose with an eight-foot-long metal pipe on it. A crane would lower the concrete slabs into the water and I'd wave the pipe around to blow the dirt out of the way. It was hot and hard work, and I probably made $3 an hour, but it was good for you.

Then in 1979 when I was 16 going on 17, I moved out of my house and up to Sarasota, borrowed $5,000 from my dad and started a home security system company called Advanced Security. I'd always been a gadget guy and I guess I had courage-or naivete. I bought inventory and just started selling, and when I'd get deposits on systems I'd buy more inventory. It kept growing and growing, and in the mid-'80s I sold off the security part of the business and evolved into Advanced Audio Design.

From my early construction jobs, I learned that I didn't want to dig ditches or stand in the water up to my shoulders all my life. But it didn't hurt me.





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