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Made in Oklahoma: Cousins carry on Cory's AV business

60-year-old family firm rents, sells audiovisual equipment.
by Paula Burkes Modified: January 30, 2013 at 5:48 pm •  Published: January 31, 2013

Several years ago, a few days before Easter, an administrator of a local church called Cory's Audio Visual Services in a panic. The church's new sound system wasn't working, and the company that sold it to the church wasn't answering the phone.

Within four hours that afternoon, Cory's technicians had the system up and running, and the church since has been a loyal customer.

It's the kind of story in which Cory Chief Executive Brad Poarch revels.

“Our company very much is relationship-based,” Poarch said. “We stand behind what we do and, if there's a problem, we're there.”

Cory's leases projectors, screens, lighting and other AV equipment to churches; schools, including the University of Central Oklahoma and Oklahoma City University; and other businesses and organizations hosting commencements, conferences and events.

But equipment rental is only half its business. Fifty percent of the company's revenues are from selling, installing and training on AV equipment, from $3,000 to half-million-dollar systems, for Devon Energy, Continental Resources, OGE Energy Corp. and others.

Said Chief Operating Officer John Cory, who custom designs corporate systems, “As equipment becomes cheaper and cheaper, many would rather buy than rent it three or five times a year.”

Poarch, 34, and Cory, 33, are cousins who bought the business in February of last year. Their grandfather, the late Joseph F. Cory, in 1953 founded the firm that was carried on by his son and John Cory's father, Joseph A. Cory.

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by Paula Burkes
A 1981 journalism graduate of Oklahoma State University, Paula Burkes has more than 30 years experience writing and editing award-winning material for newspapers and healthcare, educational and telecommunications institutions in Tulsa, Oklahoma...
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Established: December 1953.

Services: Audiovisual equipment rentals and sales/installation/training.


Address: 8,000 square feet at 2014 S Nicklas Ave., Oklahoma City, and a small satellite office in Tulsa.

Key personnel: Cousins and co-owners Brad Poarch, chief executive officer, and John Cory, chief operating officer.

Number of employees: 30 full-time workers and from five to 20 part-time workers.


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