The History of VMI
In 1973, VMI, Inc.’s founder Dick Dorsa purchased an Akai reel-to-reel video camera and fell in love with the technology. He soon began selling the cameras out of his apartment under the name Videomedia.
In 1975, Videomedia was officially incorporated in Northern California as Dick brought on business partners to increase Videomedia’s capabilities, which meant adding manufacturing and sales staff. Manufactured products for Videomedia included the Z-6, the Eagle, the Mickey and the V-lan series of products.
The Bay Area Rental & Production Department was started in the in the 1980’s to help further video production and projection. It was also at this time that our current loaner program kicked off. As in most cases, time is money, and having a piece of production or AV equipment go down for repair or having to wait for newly ordered product cost our customers money, and at that time a camera could cost as much as a house, which was unacceptable to Dick. So he started the Customer Loaner Program, which entitles customers that purchase their equipment from us to a free loaner from our rental stock if their equipment goes down, is unavailable due to backorder, or is in for repair on products purchased from us. It was also shortly after this program, that the need for an in-house Service Department became essential to expediting customer repairs for in-warranty and out-of-warranty products.
In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s Dick added a Design & Installation Department for production and AV solutions. It was also during these decades that, he started buying out his business partners and grew Videomedia from only covering Production & AV Solutions in the San Francisco Bay Area to the entire West Coast. In early 2001, he finished buying out his last partners, took over the dealer engine – which he renamed us VMI, Inc. He grew it from a single product to a full-service company on the West Coast, offering a wide range of broadcast, production, streaming, presentation, collaboration, and digital signage solutions.
In 2013, we lost our fearless leader suddenly. While it was a time of adjustment, the passion he had for our industry is ever present in everyone who works here, as they share the same passions for production and AV technologies.
As our founder, my father, Dick Dorsa often said “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” I feel this way when I come to work, and feel that it is evident by the passion displayed throughout our team.
Our history is as exciting as our future, and the technological advancements that put us where we are today, with Digital Signage and Collaborative Solutions, to HDR and 4K, not only excite, but inspire us to push the limits of creative Audio-Visual and Broadcast solutions each and every day.
VP & Co-owner