Our history goes back to a day when audio visual pertained to sound 16mm film, filmstrip, and slide projectors for use in educational and business markets. The business was started by Thomas W. Kirkpatrick, Sr. who was born, raised and graduated from high school in Jacksonville, Florida. In 1941 he entered the navy during WWII and decided to become a photographer. He attended the navy’s photographic school in Pensacola, Florida, and graduated third in his class. He was now an aerial photographer whose main task was to take photographs of enemy held islands in the Philippians. Back on the ground he was involved in many things like processing film from the day's shoot. Other jobs included operating film projectors, setting up stage lighting, microphones, amplifiers, music for the naval crew, and USO functions.
In 1947 Thomas returned home. He then applied for a GI Loan to help start his business. Because of his love for photography he opened Lake Forest Studio. He worked as a professional photographer shooting commercial, portrait, and wedding photography. In 1952 he married. Then in 1957 Thom and his wife expanded their business to K&W Audio Visual & Camera Company (The “K” stands for Kirkpatrick and “W” for wife). Thom was performing outside sales and delivery while his wife was handling inside sales and ordering. The company was now servicing educational, government, corporate and religious institutions.
In 1972 their two sons joined the family business and learned the skills to help the business prosper. These skills included photography, video production, audio visual sales, service, rentals, and delivery. The sons attended various schools to get their training in sales, installation, and repair services from the different manufactures they represented. Over time additional knowledge in electronics was provided to them by the company’s in-house repair service technicians. During this time K&W was responsible for the repair of audio visual equipment in the many counties they served.
In 1977 the company expanded their business once more by starting ABC School Materials. The store provides school supplies and materials for teachers, parents, and home school students. K&W became a corporation at this time. In 1984 Thomas Sr. retired passing on business operations to his wife and two sons.
In these times of corporations that come and go, it is our passion to strive harder to proudly maintain our place in this industry. Today we are still an innovative company that designs, installs, and services multimedia equipment from leading manufacturers. K&W is well known because of its lifelong customer relationships by providing reliable and immediate personal support before and after the sale.
K&W Audio Visual is proud to be affiliated with the following family-owned businesses:
ABC School Materials & Supplies, Inc.
A retail school supply and classroom material store for teachers, parents and home school students.
Lake Forest Studio
An experienced, professional company specializing in commercial and wedding photography.