You may not be surprised to learn that before Exponation, LLC, producer of Digital Signage Expo (DSE), LED Specifier Summit, Lightshow West, DigitalSignageConnection.com and West Coast Lighting Insider filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy before disappearing, leaving behind debts of USD 2.8 Million, it managed to get a fair bit of money out of the company to friends and family.
In the 90 days leading up to the liquidation of all assets and permanent closure of the company…
- Owner, Angelone Varrone paid himself a total of $42,059.99, the last payment made just three days before Chapter 7, on September 18, 2020.
- Karen Varrone, apparently a consultant to the company as well as being Angelone’s second wife, was paid $13,300, the last of these payments made on September 15, 2020, a week before Chapter 7.
- Their long term PR agency partner Geri Wolf was paid a total of $8,400, the last payment made on September 5, 2020.
- rAVePubs was paid USD 12,000 in the middle of August, 2020
Despite Exponation LLC’s apparent financial woes this year, it didn’t stop three of the registered owner / shareholders in taking out some big sums in 2020…
- Angelo Varrone took a 2020 salary of $228,511.20 (slightly down from the previous year which saw a salary of $357,304.06 and a distribution of $349,608.00
- Chris Gibbs took a 2020 salary of $207,666.56 (in 2019 he took home a salary of $349,608.00 and a distribution of $136,800.00)
- Danielle Gibbs took a 2020 salary of $32,300.00 (in 2019 she took home a salary of $54,800.00 and a distribution of $136,800.00).
As always, the losers are the exhibitors, both large and small and those companies and individuals who purchased conference or attendee passes. This is not a small sum either, Exponation LLC left the digital signage industry out of pocket to the tune of two million dollars (some of the money owing was to banks, hotels and real estate companies).