Magazine Article


Mike's Camera: Rocky Mountain Guys

Mike's Camera - Rocky Mountain Guys

Four Store Mid-West Chain Poised For Long, Successful Run

April 2001

Vahé Christianian graciously accepts PTN's DOY award on behalf of the entire Mike's Camera family.
- Photo courtesy of John Black

Photo Trade News has been handing out the Dealer of the Year award for 30 years now. The publication has always felt the honor was deserving of a retailer who went beyond just numbers when examining their contribution to the photo industry. There hasn't been one retailer on that 30 year-old list that epitomizes this more than the talented team responsible for the success of Mike's Camera in Colorado.

This magazine was proud to honor the chain (and the folks behind it) at our annual Dealer of the Year party at the Peabody Hotel during the recently completed PMA 2001 in Orlando, Fla.

The photographic industry spent the night honoring Mike's Camera and the Christianian family, who proudly stand behind this enormously successful 4-store chain of Colorado photo stores.

Among the guest speakers at the event honoring the Christianians were Photo Trade News' Publisher Aaron Altman; Cygnus Business Media President Rich Reiff; Mas Kobayashi, Canon's Assistant Director, Camera Division; Nikon's David Lee, VP Sales Division; Joe Diliberto, Kodak's VP and GM, Photo Specialty Channel; Mike Wilcox, Pentax Central Region manager; Noritsu's executive VP Joe Leach; Olympus' Director of Sales Jim DiCarlo and Ray Ohannes, PNY Consultant and photo industry veteran.

"Quite simply, Mike's Camera is the future of photo specialty," began Diliberto. "Each one of the Christianians brings a special talent to the mix that makes the chain the success it is."

That accolade was followed by DiCarlo's more-to-the-point statement: "Copy Mike's Camera and you'll be successful."

Imaging Industry Visionaries
It was actually an evening of accolades as all the speakers spoke of a chain that "does things right."

After meeting the folks behind the success of Mike's Camera, it's easy to see why this growing chain has become such a solid success story. Of the industry people that attended PMA 2001, you couldn't find anyone more focused or with a clearer view of the future than the Christianian family.

As the largest independent photographic dealer in Colorado, Mike's Camera has embraced the many changes the photo industry has undergone in the last decade and emerged a winner on many levels.

Superb locations, an endless array of quality, state-of-the-art product, uncompromising service, and a willingness to meet and exceed customer expectations are just a few of the things Mike's Camera has going for it.

"We base our business on three main concepts," explained Vahè Christianian. "Customer and community relations, a solid staff, top to bottom, and the development of strong relationships all the way down the line." It is a formula that has clearly worked to perfection.

The Christianian family is joined by Cygnus Business Media's senior staff and the sponsors of the evening's event.
- Photo courtesy of John Black

Opportunity Knocks
"My father, Kaloust Christianian, bought the business in 1980," Alex Christianian, the vice president of operations, said. "Although photography had always been a passion for him, he didn't go into the business as a way to indulge his hobby. Instead, he saw it as a great opportunity. It was very different from anything he'd done before in terms of the photographic industry."

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