In 1964, at the age of 12, Ann Spector Lieff started her career in the music business. Her father, Martin Spector, was selling records in the music store he founded in Miami, Florida called Spec’s Music and two decades later he would hand the reins over to his youngest daughter.
Born and raised in Miami, Lieff grew up working in the stores throughout middle school and high school and then after graduating from the University of Denver in 1974, Lieff moved back to Miami and began working full-time at the Spec’s store in Hialeah, Florida. Over the next several years her responsibilities expanded as she moved up the ranks to store manager, buyer and merchandiser, president and then ultimately Chief Executive Officer.
In 1985 Lieff was integral in taking the family business public and its stock was traded on NASDAQ under the symbol SPEK. After going public the company expanded to over 80 stores in Florida and Puerto Rico. In 1998 the company merged with Camelot Music. Soon after, Camelot merged with Transworld Entertainment making Spec’s part of a 1,000-store chain at the time.
During her years as the CEO of Spec’s Music, Lieff initiated innovative marketing concepts that rewarded customers and increased customer-based loyalty. Her vast knowledge of the music retail industry led to operating the first successful mega-store concept in South Florida, showcasing both developing and established artists through marketing strategies like SoBe Music Fest and having a strong understanding of the growing Latin music industry. Through it all her philosophy remained the same – create an atmosphere where the customer comes first.
In 1998 Lieff founded The Lieff Company which has allowed her to take the many experiences and lessons learned at Spec’s and share the knowledge with other business owners. What originally began as a retail-consulting firm has evolved into a business-consulting firm. Since 1998, Lieff has been appointed to seven boards and has been involved in three sales and two mergers. Her expertise continues to provide presidents of other companies with a different perspective and she has been an advisor in areas such as business practices, growth strategies, new business opportunities and personnel.