After nearly 46 years of service with HB Communications, Inc., Bob Anderson retired April 1, 2012.
“If I hadn’t had a reliable partner like Bob, HB wouldn’t have become the success it is. Bob understood me and I understood him. We got along by playing off each others’ talents,” said Mackey Barron, president and founder of HB Communications.
Anderson joined HB Motion Pictures in 1966 when Barron initially hired him to work in the warehouse. There were less than 15 people working out of the 2,500 sq. foot office on Audio Lane in New Haven, CT. In this small company, everyone shared job responsibilities and Anderson advanced quickly. Soon he was responsible for the service and rental departments, as well as coordinating delivery drivers.
Anderson noted, “People were motivated, they had good direction and wanted to help the company grow with new advances in technology. Everyone did double duty and multi-tasked which played a role in HB’s success. Having the opportunity to learn from the ground up gave me a deep understanding of all aspects of the business and company operations.”
By the early 1980s, HB was becoming more involved in Fortune 500 companies. As vice president of sales, one of Anderson’s accomplishments was signing up with Sony as a broadcast dealer, which solidified HB’s presence in the broadcast market. As the company grew, so did the need for space, and Anderson was tasked with finding new offices. Still needing to keep a large manufacturer inventory and increase the space for integration, he found a 25,000 sf property at 15 Corporate Drive in North Haven, CT. He was also responsible for locating a site for the new HB division in Boston, MA.
The rental department was also booming as customers looked to rental options instead of expensive equipment purchases. In 1988, Anderson helped found HB Group, Inc. as its own entity. HB Group provides AV solutions to improve live events by enhancing audience engagement through the use of video, sound, and lighting, with the best technical staff in the industry.
In the 1990s, LCD projectors, CRT video projectors and computer integration systems were now HB’s main business, being sold to educational systems and industries. In 1999, the company found a new office space with over 90,000 sf at 60 Dodge Avenue, North Haven, CT to hold both companies and employ over 300 people.
Through the years, Anderson was responsible for hiring many of HB’s key employees, department directors and management team, most still employed with the company.
Retirement plans for Anderson include dividing his time between his homes in Connecticut and Vermont. An avid outdoors man and equestrian, he plans to go on many adventures with his horse Ready and spend more time with his wife, children and three grandchildren.