LOUD Technologies CEO Mark Graham Has Always Had A Vision For Sound
NAME: Mark Graham
COMPANY: LOUD Technologies
OVERTIME: Graham’s career began with the pro audio dealership he owned in the 1980s. After a stint in the military, Graham joined Crown International, where he would serve as president. Recently, Graham took on the title of CEO for LOUD Technologies.
SCN: Were you tech-savvy from a young age?
Mark Graham: I’ve always been a gadget guy, but my love of sound gear comes from my love of music. My dad is a big music buff and I grew up playing with his passed-down stereo gear. Later, I took up the piano and guitar and ended up in bands, but at some point I realized I was better at working the sound system than performing the music.
SCN: You have a degree in electrical engineering. What new challenges are today’s electrical engineers encountering in the field compared to those who studied the science a generation ago?
MG: I think the rate of change in technology is the biggest difference for today’s engineers. Surprisingly to me, the pace of change in the evolution of technologies seems to be endlessly increasing and this puts pressure on engineers and their companies to keep up. But it’s also exciting, as these new technologies continue to increase, it also increases the range of tools available to us to help deliver innovative new solutions to our customers.
SCN: What led you to the AV industry?
MG: I have always had a passion for pro audio gear. I began years ago running sound for the garage band I was in. Then I worked as sound tech for the local community college. Later I somehow managed to borrow enough money to set up a retail pro audio dealership, which then evolved to also take on consulting and contracting.
LOUD Technologies’ CEO Mark Graham visits a school in Uganda.
SCN: You recently took on the title of CEO for LOUD Technologies. What is your vision for successful management of a multi-brand company?
MG: This goes to the heart of one of the big attractions that LOUD had for me. I’m a huge fan of the LOUD brands: EA W, Martin Audio, Mackie, and Ampeg. Each brand has its own identity and brings a unique value to our industry. My vision is to enable these brands to flourish by encouraging them to passionately pursue what they are great at. My challenge is to give our brand leaders even more runway to deliver truly innovative products and services to our customers, while ensuring we operate each brand as a profitable business.
SCN: What is the manufacturer’s role in identifying the real-world obstacles faced by commercial AV customers and helping them to grow their business?
MG: First and foremost, our role as a manufacturer is to listen to consultants, rental companies, contractors, dealers, and integrators to understand their pressing business needs. We then need to partner with these customers and apply our technologies and competencies in creative ways to develop products and services that meet those needs. I think the biggest missing piece, however, and a huge opportunity for LOUD , is to go one step further and develop products that solve customer problems in ways they never thought possible, and perhaps even address a few issues they never thought of. That’s where the fun is, and what will take LOUD , our customers, and the industry, to entirely new levels.