Schooled in Going Public

SCN: What does your day-to-day job entail?
John Gott: I oversee all the corporate functions of the company. I work with engineering on new products. I work with the marketing department on getting those products out and I work with the sales team helping them strategize market areas. I have a lot of personal contact with export distributors and our export salesmen.

I also have to oversee all the corporate functions of being a publicly traded company. That has a lot to do with SEC regulations and working with investor relations firms and consultants that we hired and talking with different fund managers on Wall Street and telling them our story.

How does that compare with how things started for you?

Being a private company for 28 years, it was different. Especially with the way the stock market is now and the way the whole public market has been since 2000.
We went public in May of 2001 which was probably the worst time, just prior to 9-11.

It's challenging being a publicly traded company here in the Midwest. There are very few in our area. We don't have the access locally to the market. We're a bulletin board stock right now, it's a different climate. We're hoping to move to the NASDAQ by Fall.

How would that change things for you?

It gets the investment side of the company to a whole broader base group of investors, then our story could be told through the normal investment community. Whereas now being a bulletin board stock it's considered the penny stock, speculative type business. We're not.

The technology is new that we've developed but the structure of the company and the basis of the company has been in existence for 30-plus years. We just went into a new direction over the last several years in developing a new technology.

Do you get much feedback from contractors and integrators?

Our sales team does. We have a strong rep base with 10 national rep firms across the country, a national sales manager and a technical communications director and those guys work directly with the integrators.

I know the response to the product is phenomenal. Our growth is incredible right now. We're doubling sales quarterly right now. It's a huge growth and the acceptance of what we've done and what our products can do is becoming evident.

Can you elaborate on your background?

I opened a small one-man retail music equipment store in 1972. It was started as a part-time thing while I was at college and evolved into a pretty successful business with three locations because I franchised two other locations to friends of mine. We had three retail operations selling guitars and amplifiers and drums and the early PA speakers.

We now have seven different product lines right now that cover the gamut of speaker systems: professional, touring and installation. The studios, the design series for install, commercial ceiling and inwall speakers; a series for home theater and a series for big box retailers, for home theater in a box. And now we've got a cinema line as well as headphone technology.