The Pro AV industry is loaded with talented people, and at SCN, we're proud to celebrate the achievements of the newest members of our Hall of Fame.
Growing up, Chris Jordan didn’t really view audio as a career but more of a way of life. His father ran his own business installing home stereo systems across Fort Worth, TX, and Jordan would travel and work alongside him. After struggling to find his place in high school, and realizing he was not college material, Jordan continued to work with his father until a near-death experience helped him realize his true calling.
[SCN Hall of Fame 2023: Fred D'Alessandro] (opens in new tab)
A skydiving accident left Chris Jordan questioning his purpose and existence. He found solace at his local church. While attending services, he realized the importance of audio within houses of worship—and found a way to serve God and support churches at the same time.
Jordan immediately purchased textbooks on sound engineering and acoustics and took to studying. With the support of his wife, Sue, a former valedictorian who helped keep him on track with his studies, he began to pound the pavement and meet with local architects working on new houses of worship. He found that many didn’t have a plan for the acoustics—leaving that up to the client to deal with—and he was able to gain their trust to become their audio service provider.
From there, one reference led to another and before he knew it, Electro Acoustics was born. Founded in 1984, the company started out with audio but eventually expanded its services to offer video and professional lighting as well. Jordan said their big break came when they were selected to install the sound system for the Texas Rangers ballpark in Arlington. At the time, it was the largest computer-controlled sound system, and the project put them on the map within the pro audio space.
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That project led to the company's involvement with other high-profile venues throughout the region, including Bass Performance Hall and, more recently, Dickies Arena. “We developed a reputation for doing world-class, difficult projects. We had a knack for that,” said Jordan. “I never get tired of seeing that look of excitement on a client’s face.”
Time and time again, the family had to put everything they owned on the line for the growth of the business, and Jordan said his wife was always a major source of encouragement. “She would always come in and bail me out when I tried to bankrupt the company,” Jordan joked. “She believed in me from the very beginning, and it has really been a great partnership.”
At its heart, Electro Acoustics is, and will always be, a family business. Jordan never pushed for his two sons, Luke and Sam, to be involved with the business, but the business couldn’t help but be a part of their upbringing. “They grew up with an attitude of grit, working hard, character matters, and do what you say,” said Jordan. “That was a big deal for our family. We were always talking about those things.”
Luke, having experienced the Texas Rangers install at the age of six, was completely blown away by that experience and the transformative power of technology. “It’s the only thing he has ever wanted to do,” Jordan recalled. Sam left home to earn his law degree and serve in the Air Force, eventually returning home to complete his MBA and team up with Luke to lead the family business into the future.
[SCN Hall of Fame: Bob Marcus] (opens in new tab)
This past year, Luke and Sam finished purchasing the business from their parents, a process that was started five years ago, and each have excelled in leading different areas of the company. Jordan feels he couldn’t have found a better team to take Electro Acoustics into the future and truly couldn’t be prouder. “There is the phrase, you want to raise your children like they would run your business for you," he noted. “In our case, it turned out to be true.”
As for his future plans, Jordan plans to continue to assist on business development, eventually widening his scope to focus more on community involvement. As he watches the next generation ascend within the industry, like his sons, he is reminded of the advice he committed to and followed earlier in his career.
“Don’t follow everyone else," he said. "Learn your craft, learn those fundamentals, learn what’s really behind what you do, and then make sure to understand it better than everyone else. Be a lifelong learner and continuously go after it.”