|July 21 2005|
|For Immediate Release|
|Media Contact: Christopher Guerin, Director of Program Development, (800) 222-4700 ext. 1030|
|Sweetwater Spells Out “Welcome to Fort Wayne!” in Big Letters|
| Fort Wayne businessman Chuck Surack loves his hometown, and now he’s telling people in a big way. The normally reserved audio retailer has begun posting “Welcome to Fort Wayne!” billboards to greet visitors on behalf of Sweetwater, the company he heads.
The first of the “welcome” outdoor signs went up Thursday on southbound Interstate 69 between mileposts 124 and 123, on the north side of the city. A second “welcome” board will soon appear on U.S. Highway 30. Surack also plans to mark the dealer’s 27 years in business locally with additional billboards throughout Fort Wayne along with radio and newspaper promotions.
In that time Sweetwater has grown to more than 200 employees. The company is conducting a nationwide recruiting campaign to attract even more qualified salespeople to the job and the city. “Nearly 90% of our Sales Engineers move to Fort Wayne from some other part of the country, often from huge metropolitan areas like New York or Miami,” Surack explained. “We work hard to show them that this is a great place to live, work, and raise a family.” The Fort Wayne Business Journal recently named Sweetwater one of the region’s 50 “Best Places to Work.”
Music industry professionals often wonder why a company whose clients include the Dave Matthews Band, pop megastar John Mayer, jazz keyboard legend Herbie Hancock, and multiple Grammy Award-winning producer and recording engineer Bruce Swedien (who has worked with Michael Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, Duke Ellington, Barbra Streisand, and countless others) doesn’t relocate to a music industry center such as Nashville or Los Angeles. But Surack replies that operating in Fort Wayne is a solid choice for both business and personal reasons. “I grew up here, built my company here, and I’m proud of the town,” he said. “But it’s also a sound business decision. We can offer prospective employees a great quality of life, with good schools, cultural activities, and an attractive cost of living.”
Although the majority of Sweetwater’s retail business is conducted over the phone and via the Internet, one of its best-kept “secrets” is its local showroom and store, located at 5335 Bass Road. The store is completely stocked with recording gear, guitars, keyboards, amplifiers, and live sound equipment. The company also presents regular music and technology workshops that are free of charge to the public. Recent events have included a fingerstyle guitar seminar with the highly respected Taylor guitar company and a session focused on audio problems faced by worship leaders.
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