It takes a strong captain to steer a ship, and that’s what Remo’s marketing department has in Sue Kincade. Since joining the company seven and a-half years ago, her position has grown from “almost a job that didn’t exist” to being at the helm of a 15-person crew. And at the helm is just where she likes it.
“I think coordinator is the key word [in my title], because I am the project manager for anything and everything that goes through the marketing department,” said Kincade. “Now I might not actually do it, but I make sure it gets done right.”
That’s despite the fact that Kincade came to the position with a background in graphic design. “I’m happy to leave the graphic design behind because I feel I’m much better in directing than doing. I know what it should look like but most of the time could not execute it myself,” she said.
Instead, Kincade focuses on her staff. “I work with them on a one-to-one basis most of the time. I work with one person differently than I work with another person because of personalities, but it all works,” she said. “I think we have a great group of people—many different personalities but we click very well.”
Even though only two members of her marketing team are female, Kincade doesn’t feel gender plays much of a role in her professional life. “I look around in the music industry and I see so many women in prominent positions—Zildjian, Regal Tip, Vic Firth, NAMM, Roland. There are many successful women in this industry. As for me personally,” she continued, “as long as you have the knowledge and you present yourself well, I find that there is no difference.”
Drum Up Support
Though Kincade had taken some piano and guitar lessons in her youth, it was only once she joined Remo that she became more involved in playing music. That can be attributed to the company’s close association with the Recreational Music Making movement.
“The Recreational Music drum circles are a lot of fun. I’m not good at it, but I do it and have fun,” Kincade said with a laugh. “I don’t do it as often as I should because it’s about a 35-minute drive to our Recreational Music Center from my home. I dread the drive,” she continued, “but I make it down there and halfway through I’m saying, ‘I’ve got to do this more often’ because there’s a euphoria you walk out of that place with. It gets your endorphins going. Whenever you’re stressed out, just drum a little bit because it really does reduce stress. I’m not sure if it’s the hitting or the rhythm.” [Laughs]
Kincade is living proof of what Remo Belli has been telling the music industry for years—“that he knows drumming is actually a healthy activity,” she said. “He’s had many research projects started to prove that.
“So because Remo has this passion to get a drum in everyone’s hands, the whole company has that passion,” added Kincade. “Eventually we want to have everyone; everyone have a drum. Everyone has rhythm; everyone can keep a beat, so therefore everyone can drum.”
It’s a Giving Thing
Having Belli’s passion trickle down throughout the company is nothing new, as Kincade points to him as a positive influence in all of Remo’s day-to-day activities.
“Remo Belli himself is such a wonderful person that I think he sets the tone of everyone getting along with everyone,” said Kincade, who describes the company as “very family-oriented” “[Belli] is really wonderful, and he’s very caring for us. I mean, we put out donuts one morning and he walked by and said, ‘hmmm,’ and then he brought in some fruit the next day.”
That giving spirit is something Kincade enjoys about the company and takes particular pride in putting into practice. As an example, she points to a program she helped coordinate from start to finish that brought the art of world percussion to inner-city youth.
“It was a program called Drum Days L.A. where we asked some of our artists to go to…five recreational centers in the center of L.A. and [give] a five-week lesson in their particular genre to these kids who would not have ever even picked up a drum before and never had the opportunity to learn the music.”
When the lessons concluded, Kincade said, “We actually had three concerts at different parks in the inner city where we had these kids come up on stage and play for their community along with the person who taught them. We really got nothing out of it except exposure, and the good feeling of being able to bring drumming to the kids of the inner city.”
Looking ahead to the future, Kincade feels that her “passion is what I’m doing now…if I can just do everything better, take on more responsibilities in helping the company, I think that would be great.” And part of where she’d like her job to grow is in conveying more of Remo’s giving spirit to its market, not just in terms of Recreational Music Making, but also in terms of how Remo supports its country and its planet.
“I think at this time, the country, if not the whole world, is more environmentally conscious,” she said, adding that the company has won the WRAP award, which stands for the Waste Recycling Award Program, for the past nine years. “We also pride ourselves on making most of our products in the U.S.A…because we feel that we need to support our country. That’s what we’re striving for, to be environmentally conscious and keep our products made in the U.S.A. I’d like to see everyone headed in that direction.”
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