AUGUST 15, 2010
VOLUME 27, NO.08


America The Beautiful


First ever M.I. video webcast
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ConventionTV@NAMM 2011
Music & Sound Awards

Table of Contents
Digital Issue Download

Class is in Session
We feature many of the new, hot companies that exhibited at NAMM in January.

Indictments Likely

Gibson Guitar is expected to face charges due to alleged illegal wood imports.

NRF Talks Jobs,
Jobs and More Jobs

The key to retailers' success for 2011 is, you guessed it, jobs. But a lot more was discussed at the 100th NRF Annual Convention.

It’s a Record!
We give you a huge review of last month’s NAMM show. Were retailers and manufacturers optimistic for the rest of this year?
MSR Exclusive Interview
Zildjian and Vic Firth have teamed up to form a percussion powerhouse. We met with Craigie Zildjian and Vic Firth at NAMM to give you all of the details about the merger.
Music Group's Master Plan
We get an exclusive look at the future of The Music Group, parent of Behringer, Bugera and more. We get an exclusive look at product launches, as well!

Knock it Off With the Knockoffs!
Counterfeit products are killing the MI industry. But one company is fighting back big time. We’ll tell you how badly knockoffs could affect the industry if left unchecked.

Music & Sound Award Nominees
We release the full list of nominees for Music & Sound Awards. See if your favorite product, person or company is nominated.

Taylor-Made For Europe
Taylor Guitars will sell all of its products directly to dealers in Europe beginning on Jan. 1. Find out why the big change was made and where Taylor’s European headquarters will be. We interview Brian Swerdfeger about it first.

We Cover it All!
For the second time, we honor instruments that get zero or little press...

A ‘Super’ Party on Kent Island
Experience PRS loaded up on celebrities, new products and much more. Get the full scoop...

‘Father of RMM’ Passes
Karl Bruhn, a tireless music industry devotee, mentored many and made awareness of health and wellness together a lifelong initiative.
Don’t ‘Skip’ this Story!
Skip’s Music Celebrates 30th Anniversary of its Special Event

I Just Wanna Bang
on the Drums All Day

Your One-Stop Shop For The Holidays!
Heathcare Provision Could
Be a Nightmare

America the Beautiful

Not Doubting Thomas
Mendello Retires, Thomas Named Fender CEO

Music City Myster

-The Latest, Industry, Dealers, People and Product Buzz and Showcases.

NAMM in Photos
A lot happened at NAMM in January to say the least. We capture plenty of it within our three-page NAMM photo collage.
The Music & Sound
Independent Retailer

We cover the sad passing of two prominent retailers and another named the "Citizen of the Year."
Music & Sound Award
Dealer Winners

Our list of dealer winners for the 25th Music & Sound Awards.
Music & Sound Award Manufacturer Winners
Our list of manufacturer winners. And, this time, we got them to provide comments on the victories.
Five Minutes With
Learn tons about Yamaha with Takuya (Tak) Nakata, president of the company's USA division.
MI Spy
Spy took a long flight from the cold of New York to the less cold, but quite windy, San Francisco.
Appraisal Scene Investigation
Rebecca Apodaca takes another look at the legendary guitar builder R.C. Allen.
Sales Guru
Unfortunately, Gene Fresco couldn't attend NAMM for health reasons. But he does have great information about a topic he hasn't covered before. He will help you get into your own head and make you believe. Believe what? Gene will tell you.
Business & Marketing
Carl Mandelbaum will present tips on how to develop your Web site.
Dan Vedda did attend NAMM. He has a lot of thoughts to share about the show.


Sharon Hennessey: Loves our industry, you will find out. She'll also tell you why she ultimately decided to join The Music People! And yes, she will definitely fill you in on her goals as a new NAMM board member.
Carla Alger: Being in the music industry is definitely the most exciting opportunity Carla Alger, chief financial officer at Two Old Hippies, has ever had. Find out why.
Dawn Werk
:Dawn Werk, Alpha Books’ director of marketing, heads a group that is responsible for 450 non-fiction books. Now that’s a lot! Music is a small, but very important, part of that catalog.
Sonia Vallis: Sonia Vallis might be an only child, but she grew up with a sibling that has now become like another child to her.-
Catherine Polk

Cyndi Fritz
Janet Deering
Kathy How
Sarah Heil
Sue Avant

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Kathy How
Director of Production, Rotosound
[August 2010 - Page 1]
Kathy How

Now here’s a story you don’t hear connected to MI every day.
A woman who grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, studied medicine and later moved to England. This person’s medical specialty was cattle and sheep.
That is the story of Rotosound’s Kathy How. “Your ideals tend to change,” she said. “I realized I
had taken the wrong career path. Running around fields chasing cows and sheep wasn’t very attractive.”
She moved to England when her ex-husband decided living in South Africa was too dangerous due to the unrest. After arriving in England, How answered an ad in a local newspaper and obtained a job at Rotosound in 1995. “The job was located right near where I lived,” How said. “I thought it would be fun to do something totally different. When I was interviewed, I was told how overqualified I was for the position. But I did not want to return to practicing medicine. It did not appeal to me at all because, in England, I would need to go back to school to study for three more years. I also wasn’t really looking for a career at that time. I was just looking for something to pass the time. I did want to learn more about Rotosound, though.”
“I started at Rotosound by doing a little of everything,” she continued. “I worked in the packing department. I dispatched orders. I spent time working on the machines that make strings. I was well rounded.”
How went from answering an ad in 1995 to being the person without whom Rotosound absolutely could not run. She greases the wheels to make sure everything on the factory floor gets done. How is the vital cog in the company’s engine. She runs Rotosound’s factory floor.
How went from looking for something to “pass to the time” to finding her career. Many times, things don’t happen the way we first intended. She married Rotosound Chairman Jason How in 2000. “Rotosound is a great company to work for,” said How. “Jason is absolutely passionate about the business. That passion has rubbed off on all of us. He’s the one who keeps us all focused.”

Leader of the Pack
A female director of production is definitely not common in MI. In fact, this is the first time we’ve interviewed someone who held that position in Formidable Females. So are there any challenges or benefits to being a female floor leader? “When I first took over running the factory floor, it was a bit tricky,” How said. “I don’t think a female has ever done that. There was a group of men taking instructions from a female. So I had to be strict. But I like to think I run the factory floor on a very fair basis. We have a great team. But that was a challenge at the beginning.”
How loved the challenge because it “keeps you on your toes. I knew I had to earn the employees’ respect. I had to prove I knew how to do a lot of the work they were doing. I had spent a lot of time on the factory floor.
“Another thing I do is I always thank employees for work they’ve done well,” How continued. “Over the course of time, employees realized I might be a female, but I knew what I was doing.”
How added she’s the only female director at Rotosound and joked that means she’s “quite pampered.” “I can get away with things I couldn’t get away with if I were a male,” she joked. “So, being a female has its perks.”

Ownership Has its Privileges
How is one of four people with an ownership stake in the company. She said the company operates very well because the other three owners do their separate jobs so well and “we try not to interfere with each other’s territory.” Other than supervising every aspect of the factory floor, How sees every order that comes into the factory, gets all of the packing accomplished and more.
When How doesn’t oversee the factory floor or check on the accuracy of Rotosound’s orders, she is the director of planting, watering and overseeing for a garden in her yard at home. “We have a beautiful garden,” How said. “It’s quite large. I love tending to it.”
So, if you ever need gardening tips, you know whom to seek out at the NAMM show.
How also loves to travel. “I’m lucky,” she said. “I have a son who lives in Australia and a son who lives in Ireland. I love visiting them.”

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