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60 Seconds: Darrell Vasquez, Celestion

Get to know Darrell Vasquez, business development executive for North America at Celestion.

What is your new position, and what does it entail?

My new position is business development executive for North America. This involves seeking new growth opportunities for the company, in particular the retail distribution channel. Since its founding in 1924, Celestion has become one of the world’s largest suppliers of premium professional loudspeaker drivers, but what is perhaps less well known is how wide a range of pro audio speakers the company offers for sound reinforcement applications. The greater challenge for me is to grow this side of the retail business.

How has your background prepared you for your new role?

For the past 20 years I’ve worked in both the professional and consumer audio industries, which has given me a broader perspective about how they function independently and also how both worlds can overlap. I have unique experience because of my involvement in both the technical side—beta-testing products and working directly with engineers—and the sales and marketing side, with event planning, networking and creating sales initiatives. With an education in recording engineering from the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences in Arizona and through involvement in various aspects of music production, I have learned a lot about how to listen to speakers and am able to describe sounds to technical and non-technical groups. My time in retail has given me great insight into how this sales channel works, as well as what customers expect from their products.

Related: Innovations: Celestion CDX14-3040 Compression Driver, by Paul Cork, June 26, 2018

What are your short- and long-term goals?

It’s essential for us to always stay on top of industry trends by listening to feedback from our partners and consumers. The expansion into digital downloads is a perfect example of this; we’re keeping an eye on the future and the way our customers work. That said, Celestion will always remember its roots and will continue to offer the classic speakers that our customers expect; there will always be great guitar tone and classic guitar speakers. Just as important to me, though, is to establish the Celestion brand and reputation—within distribution channels—as a pro audio speaker supplier, ensuring we’ll continue to offer retailers innovative loudspeaker transducers for sound reinforcement, all with Celestion’s rock-solid reliability.

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What is the greatest challenge you face?

As the Celestion brand is very well established, some customers may feel they already have an idea of what to expect from our products, predominantly the MI products, and are content with what the company has to offer. But Celestion is incredibly innovative and will continue to develop new products, particularly in the professional audio sphere, delivering the same high quality and reliability we’re already well known for. Raising awareness of the latest innovations, while still respecting the fact that customers are happy with classic Celestion guitar products, requires a balanced approach to spreading the word.

Celestion •