60 Seconds: Rick Plushner, Ocean Way Audio

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

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A: President, Ocean Way Audio (OWA). I am responsible for guiding the overall direction of the company, building the brand, launching new products, growing and managing the dealer sales force, and overseeing complex design and installation projects. Additionally, I’ll be directing our marketing efforts, including advertising, public relations, P&L development and management, and trade show presentations. As I work closely with company founder Allen Sides and our product development team, I will provide my input on the development of new market-driven products for the professional audio, high-performance audio and installation market sectors.

Q: How has your background prepared you for your new role?

A: In my previous position of VP, Guitar Center Professional, I was responsible for nearly all the above items except product development. My previous positions in upper management at Solid State Logic (SSL), Euphonix, Neve and Sony have provided me with the experience on the manufacturing and product development side of the business.

Q: What new marketing initiatives are we likely to see from the company?

A: We are focused on three main markets: pro audio, high-performance audio and acoustical designs & installations. All require slightly different focuses for marketing. Regarding pro audio, we are supporting our dealers with print and online digital advertisements, demo systems and events held at their facilities and recording studios. We also support them by offering our unique turnkey design and installations capability. Consider having the world-famous Allen Sides design your studio with the highest-caliber acoustics. This provides an assurance of world-class, amazing recordings that will be tracked and mixed on OWA monitor speakers. In the high-performance audio sector, we have developed strong relationships with journalists and independent retailers who reach the audiophile community, and we have built a presence at several of the high-end audio shows. I’m focusing on an email campaign coordinated with our dealers in both channels. In the installation market, Ocean Way Audio will now offer the services of Malvicino Design Group (MDG), which boasts more than 300 professional studio design projects worldwide, in addition to the iconic, acclaimed expertise of Allen Sides.

Q: What are your short- and long-term goals?

A: Short term, we’re launching several new products—for example, a line of powered studio monitors, the OWA HR4 and the Pro-2A, that will deliver our unique Ocean Way sound to the pro-audio market. We’ve also just introduced the RM1 Ribbon Mic, designed by our director of Technology, Cliff Henricksen, redefining how wonderful a ribbon can sound. For our audiophile customers, we’re continuing to enhance our award-winning, stunningly beautiful Sausalito and Montecito speakers. Allen has designed many legendary recording studios, including four Ocean Way complexes. Now we’re making his custom designs a central part of our business. Working with our affiliate MDG, we’ve enhanced our ability to handle projects on a worldwide basis. Looking toward the future, we plan to release a line of outboard gear, additional mics and speakers designed for the sound reinforcement market.

Q: What is the greatest challenge that you face?

A: We have a great reputation and brand name. Managing steady growth is key to our long-term success, so it’s important to keep the focus on providing our customers with the highest-quality products and support that exceeds their expectations.