Professional Sound - October 2017 - Page 18

PROFILE Andrew Hope By Andrew King H ard work and a vast knowledge of audio principles and technologies have earned Andrew Hope a long and diverse career in professional sound; but now, in his new post leading the charge with AVL Media Group, he’s reaching beyond audio into complementing production technolo- gies and expanding his business acumen day by day. Since moving to Canada with his family from the U.K. in 1973, Hope has resided in Saskatoon, Halifax, and Montreal, where he’s currently based. He’s built speakers, toured the country mixing live sound, designed and installed audio systems, and represented some of the industry’s top brands. Now, he’s the managing director at AVL Media Group, help- ing to grow the company into one of the country’s leading production and integration technology distribution firms. “I’ve been interested in music, sound, and electronics for as long as I can remember,” Hope shares. He started building speakers at a young age, first for hi-fi stereo sys- tems and then for the mobile DJ and nightclub market. On the back of his experience with the latter, he found himself mixing live sound in different venues and, put simply, “just knew it was something [he] wanted to do.” In the early ‘80s, he started ABI Systems in Halifax along with a pair of other now-veterans of the Canadian pro audio community: Brad Fox, now of Fox Technologies and the Atlantic rep for SC Media Canada, and Ian Robertson, manager of technical services with GerrAudio. Hope was the first to leave the trio, heading out on tour and just never coming back. In 1986, he finished a tour in Montreal and, like many, was so charmed by the city that he decided to stay there permanently. “I love the mix of culture and overall joie de vivre, not to mention the great food in Quebec,” he offers on the place he currently calls home. In 1990, he connected with Bob Snelgrove, the founder and president of GerrAudio, and became the company’s sales repre- sentative for Quebec and Atlantic Canada, learning the business from one of its leaders – for whom he clearly has a lot of respect. He enjoyed a long and rewarding career with the firm, though in 2016, he decided to get out of his comfort zone and leave Gerr to seek out a new challenge and wider horizon. Now, working closely with President and CEO Steve Kosters, Hope is overseeing a catalog of top brands from the professional audio, lighting, and video markets in his role with AVL Media Group. “It’s certainly keeping me challenged, excited, and busy,” he enthuses. “We’re growing and diversifying our offerings. This has brought me into the world of high-tech lighting and video, and I’m enjoying the technology and all of the new relationships outside of the audio world.” Hope says he appreciates the opportunity to work with Kosters 18 PROFESSIONAL SOUND and the AVL team, building his business savvy and approaching the market from a new and fresh perspective. “As part of the mandate to diversify and grow, we’ve made a significant investment in new people and in some very exciting new lines,” Hope shares. “I’m so proud of our team and very pleased with the response from the market.” As an example of that response, he cites Lady Gaga’s massive and much-celebrated Joanne World Tour, for which AVL supplied hun- dreds of GLP lighting fixtures through production supplier Solotech. While Hope has certainly made great strides in his first year with AVL, he admits that time management is an ongoing challenge with his relatively new post. He resides in Rosemere, QC, just north of Montreal, with his wife and children (the ones that haven’t yet left the nest) and says they value the quiet time they can find together. After all, he’s not the only one that’s busy. But even though he’s got a lot on his plate, Hope reiterates that he’s more than enjoying his new role, and that he’s expanding his network of contacts into other areas of the production technolo- gies market. “It’s a different day every day and we get to interact with all sorts of crazy and wonderful people,” he says about what keeps him enthusiastic and passionate about the business. “Really, it’s the opposite of a predictable and boring routine,” and considering all of the opportunities he’s had over the years and the places they’ve taken him, that’s obviously something in which he has no interest. Andrew King is the Editor-in-Chief of Professional Sound.