Professional Development Sessions

Mark Despotakis has become a well respected arts advocate and strong supporter of music education policies as Director of Market Development for Progressive Music in McKeesport, Pennsylvania.  Working closely with music educators throughout the state, Mark has been able to serve his music store by...
William Groener has had an extensive career in lighting and theater design. He started out as a theater major at UC Santa Barbara and returned to the university as a professor before becoming Product Manager for Strand Lighting in Orange County. William has also been active as an instructor for...
Brian Hardgroove remembers the very day he sat in with a band to play drums for an audience.  It was July 4, 1976, a day that changed his life.  He later picked up the bass guitar and worked in recording studios.  He learned firsthand from several legendary engineers and producers such as Eddie...
Zach Phillips lives and breathes the music products industry, and this has led him into a role that appears to have been tailored specifically for him as the Director of Professional Development for NAMM. With a passion for music products and an innate ability to educate others, Zach has been...
Bob Popyk knows enough about the music industry to write about it! Bob had several music retail stores before selling them in 1979 to form a sales and marketing strategies business. Since that time he has been active writing columns for Music Trades magazine and providing sessions at several NAMM...
Bill Sapsis has been rigging for theater and live events since the early 1970s. He was a welder and helped with set designs in both Philadelphia and New York and in 1981, he formed Sapsis Rigging to provide specialized support for opera and musical productions. He realized the need for safety...
Martins Saulespurens and Skipper Wise formed Blue Microphones in 1995 and set off to change the way people thought of and heard microphones. Their impressive line of innovative products with clever names and unusual styles, addressed issues studios and even large venues were having regarding...
Mike Wood has witnessed many developments in professional lighting throughout his career.  During his NAMM interview, Mike spoke about his background, as well as a few of those milestone improvements.  He also talked about the importance of the first moving light system, which was introduced in the...