Commercial Division Manager
With ListenUp since 2017
John Emerson, our new Commercial Division manager, has been in the A/V business since 1986. He started as an inside salesman and eventually rose to become the vice president of a local firm, helping to grow it into the largest locally owned commercial A/V integrator in the Denver area.
“I’ve always focused on the training and certification of employees," says John. "If I’ve gleaned anything over the last 30 years, it’s to be constantly learning, because everything is frequently changing in the business of technology.”
Joining ListenUp has John feeling re-energized. “I have lots of respect for ListenUp, their track record of success, and reputation in the community,” he says. “The ListenUp brand stands for great customer service and once the commercial market discovers they can get the same experience that a luxury residential consumer gets, the whole industry will get turned upside down.”
John is a native of Golden and still resides there. In his off-hours he enjoys spending time with his wife and three daughters as well camping, fishing and exploring the mountains.
With ListenUp since 1974
Norm Simmer was one of the first people hired by ListenUp, way back in 1974. “Chuck Morris [the legendary Denver concert promoter] bought a club in Boulder, and I had a six-week contract with Walt and Steve to get the sound system up and running.” Norm worked on ListenUp’s renovation of Ebbet’s Field’s sound system as well, and he was eventually employed directly by the club.
After running the sound at Ebbets and then going on the road with various national touring acts, including Frank Zappa, Norm ended up at Feyline Presents, where he once again teamed with ListenUp on the design and installation of the system at the Rainbow Music Hall. In 1978 Norm returned to ListenUp full-time as one of the first installers for the new Pro Division (now known as Commercial A/V), and he’s been here ever since. He worked for years as manager of the department and is now one of our top salesmen, creating advanced systems for clients such as Regis University and the Denver Art Museum.
Commercial Project Manager
With ListenUp since 1985
When Doug Watts took his first job 30 years ago, he probably never imagined that he would never leave it. He is one of those lucky people who found their passion early in life and made a career out of it. “This is my second family and that’s why I love working here.”
Doug enjoys the A/V industry because it is constantly changing. He has watched first hand as the industry has advanced over the last 30 years, especially in the realm of video and control. “I love working in this industry because it changes all the time.”
Despite his appreciation for his second family, Doug spends his free time with his first family. He has been married to his wife Sandy for 21 years and they have two kids; a daughter attending business school at CSU and a son who loves playing competitive baseball.
With ListenUp since 1999
Karen Guion came to ListenUp in 1994 after working for a company that built swimming pools. She also had a pool-cleaning business of her own, but she got burned-out — literally — from being in the sun all day. “I’m a light-skinned blonde,” Karen exclaims, “and I got tired of being fried all the time.” She knew the guy who was then the manager of ListenUp’s warehouse, and he told her about an opening in the Commercial Division.
Karen’s now the assistant manager, and she has developed a real interest in advanced A/V and control systems. “We’ve done some amazing jobs in the last few years, including the chapel at Regis University, Schlessman Hall at the Denver Art Museum and Marczyk Fine Foods location on East Colfax. Knowing the quality of work we do, I always feel proud when I tell people that I work for ListenUp.”
Commercial Systems Engineer
With ListenUp since 2006
Robbie Jezek is a true example of a great design engineer, as he has managed to design a lifestyle that combines his two passions: the A/V industry and craft beer. “I really love Colorado’s brewery scene," he says. "I loved designing systems for Upslope, Avery, West Flanders, and Mockery Breweries to name a few. And I also enjoy volunteering and running kegs for the Great American Beer Fest in Denver every year.
Throughout high school and college, Robbie was the guy that would install your car stereo, build you a new computer or set up a wireless network for you. Now, with almost a decade of experience at ListenUp, Robbie is still attracted to the variety of work that he deals with everyday. “I like solving problems or finding new solutions for different job requests. I get a sense of satisfaction hearing that the systems we install are really cool and easy to use.”
Outside of work, when Robbie and his partner in crime (a.k.a. his wife Kim) aren’t getting weird with the locals checking out breweries, playing kickball, or running the Color Run and Warrior Dash, they love going to watch-parties for their rival college football teams, Florida State and Virginia Tech. “Go Hokies!” They are currently expecting their first son this fall.