With ListenUp since 1999
Colorado Springs store manager David Huddleston came to us from Phoenix, where he owned his own custom integration company and then worked for a leading home entertainment custom retailer. After one too many people uttered the phrase “Yeah, but it’s a dry heat,” he decided it was time for a change, so he loaded up his family and headed north.
“Working at ListenUp has exceeded my expectations. As a dedicated A/V enthusiast myself, it’s really cool to work at a place where the entire organization strives to stay ahead of the curve technologically. It’s a ‘learners’ environment — everyone is very diligent about keeping up with the latest stuff, which I find really stimulating and fun.”
Now that they don’t have to worry about instant heat-stroke, David and his family love to take advantage of the many recreational activities Colorado has to offer. “We love mountain biking, hiking, four-wheeling, fishing — anything outdoors. We’ve even gotten into skiing a bit!”
Senior Sales Consultant
With ListenUp since 1994
Gary Wrasse originally hails from Southern California, where he worked at a Pasadena A/V dealer for 9 years. Even having grown up there, though, he eventually became weary of the crowded life on the left coast. His wife is from Colorado Springs originally, so he jumped at the chance to come here.
Gary was the store manager for several years, but now he’s back to doing what he really loves — dealing with customers. “I enjoy the whole process of putting together high-end systems. I’m working on a big job right now that involves distributed audio and HD video, Crestron control, Lutron lighting, and a dedicated home theater with Rives acoustical treatments. The clients are great, I get to work with a nationally recognized architect, and I have all kinds of support from our engineering and custom departments up in Denver as well as our installation staff down here. It’s the type of job that really makes me feel like I’m in the right place.”
Senior Sales Consultant
With ListenUp since 1993
Bruce Neher had quite an unusual childhood, spending six years in Papua New Guinea, where his parents did missionary work. Upon returning to the States, he got an associates degree in record producing and engineering. For several years he worked as an installer for a communications contractor and as the sound engineer for a mega-church in Grand Rapids, Michigan (no word on whether he ever blew an amp while cranking Stryper).
When Bruce’s family moved out to Monument in 1993, his Dad was looking for a sound system. Bruce was helping with the search, of course, and they came across the ListenUp store in Colorado Springs. He enjoyed the experience so much he asked them if they had any job openings, and the rest, as they say, is history.
After stints in our e-commerce department and as our inventory liquidation specialist, Bruce is back working in our Colorado Springs store. “Most companies in this industry aren’t geared toward career salespeople,” says Bruce. “But ListenUp has created a great work environment for us tech-geeks... "
With ListenUp since 2007
A native of the Colorado Springs area, Brian Kawakami was in the A/V business for seven years before he started working for us in 2007. “I always wanted to work for ListenUp, so when they had an opening for an installer I jumped at the opportunity. I actually bought my first audio components here back in 1995 from Gary Wrasse, and now he’s one of my co-workers.”
In fact, Brian has been doing the pre-wire for one of Gary’s larger jobs. “It’s really cool to get to work in a beautiful home like that,” says Brian, “and it’s pretty amazing to be a part of such a big effort. We’ve already put in almost seven miles of cable, and we’re not even done!”
An avid photographer in his spare time, Brian enjoys working at ListenUp because of all the cutting-edge equipment he gets to learn about and install. We’re happy to have him with us.
Employee Since 2010
An A/V industry veteran, Tom came up through the ranks at a regional consumer electronics store. He started out selling cameras and quickly moved into audio and home theater. Working at ListenUp has become a family tradition, as his cousin Ben works in our Denver store. Happily expanding his knowledge base and continuing to grow professionally, Tom brings an excitement level that is contagious. “Working at ListenUp is a blast," he says, "because I get to play with and learn about all the newest toys in the consumer electronics industry.”
Outside of work Tom has two passions – golf and snowboarding. He has an eight handicap and is continually working to improve. His favorite place to snowboard is Steamboat, where you can find him on many of his days off during the winter months. Come in and talk to Tom about home entertainment and you even be able to hit him up for some golf tips!
With ListenUp since 2010
Starting in 2010, Clint was the second in the Kawakami family to join the Colorado Springs installation team. He got started in this industry when he was 15 and realized it was possible to put a massive stereo system in a car that could blow out windshields. He moved from cars to installing phone systems to installing home audio. He has been installing home audio and video for 11 years and loves the home automation and integration that ListenUp offers to clients.
"My favorite things about working at ListenUp are the changing products and technology," says Clint. "I also love the opportunity to meet clients, to see the newest homes and décor."
Clint is a native of Colorado Springs. He does all the Colorado favorites like snowboarding, riding motorcycles, shooting photography and going to live concerts. If you don't find him out at a client's house it's a pretty sure bet he is outside somewhere living it up. Clint is also the proud father of a female boxer puppy.
Employee Since 2011
If you’ve had anything delivered to your home from the Colorado Springs store in the last three years, then you’ve had the pleasure of working with Kevin Givens. Originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, he moved to Colorado Springs almost 20 years ago, and took his position in our warehouse in 2011. Kevin recently moved into a support role in our Colorado Springs store. “I like ListenUp because it’s not too big of a company where I get lost as an employee and have to deal with 30 bosses above me, but it’s also not so small that I have to worry about the company’s future. Being around for more than 40 years really says something.”
Before coming to ListenUp, Kevin was in the Army for 6 years and held other jobs at various restaurants and at Safelite Auto Glass. But, so far, he’s a big fan of the audio/video industry. ‘What I like most about the A/V business is that there are always new and interesting things coming out.”
Kevin spends his free time with his wife, Nicole, and their new son, Bryson. “He’s the joy of our lives.”
Employee Since 2013
If you’re looking for someone who really loves her job, just step foot inside our Colorado Springs store. Lauren is the smiling face that will be there to greet you and get you excited about all that ListenUp has to offer.
“ListenUp actually cares about its people, which results in happy employees and, in turn, loyal customers. In our store, we’re a group of friends, and who can complain about getting to hang out with their friends everyday?”
Lauren is just warming up to the A/V industry, but her outgoing personality and great attitude make her an ideal fit for the ListenUp team. She’s a Colorado native who enjoys music and everything outdoors. If you’re looking for a great start to your A/V purchasing experience, or just need a little happy-boost in your day, stop by and say hi to Lauren.