With ListenUp since 1983
Boulder native Chris Havekost started with ListenUp directly out of college in our (now defunct) car audio division. Thirty years later, he’s still working for us as the store manager of our Denver Retail location, leading his team with a passion for music and technology. “I’ve always loved music. I played drums in school and in several bands doing original music.”
Chris’s draw for the A/V industry can be traced back much further than his first day on the job in 1984. “I started building small electronics in elementary school and found an affinity for sound systems and how they worked.” We’re thankful that he turned this curiosity into such a long-lasting and fruitful career with ListenUp.
As soon as you step foot inside our Denver store, Chris’s love of A/V is apparent in both the visual appearance of the store and the industry-expert team he leads. “As a manager, I really enjoy creating a place where people can see and hear world class equipment and share the passion I have for music and film.”
As an avid skier and mountain biker, Chris is just as passionate about achieving his goals outside of the office. “I’ve climbed almost all Colorado’s 14ers and enjoy almost anything outdoors.”
Senior Sales Consultant
With ListenUp since 1988
Kevin Russell’s first memory of music was from his grandparents’ mahogany RCA Victor Victrola. “My dad would crank up the ‘talking machine,’ pull out a shellac 78 record, cut a new bamboo needle and start up the music.” His grandparents were married in Denver in 1909 and lived one block away from ListenUp’s original Washington Park location.
After graduating from college, Kevin and his wife started a career with Continental Airlines, which finally landed them in Denver. His passion for all things music-related soon led him to ListenUp with resume in hand. “They took a chance on me… a 33-year-old former flight attendant with no previous sales experience, and that was the beginning of a beautiful relationship.”
Kevin has been a ListenUp sales consultant for more than 25 years and says the relationships he’s developed with customers have enriched his life. “ListenUp has been a terrific place to work. The company is filled with intelligent, qualified and dependable people, which makes for a great team. I appreciate the chance they took on me and my successes along the way.”
For the record, he still has the Victrola 105 years later.
Senior Sales Consultant
With ListenUp since 1990
Possessing an effervescent enthusiasm for hi-fi and the patois of a jazzman, Scott Genaw has been a distinctive presence in our Denver store since 1990. An industry veteran all the way back to 1981, Scott first worked in our car stereo department for several years before moving into home audio. “I dig working retail,” says Scott, “because on a given day we might do anything — sell a flat-panel TV, get someone 20 feet of speaker wire, or design a high-end system. And what better way to make a living than by helping people turn their music up?”Scott’s family has deep roots in Colorado — he was born in Colorado Springs when his father was stationed at the Air Force Academy, and his great-grandmother actually moved here directly from Italy. When not bringing better sound and video to the good people of Denver, Scott enjoys hunkering down at home with his eight vintage Turkish rugs, his two Chows and his long-time girlfriend.
Senior Sales Consultant
With ListenUp since 1994
With a Dad who worked for Kellogg’s, Scott Weverstad lived all over when he was young, from California to Texas and Florida to Oregon. But the family ended up in Battle Creek, Michigan for Scott’s formative years. After high school Scott went to work for an A/V superstore in the Grand Rapids area for four years before moving over to a local specialty store for two more. Scott moved out here and got a job at ListenUp back in 1994.Scott’s took up the guitar when he was 15, and his band Off the Hook plays a couple of weekends every month.“I’ve always been into music, so that’s one of the things I love about working at ListenUp — I get to work in my hobby,” says Scott, who sites Santana and Pink Floyd as some of his musical influences. “Plus I get to visit some amazing homes when I’m helping clients set up their systems. All in all it’s a pretty good gig!”
Senior Sales Consultant
With ListenUp since 2001
One day back when he was the owner of an A/V shop in Bettendorf, Iowa, Craig Congdon realized he hadn’t been skiing since he opened the store. He further realized that this had to do not only with the long hours inherent in owning your own business, but also the fact that he lived in Iowa. So he loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly… er, Denver.Craig has a particular love for high-performance stereo systems. “Many of my clients want custom-oriented home theaters, but I also do a lot of stereo setups. The high-end two-channel systems give you a great point of reference for everything else.” Storing content on hard-drives is the big thing these days, says Craig, and the Sonos digital music system, which allows easy access to these digitized tunes, has made music even more fun. “I have a Sonos system with five Zone Controllers, and when I have company everyone loves to grab a controller and dial up their favorite songs.”
Senior Sales Consultant
With ListenUp since 2004
Jeremy Gage came to us from the great northwest — Seattle, to be specific, where he was a salesman and manager at a regional electronics chain. Though it was primarily a retail operation, his store did do installations, and Jeremy often took the initiative to go to customers’ homes to see what they really needed. This experience laid the groundwork for his time here at ListenUp, where most transactions involve some degree of custom integration.“I enjoy showing potential clients the best equipment we have to offer, because people get excited when they experience home entertainment at that level. That’s why they come to ListenUp. But regardless of the level someone chooses, it usually involves an in-home consultation to make sure we put together a setup that’s exactly right for their unique requirements.”
With ListenUp since 2009
There’s definitely a football theme running through Justin Sanders’ time here at ListenUp. With his uncanny resemblance to NFL quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, he was immediately nicknamed “Matt” by his co-workers. And though he was raised here in Colorado, he was born in Omaha and continues to be an avid Nebraska Cornhuskers fan — which has earned him some other nicknames we can’t repeat here…
Before coming to ListenUp, Justin worked for a national audio/video integrator. He started out doing installations and eventually worked his way up to the position of business development manager. Justin says he loves the dynamic nature of the industry. “I’ve always tried to stay on the leading edge of technology, and ListenUp is definitely the place to work to be able to play with and sell the latest and greatest equipment.” In fact, he has become the go-to guy when a fix is needed on any of the store’s displays. “Guess I have the magic touch,” says Matt — er, Justin…
With ListenUp since 2012
Harrison Grieme is a Jack-of-all-trades, having been a waiter, a dance instructor and an aid to the mentally ill. After moving to Colorado from Thomasville, Georgia, he began his A/V career with ListenUp in a support position and has since been promoted to sales in our Denver store.
Harrison has a passion for working with people and loves getting customers excited about audio quality and new technology. His most recent project was a home system that included a Sony 85-inch 4K Ultra HD TV, McIntosh components and Sonus faber Olympica speakers. He really loved the challenge of creating a scale drawing of the house to ensure all components would fit and interact compatibly with the home’s existing technologies. Both Harrison and his customer were very excited about the end result.
If he’s not designing unique systems for his customers, good luck tracking this Jack down! “In my free time I play guitar, rock climb and do some improv comedy. I also enjoy frisbee, cooking and playing board games.”
With ListenUp since 2013
After working in the IT field for almost a decade, Jerry Rausch, an Omaha native, joined the ListenUp sales team in 2013 with nearly 15 years experience in the A/V industry. “I guess I’ve always had a strong passion for audio and video. I became an audiophile at an early age. I’d consistently hang out in the local high-end audio shops listening to 2-channel systems and hearing all the fine details that the other systems couldn't produce.”
His early fascination has led him to a successful sales career at ListenUp. “Over the years, I’ve used that knowledge to help customers get the most out of their systems. I love raising the bar from something that plays music, to something that sounds like music is being played.”
Today, Jerry has gone full circle from his younger audiophile days. You can still find him hanging out in our Denver store listening to 2-channel systems from McIntosh, Classe or Moon paired with top-of-the-line speakers from B&W and Sonus Farber. “The cool part of working for ListenUp is the fact that we sell such a wide variety of products. Also, the fact that our installers are so thorough that it makes designing systems from basic to bold to match everyone’s needs a breeze.”
With ListenUp since 2016
Ari comes from Oakland, CA, which is where he first learned to love music. He was introduced to the Beatles at a young age and became a huge fan. Then he got into jazz, studying piano with one of the Bay Area's most treasured jazz educators. Ari's addiction to vinyl really took hold while working at the Berkely location of Rasputin Music & Movies, a legendary Bay-area chain. He is happy to continue his passion for music by working at ListenUp.
Ari has worked as a professional musician for many bands, for an artist management company, and even started his own business converting music libraries to digital. He lives in Denver with his girlfriend, where he continues to listen to amazing music and enjoy the outdoors and, of course, the Colorado breweries.
With ListenUp since 2010
As a 20-year veteran in the A/V industry, Jeff Blundell is the kind of professional any person would want managing their home audio/video project. After employment at a big-box retailer for many years, Jeff says he loves working for ListenUp. “As a small company we can build solid, trusting relationships with clients, yet we have the resources of a larger business.”
Jeff’s most recent project in Flour Mill Lofts was to integrate the A/V distribution, lighting, shades, fireplaces and HVAC system for customized control. He really enjoys working with people to make technology less intimidating and more in-line with their lifestyles.
A Michigan native, Jeff moved to Colorado four years ago with his wife, Sara, and their son, Braylon. He’s an avid cyclist and spends his free time hiking and camping in the Rocky Mountains with his family.
Senior Field technician
With ListenUp since 1995
Chris Wilson is currently a senior field technician for our Denver retail store. “I’m a third-generation Denverite and got my start in the A/V industry in 1979. I began working for ListenUp in 1995.” He’s worn many different hats during his time with us, including bench technician, sub-contract installer and field technician. Before coming to ListenUp, he worked for a slew of other A/V companies around the Denver-metro area.
A true technophile, Chris loves to tinker with and build electronic devices. He’s built his own 3D printer and CNC cutter machines, which he uses to prototype small parts. But he doesn’t spend all his time hiding in the basement with his gadgets. “I also fly-fish and fly RC planes and helicopters. I live with my elderly parents so I try to be helpful and handy.”
With ListenUp since 2011
Matt Andreasen started in the A/V industry more than 22 years ago. He worked for big-box retailers like Ultimate Electronics and Best Buy before joining the team at ListenUp. “I like being at ListenUp because everyone here is so into technology and shares an interest in what we do. I really enjoy working alongside such well-educated individuals.”
Matt married his wife in 2003 and they had their first son in 2011. Originally from Nebraska, Matt moved to Colorado for college and never looked back. “I look forward to when the snow hits the ground every year because I try to snowboard almost every moment that I’m away from work.”
Sales Consultant 2012
Steve Valdez is a member of the very talented installation team in our Denver retail store. He has over a decade of experience in the A/V industry and joined the ListenUp family in 2012. “I like seeing all of the new products that come out. I also really like what I do and enjoy all the people I work with here at ListenUp.”
Technically speaking, Steve Valdez knows what he’s doing, having held previous positions building circuit boards and various other A/V positions.
When he’s not working, Steve spends his free time hunting, fishing and playing pool.
With ListenUp since 2013
After working for big-box retailers, including Ultimate Electronics and Car Toys, Justyn Born joined our Denver retail store installation team almost a year ago. His seven years experience in the industry definitely gave him an edge when he applied with us. And it seems that ListenUp was a good fit for Justyn as well. “I really like the day-to-day variety that comes with installing.”
Justin also has experience in architectural drafting and design, as well as sales. There’s no doubt that the future is bright for this veteran within the A/V industry and this newbie within the ListenUp family.
With ListenUp since 2012
Michelle Quinn was born and raised in Minnesota, but fell in love with Colorado’s beauty during a backpacking trip in 1998. It took 10 years, but in 2008 she was finally able to make the move to call Colorado her home.
ListenUp is Michelle’s first stint in the A/V industry, but she has held various management and planning positions throughout her career that have prepared her to be the rock star office manager that she is today for our Denver store. Michelle loves her work environment. “ListenUp is a dying breed in retail because of the company’s passion and reverence for excellence and customer service, which is so sorely lacking in many establishments these days.” If you’re looking for great customer service, stop in our Denver store and visit Michelle.
True to her Minnesota roots, Michelle is a huge hockey fan and spends her free time exploring Colorado and practicing yoga.
ListenUp with 2001
Even though JoAnn Sawa and her husband have owned their own hardwood floor business since 1984, she’s chosen to work for our Denver retail store since 2001. In her support position, she gets a front-row seat as customers discover the new and exciting products ListenUp carries. “I love working with people and watching their expressions when they’re introduced to new technology.”
But the customers aren’t the only thing that keeps JoAnn such a happy employee. “ListenUp is a great company to work for. It’s like family.” Originally from Pueblo, Colorado, JoAnn has spent her whole life in our beautiful state and spends her free time camping, fishing and boating with family.
ListenUp with 2013
Robert Cleveland is one of our many second-generation ListenUp employes. “I was exposed to the A/V industry at a young age because my father worked for ListenUp for many years, but I’ve only just recently taken it on as my own profession.”
Robert came to work in our Denver store in a support position after graduating from Arizona State University. In his role, he joins the knowledgeable people working behind the scenes. “I really enjoy working with technology and, when it’s set up correctly by people who know what they’re doing, it can really make people’s lives more enjoyable.”
Outside of work, Robert spends his free time outdoors. He’s been snowboarding for more than 20 years and enjoys hiking, camping, boating and hunting.