Fort Wayne Businessman Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

Earlier this year, the University of St. Francis in Fort Wayne honored Chuck Surack, founder and president of Sweetwater Sound, with the School of Creative Arts’ Lifetime Achievement Award. The school’s alumni newsletter, "Broadstrokes," explains:

A native of Fort Wayne, Chuck is recognized worldwide as a leader in the field of electronic music. He serves as a consultant and lecturer for manufactuers in the audio, music and computer industries. He has designed recording studios and provided custom design for professional musicians including Stevie Wonder, Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, Mel Tillis, Emerson Lake and Palmer, and Aerosmith as well as for hundreds of audio and video recording studios worldwide.

He is well known for integrating electronic music instrument technologies, computers and traditional music practices into a modern art and science…

Also, you can read about Sweetwater Sound’s remarkable growth and its partnership with St. Francis in BizVoice.

Hat tip to Chamber staffer/St. Francis grad Tony Spataro.

Hitting a (Green) High Note

Sweetwater Sound, the third largest music instrument and pro audio retailer in the world, has gone platinum.

The company’s Fort Wayne campus is Indiana’s first commercial building to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification (the highest rating) from the U.S. Green Building Council. Unveiled in January 2008, the 150,000-square-foot facility contains office, retail, warehouse and studio space. 

Among sustainability construction/design features:

• 19,026 (or 98%) tons of construction waste were diverted from landfills

• 31.4% of materials contain recycled content

• 80% of regularly occupied spaces throughout the office have access to daylight

• Annual water usage savings total 54% (restrooms contain waterless urinals; low-flow, light-powered faucets with occupant sensors; and dual flush toilets)

• 44% of materials were extracted, harvested, recovered and manufactured within 500 miles of the project site

Great to hear that one of Indiana’s growing success stories is receiving additional recognition for its environmental efforts. See the company details; read about Sweetwater Sound in the March-April 2008 BizVoice magazine; check out the current "green" issue of BizVoice.

Indiana Business Strikes Right Chord

Indiana BusinessImagine this: You stroll through the entrance of a business and see elaborate instruments hanging through a glass window and four big-screen televisions in the lobby. You then walk down a long hallway only to see a cafeteria and a gameroom for employees that includes virtual golf. A quick jaunt upstairs reveals a workout facility and a raquetball court. Oh, and buried in the walls are Nashville-esque sound studios and a plush auditorium fit with state-of-the-art technology.

No, you’re not at some high falootin’ Silicon Valley headquarters. You’re right here in the Hoosier state at Fort Wayne’s Sweetwater Sound, one of Indiana’s greateast success stories. Read all about this thriving business, which began in an old van, in the Chamber’s BizVoice magazine.