Berlin, CT, April 5, 2022 — The Music People — manufacturer of the On-Stage brand of musical-instrument accessories and distributor of over 200 pro-audio, video, and lighting brands through TMP-Pro — have announced the retirement of Co-Chairwoman Sharon Hennessey, Co-Chairman John Hennessey and Controller John Gutowski, a group that served over 100 combined years leading the company.
Jam Industries — a leading value-added pro-AVL distributor in North America and global MI product supplier which recently rebranded as Exertis | Jam — acquired The Music People in 2020.
“We were so proud to acquire The Music People—simply an excellent industry-leading company with an exceptional team. We were equally proud to have the Hennesseys join our organization and now wish them all — Jim, Sharon, John and John Gutowski — a well-deserved retirement. We hope to continue to develop on the Hennessey legacy for many years to come,“ said Stuart Frenkel, President and CEO of Exertis | Jam.
Sharon Hennessey and John Hennessey joined their family’s business, The Music People, in 1989 and 1991, respectively. Sharon’s career was primarily focused on sales and growing the On-Stage brand into one of the most respected MI brands in the world while John’s focus was making TMP-Pro an elite pro-audio distributor in the United States. Although they led the organization for many years previously, in 2016 they were formally named Co-Presidents.
“It seems strange and yet fitting that my sister and I retire with my father, Jim, from the company he started 43 years ago. I have had but one job in my life that lasted 31 years and resulted in my whole career. I started by stamping ‘battery not included’ and essentially did or directed every job since. We persevered, resolved, adapted, created, collaborated, supported and stepped aside in awe of the team that is now The Music People. What started as a rejected idea became a family business through years of hard work and wonderful relationships with employees, customers and suppliers,” said John Hennessey.
“The time is right for us to step aside. We are proud and appreciative to have had the pleasure of working with the best team in the industry, which is just beginning to hit its stride. Much was accomplished from creating and carrying innovative products — ultimately it is the relationships and the team that feel most significant. My father has always been smart, hard-working, lucky and ahead of his time. Somehow, he knew when he named the company The Music People it was going to be all about the people. We thank our team, customers and suppliers for all of their support over the years, as well as the enduring relationships we’ve shared,” said Sharon Hennessey.
A retirement reception was held March 30, 2022, to honor their many accomplishments. Due to Covid-19 restrictions which prevented a celebratory gathering after his retirement in 2020, Founder Jim Hennessey was also honored at the event.
Tom Tedesco, who was promoted to President and CEO in November 2021, said: “All of us at The Music People could not be happier for Jim, John, Sharon and John. We are forever grateful for the contributions they made toward creating the amazing company we are all proud to be a part of today. Their passion will remain the foundation of our culture forever.”
About The Music People
The Music People, an Exertis | Jam business, was founded in 1979. The company’s employees contribute their knowledge and abilities to two brand divisions: On-Stage, the designer, manufacturer, and supplier of over 700 musical-instrument stands and accessories, and TMP-Pro, a leading distributor of hundreds of established pro-audio, video, lighting, and accessories brands. Visit musicpeopleinc.com to learn more.
About Exertis | Jam
Founded in 1972, Exertis | Jam began operating in Montreal under the trade name Erikson Music as an importer/distributor of musical instruments and accessories, with fewer than 10 employees and sales under $1M. With almost 50 years of experience, today Exertis | Jam is a unique distribution network made up of 18 divisions that serve markets including professional audio and lighting, consumer electronics, and musical instruments, with over 650 employees across several countries and sales exceeding $550M. Jam’s success is largely driven by innovation, diversification, customer service, people, and an exemplary corporate culture. Visit jamindustries.com to learn more.