We believe that the people of Transparent are our greatest asset. The performance of our products, their legendary build quality, and Transparent's industry-leading customer service and dealer training all come from the quality of our staff. To learn about Transparent's people and their roles, select from these departments:
SALES AND MARKETING
INDUSTRIAL DESIGN AND MANUFACTURING
GRAPHIC DESIGN AND WEB
Carl Smith, Karen Sumner, and Jack Sumner
Jack Sumner - Founder and CFO
Jack is a founder, Transparent's CFO and head of design and engineering. As an accomplished musician with a physics degree, he approaches design from more of a scientific discovery perspective than a pure engineering model. The Transparent design model is based upon filter theory and is supported by thousands of hours of observation through listening under controlled circumstances, quantification of these observations through measurement and description, and finally the consistent replication of results in the form of products that perform as intended. Jack's tireless focus and concentration to develop products that achieve new levels of musical realism have resulted in the development of every landmark product Transparent has produced over the past 30 years. Jack and Karen go to the same symphony, concert, and opera performances, and they spend many hours listening to music for pleasure and for product development in their in-home music and film studio
Karen Sumner - Founder and President
As Transparent's president and a founder, Karen provides the overall direction of the company's product development and sales and marketing programs. She also heads up Transparent's creative teams in the areas of industrial design, packaging, graphics, and web development. As a musician and loyal patron of symphony, concert, and opera associations in Maine and Florida, she constantly strives to keep her musical perspective in tune. She is instrumental as the final set of "ears" on the Transparent listening panel.
Carl Smith - Founder
As a Transparent founder, Carl has a strong influence on Transparent's musical perspective and company culture. A passionate musicologist, Carl has amassed significant archival collections in the jazz and classical genres. He teaches music exploration courses and has written a book about jazz pianist Bud Powell entitled Bouncing with Bud. Some of his unauthorized recordings of Sonny Rollins' most phenomenal concert performances have recently been released with Rollins' full support in a new CD Sonny Rollins Road Shows, Vol. 1. Carl came to Transparent after a career as a very successful attorney. Transparent became the fulfillment of his desire to pursue his passion for music and audio and a vehicle to apply his innate engineering abilities in the form of Transparent product fabrication and assembly. Carl's sensitivity and wisdom in working with Transparent's people and many suppliers has been key to Transparent's corporate culture of teamwork and positive spirit.
Paul Plourde - Business Manager
As Transparent's Business Manager, Paul Plourde is an accounting and operations expert with 25 years experience. Paul supervises Transparent's basic operations by developing detailed analytical reports that illustrate the companies' overall financial flow. He has a keen understanding of how income numbers are generated and a well-honed instinct for when and where to implement positive process changes.
A music lover and father of two young boys, Paul lives with his family in Kennebunkport, Maine. He spends his weekends with his wife and children listening to country music and enjoying Maine summers. Paul is an enthusiastic golfer and likes to play football and soccer with his family.
Josh Clark -Lead Product Designer
Josh joined Transparent in 1997 after graduating from Bates College with a degree in music with a solid physics background. He threw himself into every aspect of the business and is now Transparent's Lead Product Designer. Josh has been intimately involved in the development and design of each Transparent product since 1997. He gets a strong sense of accomplishment from knowing that the Transparent team has brought each new release closer to a live music experience.
Josh plays the trumpet and has played in groups for most of his life. He also enjoys making espresso coffee, sea kayaking, the outdoors, and spending time with his family in their 19th century Portland home.
Amy Farwell - Purchasing Manager
Amy joined Transparent in 1997 and is an integral part of daily operations. She manages Transparent's inventory and knows exactly how much we have of each item and where it is. This is no small task when managing tens of thousands of different parts from different suppliers, hundreds of miles of cable, and many boxes of packaging that are required to keep Transparent running smoothly.
Amy loves to travel and has visited much of Europe. She continues to travel the US with her family and likes to go geocaching on weekends, turning a walk in the woods into an adventure all it's own!
Roxanne Meserve - Warehouse Manager
Roxanne has been with Transparent since 1985 and, as our warehouse manager, she is our conductor of order fulfillment. Roxanne works closely with Amy and Paul to manage Transparent's total inventory. She is the leader of a small team who ensures that every order is filled correctly and delivered on time, no matter where in the world its destination may be.
Roxanne started as a technician and has experience working in our custom lab. She enjoys the outdoors, kayaking and camping. Roxanne likes to spend her weekends with her husband and four grandchildren.
Sarah Razak - Human Resources and Accounting Manager
Sarah, our Human Resources and Accounting Manager, is a true people person. She loves working with all of Transparent's employees, dealers, distributors and technicians, bringing positive energy to every workday. Sarah likes that her dual-role keeps her in the "thick of things" and understands how good numbers and great people go together.
In the summer, Sarah loves to ride miles of trails on her bicycle. She can also be found year-round playing cards, dice, and board games with her friends and family.
Lisa Terroni - Custom Lab Manager
Lisa has been part of the Transparent team since 1987. She has known founders Jack and Carl since she was a teenager. As the custom lab manager, Lisa oversees the manufacture of every cable and interconnect Transparent sells. She is a cable-construction wizard who can assemble the most unusual connections quickly and easily. Lisa is Transparent's top trainer and instructs both our dealers and new assemblers in the art of creating Transparent's highly specialized products.
Lisa loves photography, kayaking, and spending time with her family.
Jon Zimmer - Sales and Marketing
Jon worked for Stereo Exchange in New York City and as an independent audio sales representative before moving his family to Maine to join the Transparent staff in February of 2014. A genuine Transparent fan, Jon comes to Transparent as an owner of the products. Jon also has great instincts for marketing and his savvy insights often shape Transparent's promotional efforts.
Jon and his family love their new home and look forward to raising their daughter here. When not listening to music, Jon likes playing Disc Golf and Ultimate Frisbee.
Demos Dadiotes - Customer Support
Demos is Transparent's technical and sales support guru. Demos started at Transparent over ten years ago when he switched from being our Fed Ex Express driver to working in our warehouse and lab, where he learned every part of the order fulfillment process. Now Demos is the first to speak with our dealers and customers, answer their questions, and solve their order fulfillment dilemmas. He's also an accomplished photographer of Transparent products. His photographs appear regularly on Transparent's website and in dealer newsletters.
Demos has always loved music and is always striving to improve his audio system. Since working at Transparent, a whole new world of musical clarity has opened to him! He likes to make the most of his Transparent connected hi-fi system, listening to classic tunes with his wife on lazy Sunday mornings.
Evan Coffey - Sales Support and Product Development Assistant
As the Sales Support and Product Development Assistant, Evan helps our dealers and customers place orders and answers your questions about everything Transparent. Evan also works in the lab, assisting Kevin and Josh in all aspects of product design and development.
A graduate of Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA, Evan started a small business building guitar pedals, amplifiers, and other musical equipment just for fun and a little profit. Evan began playing bass and guitar in bands "as soon as his parents would let him," and has been an avid collector of vinyl since High School. He has also traveled extensively, and has enjoyed visiting and living in New Zealand, Alaska, and Antarctica.
Kevin Midgley - Industrial Design
An accomplished songwriter and musician, Kevin joined Transparent in 2001 building custom cables in our lab. His aesthetic sense and practical knowledge of live musical performance quickly brought him to the design end, acting as a bridge between management and production. Kevin designs and sources all the custom-made components used in our cables, and constantly researches all aspects of cable construction and design to help develop our newest products.
Kevin still makes time to sing the blues in and around southern and central Maine and record original music. You might find him playing at a local pub, on stage at one of Maine's blues festivals, or relaxing by the sea at his family's camp.
Bruce Kennett - Art Direction
A noted designer of books and museum exhibits, Bruce became Transparent's unofficial Art Director when his then-landlord introduced him to some young entrepreneurs who needed an inexpensive-yet-beautifully-rendered brochure for a Norwegian amplifier. The rest - as they say - is history and Bruce has been Transparent's "artistic conscience" ever since. A music lover who grew up in a very musical family, Bruce understands what it means to be "close to the music" and strives to infuse every design for Transparent with this core value.
When not listening and creating in his New Hampshire studio, Bruce enjoys nature walks, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing in the White Mountains.
Transparent products are hand-constructed by a team of highly skilled technicians with over 100 years of experience between them! Transparent's flexible work schedule, the precise handmade nature of their products, and Transparent's intimate connection with music have served to build and retain a team of highly skilled technicians who also find time to pursue their musical and artistic passions.
In addition to these veterans, Transparent has a growing team of less experienced and part-time assemblers who are very valuable in Transparent's ongoing efforts to make every audio cable one-at-a-time, by hand in the USA.
Read on to meet some of our talented veteran technicians.
Gina Vincent - Shipping and Receiving
Gina is Roxanne's right-hand-woman and is in charge of morning receiving and outbound shipping to the US and Canada. She helps Roxanne ensure that the right Transparent products get shipped to all our dealers, distributors, and customers at the right time. Gina started at Transparent in 1997 as an assembly technician and, as a trained assembler, she is adaptable and able to step into any unexpected gap and keep things running smoothly.
Gina enjoys spending time outdoors and playing a round of golf with her husband.
Larry Burkett - Custom Laboratory
Larry started at Transparent as an assembly technician in 2000 and joined our custom laboratory four years ago. He is part of a team that constructs custom cables in a variety of nonstandard lengths, connections, and calibrations. The pride Larry takes in his craft is evident in every specialty cable he constructs for our customers.
Larry plays the guitar and traditional fiddle music. He spends his weekends performing with local fiddle orchestra Fiddle-icious and stargazing with the Astronomical Society of Northern New England.
Betty and Ralph Hamm
The Hamm's met Transparent founder Carl when they were the owners of a corner store near the original Transparent headquarters in Hollis, ME. After selling the store in 1986, Carl approached them for help; he needed someone to handle packing and painting a series of turntables. Betty and Ralph soon began assembling cable and they now focus their efforts constructing Transparent's most advanced products. This highly skilled team works side by side to execute the most precise assembly and measurement specifications required by Transparent.
Betty and Ralph foster and rescue Border Collies through New England Border Collie Rescue. They enjoy camping and look forward to travelling cross-country. Betty and Ralph are Amy Farwell's parents. Betty says, "Our biggest contribution to Transparent is Amy!"
Mike Dank, a professional musician and music teacher, began terminating cable in 1992 when he was looking for short-term work in between tours. Transparent turned out to be a good fit for the travelling musician. Mike plays drums in several local bands and he also teaches music at Wayneflete School in Portland.
Mike enjoys woodworking and outdoors sports. He builds his own kayaks, and he enjoys dog sledding for short winter trips with his small team of huskies.
Bandmate Mike Dank introduced Frank to Transparent in 1994. Frank quickly found that cable construction brought together his two great passions: music and visual arts. Like many of our assembly technicians, Frank loves that he has the flexibility to set his work schedule around his musical gigs.
Frank has belonged to many bands and musical performance groups in his nearly thirty years as a performer. He currently plays saxophone with an improvisational Jazz trio, "Mystic Out-Bop Review." Frank is a trained visual artist who creates symbolic shadowboxes from found materials.
A Transparent assembly technician for over 20 years, Karen honed her engineering chops in Boston assembling and wiring chassis for laser light shows. When Karen grew tired of the commute, a friend introduced her to Transparent and she never looked back.
Karen loves working with the Transparent crew and the freedom flexible work hours provide her. Karen is an avid reader and loves to listen to books on tape or music while she is assembling cable.
Mark began working for Transparent in 1997. He takes great pride in every cable he constructs. As the owner of a Transparent-connected system, Mark knows he is building a product that brings people musical joy.
Mark is a professional drummer and he plays regularly at bars, weddings, and other community events. A family man and avid gardener, Mark enjoys spending time with his daughter and the outdoors.
Karen grew up in Hollis, Maine and joined Transparent over 15 years ago when a high school friend introduced her to the company. As a professional musician with a full schedule, Karen liked that Transparent gave her the opportunity to pursue a fulfilling second career on her own terms. Karen likes to construct Transparent's PowerIsolator and power products. She says it's like putting together a puzzle!
Karen is still an active musician and enjoys being involved in several musical projects at once. She's also a devoted mom and has an exciting second life as "Buffy Pipes" in the Maine Roller Derby league.