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Legend of Leadership

Posted by Jessica Gaines
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Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly honored Chuck Surack, founder and owner of BCA 10 honoree Sweetwater Sound, as its 2017 Legend of Leadership.

 

 

Chuck Surack is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, community volunteer, pilot, musician, husband and father who has spent his career not only serving as a leader in his profession but also as a servant leader for non-profits and the community.

 

Surack has served on the boards of Greater Fort Wayne, Inc., the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Orchestra, WBNI/WBOI Public Radio, Unity Performing Arts Foundation, the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum, Tower Bank, the National Association of Music Merchants and other organizations. He is currently a board member for Easter Seals ARC of Northeast Indiana, the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo (where he was previously Board President), the Boy Scouts of America Advisory Board, Lutheran Hospital, Lutheran Health Network, and Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Office of Development. 

 

Surack and his wife contribute to more than 500 nonprofit organizations annually; they also established the Chuck and Lisa Surack Endowed Scholarship for Music Technology at the University of Saint Francis.

 

“I’ve been a musician for as long as I can remember. From my success in business as a music technology retailer, to the joy I experience playing with my band every week, it’s difficult to count up all the blessings that music has brought to my life. For my wife Lisa and me, supporting the arts is a way of paying forward all those blessings, and a great pleasure.”

–Chuck Surack, Founder and President, Sweetwater Sound, Inc

 

Sweetwater Sound, Inc. is committed to serving the arts in order to give back to the community from which it derives its support. While much of the music industry is centered in Nashville and Los Angeles, the company established its headquarters in Fort Wayne, IN, where the cost of living and the quality of life in the city would be attractive to potential employees. Since it was established in 1979, the company has supported local arts organizations through donations; sponsorships; and in-kind products and services, including free musical instruments and equipment, free recording time, both in-studio and at performances.

 

Sweetwater is the fourth largest retailer of music instruments and music technology in the United States. The vast majority of Sweetwater employees are musicians, which means that its operating culture is immersed with music and musicmaking. More than half of Sweetwater’s employees are recruited from out of state and the high quality of the Fort Wayne arts community is one of the incentives provided to candidates.

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