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Bandit Lites Launches 50th Year with Annual Meeting

Michael T. Strickland and Don Lockridge, Bandit Lites

Bandit Lites kicked off its 50th year with its annual general meeting, a gathering of all Bandits from around the country to commemorate the previous year's successes, laud those with significant anniversaries and outstanding service, and to devise the groundwork for the upcoming year's projects.

Among the performers and speakers for the day's event were Republic Records recording artist and 2016 The Voice winner, Chris Blue, American radio host, Hallerin Hilton Hill, and Bandit founder and chair, Michael T. Strickland, who shared his continued vision of Bandit's focus on excellence. Blue performed several songs, including his new hit single, "Blue Blood Blues."

Allison Burchett (director of philanthropy and project manager), Sharon Gross (media relations coordinator), and Brad Hylton (warehouse manager) all celebrated five years of service with Bandit while John Lucksinger (lighting director), Mark Steinwachs (general manager), Jeff Mercer (general maintenance technician), and Stephanie McSpadden (administrative and purchasing assistant) rang in a decade with Bandit. Linda Sayers (accounting manager), Wayne Lotoza (lighting technician), Adam McIntosh (lighting technician), and Brad Rogers (inventory control) were honored for 15 years with Bandit.

Both Chuck Hastings and Rick Munroe were given awards for 20 years of service at Bandit. Hastings has worked on WWE, Toby Keith, and most recently, Garth Brooks world tour, while Munroe's storied career in lighting has included KISS and legendary performer, Jimmy Buffett.

Bandit's Strickland stated, "To reach 20 years of service at any job is a major accomplishment. To be at one firm this long in the entertainment industry is rare. The longevity of Rick and Chuck is a statement to their dedication, excellence, and talent. I wish to thank them both for being the incredibly talented people they are and for being key parts of the Bandit family. Here is to twenty more gentlemen! Thank you!"

Finally, in a culmination of the day's celebration, Bandit Lites project manager Don Lockridge, who has provided immeasurable support on multiple productions and tours, including Garth Brooks, Aerosmith and WWE, was recognized for 30 years with Bandit Lites.

"Don came to Bandit in 1987 when we acquired a former competitor," said Strickland. "At that time, Don was the 'new guy.' From that day to this, Don has always been, to me, the 'new guy.' In that time, Don has become a valuable part of the Bandit team, and more importantly, a great friend. Don spent many years on the road, ending that phase of his life with Garth Brooks from 1992 to 1998. After that, Don moved into the office where he is now one of our invaluable project managers. I love Don like a brother, but to me he is still the 'new guy', which is so funny. Thanks Don for all the miles and here is to many more!"

With a half a century of concert lighting completed, Bandit Lites still forges forward into the next 50 years, with an emphasis on quality, excellence, and commitment to people.

"It has been a great first fifty, but everyone at Bandit is focused on the next fifty," said Strickland about the future. "The industry is bigger, brighter, and more exciting than ever, and we look at every opportunity as a chance to delver magic and excellence. The world class team of people we have assembled is the Bandit difference, and we know our people and our methods are what make us the best in the business. For fifty years we have focused on people, quality and service, and that will never change. Bandit will be your illumination solution with the best people in the business, the latest technology, and service second to none. Bandit has just opened a new, larger facility in Charlotte as we outgrew the old facility. This is another sign of our continued growth. We wish to thank everyone for a great first fifty and promise to always be there for you in the next fifty!"

WWWwww.banditlites.com


(6 February 2018)

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