Sonance was among the first companies to manufacture in-wall loudspeakers and considered a pioneer in what is commonly described as Architectural Audio. Founded in 1982 by Scott Struthers and Geoff Spencer, the company reportedly did, “Something that no one in the audio industry had done before: move the loudspeakers off the floor, off the shelf, and into the wall.”
That legacy of architectural appeal continued with the development of even more pleasing designs, starting with trimless speakers and ultimately speakers that disappear entirely into the wall (after acquiring patents from Sound Advance Systems). From there, Scott went on to found iPort, the first in-wall music system for the iPod. After that he launched TruFIG, developer of flush-mount solutions for a wide range of keypads, electrical devices and other in-wall devices.
I recently sat down with Scott Struthers to talk about his work with the Lindbergh Foundation.
Maureen Jenson: First of all congratulations on receiving the Tingmissartoq Medal for your support of the Lindbergh Foundation’s Air Shepherd program! You and I have known each other for a very long time and you are truly one of the founders of the custom electronics industry. How did you get involved with something like the Lindbergh Foundation’s Air Shepherd program?
Scott Struthers: Hello, Maureen. My dad was a biologist and I love Africa, animals and the planet. Air Shepherd focuses on saving elephants through the use of drones, so of course this all resonated with me. The planet is having major issues and I want to make people aware of the opportunities to help as I see them.
MJ: So did you actually know that your support was going directly to using drones to protect rhinos and elephants in Africa? And if so, is this something that is personally important to you?
SS: I knew. And helping one of the last continents to evolve into a healthy place for animals, people and the environment is something I want to drive forward with, encourage others to participate in and just generally make more people aware of the state of the situation in Africa.
Elephants are on the brink of extinction. There are only 350,000 African elephants left. They are being killed at a rate of 96 per day. They could be gone in less than 10 years. While this is a dire situation, through efforts like Air Shepherd and Elephant Cooperation we are showing more and more people the truth about Africa and how little it will take to have high impact.
It is scary and exciting. I feel that I can take what I have learned and the resources I have from building speakers to the people of America and Africa and truly make wonderful things happen.
MJ: What else have you been up to lately?
SS: I have several different companies and business projects that I am working on, but I am trying to spend more and more time focusing on making Africa achieve its greatest potential.
MJ: What would you say, and how would you encourage other industry members to get involved in giving back through programs such as the Lindbergh Foundation?
SS: The CEDIA world has given so many people in our industry great lives. We need to take what has been given to us and pass on a better world to future generations. We need to take care of the planet and all of its inhabitants, children and animals. I think we all want to make the planet a better place. I hope to see others take their passion that has made them successful in their businesses and apply that to a world challenge. It feels good to help others. And everyone wants to feel good.
I can be contacted via Mechelle Haines at email@example.com
and can help anyone who wants to see Africa or help the planet!