Joe DeFio has been working within the piano industry since 1968 and has been involved with most phases of the business i.e. wholesale, retail, and manufacturing. Just recently he was called a "piano guru" in an article in a well known publication, Music Inc Magazine, and recently was asked to participate with building a new piano brand and factory in Africa. Most recently Joe was instrumental for bringing the Hailun Piano brand to the forefront in the USA and making it a brand to be a force in the market. Joe has been a professional musician for a half century and has played in more venues big and small that he can remember. Joe turned pro when he was 14, joining an 11 year-old drummer and a 16 year-old sax player to perform at private events and Italian restaurants. Since then he has found a way to juggle his love for performing with a very successful piano industry track record. He is a musician and lover of the piano industry equally.
Hannah Beckett, Publisher and Editor for PianoBuyer.com
Hannah Beckett is the current Publisher and Editor for PianoBuyer.com. She is also a professional piano technician with over fifteen years of experience in the industry and is the Executive Director of the Professional Piano Technicians Network (ProPTN.org), an online educational resource for piano technicians worldwide. She is passionate about uniting all areas of the piano industry for the betterment of the instrument and the continued enjoyment of music.
Brigham Larson, Expert Piano Technician, Rebuilder, Piano Dealer
Brigham Larson discovered his passion in life in 1995 (before meeting his wife, Karmel, in 2000, when she took over that title) when as a Junior in High School, he hired a local Chicago piano technician to teach him about tuning and repair. He took to piano work ravenously! After getting married in 2000, Brigham and Karmel started a family and a piano tuning and repair business out of their home. Brigham and Karmel's home became a haven for piano rebuilding and childrearing, and in 2010, with 5 children (eventually 8 children) and 23 pianos in the home, Karmel said, "it's time to find a commercial location!" They began selling Hailun, Hallet Davis, Petrof, and restoration pianos out of a 2500 sq ft warehouse in Pleasant Grove, Utah. Within a year, they were bursting at the seams and added the neighboring 2500 sq ft unit. By 2014, they purchased a 24,000 sq ft building on the main drag in Orem Utah, and they've been running a successful sales showroom and restoration shop ever since. With a team of 25 technicians, refinishers, movers, and administrators, Brigham Larson Pianos enjoys a nationwide clientele for new, refurbished, and rebuilt pianos, and they restore about 100 pianos per year.
George F. Emerson, Piano Designer & Technician
G. Frank Emerson is a piano designer whose roots are firmly based in piano technician training and experiences he was involved with in the early part of his career. He became a well respected piano designer for the Baldwin Piano Company in the 1970s while continuing to support the Piano Technicians Guild, for which he has often provided educational presentations. Frank was hired by Hailun Piano Company, based in China, and has since worked with the factories to implement the craftsmanship needed to build the instruments he has designed. He was awarded the Friendship Medal, China’s highest honor to foreign experts.
Laura Rose-Grabinski, Digital Marketing Expert
Laura Rose-Grabinski is a digital marketing, communications, and branding expert. Laura has launched both national and international brands over her years in marketing. Laura has a passion for helping small businesses grow and succeed. She utilizes her business experience in tandem with her psychology & visual communication knowledge to identify what consumers need and want, and how to help businesses best provide it. Laura, a cellist for over 20 years, has had a lifelong love of music. Her earliest memories include listening to Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, and attending the symphony and ballet in Reno, NV where she was born.
Christoph Schulz, Master Piano Builder
Gebr. Schulz pianos are fully designed in their headquarters in Wiesbaden, Germany. The pianos have attributes which are typical for German pianos, for example a solid-wood soundboard and a Hard Maplewood pin-block, and thereby create outstanding sounds unmatched in their price range. Master of Pedals - how to achieve well-working pedals with no sounds This is a practical session held by Christoph Schulz, on how to eliminate sounds of pedal constructions both on Grand and Upright pianos. A problem often faced especially before concerts. it will share practical tips and techniques as well as insights into the different construction of pedal systems.