They say all good things must come to an end, eventually....
After a lengthy, successful career, it’s time for Dale’s “living legend” Mike Bogen to finally hang up his cleats. Now, he prepares for a well-earned retirement!
Ever since coming to Dale in 1993, Mike has been nearly synonymous with our company. His clientele have ranged from broadcast networks, major sports franchises, remote truck fleets, to top event production companies and everywhere in between.
In his college days, Mike was Station Manager of his school's radio station. He then went on to work in various capacities at WTFM and WHN in New York City. He then joined a commercial production company where he produced and engineered thousands of commercials for small stations and ad agencies around the country.
He then transitioned to selling pro audio gear to studios where he had been a client, first with Martin Audio, and then at Dale. Mike has been a participant in the changes from tube gear to solid state to computer based recording, and has loved it all.
"It's been a fascinating journey. A decade in NYC radio and commercial production followed by over 45 years at Martin Audio and Dale Pro Audio. I'll let you in on a secret: as interesting and exciting the equipment may be, it ain't the gear. It's all about the people; my co-workers, the reps, and our customers. I will never forget the care and concern you all showed through my various medical mishaps. A special shout-out to Michael, Valerie, Tim, Terry and Kim. You went above and beyond.
It's been a great ride and you will always be in my heart. Merce and I thank you all."
- Mike Bogen
"It was 1979 when I got my first job in the professional audio sales business. The company was Martin Audio. And a guy by the name of Mike Bogen worked there.
I started in the warehouse. Then, the Parts Dept., and onto pro audio sales. Mike was in pro audio sales. I knew I wanted to do that. And, Mike was my mentor. Probably not just MY mentor. He is still my mentor.
He epitomized the successful pro audio salesman. He worked hard. He worked late….lots of the time. There was even an advertisement for Martin that was comprised of a picture of Mike, working at his desk, the windows showing the darkness of night. Everyone else had gone home. I believed he loved getting so much done. And, he was really busy. This was before any dealership ever said “OK” to a sales assistant.
Mike knew everything. He really did. He would lovingly welcome any salesperson to question him about what they did not know. He remains The Wizard.
He has had LOTS of customers over these years; from his old home of jingle studios, to music and post recording studios, radio stations, churches, and anyone else who could spell the word audio, as he has so often said.
His success with broadcasters was groundbreaking. NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, Fox, and many others benefitted from his thorough knowledge of their needs, and also from time spent on the phone, or from a visit…just talking about life.
When Mike became sales manager at Martin, he entrusted NBC to me. THAT was a big deal. I was flattered and very thankful for his faith in me. These 40 years later, I am grateful and proud to be carrying on his legacy with a few of his customers. Everyone one of them praises the value of their friendship with Mike with a sincerity that is obvious.
When Martin Audio was going through tough times, it became time for me to leave to another NY pro audio retailer. I can still remember the feeling of parting from an older brother. I would miss working with Mike Bogen. But, we would always remain the friendliest of respectful competitors.
A few years later, a call of invitation would come to me from Mike. Would I be interested in working at Dale Pro Audio? His timing could not have been any better. It felt so good to be back working with him again. Thanks, Mike.
For many years at Martin, and then at Dale, Mike and I would attend AES and NAB Conventions. To walk the isles at these shows with him is to CRAWL the isles with him. The “hellos” take a long time. But, isn’t that such a big part of what we do? Treasured relationships.
It is often said how many people Martin Audio in NYC bred to move on in the pro audio industry. Presently, there are four of us still working at Dale Pro Audio! Many others have made there way to manufacturers, rep firms, and other dealerships. I believe that Mike’s sincere, happy, dedicated, knowledgeable, and smiling example has a home in many of those hearts.
If there was ever someone who deserved a big retirement party, it is Mike Bogen. Circumstances beyond our control are to blame for postponing that. Let’s hope that we can plan this for Mike as soon as we are able. In the meantime, enjoy your time with Merce and your family, Mike. You deserve it all."
Tim Finnegan, Sales Professional, Dale Pro Audio
"Mike Bogen is one of the finest and smartest people I've ever met: he's a true legend in the Pro Audio business. Personally, he was my mentor when I first started at Dale 25 + years ago. Any success I've had since then, I can trace to that first year or two where I would ask him questions daily and he always took the time to help me and answer me thoroughly."
Joe Prout, Senior Director Broadcast Sales, Dale Pro Audio
"It's truly saying something that Mike is as legendary as he is, given how formidable Dale's salesforce talent levels are. Any vendor visit or meeting that I have in my role, 'How's Mike Bogen?' are usually some of the first words out of the rep's mouth. Mike deserves a happy retirement and I wish him the very best."
Eric Eldredge, Director of Marketing, Dale Pro Audio
"I'm ready for the book and movie version of the man we all love Mike Bogen. His many accomplishments from NYC auxiliary police officer to advertising mogul, to broadcast master, to present day Pro AV aficionado could easily fill volumes and create a three hour feature length film with Richard Gere playing Mike Bogen. Yeah that's it, I'm sure the Lager family will bankroll this blockbuster movie and let me write and direct it.
Mike, enjoy your much deserved retirement and continue to fill your house with kids, grand kids and at least a half dozen dogs & cats. I'll be over anytime you like, with a mask, gloves and full body PPE of course and have some of your homemade iced tea."
Drew Milano, Cardone Solomon & Associates
"All those email requests I sent you labeled Rush Quote Needed, you always came through AND sometimes had a good side story for me. I will miss you, best wishes to you."
Jim Aulita, A-V Services Inc.
"We can't believe Mike retired! He’s earned it many times over! He’s a legend in the pro audio sales industry, so we at Telos Alliance wish him all the best in this new phase of his life."
Larry Deeds, The Telos Alliance
"I wish you a happy and enjoyable retirement Mike! You are a legend in our industry and will certainly be missed."
Bryan Ottens, Peter E Schmitt Company
"I've known Mike since his days at Adelphi University in 1965. It has always been a pleasure keeping in touch. Best wishes for his retirement."
John Schmidt, John Schmidt Audio
"Sixteen years since we met at the 2004 NAB show! It’s been a pleasure doing business with you. Enjoy retirement."
Dan Dugan, Dan Dugan Sound Design
"You have many industry accomplishments under your belt and in your memory lane as a manager, top salesperson at both Martin and Dale and carried a hefty broadcast business producing millions of dollars for many years. And the best part is all along you were a pleasure to know and to be with whenever I came to visit. Please stay in touch and enjoy your well deserved chill time and many happy memories."
Bob Quinones, Yamaha Professional Audio
"I have been at Tele-Measurements, Inc. for over 13 years and Mike Bogen has always been at the other end of the telephone line for help with different product issues. His voice mail message has always brought a smile to my face. Please let him know we will all be “ curled up in the fetal position under our desks” in honor of his retirement."
Mike Federici, Tele-Measurements Inc.
"Any business trip to New York or attending a trade show event would not be complete without a thoughtful, quiet, conversation with Mike Bogen. Always a gentleman, he played a unique role in linking people together in this large but still personal industry."
Gordon Kapes, Studio Technologies, Inc.
"I want to thank you for giving me my first opportunity to work in the Pro Audio industry. Martin Audio was a most special place, with the most special people I still think of as family. I wish you all the very best in this next stage of your life."
Anita Martino, WorldStage
"I first worked with Mike back in the late 80's at Martin Audio. Then they closed shop. All them apples didn't fall far from the tree. Mike landed at Dale, others like myself landed at Audio Techniques, and some started Sam Ash Pro. Mike did the craziest thing. He went and married my Mom, Merce. That was 30 some odd years ago… The timeline here is close enough for audio…
Fast forward, Mike becomes the Godfather, I mean Grandfather of all the kids in our family. I think he may have had a picture of them in his office. I'd like to say good luck Mike in your new endeavors but I still get to see him every week. And I'll always consider him a great friend and trusted advisor foremost."
Ed Knieriem, Sam Ash Music
"My sister and I want to express our most sincere thanks and appreciation to Mike Bogen. Over his 27 year career at Dale, he has shared his encyclopedic knowledge of audio with our staff and has always been the consummate professional salesman. From every facet of our industry, whether broadcast, to studio, to post, to live, to A/V and more, Mike as covered all the bases.
Mike was there at the very early days of Dale Pro Audio. He was already a pro-audio star from his days at Martin Audio. His presence brought instant credibility to our company in the eyes of customers, vendors and reps.
Our company would not be where we are without him, and now with his retirement, our ranks are indeed diminished. Mike, we wish you and Merce all the best and many happy days. With love, Valerie and Michael"
Michael and Valerie Lager, Owners, Dale Pro Audio