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Showco Founder / Sound Engineer

As far back as he can remember, Rusty has always been fascinated with all things mechanical. Not long after joining a rock band in high school, he began building his own audio equipment. After earning a mechanical engineering degree at Southern Methodist University, he spent two years developing laser technology at Texas Instruments. He then transformed his audio hobby into a career by founding Showco, an audio engineering and rental house, with partner Jack Maxson in 1970.

Under Rusty's leadership, Showco quickly became a complete production services company. By 1972, Showco's offerings included lighting, scenery, and trucking as well as audio rentals. While managing Showco's overall growth, Rusty maintained a very "hands on" approach to client service by personally mixing the performances of many artists, including the legendary rock group Led Zeppelin.

In 1980, Rusty's drive for invention led him to introduce the entertainment industry's first line of automated lights. Following their introduction under the Vari*Lite brand name, Rusty soon formed a new company under that name to focus on the ongoing development of automated lighting technology. The technical innovations introduced under the Vari*Lite name have since set many of the standards by which all other automated lighting technologies are measured.

During the 1990s, Rusty sold Showco in order to concentrate his attention on the rapid growth of Vari*Lite's manufacturing and rental operations. In 2002, he sold Vari*Lite's manufacturing operations in order to focus on the company's higher-growth rental operations. As client demand for equipment continued to exceed the available inventory of his rental company, Vari*Lite Production Services (VLPS), Rusty reached a decision in 2004 to merge VLPS with PRG. The resulting entity offers all of the services offered by the original Showco, but on a much larger scale and with the largest and most technically advanced lighting inventory in the world.

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