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Audio Industry Veteran Michael Reeves Dies in Tragic Cycling Accident

Michael Reeves in January 2014

Audio industry veteran Michael Reeves passed away of injuries sustained in an accident when an automobile collided with him while riding his road bike in Monterey, Calif., on June 21, 2014. Reeves’ wife Mary and daughter Katy were close by, at home and many family and friends were able to assemble quickly to support and comfort them during the tragedy.

Reeves was a well-known, larger-than-life character who loved to take everything to the extreme. Whether it was his work in the pro-audio business, his skill as a waterman, in cycling, in aviation, scuba diving, woodworking, photography or in music he would engage each one with great zeal. He was an avid cyclist who rode every week and loved to participate in long range cycling events known as Century Rides.

Michael MacDonald, president of ATK Audiotek, recalls Reeves as “the consummate salesman who loved to take on new projects and would spring into action and attack any challenge fearlessly. When it came to sales, Michael was best in class, a focused, relentless closer who loved every minute selling.”

MacDonald and Reeves had worked together in many companies over two decades and were working on a new venture at the time of the tragedy. “He was an extraordinary business partner, a fantastic athlete who was brilliant, always curious and a joy to spend time with. I have been fortunate to join Michael on adventures around the world and he was a loyal friend that I could always count on. I, along with our colleagues in the pro audio community, will miss him dearly.”

Reeves, who grew up in Southern California, attended Golden West College and the University of Miami and was a graduate of the California State University Fullerton. He also worked as a broadcast engineer at the Fullerton College radio station, KBPK. He began his professional audio career at Webber Sound and McCune Audio in Anaheim, Calif. Reeves designed and mixed events from the Orange County Fair to the Catholic Congress and many convention and trade show events at the Anaheim Convention Center. Michael also worked on many Disneyland Park and Hotel special events.

Later in his career, Reeves crossed over to the manufacturer side of the industry and was recruited by JBL Professional’s International Division heading up sales in Asia and later transitioned to the Latin American market. Reeves also held sales and marketing positions with Mackie/EAW, Gator Cases, Lake Technologies and Dolby Laboratories.

Most recently Reeves had launched his own consulting firm and was fully engaged with five clients under contract.

Mark Terry, Kaman Music President, says, “I first got to know Michael 24 years ago traveling with him throughout China and Southeast Asia doing JBL product demos and dealer visits long before it was fashionable to sell in that part of the world. His audio knowledge and sales skills were world class. But it was his passion for life and infectious enthusiasm that made him stand out as someone truly special. I was fortunate to know him personally, as well as professionally, and he was always a man of character, honesty, and integrity. He was a good man and I am proud to have known him. Michael loved life, he loved his family, and he loved the pro audio industry. We are all going to miss him.”

Simon Jones, Vice president of Sales and Business Development at Line 6 and a longtime friend and colleague, says, “I believe Michael’s biggest competitor in business and his personal life was himself. This gave him an insatiable drive that was truly infectious as anyone who spent time with him knows. He was a fantastic educator, mentor and above all exceptional friend. We lost him way too soon but I know he will always be there pushing us along to do our very best. “

Another industry veteran, Jerry Freed of Gator Cases enlisted Michael to help with OEM sales early on at Gator. “Michael was more than a salesman he was a terrific marketer, product creator and then managed the entire sales process. Even after he and the family moved back to California, I was still in contact with him frequently and I will miss him.”

Adaptive Technologies president Paul Allen, remembered Michael like this: “As a consultant, Michael’s vast sales experience and his personal touch helped us in so many ways and I credit him for a good part of our company’s success. His passion for bike riding was contagious and he usually brought his bike with him everywhere he traveled. Recently at a Las Vegas convention, Michael convinced me that it would be a good idea to ride the road through Red Rock Canyon State Park, Michael must have seen my stunned look once I realized there was a huge grade and a long-long ride back, then with a big smile on his face, he graciously cut the tour down to just a few miles each way.” Allen went on to say, “My staff and I loved working with him. Michael was not just the guy we want living next door, he was the guy we want in our family! My wife Michele and I along with my staff will miss Michael tremendously.”

Reeves is survived by his wife Mary Gray-Reeves, his daughter Katie and his son Dorian. A memorial service is planned for Friday, June 27 at 5 p.m. at Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Saratoga, Calif. A reception and celebration of Reeves’ life will follow at the parish center.