Neutrik president Jim Cowan passed away peacefully on November 5, 2008, after a bout with cancer. Well-known and loved throughout the audio industry, 52-year-old Cowan was a 20-year veteran of Neutrik USA, starting out as general manager and then moving on to VP and becoming president of the company in 2000.
“Jim was a wonderful leader with just the right combination of business skills and personal qualities,” said Neutrik AG's CEO Werner Bachman, Cowan's associate and friend for more than two decades. “But more than that, he was an industry icon and a genuinely caring person who touched everyone with his kindness. He was sincere, yet never took himself too seriously. No matter how busy Jim was, he always made the time to talk to you, especially at trade shows. I know he will be sorely missed by an industry he so significantly impacted.”
The first employee of Neutrik USA, Cowan loved the pro audio industry. In a Mix interview, he talked about the satisfaction he felt from “meeting and having one-on-one conversations over the years with industry leaders and pioneers such as Hartley and Melia Peavey, Greg Mackie, Phil Hart, Charlie Wicks and Michael Laiacona — to name just a few. I have been fortunate to have met some of the most talented artists, engineers, installers and designers in the industry.” Cowan recalled that one of his most rewarding accomplishments was getting Neutrik's Speakon connector accepted by manufacturers and users. “It was a big challenge for Neutrik to create something totally new and to get the industry to like it, believe in it and support it,” he said. But Cowan's persistence and hard work paid off, with Speakon now accepted as a worldwide industry standard.
Cowan is survived by his wife, Catherine “Kate” Cowan; sons, Daniel and Gregory; and his mother, Adele. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Ocean of Love (www.ocean-of-love.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children with cancer and their families.