Top 100 Family Business of the Year: Electro Acoustics makes waves with continued success

Sam Jordan, Chris Jordan and Luke Jordan 

Electro Acoustics

2905 Suffolk Dr.

Suite 200

Fort Worth 76133

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Created in their garage 33 years ago by Chris Jordan and his wife, Sue, Electro Acoustics has outfitted nearly every important college or professional sports and performing arts facility in North Texas with sophisticated audio-visual controls that help bring events to life for the audience. Churches are another area of focus for the company.

Their two sons, Sam and Luke, are part of the company and there’s a seven-year transition plan for them to take ownership and operate the company their parents started. That’s part of the family tradition since Chris Jordan says it was his father, Henry, who sparked his fascination with the field.

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“My dad created my interest in audio as we worked together out of his garage installing home stereo systems – think vacuum tubes,” he said.

Jordan took classes at Tarrant County College, attended seminars and loaded up on textbooks about sound engineering and acoustics. “I taught myself by reading everything I could get my hands on. I had discovered my passion.”

In 1984, he says, “I sold my 1976 Gran Prix and bought a used white cargo van and a handful of tools from a pawn shop. Initially I won business by knocking on doors. I would see a church or another building under construction, find out who the architect was and invite them out for lunch to explain how I could help.”

If you have attended a church service, ballgame or performing arts event in Fort Worth or elsewhere in North Texas, your experience was probably made more inspiring by the sound, video and lighting systems in those venues. There’s a good chance the family-owned Electro Acoustics Inc. was responsible.

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Westminster Presbyterian Church in Southwest Fort Worth’s Wedgwood neighborhood was Electro Acoustics’ first customer, and a few months ago it became a repeat client when the audio system was upgraded.

“The sound system was still working after 33 years!” Jordan exclaims. “That is pretty unusual for electronics and to be able to maintain a customer that long.”

The relationship with the Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum dates to 1946, when Henry Jordan installed and maintained a sound system while working for contractor Clifford Herring.

“I installed the current system 17 years ago as well as quite a few other systems on the WRMC campus,” Chris Jordan said. “Luke has maintained the systems we have installed for the WRMC complex, so you have three generations of Jordans involved in providing the sound at the coliseum.”

The Fort Worth company is the oldest and largest designer and installer of commercial audio, video and theatrical lighting equipment in the region. They can amp up a Texas Rangers baseball game into a heart-pounding, crowd-thrilling experience by touching every fan with the sights and sounds one would expect only from behind home plate.

As the company made a name for itself, more projects came in and many of those were from word of mouth by satisfied customers.

Among them are such landmarks as the Bass Performance Hall, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Sundance Square Plaza, Eisemann Center for Performing Arts in Richardson, Kimbell Art Museum, Walsh Performing Arts Center at Texas Christian University, the University of North Texas’ Paul Voertman Concert Hall, Levitt Pavilion in Arlington and Weatherford High School’s Jerry Durant Auditorium.

Sports venues are another area where Jordan’s company excels. Standout projects include Globe Life Park in Arlington, TCU’s Amon G. Carter Stadium and Charlie and Marie Lupton Baseball Stadium, as well as UNT’s APOGEE Stadium.

In terms of design, “It is important to have a stadium that not only looks like it hosts a national-caliber team, but one that also excites the crowd and offers that extra ‘wow’ factor,” Jordan said.

He credits his team of about 20 employees for much of the company’s success and points with pride to the fact that many have tenures of 25 or more years and others have over a decade with the company.

Chris and Sue Jordan have a positive outlook for the coming years as they turn over the business to their two sons. Sam, who just completed service as an Air Force lawyer, is the new general manager, and says, “We love the toys, but they are tools and they aren’t the focus. It’s the impact they have. Community gets created with the tools we can provide.”