MWDJs Live Board of Directors
Gene has been performing as a DJ since 1999. Starting out as a Karaoke host, Gene quickly learned how to work a crowd and has been entertaining ever since.
In 2004 Gene was laid off his day job, and swore it would never happen again. At that time, his karaoke business was booming, so he took it full time, and shifted its focus in 2007 to weddings and corporate just as the economy began to tank. He sought out training opportunities to better himself and his team as entertainers and discovered Mobile Beat Las Vegas. The learning hasn’t stopped since. From Vegas to Milwaukee to Atlantic City, He continues to attend annual training events to stay sharp and on the cutting edge.
Gene is the Membership Director for the Chicago chapter of the American Disc Jockey Association, and has served on the Board of Directors for Midwest DJs Live since the original board was formed.
Charlie has been a DJ since 1987, at many weddings and special events around the country. He started his own business, The Party Company, back in 1991 and since then they have done over 10,000 events. They specialize in Outdoor Movie Productions, as well as many different Audio, Video & Lighting corporate events and rentals. He enjoys traveling with his family, and playing various roles as a background actor on many shows such as: Empire, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, The Exorcist and more!
Born and raised in Racine Wisconsin, Jeff’s early life was filled with musical influences, most of all his brother Brad. At the age of 16 he worked at the local roller rink as a DJ, where he got the idea to start his own mobile DJ service, DJAYS (Disk Jockeys At Your Service). Chicago radio stations B96 & WBMX in the late 80’s and early 90’s heavily influenced his musical tastes. Jeff’s favorite DJ was, and still is, Tim 'Spinnin' Schommer.
After high school, Jeff enrolled at Gateway technical collage in Kenosha, Wisconsin for radio broadcasting where he focused on multi track mixing, editing and engineering.
As a hard-working “behind-the-scenes” professional, Jeff landed a job at the iconic D.J. International Records in the early 90’s as an assistant engineer, and quickly was promoted to head engineer & studio manager. Jeff was responsible for moving the studio to a Protools 3 recording system from their 24 track 2-inch Otari. Jeff was there when DJI expanded & rebranded to DJ International Multimedia.
Jeff left DJ International to work for Julian "Jumpin" Perez and his new record label: Chicago Groove. In the later part of the 90’s he returned to Racine where he now owns and operates a small home recording studio.
DJ Big Ron blames Jeff for his life as a DJ and as payback, asked Jeff to join the board of Midwest DJs Live when the board was first created. Payback has become a rewarding experience working hard behind the scenes to help put on this show year after year.
Geoffrey Sandler is the owner of Celebrations Entertainment. His entrepreneurial spirit was evident early in his childhood as he ran a very successful paper route business. Geoffrey's love for performing also started early; acting in school and community live theater productions. At age 18, he started DJing at clubs, wedding receptions and other private parties. From the very beginning, clients and guests at every event could tell that Geoffrey had that ‘extra special’ touch. As his skill level increased, he began to realize that his growing knowledge of the industry, his desire to succeed and his experience running a small business was the equation that equaled success. At the age of 23, just 29 short years ago, Celebrations Entertainment was born! During that time, an honorable 9 year military career, that included living and traveling around the world and never stopping being a DJ, Geoffrey gained unparalleled experience that has shaped the companies identity and his leadership as well as his training and performing abilities.
In the past 10 years, Geoffrey has expanded Celebrations from it's base of weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, corporate and schools to include full event production services, photo booths, lighting, casino parties and a very successful fundraising division where he has become a fundraising expert and helps non-profits and foundations raise millions of dollars through consulting, emceeing and auctioneering. Celebrations does about 450 events each year, has 4 full time staff and over 75 part time employees.
With a VCR, a couple of suitcases and a box of CDs, Mitch Taylor embarked from his hometown in Maine of 450 people and traveled to Los Angeles CA to spin on board Carnival Cruise Lines as a club DJ. It was a huge risk for a guy who had never been on a cruise ship before, never been to LA before much less never flown before. Mitch did it in a matter of 2 days. Mitch Taylor has learned a thing or two about taking risks and how to turn them into rewards. Just like you, Mitch is a DJ, someone who loves to play music, entertain people and move people emotionally through all kinds of mediums.
Mitch is a 21-year veteran of the Mobile DJ Industry, having produced educational content for DJs for years. Most recently Mitch studied and trained with America’s #1 Authority on Sales Jeffrey Gitomer, earning his certification as a Gitomer Certified Advisor in February of 2015. From America’s #1 best selling sales book of ALL TIME “The Little Red Book Of Selling” to “Customer Satisfactions Is Worthless…Customer Loyalty Is Priceless” Mitch can deliver Jeffrey Gitomer’s content to you and adapt it to your Mobile DJ Business in a way that’s easy to understand and implement with guaranteed results. In 2014 Mitch launched Sales Is Solutions Workshops and has helped dozens of DJs increase their sales skills. Mitch is also celebrating the release of his new book “Sales For Event Pros”, the definitive process for stressed Event Pros to increase their sales skills and grow their business.
Alton has entertained the masses in 2 continents, several different countries, and all across the United States. At an early age he began with classical training in piano & flute. In his late teens he was recognized as one of the top teenage musicians in the country by being inducted into several national honors ensembles, and in two of these national ensembles he held a principal chair position.
He later went on to study music in college under scholarship, and during that time began his service to our country with the 132nd Army National Guard band here in Madison, WI. After 3.5 years he decided to serve our nation full-time as an active duty Army Bandsman. During Active Duty he was stationed in both Norfolk, VA, and Ft. Rucker, AL where he served with the 98th Army "Silverwings" Band for 3 more years. During that time Alton began his interest in DJing as an art form, and even became the designated unit DJ for public events where the band was asked to provide pre-recorded music. While serving in the military Alton excelled in his musical accomplishments participating in a vast majority of the ensembles in the unit, performing over 700 events per year, and was recognized by several "top brass" leaders for excellence in musicianship.
After his military career, Alton and his fiancé, now wife, Tara moved back to Green Bay, WI where Alton pursued, and completed a B.A. in Communications with an emphasis in Electronic Media, while minoring in Music. During his time pursuing his studies, Alton and another non-traditional student started their first DJ business called "Tunes On Tap". The business grew nearly overnight, and they had residencies at several night life spots throughout the Green Bay area. It wasn't long before couples began approaching them about bringing the Tunes on Tap performance & style to their weddings. After Tunes on Tap's first year, Alton's business partner had an opportunity to pursue that took him to California. Since Tunes on Tap was beginning to see more demand as a private event service rather than solely a nightlife service, Alton started SoundFire DJ, and began transitioning business to the new name in 2010.
Since 2010, Alton, through SoundFire DJ, has entertained thousands of individuals. He also believes in building community in our area by being a DJ who brings DJs together for the good of all of our customers. The networks Alton created for DJs to call on each other when help is needed has saved several events from being without entertainment.
Travis absolutely loves DJing and helping make an impact on people's lives. Travis is considered to be one of the best wedding DJs in Wisconsin and the numbers back that up: Travis has performed over 600 weddings, hundreds of ceremonies and well over one-thousand events. Travis has 23 years of expert skills and knowledge.
The great thing about Travis is that he truly cares about all his clients. Always looking to exceed expectations no matter how big or small the party is. That's what sets Travis apart from the rest of the pack.
Even though Travis has experienced great success within the broadcasting industry, he always felt he wanted to take on the challenge of creating a mobile DJ company that could relay his passion for what he does. The first thing that came to his mind was "Less Worries... More Dancing" (giving the client more then what they paid for by providing great value and professionalism).
Travis had attended the International College of Broadcasting where he later transitioned to a sportscasting career working for ESPN, Fox, Sporting News and CBS Radio. Travis also spent 15 years as a professional club DJ in Ohio, Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin. Over the last ten years Travis has averaged 60 weddings a year while also holding positions with Verizon, U.S. Cellular, Great Wolf Lodge and Great Dane in management roles.
Matt Polacek has had a passion for music his whole life. He has always loved a wide variety of music from a wide variety of genres. Growing up in a musical family exposed him to a wide selection of music. Hearing the classics of Frank Sinatra to enjoying the tunes of Pink Floyd matt quickly became the "DJ" of many family road trips!
Matt knew from the start that the right type of music could set the mood for any occasion. Starting his DJ career in 2005, he worked for a local Central Wisconsin radio station. Matt polished his style at a local DJ Service that specialized in wedding DJs. His flawless mixing ability and a wide spectrum of music knowledge made him a favorite request.
Deciding that he wanted to work with clients to plan the whole event, he formed High Volume Entertainment in 2008. Realizing his passion & excitement could offer great service, continuous fun, and lots of attention to detail, he has worked with clients planning the event of their Dreams.
Matt has continued his education by graduating with a degree in business management, and has attended shows such as The Las Vegas DJ Show, Midwest DJ's Live, and also by going to workshops by people such as Mitch Taylor, Vickie Musni, and Bill Hermann.
Matt currently resides in Weston, WI with his wife Theresa & 4-year-old son Aaron.
Chris brings with him 30 years of experience both as a mobile DJ and radio personality. He also does production work for the award winning radio show Continental Showcase. Born and raised in the Milwaukee area Chris has a great vibe for the area. Anything from polkas to the latest dance music, Chris has a great knowledge of music and knowsjust what to play at the right time.
The Story of Why I DJ
I started in high school as a sound technician for school plays and other related events. This lead me into my first part time job as a DJ assistant my senior year. Right then and there I was hooked. I spent several years working with and learning from some of the best disc jockeys in the area. Now nearly 30 years later the student has become the teacher and I am happy to have helped launch the careers of several successful DJ’s.
I have focused my DJ career on weddings and have great pride in being able to be a part of so many people’s special day. I enjoy all types of music and truly enjoy being able to share my passion with so many different people and seeing the joy that comes with hearing that favorite song or that golden oldie. I also enjoy working with brides and grooms to make their dreams of that perfect wedding day come true. For me there is no better feeling than seeing a group of people having a great time on a packed dance floor. Being a DJ is the best job ever.
More about Chris:
Chris is an avid sport fan and you can often find him in the stands at Miller Park or Lambeau Field.
Chris is happily married to his wife Tammie for 25 years with 2 children Paul and Christina. He even did some DJ work at his own wedding. His son Paul often works with him as his assistant DJ.
Additional Board Members