Past Press

Brent barrett among bandits to celebrate milestones at agm

January 11, 2016 | Category: Print

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE –2016 has only barely begun and Bandit Lites has already gathered at the Annual General Meeting to celebrate the previous award-winning year, while those in attendance discussed future company goals. In January 2015 Bandit won the prestigious Pollstar Lighting Company of the Year Award, followed by the equally prestigious Parnelli Award for Lighting Company of the Year in November.

Bandit honored many people this year starting with long time Bandit Brent Barrett, who has had a remarkable tenure with Bandit since the founding of the company. Brent, a steady fixture in Bandit’s illustrious history, initially joined in 1977 while in college with founder Michael T. Strickland at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. A few years later, Barrett would find himself joining forces with the Southern rock powerhouse band Alabama, a Bandit client, as their production manager, where he honed his legendary affable, professional approach. Following a 23 year career with Alabama, Barrett returned to Bandit Lites in 2003 as the Business Development Officer.

“Bandit has been a part of my life for soon to be 40 years, and has been a major influence on my career path,” said Barrett. “I had the opportunity to be involved in the early days of Bandit followed by an ‘approved temporary leave of absence’ as Alabama Production Manager.  Michael had told me that I had a home at Bandit whenever my Alabama days ended, and he honored that statement 23 years later. Michael and I have been able to maintain both a lifelong friendship and a work relationship over the years, many times drawing from both in varying degrees in our day to day business dealings. I am very appreciative to be part of Bandit and to work for and with Michael.”

Michael T. Strickland shared, “Brent and I grew up together. We have been friends since kindergarten. Brent has been involved at Bandit since we went to college together. He was a full time Bandit for years, and eventually went on the payroll of Alabama, a Bandit client. At the end of the Alabama run Brent returned home! Trying to figure out how many years he actually has as a Bandit is complicated. We settled on at least 20 years, and honored him as such. However, when you wrap it all together, I am sure it is much more. Either way I love and respect Brent and he is one of my very best friends. I look forward to many more great years together!”

During the meeting, Bandits who had landmark years with the company were honored with service awards including Scot Sepe and Amanda Branch for five years, and Roth Edwards and Jimmy Hatten celebrated fifteen years.

Performance awards were presented included Bandit’s prestigious Rock Award, bestowed to those who went above and beyond in the previous year. The winners of the Rock Award are clearly the shining example of success and dedication. Recipients were Mark Steinwachs, Jimmy Hatten and Rick Munroe.  The Focus Award, given to those people who step their game up and move to the next level, went to Amanda Branch, Aaron Swetland and Stephanie McSpadden.

Teresa Porterfield-Fensler, Patrick Sieg, Ross McGivern and Andy French were awarded the Tim Foltz Rookie of the Year Award for outstanding contribution in their first year. Additionally, Kenny Mason, Billy Willingham and Joseph Eberle were awarded the “Best Best Tech,” an honor voted on by Bandit’s staff for excellence on the road and in the shop.

Finally, lighting designer Andy Knighton was awarded the “Sam Harden Comeback Kid Award”, for overcoming insurmountable health odds in 2015.

Michael T. Strickland concluded, “The secret to success of any firm is the people. I am proud to say the staff at Bandit is the finest in the world and they keep Bandit at the top of the industry year after year! In the future we will all strive to live up to the words of an old Steve Prefontaine quote: ‘To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.’ For those of you too young to know who Steve is, please google him and you will understand!”

Bandit looks forward to a very successful 2016 and to delivering our wonderful clients the high quality service they need and deserve.

About Bandit Lites, Inc.
Bandit Lites is a global leader in the entertainment lighting marketplace.  From touring productions to fixed installations, Bandit Lites has a full staff of highly trained professionals to deal with all types of lighting needs. Bandit’s global presence will insure seamless transitions no matter where your next show takes you.  Learn more at



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