Interview by Martin Palicki
In late January, Alcorn McBride, manufacturer of show control, audio and video equipment for the themed entertainment industry, announced the promotion of Loren Barrows to Chief Operating Officer. An eight-year team member of Alcorn McBride, Barrows formerly served as Director of Business Development during a period of unprecedented growth and expansion for the company.
What has drawn you to technology throughout your career?
I discovered my interest in technology somewhat by accident when I became a client service manager for a structured cabling systems company in the Washington DC area. That opportunity allowed me to learn about the behind the scenes technology that makes other things work. The problem solving part of technology pulled me right in. The idea of improving, transforming and streamlining things by matching the right technical solution fires me up!
Who have been your mentors and inspiration?
I am very fortunate to have many. I value Simon Sinek’s perspective on business and wholeheartedly believe inspired and fulfilled people deliver their best work. Steve Alcorn is a great mentor. His business philosophy resonates with me unlike any other leader I have encountered. He inspires us to to live our mission statement of “Have fun, make money.”
The Alcorn McBride team is an amazing group of people. We keep things simple and focus on finding solutions.
Every member of our team is passionate about what they do and the success of our company. They push themselves for the benefit of our Alcorn McBride Family and that inspires me every day.
What do you hope to accomplish in your COO role at Alcorn?
Our company engineers A/V and show control solutions for the themed entertainment industry. It is a very niche market in that most commercial products do not meet the demands of theme park applications so we design purpose-built gear. Our engineers are continuously pushing the boundaries of technology to make products that match our clients’ unique needs. My role is to support them and create an environment where they can be inspired to do their best work.
Steve Alcorn founded Alcorn McBride 32 years ago with a mission to create a company for his employees while doing really cool things in partnership with our customers. My goal is to keep that as our core belief and continue his vision.
How do you see the role technology plays in the themed entertainment industry evolving over the next 5-10 years?
The growth of more immersive and interactive experiences demands more complex “behind the scenes” technology. The creative minds of our industry need the support of new technologies to bring their ideas to life.
How has Alcorn McBride grown and changed during your time there and what do you see going forward?
In the years I have been with the company I have seen the complexity of our projects increase exponentially. Years ago, one, maybe two engineers could work on a product and deliver that product to market within a short time. The products we are developing now require an entire team of engineers in order to make it happen within our clients’ project cycles.
Our sales team has also evolved. Scott Harkless is our chief innovation officer and leads our sales and support team. He started with our company almost 16 years ago as an engineer and has a vast knowledge of our products, the core technologies we use, and theme park applications. His engineering problem-solving mindset has transformed our product development and our sales/support team follow his lead. This has made us a stronger resource for our clients which helps us build relationships and deliver rock-solid products. That’s what we are all about! •