Managing Director of Audico Systems Oy in Finland, Ari ”Ade” Manninen, died of an illness in Helsinki on May 9, 2021. He was 54 years old.
Manninen became a student from Sibelius Gymnasium in 1986, after which he studied at the Helsinki Institute of Technology (HTOL). Manninen graduated as Engineer in Electric Power Engineering in 1992.
Manninen began his career in the music store Kitarapaja and later in the legendary MS Audiotron in Helsinki. Manninen studied in a music class in primary school, and was a good guitarist, which was very useful in the work.
Ari Manninen made a significant, personal, and creative contribution to the Finnish AV and music industries. During his almost 30-year career, Manninen worked in significant AV companies such as Hedcom, Studiotec, Bright Installation and Audico Systems.
In 1996, Manninen began working as Project Engineer in Oy Hedcom Ab's pro audio technology department and worked there for almost 18 years. Hedcom imported AV and broadcast equipment but is no longer active. Jarmo Roivas, former CEO of Hedcom, describes Manninen like this: ”Ari, or Ade as friends and colleagues called him, was a versatile person and completely dedicated to matters that were important for him. In the beginning of Hedcom’s journey, in the mid 90’s, we were looking for a young reinforcement for our pro audio technology department and our experienced veteran team quickly suggested Ade. The recruitment was successful. Ade was both correct and approachable, outwardly perhaps unnecessarily modest, but at the same time very determined. At work, he was an important part of the team, self-sufficient and, regardless of the time, dug deep into the projects and always mastered his own part. He quickly received extensive and well-deserved appreciation from the work community, customers and industry colleagues”.
From Hedcom, Manninen continued to Studiotec Oy in 2014. He began working as Department Manager for the Pro Audio department and was quickly promoted to Sales Director. Peter Stråhlman, Studiotec's founder and chairman of the board, acted as Manninen's foreman and describes him as follows: “Ari was a really conscientious and responsible guy who was happy to help his colleagues. Like a real workhorse, he was often the last to turn off the office lights. It was easy to talk to him about anything. Ari always kept his promises and if he was unsure of something he dared to ask for help. Ari's expertise and networking among AV professionals were a strong criterion for why we wanted to recruit Ari to Studiotec”.
In 2017, Manninen joined Bright Group to run the Group's sales and installation department. Manninen began his post with the title Head of Sales & Installation. Later in 2019, the department was separated into its own subsidiary within the group, Bright Installation Oy, and Manninen was appointed CEO of the company. At the same time, he was responsible for the Group's Finnish product sales and import operations, which were marketed with the brand Intersonic. Manninen's foreman at Bright, Bright Finland Oy's CEO Jarno Uusitalo remembers Ari Manninen as follows: “Ade was an expert within his field and really respected. He had an extensive network of contacts in the industry, both in Finland and internationally. Ade was extremely hardworking and always managed to complete all projects laudably. It was really nice to work with him and he was a very popular person in our work community”.
In June 2020, Manninen became Managing Director of Audico Systems Oy through corporate reorganizations within the Audico Group. The reorganization was preceded by an acquisition in March 2020 when Audico Holding Oy acquired, among other companies, Bright Installation Oy. Audico Systems, which was active in installation and project operations, merged with Bright Installation and formed the new Audico Systems Oy. Audico's staff almost doubled due to the merger and Manninen's work as Managing Director of Audico Systems began.
For Manninen, to be an "audicoan", part of Audico, meant a lot. He was very inspired by his new post and constantly wanted to develop the practices and find better ways of doing things. For Manninen, the well-being of the staff and the work community were of great importance, without forgetting the customers and partners. He was a humane leader who sought compromises but at the same time could take things forward with a confident determination.
Managing Director of Audico Holding Oy, Harri Leiva, has warm thoughts about Manninen: “Ade managed to be an Audico employee, “audicoan”, for only a short time, but he did a good job of developing the new Audico Systems business. Thanks to his long experience within the industry, he had a deep understanding of our customers' needs and a strong desire to implement solutions that best serve our customers. He saw Audico Systems as a reliable and long-term partner for the customer. Our slogan "Your dedicated AV partner" is based on this very idea. Ade strongly believed in the benefits of the merger and that the collaboration between the new and old Audico staff would result in an even stronger and more professional Audico Systems. Ade will live in our memories. I wish Ade's loved ones all the best for this sad time”.
Ari Manninen's legacy to the Finnish AV industry is a memory of a salesman who devoted himself to his work and cared about his staff. The importance of cooperation and the development of good processes in a humane but strictly fair way described Manninen as both manager and employee. He is deeply missed.
In memory of Ari Manninen,
Jarno Uusitalo and the staff of Bright Group
Harri Leiva and the staff of Audico Group