Jim D'Addario is chairman & CEO of D'Addario & Company, Inc.,
one of the world's leading designers, manufactures and distributors of
innovative musical instrument accessories. In his role as chairman and
CEO, Jim overseas production, research and development, marketing and
graphic design for all five D'Addario brand name product lines:
D'Addario, Planet Waves, Evans Drumheads, HQ Percussion and Rico.
Jim started in the D'Addario family business soon after graduating
from Hofstra University in 1970 with a B.A. in Music. Although Jim
toyed with the idea of becoming a professional musician and teacher, he
chose instead to work with his father John D'Addario, Sr. and his
brother John, Jr. in the Darco Strings division of C.F. Martin and
Company and soon discovered his love for string making. He also
discovered he had a talent for engineering and a knack for custom
designing machinery. So, in 1973, along with his father and brother,
Jim founded J. D'Addario & Company, Inc. which made and distributed
musical strings. Today, D'Addario strings hold the #1 global market
position, thanks in part to Jim's ability to custom-design machinery
that is unrivaled in the music instrument business.
Fondly referred to as a "Jack of all trades and master of many," Jim
is a hands-on manager who enjoys involvement in all aspects of the
business from design conception to manufacturing and distribution. For
instance, in the early 1980's when J. D'Addario acquired Kaplan Musical
Strings and the company expanded from fretted instrument strings to
orchestral strings, Jim's first act of business was to take apart (by
hand) the Kaplan machinery to see how it was made and how to improve it -
which he did. Before long, J. D'Addario's bowed instrument strings
became the top-seller in the market.
Fast-forward to D'Addario today (no longer called J. D'Addario) and
the hands-on CEO is still fiddling around with machinery: upgrading,
Other distinctions include Jim being awarded the Small Business
Association's Entrepreneur of the Year award and being nominated for the
Ernst & Young 1998 Entrepreneur of the Year award
D'Addario, the company, has been honored with the New York State
Environmental Excellence award, the Certificate of Congressional
Recognition, and is a proud member of the Long Island Forum for
Technology and the Leadership Initiative Action.
Outside of work, Jim is very active in philanthropic, industry and
community organizations and is a member of the National Association of
Music Merchants (and has served on its Board) and is a member of the
National Association of School Music Dealers. He is currently President
of the Wheatley Hills Golf Club and has been actively involved in the
renovation of the golf course and facilities.
On the business side, D'Addario, the Company, funds the D'Addario
Foundation that helps support over 100 music-related programs worldwide
from Little Kids Rock to the ASTA String Consortium. On the personal
front, Jim and his wife of 37 years, Janet, founded the "James D'Addario
Family Foundation" that supports charities such as Providence House,
St. Francis Hospital, UCLA pediatric kidney research, and WFUV.
An avid musician and golfer, Jim and Janet live on Long Island.
Together, they raised three children, Julie, Amy and Robert and are now
proud grandparents to Olivia, Louisa, and James. The D'Addario Company
is truly a family affair. With nine members of the next (third)
generation actively involved in management, the business is alive with
the D'Addario spirit for music and excellence. It is a business that
began in the tiny farming town of Salle, Italy in 1680 when Donato
D'Addario was born to a family of ‘cordaros' - the Italian word for
D'Addario & Company, Inc. (www.jdaddario.com)
designs, manufactures, and markets complete lines of strings for
fretted and bowed musical instruments, drumheads, drum practice pads,
and guitar and woodwind accessories under the proprietary brand names
D'Addario, Evans, Planet Waves, Rico, and HQ Percussion. The company
also runs the popular Gbase.com online gear source. D'Addario products
are marketed in approximately 120 countries.