Protrait of Will Linnemeier
Will Linnemeier

The One Where Will & Co. Perform a Miracle…Twice

Staff Interview with Will Linnemeier, Sales Director

What did you do before joining Apollo Design® Technologies?

Before joining Apollo Design® Technology, Inc. in October 2015, I was part-owner of a ventilation products company which primarily served miners and the military but also the entertainment lighting industry. In my outside sales role, I spent 75% of my time traveling within the U.S. as well as Mexico, Israel, Europe, Australia, and Indonesia.

How did you first learn about ADT?

I went to high school with Joel and Keersten but didn’t realize they were the owners of Apollo until I researched the company for my interview.

Coming on board at Apollo was interesting. Everyone is so gracious and welcoming. I like to say I’m just a salesman. I like to focus on relationships internally and externally. Whenever I ask a question—and I’m always asking questions, learning—I’ve always found someone willing to help. It’s a positive working environment. It’s a fun group of people.

What do you love most about your role at Apollo?

There are many layers to this question. Apollo Design® is a refreshing place to work due to the company mentality that Joel and Keersten have set. By that, I mean that Apollo is an ethical company that focuses on being good environmental stewards. We have a very eco-friendly commitment.

Communication within Apollo is excellent, as well. There’s a lot of longevity at Apollo—minimal turnover.

At Apollo, we’re relationship builders—it’s a perfect fit for me. I’ve always enjoyed sales and looking for ways to solve customer problems. We have a passion for effective communication and customer service, as well as creating quality products. We take pride in doing things right the first time.

I truly enjoy working with Keith Kankovsky and Milad Khouli, Apollo's Senior Account Executives. They both have a wealth of knowledge and information.

What’s your favorite Apollo product?

Gobos. They’re the coolest thing in the world! I had no idea what they were before I came here. The technology we use is amazing. Whenever I bring a client to our facility, they’re blown away!

I also love our gaff tape. It’s a fun product. I used to sell a lot of tape through the company I owned. We used the same manufacturer as Apollo, so I know it’s the best out there.

Would you share an example of when you helped solve a customer’s problem?

Our largest customer in Vegas had a major show ready to debut in a couple of days. They had rented out the entire MGM Hotel and Conference Center for the show. We shipped their order, and they accepted it. We had cut a lot of custom glass gobos using their new logo. We’re talking 100 or so. When their new CEO came to check out the designs, he told them, “We just changed the logo a little bit. We need to redo them all. Today.”

I called our art, sales, production, and shipping departments together and we made it happen. Their new gobos were on the last FedEx shipment of the night at 9 p.m., arriving in Vegas the next morning.

The CEO checked out the displays again and decided to make a couple more changes here and there. The show started the next day! We made another late-night batch of about 50 gobos and had them on the last FedEx plane to Vegas. They arrived in time, and our customer was thrilled.

This particular customer asked us to go the extra mile twice. Two times we delivered.

On another occasion, a customer called me. “I’ve got an issue with a huge event. What can we do?” Our production crew worked through a Friday night to meet their need. At 4 o’clock the next morning, Joel picked up the order and flew them to their location.

There are always going to be extenuating circumstances. You’ve got to have a can-do, customer satisfaction attitude to grow and retain business. Or someone else will.

How many Apollo Design® dealers and regular customers are there?

That’s a complicated question. I would estimate that we have 600-700 dealers and regular customers worldwide, but that doesn’t entirely reflect our reach.

Can you tell us about some of your end-users?

Oh, wow. There are way too many to mention. There are Broadway shows in Vegas, California, New York, everywhere. We’ve made products for rock-n-roll touring groups in the U.S. and Europe. I know we worked with one of our dealers in Germany for a Billy Joel tour. Apollo products are frequently in use at theme parks, corporate events, even weddings—the list goes on and on.

I was amazed when I came aboard. Joel pulled up Apollo’s corporate gobo file and asked me to start naming major companies. I couldn’t think of a single one that wasn’t on file. World Cup Soccer, beer companies, Visa, MasterCard, the Olympic games, major banks, etc. They were all in there. We make it a game to see if an employee can come up with a company not listed, randomly throwing out names.

We work with lighting designers, distributors, corporate event planners, and end-users. They are the lifeblood of this organization.

It’s exciting that Apollo Design® is a global company. My sister lives in New Zealand. She called me up one day to tell me that she spotted an Apollo gobo in use!

How many Trade Shows has Apollo participated in over the past 25 years?

We average two trade shows a year nationally and another two internationally. We’ve participated in trade shows all over the U.S., England, France, Germany, the Middle East, Canada, and Mexico.

What sets Apollo Design® Technology, Inc. apart from its competitors?

More and more of our competitors are “mom and pop” companies with small budgets and low technology. Nobody has the art and production staff that we have, the state-of-the-art lasers, etc. We’re determined to do it right the first time using the highest quality of materials.

Joel has always said, “We don’t want to get in a race to the bottom.” To get the best quality, you need to use premium materials and technology, while offering exceptional customer service before and after the sale, and at competitive prices. We do all of this phenomenally well.

Interesting things I learned about Will during our interview:

  • He loves a variety of music genres, including but in no way limited to Tom Petty, Cold Play, and Billy Joel.
  • His favorite candy is Snickers unless salt water caramel is available. He’ll share a Snickers bar with you—and just about anything else that he owns—but not salt water caramel. He draws the line there.