The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here.
Front and Center: President of Rickenbacker International, Cindalee Hall
Cindalee Hall is a treasure unto the music industry.
She holds two Bachelors of Arts degrees from the University of Calif., Irvine, (one in Art History and one in Classical Literature), and studied constitutional law at Western State University in Fullerton, Calif., becoming a doctor of law.
Her first encounter with musical instruments was at 13 when she picked up the piano and took voice lessons. While she didn’t pursue piano or voice professionally, she developed a lifelong passion for opera and a keen interest in music.
Nowadays, Hall plays the drums and runs a successful corporation that spans over 82 years, Rickenbacker International Corporation.
Learn more about Hall below, and visit www.rickenbacker.com for more information.
WiMN: What are some of your responsibilities as the President of RIC International?
CH: I manage all administrative operations of the company including accounting, purchasing and materials, requirements planning, personnel, sales, and customer service.
WiMN: How long have you held this position?
CH: I have had this position for 15 years.
WiMN: How long have you been in the music industry and what got you started?
CH: I have been working in the Industry since 1990. When I finished my Juris Doctor, I came to work for my husband of 43 years whose family has owned Rickenbacker since 1953.
WiMN: Are you a musician? If so, what instrument(s) do you play?
CH: I am a drummer and have been taking lessons for several years and truly believe I have found a calling.
WiMN: What is an interesting and little known fact about you?
CH: I am an 8th generation Californian and descended from one of the original settlers of the city of Los Angeles.
WiMN: What are some of your most memorable experiences on the job?
CH: Most of my memorable experiences have been in watching young employees grow into fine craftsmen and women with pride and care for the instrument they make.
WiMN: What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve experienced in the music industry? How did you overcome them?
CH: It is a constant challenge finding ways to improve the manufacturing process, and to hire, train and maintain the most skilled and efficient work force possible to produce guitars and basses that reflect the standard of quality of a Rickenbacker.
WiMN: What is the most rewarding thing about your job?
CH: The main reward of my job, put simply, is being part of a process that creates extraordinary and unique guitars, and help guide the legacy that began with the first Rickenbacker Electros and the invention of the Horseshoe Pickup over 80 years ago.
WiMN: If you weren’t in music, what would you be doing?
CH: I cannot imagine being in an environment unrelated to music.
WiMN: How do you feel about gender inequality in our field?
CH: The women I know of who perform and work in the industry have, by example, all but made gender inequality obsolete. They have done it by being focused and not letting go of their goal. Although traces of bias may remain in some cases, I like to believe these incidents are rare.
WiMN: Who are some of your favorite female musicians?
CH: Some of the finest musician’s in the world are women and have proven this time and again. I think of Carol Kaye, an extraordinary bass player, and Rosie Flores, who started her first band at sixteen.
WiMN: Any words of encouragement for women aspiring to enter the field of music?
CH: Any woman with a love for music should never be afraid to pursue a profession in the field. Hard work, talent and drive are not limited to one gender.