Our People

AVANT ACOUSTICS’ competitive advantage is our team. Our staff is dedicated to providing detailed acoustical consulting and AV system design with the highest standard for customer service. Our innovative professionals have made AVANT ACOUSTICS the premier go-to firm for decades.  Our commitment to the success of every project is what sets us apart. That’s all thanks to the company we keep… our employees!

Dondi L. Dix

Dondi L. Dix

President

Dondi’s focus is on business development, operations, and strategy. Maintaining the high quality standards and client focus that the firm has been known for throughout its history is her top priority. Dondi, along with her husband, Jerry Roue, became the owners of AVANT ACOUSTICS in late 2020.  All of our technical staff remains unchanged, providing the same professional services to our clients.

Dondi served as an Army Officer and then went on to hold several executive roles in the business world with a focus on strategy, business development, operations, and talent. She started her corporate career as a business consultant at Accenture, where she developed a real passion for putting clients first, delivering high quality work, and managing projects. These are the same values and culture which attracted her to AVANT ACOUSTICS.

Dondi has a Bachelor of Arts degree and an MBA from the University of Kansas. She also now serves as a member of the KU Business School Dean’s Advisory Board. 

Dondi left the corporate c-suite after 20 years, when she found what she describes as the perfect business, based in the Midwest, and making an amazing impact across the country.

Robert G. Ledo

Robert G. Ledo

Senior Vice President

For 30 years, Bob’s creative audio-visual design and enthusiastic leadership have maintained AVANT ACOUSTICS’ leadership position in the market.

As Senior Vice President of AVANT ACOUSTICS, Bob is actively involved in the design, testing, and commissioning of audio-visual and sound reinforcement systems for all types of facilities throughout the United States and in Germany, Japan, and Korea.

When not designing, testing and commissioning systems – or at KU games – Bob might be off sailing, flying, or running a marathon (yes, he is fast!).

Bob attended Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, where he completed a double major in Telecommunications and Business. He also serves as a guest lecturer for university classes in digital audio.

Bob and his wife (the best cupcake baker ever) live in Olathe, Kansas, with their dog Piper, who makes sure that Bob gets up and out the door for their early morning run, no matter the weather.

Select projects:

BOK Center – Tulsa, Oklahoma

Hy-Vee Conference Center – West Des Moines, Iowa

JE Dunn Headquarters – Kansas City, Missouri

Mayo Civic Center – Rochester, Minnesota

Von Braun Center – Huntsville, Alabama

Edouard G. Charland

Edouard G. Charland

Vice President

Ed Charland is actively involved in the design, testing, and commissioning of audio-visual and sound reinforcement systems for all types of facilities throughout the United States and overseas.  Ed has 28 years of project management, technical supervision, and hands-on field experience.

Ed’s experience also includes marketing; training and application engineering; control system programming; multi-track recording engineering and production; live theatre sound design and operation; and professional audio equipment installation, maintenance, and repair. 

With AVANT ACOUSTICS, Ed has served as project manager for many types of facilities, with emphasis on complex audio communication (paging) systems for aviation and other transportation applications. Ed’s extensive aviation experience spans more than 100 projects at over 50 airports.

Ed received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University in 1982. 

Select projects:

21c Museum Hotel – Kansas City, Missouri

McCarran International Airport – Las Vegas, Nevada

Sacramento International Airport – Sacramento, California

Wichita Mid-Continent Airport – Wichita, Kansas

Washington Dulles & Reagan National International Airports – Washington, DC

John M. Hodgson, CTS-D, PE

John M. Hodgson, CTS-D, PE

Technical Operations Manager

John Hodgson performs a variety of services for clients. In addition to managing projects of all sizes, John performs the design and commissioning of audio-visual systems. He also provides architectural acoustics and noise control consultation.  John is responsible for maintaining AVANT ACOUSTICS high standards for our work product and managing all technical staff.  He has experience working on over one hundred projects of many types of facilities throughout the United States, including arenas, airports, performing arts centers, educational facilities, offices, and more.  John has over 10 years of experience with the company.

John initially served as an intern at AVANT ACOUSTICS and joined the company full-time after completing his Bachelor of Science degree in Architectural Engineering at the University of Kansas in Lawrence in May of 2010. His education included an emphasis in architectural acoustics, noise control, and sound system design studying under the founder of AVANT ACOUSTICS, Bob Coffeen.

John is a member of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA), a Certified Technology Specialist – Design (CTS-D), and is a Professional Engineer licensed in Kansas.

Select projects:

Bon Secours Wellness Arena – Greenville, South Carolina

Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center – Overland Park, Kansas

KI Convention Center – Green Bay, Wisconsin

VBA Regional Office – St. Louis, Missouri

Wichita Southeast High School – Wichita, Kansas

Jill C. Elmers

Jill C. Elmers

Senior Associate

Jill Elmers, Senior Associate of AVANT ACOUSTICS is actively involved in the design, testing, and commissioning of audio-visual and sound reinforcement systems for all types of facilities throughout the United States.  Jill has over 23 years of project management, technical supervision, and hands-on field experience.

Jill’s role encompasses oversight of project design and design personnel.  She is also involved in evaluating new audio-visual products, helping to provide our clients with the best value and newest technology in sound reinforcement and audio-visual system design.

Jill received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Valparaiso University in 1992.

Select projects:

Charles Evans Whittaker Federal Courthouse – Kansas City, Missouri

Fort Bragg Air Force Base SOF Headquarters Facility – Fort Bragg AFB, North Carolina

Johnson County Central Resource Library – Overland Park, Kansas

Johnson County Crime Lab – Olathe, Kansas

MacDill Air Force Base SOCOM Headquarters – MacDill AFB, Florida

 

Andrew J. VonFeldt, PE

Andrew J. VonFeldt, PE

Senior Associate

Andrew VonFeldt, Senior Associate for AVANT ACOUSTICS, is actively involved in room acoustic design and evaluation, mechanical noise control, sound reinforcement system design, audio-visual systems design, control interface design, and system commissioning.  He has experience with a wide variety of facility types across the United States, including airports, educational facilities, corporate spaces, convention centers, amphitheaters, and more.  Andrew has a passion for keeping up-to-date with the latest audio-visual technology and strives to continually hone his skills.  He has been with AVANT since 2012.

Before interning at AVANT ACOUSTICS and eventually joining full-time, Andrew worked for an audio-visual integrator where he gained practical experience in the design and installation of sound reinforcement and audio-visual systems.  This practical experience and a lifelong passion for acoustics provide Andrew with a strong foundation that allows him to help clients to realize their unique goals.

Andrew received a Bachelor’s degree in Architectural Engineering with an emphasis in acoustics from Kansas State University in 2013. He is also a member of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) and is a Professional Engineer licensed in Kansas. 

Select projects:

21c Museum Hotel – Kansas City, Missouri

Central Community College – Grand Island, Nebraska

Kansas City Museum – Kansas City, Missouri

Maize Middle School – Maize, Kansas

Mayo Civic Center – Rochester, Minnesota

 

Emily G. Jaumard

Emily G. Jaumard

Senior Associate

Emily Jaumard is actively involved in many aspects of acoustical design, including analysis and design of room acoustics, architectural and mechanical noise control, design of sound reinforcement systems, and acoustical computer modeling.  She has experience with many types of facilities throughout the United States, including regional and international airports, educational facilities from elementary to university, hotels, conference centers, offices, worship spaces and more.  Emily has been with AVANT since 2008.

Emily’s role with the company includes project management relating to room acoustics analysis and design as well as noise control analysis and mitigation. She is often aiding designers and project owners to meet acoustical benchmarks for such standards as HIPPA, LEED, SCIF, or FGI Guidelines for Design and Construction of Hospitals and Outpatient Facilities. She assists other project managers when needed, reviewing projects for acoustical issues and constructing acoustical computer models to test sound system design and/or finish selection.

Prior to joining the firm full time, Emily was an intern with several architectural firms in the St. Louis metropolitan area, giving her valuable experience in understanding and communicating through architectural drawings and standards.

Emily received a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Kansas in 2008.

Select projects:

Heber Springs High School – Heber Springs, Arkansas

Jindra Performing Arts Center – Peru, Nebraska

Orlando International Airport South Terminal C – Orlando, Florida

Port Fonda Restaurant – Lawrence, Kansas

Sunnyside Baptist Church – Kingsport, Tennessee

David J. Wetzel

David J. Wetzel

Associate

An associate of AVANT ACOUSTICS since 2016, David has worked primarily in the areas of education, performing arts, and civic spaces. He enjoys being involved with each stage of our projects, from initial programming and schematic design to system commissioning and end-user training.

David is focused on designing reliable and user-friendly AV and sound reinforcement systems that enhance the experience of all users.  He believes that identifying and meeting the unique challenges of each project in the design phase is the key to a system’s ultimate effectiveness.

David is an alumnus of the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the University of Kansas, where he studied audio engineering and history. His longtime interests in photography and audio recording, as well as prior experience in event production and live music, have all been useful assets while working at AVANT ACOUSTICS.

Select projects:

Mayo Civic Center – Rochester, Minnesota

Excelsior Springs Community Center – Excelsior Springs, Missouri

Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center – Overland Park, Kansas

Johnson County Board of County Commissioners – Johnson County, Kansas

Wichita Southeast High School – Wichita, Kansas

Benjamin R. Snook

Benjamin R. Snook

AV System Designer

Ben Snook provides support on a wide variety of projects as an AVANT ACOUSTICS associate. While his professional focus is acoustics, Ben is also AVANT’s resident BIM/CAD expert, and produces design documentation in coordination with project design teams.

Ben is an alumnus of the University of Kansas, where he studied Architectural Acoustics, under AVANT ACOUSTICS founder Bob Coffeen, as well as French. His project work focuses on topics including theater acoustics, mechanical noise control, and variable sound absorption.

When not on the job, Ben enjoys writing, recording, and mixing original music at his home studio in Lawrence, Kansas.

Select projects:

Children’s Mercy South Hospital Auditorium – Overland Park, Kansas

Fairfield by Marriott Road Noise Analysis – Rolla, Missouri

Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center – Overland Park, Kansas

New Century Adult Detention Center – New Century, Kansas

University of Arkansas Clinical Mechanical Noise Analysis – Fort Smith, Arkansas

 

Jerry Roue

Jerry Roue

Office Manager

Jerry Roue is the AVANT ACOUSTICS office manager. He is also co-owner of the company with Dondi Dix, having bought the company in late 2020. Previously, Jerry has held various sales and business operations roles in multiple industries and has also owned several businesses. Jerry is a graduate of Cornell College, has a Masters in Literature from the University of Maine, and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Kansas. 

Brian D. Casey

Brian D. Casey

AV System Designer

Brian Casey provides design and commissioning support for audio-visual and sound reinforcement systems. Working primarily in the areas of education, performing arts and civic spaces, he is focused on designing flexible, reliable, and user-friendly systems that elevate the experience of the end-user. He relishes the opportunity to collaborate with clients to identify the current needs and future aspirations for their unique physical environments.

Before joining AVANT ACOUSTICS full-time in January of 2021, Brian worked as an AV technician in live music and event production. During this time, he gained valuable experience in the design and implementation of AV and sound reinforcement systems in a variety of spaces. He also discovered a particular enjoyment for witnessing an end-user’s first interactions with a system designed to meet their specific needs. That enjoyment has translated to system commissioning and end-user training becoming two of his favorite stages of our projects to be involved in.

Brian attended Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas. He received a Certificate in Recording Arts (Audio Engineering) in May of 2015, and an Associate of Applied Science degree in Animation-Entertainment and Game Art Design in May of 2017. He is also a member of the Audio Engineering Society (AES).

Jeff Chapman

Jeff Chapman

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT*MARKETING*PUBLIC RELATIONS

Jeff’’s focus is on business development, marketing and public relations and general external interaction to positively highlight the Avant design team. Jeff became part of AVANT ACOUSTICS in 2021.

Jeff came to us directly from the Kansas Chamber Foundation, where he lead Leadership Kansas, established Kansas Emerging Leaders as well as developing the Kansas Chamber councils for Manufacturing, and Retail, and laid the framework for the Kansas Military and Veteran Affairs and Agribusiness councils. He’s been an executive leader for over 20 years in a variety of private and non-profit entities, but is known mostly for his fundraising in higher education and non profits where he has secured over a hundred million dollars for capital projects, scholarships and a variety of programs at Kansas State University, Kansas Wesleyan University, UMKC and Meadowlark Hills Retirement Community plus multiple not-for-profit organizations.

He believes in the customer, client or donor as the driving force in the relationship, is great at follow through and is persistent at problem solving. These are the same values and culture which attracted him to AVANT ACOUSTICS.

Jeff has a Bachelor of Science degree from Kansas State University, where he studied business, marketing, human resources, labor & industrial relations and environmental design. Additionally, Jeff has been a strategic plan consultant for both corporations and non-profits and a paid and volunteer political strategist.

Jeff has a background professionally in a variety of industries including Healthcare, Agribusiness, Commodities and Futures Trading, Manufacturing, Retail, Fire Safety and Emergency Equipment, Landscaping, and Transportation. He has extensive knowledge in Board Recruitment and Development, Sales, Marketing and Networking. If he doesn’t know everyone, he probably knows his neighbor!

Jeff has been involved as a volunteer civically extensively since his teenage years on boards, committees and events for over 50 non-profits, chambers of commerce, and volunteer projects. He has served as President, Chair or Leader multiple times for Rotary clubs, city advisory committees, non-profit boards and various entities and campaigns. He has been involved with over 300 political campaigns at the local, state and national levels, and is a published writer and political cartoonist for the Manhattan Mercury (Kansas) newspaper.

Currently a third degree Freemason with Summit Lodge #263, Past President of KC Plaza Rotary, serves as District #19 Representative for the Lake Lotawana Association Board and is a member of the Lake Lotawana Wooden and Classic Boat Club, is a life long season ticket holder of K-State football and basketball and a former USTA collegiate tennis official.

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