Lititz rock tour Tait Towers hosts Lancaster Young Professionals

By on December 26, 2012

By: RICHARD REITZ Record Express Correspondent, Staff Writer

Holiday parties and music go hand-in-hand. But the Lancaster Young Professionals took it a step further and gathered at the site of one the music industry’s leading businesses.

On Dec. 13, Tait Towers hosted about 100 members of Lancaster Young Professionals, an organization that provides business leaders and rising professionals with an opportunity to meet, socialize, network and learn more about businesses in the Lancaster region.

LYP visitors started their evening with a tour of the Tait Towers complex, with small groups joining a Tait employee for an educational stroll through the three buildings on Wynfield Drive, just north of the Lititz Borough line.

With the business currently operating nearly 24 hours a day to meet demand, they were able to watch as workers in various departments constructed props, crafted set designs, backdrops, and prepared intricate lighting displays for many of the world’s top musical acts, with a vast array of clients that include performers like The Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, U2, Taylor Swift, Pink, Maroon 5 and Lady Gaga.

Tait Towers works with show designers to create eye-grabbing set designs that enhance the concert-going experience. Typically the process from design to the completed stage takes about 2-3 months.

For 35 years, Tait Towers has established itself as an industry leader and developed a reputation for creative and dependable stage design. The business continues to grow, and today employs about 300 people.

Michael Tait, owner of Tait Towers and himself a member of the Lancaster Young Professionals group, invited the organization to hold its Holiday Mixer at his facility to show them how his business operates.

“The Lititz Young Professionals is a fantastic group of young executives and very talented people,” Tait said. “One of the things we do each month is visit a different business to take a tour and learn more about what they do.”

He said someone in the organization suggested a tour of Tait Towers, and he agreed to invite the group to show them how they prepare stage designs for many of the world’s top musicians.

A.J. Eckman, a Lititz resident and the Lancaster Young Professional Board Secretary, was thrilled to have an opportunity to spend the evening at Tait Towers.

“I mean, look at where we are. This is rock and roll,” Eckman said. “Tait Towers is a pretty well kept secret here in Lititz.”

For their monthly tours, he said they look for Lancaster businesses that are a little out of the ordinary. For their next venture, he said they will be touring the Miesse’s Candy factory in Lancaster.

“We are always looking for a niche in the Lancaster Community, and Tait Towers certainly fits,” Eckman said. “We want to really experience all that Lancaster has to offer and reach out to industries that are often untapped.”

Eckman, a Sovereign Bank branch manager, said that volunteerism is another important outreach of the organization. For this event, they requested each visitor bring one toy to donate to the Toys for Tots program.

Following a tour, members gathered for the mixer in a room on the third floor of the main building. While mingling and enjoying holiday fare, they were treated to a dancing exhibition by the Argentina Tango Club, and then several LYP members enjoyed some salsa dancing themselves.

“It’s wonderful that Michael Tait opened up the business for our organization,” said Mia Cardwell, a Lititz resident originally from Annapolis, and a new member of LYP. “This is really a good way to see how concert stages are created, and gives a better picture of what happens behind the scenes.”

Eckman said that the group is ideal for anybody who is starting out their career, as well as business owners looking to gain a more solid footing.

“We provide outstanding networking and career opportunities. This is really where you want to be if you are professional-minded and interested in going further in your career than where you are,” he said. “There are not too many industries that we do not touch.”

It also provides services for its membership, such as tax consultation. In addition to the monthly tours, the group also hosts a meet-up event on the first Friday of every month.

The group formed in 1998 and today has about 200 members, and is always looking to welcome new members. Eckman added that, contrary to what the group’s name suggests, Lancaster Young Professionals is open to all ages.

“Anyone over 21 years of age can join,” he said. “You only need to be young at heart.”

“We’re always looking for more people to join the organization,” Tait said.

For more information about Lancaster Young Professionals, visit its website at www.lyp.org. More TAIT, page A16