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May 5 | Mike Kovins | Tribute
Mike Kovins, Korg USA President, Passes

Mike Kovins, president of Korg USA, passed away May 2 after a long battle with leukemia. He was 57.

Few knew of Kovins’ nine-year battle with the disease. In all his pursuits, whether in his career or as an avid golfer, Kovins fought it privately and with dignity. According to those he worked with, Kovins never let his illness affect anything he did for Korg USA and was always a motivating and driving force to everyone around him.

After graduating from the University of Miami with a degree in business and music, Kovins began his career in the music products industry at Sam Ash Music. After three years, he joined the supply side of the industry, serving at Tolchin Instruments and then M. Hohner.

After Hohner, Kovins started at Unicord in 1980 as a product marketing manager. While there, he helped develop the Korg Polysix and GT-6 tuner, among other products. He became a founding member of Korg USA in 1985, and as executive vice president, he led the introduction of the Korg M1 workstation. As president, he oversaw the introduction of leading products, such as the Korg Triton, Marshall MG series and Vox Valvetronix.

Beyond his career at Korg, Kovins was the founder and an executive committee member of TI:ME. He was also on the board of Five Towns College and the American Music Conference. At the time of his passing, Kovins also served as the president of IAEKM, the International Association of Electronic Keyboard Manufacturers. He was a recipient of Berklee College of Music’s Golden Clef award for a lifetime commitment to music education and the Julia E. Crane International Medallion for lifetime achievement in the music products industry.

“He was evangelical in his commitment to music and music education and in his desire to grow the market,” said Joseph Castronovo, Korg USA executive vice president and CFO. “Everyone at Korg USA will miss Mike, but our loss is also shared by the entire music industry because as a group, with Mike’s passing, we have surely lost one of our leading and most impassioned voices.”

Kovins’ family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, a donation in his memory be made to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.