September 15, 2023 I Appointments

Candyman Strings & Things Promotes 3 Employees

From left: Hailey Earp, Tom Valencia and Chris Riggins.

Candyman Strings & Things, a full-line dealership in Santa Fe, New Mexico, has promoted three employees: Hailey Earp, Tom Valencia and Chris Riggins. Earp has been named general manager, while Valencia and Riggins have both been named assistant managers.

“At Candyman Strings & Things, we don’t just staff our store; we curate a family of passionate individuals who bring music to life,” said Cindy Cook, store co-owner. “With no short-timers in our midst, we recognize that every note, every chord and every smile shared with our patrons is a testament to the enduring commitment of our staff.”

Earp first started at Candyman in November 2022 with a decade-worth of industry experience under her belt. Prior to joining Candyman Strings & Things, Earp worked at Reverb for four years, rising from customer engagement supervisor to resolutions specialist and represented the company at several NAMM shows. During her tenure, Earp resolved more than 24,000 disputes between buyers and sellers. Following Etsy’s acquisition of Reverb, she played a pivotal role in training the customer experience resolution teams. Earp is also an active member of NAMM Young Professionals and participates in the NAMM YP Mentorship Program under the guidance of Jeremy Payne, NAMM YP’s former president.

“Her bright and cheery attitude along with an unmistakable X-factor immediately endeared us to her. We knew we had to find a place for her at the Candyman,” Cook said. “In less than a year as part of the Candyman team, Hailey has proven herself as an invaluable asset, possessing an endearing disposition, industry expertise and a multitude of versatile skills, leading us to her recent promotion to general manager.”

Valencia has been promoted to assistant manager, purchasing lead.

Valencia’s journey with Candyman Strings & Things spans more than 30 years, with periods of dedicated service interspersed with additional enriching experiences. Working for the previous owner, when the store was known as The Candyman Music and Electronics, Valencia began his tenure as a salesman in the musical instruments, home theater, and custom install departments. When he wasn’t working at Candyman, Valencia was employed at an audio/visual company as an engineer doing corporate, commercial, and private AV, live sound and front-of-house engineering.

Since Candyman’s transition in ownership to Rand and Cindy Cook in 2009, Valencia has assumed pivotal roles as customer choice coach, lead commercial systems designer and purchasing activities.

“Tom’s expertise has been a constant and invaluable asset at The Candyman,” Cook said.

Finally, Chris Riggins has been promoted to assistant manager, service lead. Riggins started at Candyman Strings & Things six years ago, initially as a customer choice coach before taking on the dual role of musical instrument repair technician. His contributions to the business extended beyond repair work, encompassing private instruction in trumpet and guitar within the store’s Music Education Center, as well as band coaching for our seasonal Rock School and Summer Rock Camp programs.

“In addition to recognizing these three individuals and their well-deserved promotions, we would also like to acknowledge the invaluable contributions of our esteemed retail and teaching staff, including Jayda, Jake, Michael, Justin, Gideon, Raven, Andy, Braden, Char, Chris, Chris D., Edward, Justin, Joseph, Morse, Roger, Michael, Pueblo, Richlyn, Ross, Scott, Tom F., and Travis,” Cook added.

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