The History of Wired Production Group | Behind the Scenes

Meet The Minds Behind Iowa’s Premiere Live Event & Video Production Company

Since April 2016, Wired Production Group in Cedar Rapids, Iowa has been known as the premiere provider of live event and video production services in Iowa and across the Nation. The founders of Wired Production Group, Nate Hines and Ron Rausch, have been working together to provide the highest quality equipment and most skilled, passionate technicians to clients from all across the United States for almost 30 years.

In 1992, Nate Hines opened 16th Avenue Music in Cedar Rapids. Nate had studied music business at Truman State University, then studied at the Guitar Institute of Technology in Los Angeles. He had been dedicated to music since a young age. He chose to open a music store in his hometown and build an AV equipment rental company to help local musicians thrive. After years of success, Nate wanted to grow his company. He went from small scale AV equipment rentals to large scale concert productions. From local concerts in the park to multi-day music festivals across the country, 16th Avenue Music grew from the small town Iowa music store into a successful, very well-respected live event production company. 

Founders of Wired Production Group, Ron Rausch (left) and Nate Hines, work skillfully together

Later in the 1990s, Ron Rausch, a local freelance video production specialist and graduate of Kirkwood Community College, began his first small business venture called Rausch Productions. Ron hired one employee, Rob Silver, and they hit the ground running from the garage at his home. Ron’s clients ranged from small businesses in Eastern Iowa to national sports and news channels…and they continued to grow as the years progressed. After just a few short years in business as Rausch Productions, the company started traveling across the United States (and other countries) to service a growing base of corporate clients that required not just video production services, but audio, lighting, and staging, too. To continue to grow the company, Ron looked to partner with another business who would be able to compliment his company’s services and grow at the same pace. That’s when Ron reached out to Nate. Some say the rest is history, but others say that’s when the good stuff was just getting started. 

After 15 years of successful partnership, Rausch Productions and 16th Avenue Music joined forces to form Wired Production Group. From corporate conferences to large music festivals to LED technology and everything in-between, the combined inventory and capabilities of the two companies was now able to offer clients full-service live event and video production services like never before. Ron and Nate built an incredible team of audio engineers, lighting designers, staging riggers, and video production specialists to stage unique and creative projects and access a broad range of markets. Their ultimate business goal was to deliver a strategic process for clients built to enhance, engage, and entertain their audiences — and the company has done just that. 

In 2018, Nate Hines was officially ready to explore the next part of his life: retirement. Since then, Ron has continued to build a team that drives Wired Production Group to continue to be the best in the business. He remains dedicated to providing quality equipment, expert knowledge, and the deepest passion to keep clients’ events and video productions running smoothly and looking excellent every time.

Since 2016, Wired Production Group has been serving clients from across the United States

Here’s What Others Have To Say About Nate Hines…

“Nate has long been the area’s ‘go-to’ guy for large scale event production. If you came to Nate with a problem, he would consistently come back with a solution. He was always up for a challenge and viewed every adversity as an opportunity for growth.” – Ian Miller, Audio Engineer

“Nate taught me to always wear good lookin’ shoes, to listen to the Beatles, and that being 15 minutes early is being on time… I always think of myself as a good listener.” – Rob Silver

Nate Hines operating audio console for outdoor music festival

“I met Nate when he first moved to Iowa in the mid 80’s. He came into the music store I frequented and applied for a sales job. He got the job and we quickly became friends. We played music together on occasion and worked together for the next 30 years. He is a talented musician, he’s wicked smart, and he’s one of the most generous people I’ve ever met. We both have the same work ethic: work hard/play hard! It was a privilege and an honor to work with him and grow 16th Avenue Music.” – Billy Peifer, Warehouse Operations Manager

“Nate is a positive influence on me in how I approach audio, as well as other aspects of the business. His straightforward style was very helpful as I was growing my skills.” – Lance Lineburg, Audio Engineer

Nate Hines follows his love of music to create a success career

“I can safely say that pretty much everything I know about the live events business I learned from Nate. I started out in late 2010 dispatching the semis during the off-season of concerts and festivals for him. ‘Mother trucking’ is what we called it!  After a few months of dispatching, I began helping Nate schedule the stagehands for shows and gigs – and basically anything else that needed done behind the scenes. 16th Avenue Music partnered with Rausch Productions on many shows, so it only seemed fitting when 16th Avenue Music and Rausch Productions decided to join forces as an official business together in 2016. Nate and Ron are both excellent businessmen who laid the foundation for this incredible company we work for.” – Kim Klein, Office Manager

Nate Hines is now retired and still performing locally across Eastern Iowa

“My tenure with the company started in March of 2015. Nate Hines took a risk hiring me, a mostly inexperienced technician who just happened to have the right attitude and was easy on the eyes. I can’t thank him enough for taking that leap of faith. Without it, I wouldn’t have the rewarding career I have today working for Ron Rausch and Wired Production Group. Working for Nate was hard, but rewarding work. He taught me so much and I wish I would have had more time to learn from his vast experience.” – Aaron Wells, COO

Here’s What Others Have to Say About Ron Rausch…

“Ron is one of the most integrable and passionate business men I’ve had the pleasure of working with. He truly cares about his team as much as he cares about the business he’s built from the ground up. He is smart, professional, accessible and genuine. I plan to learn a lot from him in the many years I am afforded to work for him.” – Mary Beth Kunz, Live Event Production Manager

“Ron always pushes us to come up with new, innovative and creative ways to blow our clients away and the level of excellence we all expect of each other pushes us to the next level. I’m excited to see what new and awesome things are in-store for us as a company.” – Jesse Snyder, Lighting Designer

“What do you say about the greatest boss in the world?” – Bandi Arp, Transportation Coordinator

Ron Rausch stays active in the daily operations at Wired Production Group

“Ron is the only person I’ve worked for that truly treats everyone like they’re family.” – Josh Leinen, Audio Engineer

“Ron successfully balances the needs of the business, his employees and our customers like no one I have ever worked for; as crazy as things can get, I trust Ron to do the right things at the right time.” – Bruce Bingman, Client Account Manager

“Ron convinced me to come back to Iowa, the one place I never thought I would end up. It has been the best decision I could have made, moving to Iowa and working for Wired Production Group. He puts his words into actions. For example, ‘We have a family atmosphere.’ These words couldn’t be any more true especially during these times. I know if I need anything he would figure out how he could help in any way possible. He hires good people, too. They feel like brothers and sisters to me (or a mom). Wired Production Group is a true team atmosphere and that is all because of Ron!” – Britin Robinson, Rigging Supervisor / Lighting Designer

“The family culture Ron brings to work is amazing.  He cares about each and every one of his employees and clients. I love the little family we have and am beyond grateful I found this career. Thank you, Ron, for everything you do for us!” – Amanda Snyder, Client Account Manager

“Ron is very down to earth. He is fun and easy to work for and with. He knows what people want. He is generous with his time and everything else. He won’t ask you to do anything that he won’t do himself. He knows our people will do whatever it takes to bring every show to a new level of success every time. Ron grew this company from one person in a home office and a garage full of gear into 30+ people and a 25,000 square foot warehouse. 20 years in the making! Time well spent. It has been an up-to-the-challenge task for him that brings a lot of joy to the community as a whole and reaches even further. We bring a bit of Iowa nice and hard work to every state we visit.” – Rob Silver, Production Specialist Engineer

Ron Rausch enjoys being on-site for video shoots as a videographer for his company

“Ron isn’t a normal business owner. He’s more like the smartest coworker because he works beside his employees, treats them all as equals, and he knows a couple things.” – Clayton Walters, Production Specialist Engineer

Ron is, without a doubt, the kind of employer people can search for their whole life. With a genuine concern for everyone, whole heartedly, as a family, and an incredible talent for instructing, training, and explaining what needs to be done, or how to accomplish any given job. Ron is straightforward and forthcoming. He’s also a lot of fun. At the risk of sounding too cheesy, Ron is truly a great leader and an amazing person all around. I will forever be grateful for having the opportunity to join this entire cast of characters.” – Steven James, Production Specialist Engineer

“Ron’s calm demeanor, expertise, and wisdom has got us through some tense situations during live productions over the years.” – Doug Netolicky, VP of Business Development

“In my time working for WPG (and RPI before that), I’ve had plenty of highs, but also a few lows, both professional and personal. Throughout those times, Ron has always been supportive, honest, generous and fair. He’ll tell you when you’ve done a good job, and he’ll also provide you with the tools to improve your work. You know that he always has your back, he values your contributions, and that above all else, he’s genuinely concerned about the well-being of every person at WPG.” – Eric Freese, Sr. Editor & Videographer

Ron Rausch enjoys the sights and sounds of outdoor music festivals across the Midwest

“I met Ron in the early ‘90s. He was living with a mutual friend as he was beginning his career as a freelancer! I had band practice in the basement, so we always forced him out of the house with our rock ‘n roll! I started working and getting to know Ron around 2005. Rausch Productions was a big client of 16th Avenue Music, and we would often work events together. He is incredibly talented and qualified in all aspects of production. He is a tremendous leader with a family first mindset. Ron truly cares about his employees and their families. He is also a great listener and mentor, and he believes that the best ideas come from collaboration.” – Billy Peifer, Warehouse Operations Manager

“Ron’s positive vision for the future of the company and his employee-oriented leadership style motivates all his employees to look forward to coming to work and participating in our shared success. There aren’t many companies like Wired and that’s a direct result of Ron’s ambition and ethicality.” – Aaron Wells, COO

Here’s Why Event Professionals Love Working At Wired Production Group…

I came to Wired Production Group only a year ago and I could not be happier. The company is built on all of the fundamental business principles I strive to hold. The work ethic, the moral, the amount of talent and experience is outstanding and very humbling. I’ve worked for very large corporations and none could hold a candle to the ethics, drive and success WPG produces. The people here are what make this such an amazing company, from top down. Everyone cares. Everyone gives their all. Everyone works together. I am so blessed to have found WPG!” – Mary Beth Kunz, Live Event Production Manager

“Working for Wired has been great. The culture and family oriented feel we have is something that just isn’t at a lot of companies and that comes from the top. During this whole pandemic Ron is doing everything he can to make sure we are all taken care of and I know every one of us are beyond grateful for that.” – Jesse Snyder, Lighting Designer

“I love working at Wired. The people we work with are amazing and I’m constantly learning new and interesting things.” – Josh Leinen, Audio Engineer

Even on the busiest days, Wired Production Group staff enjoy a nice break

“Ron has done an outstanding job of blending both his and Nate’s visions into a single unified objective, then running with it to see how far we can go. His family first business outlook has helped him to recruit and retain a talented, dedicated staff who take pride in their work as a team.” – Ian Miller, Audio Engineer

I consider myself fortunate to be a part of this truly outstanding group of individuals. The success of this company comes from the passion, work ethic, creativity, camaraderie and diverse skill sets that everyone brings, every day. Those traits, and the fun, family atmosphere Ron has cultivated, get me out of bed in the morning. And I love the variety of things I’m involved in – there’s always a new challenge, a new technique, a new angle or a new client – no two days are the same.” – Eric Freese, Sr. Editor & Videographer

“Wired Production Group is a challenging, entertaining and fun place to work.  We all come together and push each other to create incredible shows for our clients, whether it’s the first one of the fiftieth.” – Amanda Snyder, Client Account Manager

I enjoy being a part of an amazing team of really creative and talented people. Everyone who works in this company is family. It takes a village to do what we do. One of my favorite things has to be when Ron fires up the grill and cooks lunch for everyone. I am grateful for my time spent here. I look forward to many more. Ron has created something very special for all of us to be a part of.” – Rob Silver, Production Specialist Engineer 

Ron Rausch and Nate Hines enjoy working together

“I like working at Wired because we choose to make every show fun and easy (as much as possible).” – Clayton Walters, Production Specialist Engineer

“I LOVE working at Wired because it is family. I feel that if you’re going to work for a production company you might as well work for the best – and looky there! I do!” – Bandi Arp, Transportation Coordinator

“Working at Wired has been a wonderful experience for me, and Ron’s leadership has been a big part of that. He always has the big picture in mind, while giving his employees enough flexibility to do their best work. Ron and Nate both have tremendous impact on making Wired what it is today.”  – Lance Lineburg, Audio Engineer

“You’re made to feel like family!  Everyday brings something new in our fast paced industry.” – Doug Netolicky, VP of Business Development

Employees Enjoy Their Job at Wired Production Group

“When you are able to learn from your leaders and feel good about what you are doing, that  makes all the difference in what you do every day. At Wired, we are a blended family and I feel both fortunate and lucky to be a part of this journey!. Ron and Nate are both successful business owners who are respected in our community as well as the industry across the nation. The phrase ‘there isn’t anything we can’t do’ is the main part of their vocabulary and the company’s continued success. The years combined between both of our previous companies, 16th Avenue Music and Rausch Production, is what makes me proud of a small company like this. Our company is honest, hardworking, and will absolutely stop at nothing to make sure our clients are successful and their events are experiences to remember. We have the best of the best out there working to make these events happen – live or virtual. We have the most kind and creative crew in the business. Thank you to our leadership team for giving us the path to keep going every single day.” – Kim Klein, Office Manager

“Ditto to the above!” – Nicole Schroeder, Marketing Project Coordinator

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