In March, Kohler Event Services, a division of Kohler Rental Power, opened new regional offices in Orlando and Las Vegas, in order to strengthen its competitive presence in these markets. The company supplies producers and event planners with mobile generator sets, climate control units, event lighting, staging, and sound support (even executive washrooms!). Chuck Doute is general manager of Kohler Rental Power.

Kohler is a large company with many divisions. How and when did it get involved in the entertainment/events market?

Kohler Co. officially launched Kohler Rental Power and Kohler Event Services in early 2000. Since 1996, Kohler's Power Systems Group had supported major events with rental generators, distribution gear, and various event services. Among the very first events Kohler Rental Power supported were the Andersen Consulting World Championship of Golf tournaments staged at Kohler Co.'s Blackwolf Run Golf Course. Then, in 1997, Blackwolf Run played host to the 1997 US Women's Open Golf Championship and again, Kohler was called upon to supply power and climate control for live broadcast services, media and hospitality tents, and on-course scoreboards.

Several years ago, Kohler's Chairman, Herbert V. Kohler, Jr., developed a corporate mission statement — contributing to a higher level of gracious living for those who are touched by our products and services. In his ongoing mission to offer good taste, leisure, and quality of life to a broader audience of customers, Mr. Kohler created Kohler Rental Power and its division, Kohler Event Services, giving event planners and entertainment producers a partner they can depend on for high-profile projects.

What are some recent projects Kohler has serviced?

In addition to the world golf championships, Kohler Event Services has compiled quite an impressive portfolio, including the Country USA Music Festival, 2001 Grammy Awards, Earth Day in Washington, DC, 2000 US Women's Open Golf Championship, the President's Cup of the PGA Tour, various Mardi Gras parades, FedEx CART Series auto racing, the KISS Farewell Tour, and several of the glamorous nighttime events during The Special Event 2001 trade show.

Do you see Kohler expanding into other areas of the entertainment market beyond special events?

I don't think “expanding” is the proper term in this instance. Kohler Event Services is already set up and capable of supporting many facets of the entertainment industry. Certainly, we can assist entertainment producers and production managers with live broadcasts, remote and on-location video, film, themed entertainment, festivals, and concerts. Our clients can count on Kohler to provide them with mobile generator sets (Movie Quiet and redundant power systems), UL-listed power distribution gear, climate control, various other infrastructure services, and on-site support from Kohler's trained technicians. I would tell people to give us a call, visit our website [www.kohlereventservices.com], or visit our booths at NAB and LDI.

Do you see the jittery economy affecting the events market?

We cannot discount what has been said and written about a potential downturn in the economy, and I guess all of us have witnessed events in the marketplace that support this claim. However, we haven't directly noticed the impact of a stagnant economy on our events business at this time.

Do energy problems in places like California hold any significance for you and your business?

Fortunately, over a year ago, we established a regional headquarters in Los Angeles staffed with experienced professionals and stocked with brand-new, state-of-the-art equipment. These individuals are in a position to service any clients with temporary power services should the need arise, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This energy crisis in California and potentially throughout the United States is not only significant for Kohler Rental Power and Kohler Event Services, but also for Kohler Power Systems. In addition to rental power, Kohler's Power Systems Group also manufactures and distributes permanently installed generator systems up to 2,000kW for homes, businesses, manufacturing, and healthcare. The list of potential customers is unlimited.