This award has been bestowed upon Thomas L. Ansteatt, and he is the first member of the CNE Distinguished Alumnus Hall of Fame.
Tom graduated in 1960. He learned by doing. In high school he was pretty much in charge of the PA system. This interest in the sound system got him a job at the Clermont Fair. He was still a teenager when he was hired by Chester Rotroff to travel the fair circuit providing sound systems. This experience earned him a seat on the Clermont County Fair Board. He was the youngest member and is still a valuable member today.
In 1968, he joined the Ohio Fair Manager’s Association Convention. He worked for years providing sound and light for the Entertainment Acts. Then he took over that production. He served on the Ohio Fair Manager’s Association from 1996 to 2007 as a Director at Large, donating equipment, tooling and expertise. Last year he was inducted into the Ohio Fair Manager’s Hall of Fame
Today, with his own corporation, OKI Sound, and all the audio equipment he has designed and tinkered with, one boyhood dream has come true.
Tom designed the wiring and sound system for the Ohio State Fair. He provided audio for the Bob Braun 50-50 Club one week each year in Daytona Beach, Florida. He did the audio for the Ionia Free Fair in Ionia, Michigan, one of the largest county fairs in the country. Tom provided full production of all U.S. Presidents when they were in his venue areas on the Ohio State Fairgrounds beginning with President Ford through President Clinton. Tom did full production for US Open four times on East Coast and the PGA Golf Tours throughout the East. Tom has worked as a consultant at the Indy 500, Disneyland’s in-Park House Track, and the Dayton International Air Show. He developed the Flight Line Sound System capable of projecting sound hundreds of feet deep into the Spectators on Flight Line – something new to the Air Show Circuit. Tom did the Staging Design Work for Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy TV Shows in Central Ohio. He participated in the production of the mega large outdoor Billy Graham Crusades in Columbus and Cleveland. Tom did full production for over 300 concerts. A few of his favorites were: Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Garth Brooks, Jeff Dunham and Dolly Partin in the glory days.
Tom was nominated by his classmate, Barbara Kelly, who said “Tom deserves this award, not only for his accomplishments in the business world, but also for his community service. He donates his time, money and equipment in helping his community. I am proud to call Tom my classmate and my friend.”
Tom’s family include his wife, Judy, his son Michael, and daughter Franci, and eight grandchildren who are all graduates or current students at CNE.