Here, Sound & Communications lovingly pays tribute to the life, times, achievements and enduring legacy of Vincent P. Testa, who founded multiple influential trade publications and who, as President of Testa Communications, published Sound & Communications from 1984 until 2021. The world lost a singular individual when Testa, known universally as “Vinny,” died on April 19 following a battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Our editorial team has gathered stories, memories and testimonies from some of the luminaries whom Vinny called friends and colleagues. If you weren’t fortunate enough to know Vinny, these anecdotes and reminiscences offer a hint of why the publishing, music and technology industries are mourning not only a towering figure but also, perhaps even more importantly, a wonderful friend.
Although, strictly speaking, my own relationship with Vinny was of the employee-boss variety, he always made me feel like so much more than that. Over 16-and-a-half years working at Testa Communications, I always felt like part of Vinny’s extended family. A mentor in many ways, he guided my career from an entry-level Assistant Editor position, to the editorship of The Music & Sound Retailer, to my appointment as Editor of Sound & Communications in 2017. Although Vinny didn’t create Sound & Communications—he acquired the title from Jerry Brookman back in 1984—he loved it no less than the many publications he created from scratch. I was honored that he entrusted it to me after the well-earned retirement of longtime Editor David A. Silverman. If not for all the lessons that Vinny taught me in the preceding 12-and-a-half years, I’d never have been able to do it.
It might sound like I’m an old timer around here, but, the truth is, Vinny fostered a fierce loyalty among his employees because he, likewise, was loyal to us. Our Associate Publisher, John Carr, has a 30-plus-year tenure here. The same for our Art Director, Janice Pupelis. And Robin Hazan, Testa Communications’ Operations Manager for the last many years, eclipses us all! In last month’s “Wavelength,” I evoked the common perception of tight Italian families gathering for Sunday dinner as a way to offer some insight into Vinny as a businessman. As I said last month, when it came to his guys and gals, he treated us like family.
As it turns out, that family extended far beyond our office walls. In this post, you’ll read the words of trade-association heads, manufacturing executives, public-relations professionals, former employees and others. All of them worked with Vinny, but, much more importantly, each of them knew that big, hearty laugh…knew that mischievous, twinkled-eyed smile…knew that flawless Hollywood tan even in the dead of winter. They knew Vinny, and to know him was to love him.
—Dan Ferrisi

Vinny Testa

Contributions would be greatly appreciated in Vinny’s memory to act.alz.org.

Vinny Testa and Family

“Vinny was a dreamer, as I think all entrepreneurs have to be. If you just look at all that he created in his career — schools, magazines, trade shows, TV coverage — it’s remarkable. Very early in my career, I was lucky enough to be having lunch with Vinny at an AES show. We were discussing advertising — particularly ad design — and Vinny launched into a full tutorial on the importance of selling the ‘sizzle,’ not the steak. Sounds simple enough, but I can tell you that has become a guiding principle for me and the businesses I’ve been involved with. People don’t just buy products — they buy dreams and aspirations. Vinny imparted countless other bits of wisdom over the years, and, for me, they were all worth serious consideration. I am fortunate to have had Vinny as a mentor, and even more fortunate to have had him as a friend.” —Jack Kelly, CEO, Group One Ltd.

“I’m smiling in a way in my grief because that’s how it is in our industry. You celebrate, you mourn and then you remember. Vinny was almost like a surrogate father for us. Vinny was someone who was always there. I always knew Vinny, whether I was at Skip’s Music or NAMM. When I was at Skip’s, Vinny was always very kind to write about our events, and we did something with the ‘Weekend Warriors’ program together. I really remember coffee-shop meetings we had with Vinny at the NAMM Show. Vinny would come in with all this energy and we all said, ‘Quick, we need some more coffee [to keep up].’ He always had great ideas.

“At NAMM, we always did business together. We had ConventionTV, and we did a lot of advertising. We didn’t always agree on everything, but that’s business, and you need to find common ground. I had such respect for him as my elder that we always found common ground. If I felt we messed up, I would say, ‘Vinny, we messed up. How can we make it right?’ And there were times he would drop the ball and he would say the same thing. That spirit made our relationship special.

“We were all shocked by the passing. When I heard of the passing, the first thing I thought of was that he would always end our calls by saying, ‘I love you.’ Vinny always had that spirit of absolute transparency. So, in some ways, I was comforted that the last words we said to each other were that we loved each other. It encapsulates the spirit of how I felt about Vinny. There are people in our industry who are larger than life. People who are iconic. There are not many of them. Vinny will be remembered. His legacy will be secure. He has great people [at Testa Communications] to make sure the legacy stays strong.

“The industry will not be quite as colorful without him. It won’t be the same. Through the years, his energy never diminished. It never dropped to 90 or 95 percent. It was always 100 percent. We are going to miss him. We are going to miss him a lot.” —Joe Lamond, President and CEO, NAMM

“Vinny Testa was special. Anyone who knew or worked with him knows that. I worked with him for 17 years … a relative ‘shortterm’ employee at Testa Communications. Most of his employees have been there more than 20 years — some for 30 or more! I have to say all of this because, as uneducated in the field of publishing as he was when he started the company, Vinny set up an environment for his employees that was quite different. Yet, it offered us the opportunity to innovate, grow and create quality products that we could all be proud of. That’s why he had a stable staff.

“This is all to say thank you to a man who gave me, at the age of 54, an opportunity to further my career that few would have done. He hired an ‘old guy’ (second in age only to him the whole time I was there). I stuck with him until the time was right for me to leave. I regret that I only saw Vinny twice after the retirement party that he threw for me at InfoComm 2017: at the third retirement party that Testa Communications hosted for me and at one other company event.

“An anecdote to show the kind of man he was: About three months after I retired, I told Vinny that I was going to have major surgery and his first words were, “Let me know if I can do anything.” That’s how I feel about any member of the Testa Family (work or home): If there is anything I can do to help, I’ll be there.” —David Silverman, former Editor, Sound & Communications

“Vinny Testa was a larger-than-life personality with a heart that matched. If he liked you, you were invited in to see just how warm and amazing this man could be. And I had that pleasure. He gave me my start in this industry, when I was still essentially a kid. He offered me responsibility and trust not typically afforded to people at the start of their 20s. He also offered many life lessons, including one I still use today: If you don’t know how to do something, admit it and ask for help. If you did that instead of pretending you knew everything, you earned his respect.
“He also instilled in me a confidence I didn’t know I had. Five months into my first real job as Assistant Editor of Post Magazine, he sent me to NAB in Las Vegas. It was exhausting and amazing and an entirely new world that I was just getting to know. On the last day of the show, he saw me in the lobby of the Central Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center. He told me he was catching a plane, then ticked off about 10 things he expected me to accomplish at the booth breakdown. He started to walk away when he said over his shoulder, ‘I don’t have to worry about this, do I?’ I said, ‘Not at all’ as confidently as I could. He turned, opened the door and walked into the sunshine. When the door closed, it was dark and I was terrified, but he gave me an opportunity to prove myself and I didn’t want to let him down. I found my colleagues and we made it work. I spent the rest of my time at Testa Communications trying not to let Vinny down.
“When I started my own company, postPerspective, he made himself available, offering up his constant support and vast experience. He was a boss, a mentor and, at times, a father figure. I loved him.”
—Randi Altman, Editor-in-Chief, postPerspective

“We are sad to hear that our industry has lost a pioneer in pro-audio trade-magazine publishing. Vinny Testa co-founded Pro Sound News only a year before John and I co-founded Meyer Sound, and then he went on to develop Sound & Communications. From the outset, we worked with many of the publications and platforms he helped create, shaping the growth of our industry and Meyer Sound. Our thoughts are with Vinny’s family and colleagues.”
—Helen Meyer, Executive VP, Meyer Sound

My favorite story with Vinny: ‘State Department,’ AES, 1987.
“Back in the ’80s when I was just starting out my career, my dear friend and mentor Wayne Freeman was close friends with Vinny. We would hang out in New York and Los Angeles whenever we were in the same city and at trade shows. Crazy times, I have this picture in my mind of Vinny and Paul Gallo jumping through Wayne’s car windows after we were leaving a bar late one night in Dallas, NAB in ’86.
“At AES in LA—1987, I think—I was leaving the show at the LA Convention Center and I had my full-size Ford Crown Victoria rental. (Vinny always rented sub-compacts, which I never understood. Me to Vinny: ‘What are you doin’ with that car?’ Vinny to me: ‘That’s all I need!’).
“Back to the AES story. Vinny and I are popping over to the Biltmore Hotel for a quick drop-in at a cocktail party before dinner. We pull up to the Biltmore Hotel. He says to me, ‘Let me handle this.’ Then he says to the doorman, ‘Leave the car out front. We’ll be back in 30 minutes. Oh, and I’d love to take care of you, but we’re with the State Department and we can’t tip. See ya!’
Classic Vinny!
“So, I related this story to Group One’s CEO, Jack Kelly, shortly after I learned that Vinny sadly passed away. He said to me a couple of days later, ‘I just remembered: I was in the car with you and Vinny.’ It hit him after I’d told him that unforgettable story. You can’t make this stuff up!
“Vinny had moxie for 10 men! He took in all secrets and spread none. We miss him dearly.”
—Phil Wagner, Senior VP, Solid State Logic, Inc.

Vinny Testa

“A great man left this world, and we will not see the likes of him again in our lifetime. Nor should we. Vinny Testa was a force of nature who animated everything and everyone he ever met. He was a musician, songwriter, educator, publisher, event producer, serial entrepreneur—and the world’s greatest salesman. He gave as much as he got and, as a result, everyone left a negotiation with Vinny happy.
“Family was everything to Vinny: his family, his publishing family and his industry family. His immediate smile, warm embrace and slap on the cheek always let you know that you were more than business to him. You were part of his family.
“When he called, he never had to use his last name. You picked up the phone and heard that unmistakable voice, “Hey, pal, it’s Vinny.” And you knew exactly who it was. I got my first phone call from Vinny in 1979, when I just started out in this crazy wonderful industry, and I looked forward to every call ever since. I will miss them.
“Rest in peace, Vinny, and thank you for all the laughter, life and opportunity you created for all of us.
—Bob Griffin, President, Griffin360

“I have to admit that, when I heard of Vinny’s passing, I was stunned. There wasn’t anyone in our industry who didn’t know and like Vinny. He really was an icon.”
—Fred Poole, General Manager, North American Sales, Product Development, Peavey Electronics

“No matter when, where or whom you were with, Vinny always made you feel part of his ‘inner circle.’ We obviously spoke at length about our industry; however, my favorite memories were conversations about family and friends. He was such a proud family man. One of my favorite chats on rotation included the main reason he always looked so good. ‘Abstinence from bread,’ he would say.
“Above all, Vinny epitomized relationship management. By the end of many of our exchanges, I felt a strong appreciation for the lesson I was just taught, whether I wanted it or not. Vinny was one of a kind. He spoke with purpose, listened intently and was a wonderful conversationalist.
“While I join the many who mourn Vinny’s passing, I’m humbled to have had the pleasure of benefiting from his wisdom for nearly three decades. I make no mistake in knowing where I stood with Vinny initially—he was either schooling or selling. It was after one fateful visit to our office, and an incredible meal, that our relationship was forever changed. I’m privileged to have known Vinny, and I send my deepest condolences to his family and employees. Vinny Testa is a professional-audio legend who will be sorely missed. RIP, my friend.”
—Greg Beebe, Director, Professional Audio, Sennheiser

“Greg Mackie had left TAPCO when he recruited me to do ads for his new company, Mackie Designs. He immediately said, ‘While at TAPCO, I was approached by Vinny Testa, whom I greatly respect, who told me that TAPCO ads were so dreadful that he didn’t want to run them in any of his books.’

“Later, as I settled in buying pro audio media, other West Coaster marketing people would caution me, ‘Beware of that Vinny Guy. He’s a ball buster.

“Having lived in NYC, I just took Vinnie for who he was. We had some emphatic shouting matches over the phone while my staff took cover under desks. All bouts of screaming ended with Vinnie and I remaining friends, much to the bewilderment of the mellow Northwester around me.

“Much later when I was PreSonus’ VP of Marketing, I was forced to undergo an operation that went horribly wrong and kept me hospitalized for 6 months. Who called me regularly to check on my recovery? By this time, I had known Vinny for 25 years. I could sense that he was genuinely concerned. He was the only media person who ever called.

“What a remarkable man.”

– Ron Koliha, Top Dog, Running Dog LOIC

“Vinny was a great encouragement to me when I was working on the business plan for Church Production Magazine. It meant a lot to me at the time, and I’ll never forget it.”

– Brian Blackmore, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Church Production Magazine

“All of TMP was saddened to hear about the passing of Vincent Testa. It has been amazing to witness what Vincent had built, and we are honored to have established a great relationship with his company. Though this loss has to weigh heavy on everyone in the Testa Communications family, Vincent established a great company with great people who will definitely carry on his legacy.”
—John Hennessey, Sharon Hennessey and team, The Music People (TMP)

“I first met Vinny and Paul Gallo [Editor’s Note: Vinny’s first cousin] years ago in New York. The genuine passion for the industry, understanding of it and commitment to make it better for all of us really impressed me. I also got to hang with him socially. A wonderful guy and a tremendous loss for the audio community.”
—Larry Italia, President/CEO Americas, d&b audiotechnik Corp.

“Vinny Testa was an innovator. From his concept of placing product-information kiosks in retail stores, to embracing the DJ market, to ConventionTV and more, Vinny was always looking ahead in an imaginative and insightful way. Of course, he was also quite a character, as anyone who knew him would attest to!”
—Larry DeMarco, Electro-Harmonix

“I first met Vinny when I was only 17 years old and was washing boats to make extra money over the summer at Capri Marina in Port Washington, on Long Island, NY. One boat I washed was owned by Sandy Cowan, who at the time published CQ and S9 Magazine for the CB and ham radio markets. The other book Sandy published was Modern Recording. And when I was at his office one day, he introduced me to a guy named Vinny Testa.
“Little did I know that, 10 years later, when I was 27 years old, I would be working in Port Washington for a marketing communications firm that handled brands like MXR, SoundWorkshop recording consoles, Whirlwind, the CAMEO organization, pro-audio retailer Martin Audio, etc. I would see Vinny many times a week, as his office was across the street from where I worked and we all ate at the Clubhouse Bar/Restaurant on Port Washington Blvd. Vinny was just around the corner at 14 Vanderventer Ave., Port Washington NY.
“Later, when Vinny moved his offices to 220 Westbury Ave. in Carle Place NY—the old Nakamichi office/studio, where he produced magazines like Music & Sound Output, Sound Arts, Pro Sound News and Home Entertainment, as well as Testa’s ConventionTV—he gave me keys to the building and let me and my bandmates move all our musical instruments and recording gear into the studio he had there. And every Thursday night, we held jam sessions. No rent, no hidden agenda, no strings attached. Just ‘Hey Robbie, I have this extra space. You have a bunch of musical instruments. You need a place to play, you use it.’ That was the kind of guy Vinny was.
“Throughout my career, Vinny was a close friend and mentor who guided me through this industry. No matter what the situation, he always had my back. Yes, of course we had our run-ins over the course of our careers (who didn’t? HA!), but, at the end of the day, Vinny was as solid as the day is long. He was one of a kind, always ahead of the curve and someone who lit up the room when he walked in. I miss him so.
“Peace, my friend.”
—Robbie Clyne, President/CEO, Clyne Media, Inc.

“I first met Vinny Testa in 2005, when I joined the InfoComm staff. Though I was new to the audiovisual industry, he put me immediately at ease. As a native New Yorker, he reminded me of home. Vinny always generously offered space in his magazines to promote our efforts, and he had a real love for the industry and the innovative people who make it vibrant. His publications reflected his passions, and he treated his team like an extended family. He had an eye for talent and inspired loyalty among his employees, many of whom stayed with him for decades.
“Vinny had a contagious laugh, wore his heart on his sleeve and shared many great stories about the music industry over the years. He was always quick with a note of congratulations or a call of concern, and he was a stalwart champion of the AV industry. He loomed larger than life and was a true original. Vinny loved life with his whole heart, and you always knew where you stood with him.
“The world seems emptier without Vinny Testa, but I know his legacy will never be forgotten by his family and large circle of friends. Someday soon, I hope to toast his memory at Patsy’s Italian in Manhattan.
“Until we meet again, Vinny!” —Betsy Jaffe, formerly of AVIXA

“Vinny was a force of nature. Grateful to have had the honor of writing for one of his publications for over 20 years. Vinny gave my column a thumbs up when no one else ‘in the trenches’ was writing about the industry.”
—Dan Vedda, Owner of Skyline Music and columnist for The Music & Sound Retailer

“If working for Vinny Testa did not change you in some way, you weren’t trying very hard.
“I was lucky. I worked for Testa Communications and Vinny’s beloved Post Magazine for 10 years. My odyssey started on a Friday in April 1988. I got a call at my desk as I was cleaning it out. Our magazine had been defunded. The call was from Vinny, who’d interviewed me, along with VP of Editorial Judy Morrison. Did I want the Associate Editor job? Did I?! I’d just emptied my bank account of any vestigial cash. All I had to do was figure out what exactly ‘post production’ was.
“Well, from there, we—the Post team and, I guess, everyone at Testa—launched into careers where we met unbelievable characters we’d never otherwise have encountered. Over the years, we—Randi Altman, Marc Loftus and our sitcom-ready sales team—took Post, healthy but slim, to a 250-page, eye-grabbing glossy behemoth that we brought to the NAB show in Las Vegas. There, in Sin City itself, we put on an annual black-tie technology awards show, typically at the Venetian, that was actually fun and would attract up to 700 NAB attendees.
“Needless to say, the most incredible character we worked with was Vinny Testa himself. Vinny would challenge you. If you rose to the challenge, you could hold your head high anywhere you went. And I wound up traveling the world for Post.
“Post moved to New York City in 1998, purchased by a large, faceless corporation. I recently saw a photo of us all—Vinny and I with cigars—from our last days at the Testa office.
“How did I change? I was married (still am) with two sons, two cars and a new house. That was possible, I realized, because I’d learned to hold my head up.”
—Ken McGorry, former Editor, <em>Post Magazine</em>

“Vinny was one of the industry’s great personalities. I absolutely loved bumping into him at various shows, and he will be greatly missed.”
—Chris Meikle, Senior VP, St. Louis Music

“My singular impression is that any encounter—that I had with him, anyway!—left me feeling better, more positive and uplifted. Vinny had a great energy. Also, a supernatural tan!”
—Rob Robinson, CEO, Stardraw.com

“I always enjoyed Vinny and loved when he came around at NAMM. He was funny, intelligent and kind—a truly unique talent and personality. Vinny had a way of making you feel special, and he was generous with his knowledge and time. A pioneer in digital marketing in the MI industry, he provided an innovative approach to media and marketing, and he always seemed to have fun doing it.”
—Chris DeMaria, VP of Marketing and Artist Relations, Fishman

Vinny Testa

“I first met Vinny back in the early ’90s, and I had the pleasure of working with him and the Testa Communications team on the ConventionTV@InfoComm programming over many years. Vinny was so charismatic; he reminded me of a movie star straight off a Hollywood set. His suits, leather loafers, George Hamilton-style tan, sunglasses…. He would enter a room with a flourish, and he had a positive energy about him. Vinny had a great smile, was full of laughs, and had an earnestness to do business and make things happen. He had a zest for life.
“I saw Vinny as a great salesman who worked hard and hustled. He cared about his customers. That’s why, in my opinion, he was so successful in publishing. He knew everyone in the AV industry. I often spoke with Vinny to get the pulse of what was happening with various brands and industry trends. He was a trendsetter, doing ConventionTV programs and capturing video content at trade shows long before the rise of the Internet.
“I remember doing on-camera interviews at InfoComm with Vinny behind the cameraman like a director. He wanted to capture the story, and his team worked all night at the show to deliver a broadcast-quality program each morning to the hotels and shuttle buses so attendees could get the show news. In later years, the programming lived on the web and helped to promote the show to a broader audience. Vinny was always thinking of new ways to engage his viewers/readers. He was so passionate about his business and the industry. I will miss his advice, knowledge and inspiration. He was truly one of a kind!”
—Jason McGraw, CAE, CTS, Group VP, Emerald Expositions

“It’s always sad when someone you have known and worked with for such a long time passes. The next DJ Expo won’t be the same without Vinny.”
—Helen Viva, Professional Entertainment Group

“Vinny was both my friend and mentor for well over 40 years. Having first met Vinny during my association with Audiotechniques and Allen & Heath in the ’70s, our friendship grew throughout the ’80s, when he became a valued mentor. He influenced me in the various decisions and directions I would take throughout my career in the pro-audio industry. I remember spending many hours in his office on Long Island, where he passed on so many words of wisdom and opinions (including those that I didn’t necessarily want to hear) that I so much valued.
“It was Vinny who encouraged me to go out on my own to start APB-DynaSonics, rather than just accepting job offers I received after I had left Crest Audio (which he also influenced). And he reviewed with me the various investor options that were received that led to our final choice in a business partner for the formation of APB-DynaSonics. Vinny played the part of cheerleader for me and for so many others during the good times, and he helped us get through the rougher spots, helping us all find direction. I know that Vinny played a similar role for so many in our industry, and we owe him as an industry so much for who we are.
“I will miss him, and I look forward to meeting him again in a future life.”
—Chuck Augustowski, Consultant, Product Development, APB-DynaSonics International

“It was fairly early in my time in the industry when I received my first call from Vinny, selling me on ConventionTV@InfoComm. His energy, drive and utter self-assurance came through so clearly on the phone—no video call required to make his point! And he didn’t ever stop calling until he had a commitment. I was meeting with Vinny at an NSCA show when a pipe burst in the ceiling and water started pouring down from above. Vinny kept talking to me about ConventionTV as we were walking off the show floor, not letting anything stop him from delivering his sales pitch! Vinny was a true character of the industry, and he will be missed.”
—Rachel Archibald, Director of Marketing, Clear-Com

“Man, Vinny was a great guy. I want to share one Vinny story. Once, he came to NAMM headquarters for some meetings—we were talking about NAMM’s ads or something—and we decided to go out to lunch. I drove and, at that time, I had my old Infiniti G20. Vinny got in and we had lunch, shared stories, etc. Good times. As we got back to NAMM, Vinny was saying goodbye to me and shook my hand. He said with a sly smile and a wink, ‘Hey, Scott…nice Datsun you got there.’ And that was him: Smart enough to know that and clever enough to use it as a parting shot to remember him by. LOL.
“Vinny really made things easier on me my first NAMM show, and he was always there with some wisdom, a bad joke or a clever comment. RIP to an industry icon.”
—Scott Robertson, APR, CEO/Certified StoryBrand Guide, RobertsonComm

“We used to talk kids when our kids were little, and then, when he had his first grandchildren, he was over the moon!
“When I first started in this business over 30 years ago, he was aggressively persuading me to advertise for Neve in Post when I worked for Neve. Because of his persistence and personality, I agreed. And that was my first relationship with him. Needless to say, all the companies I have worked for have been major supporters of Testa publications—many because of Vinny.
“After many phone calls, trade shows, dinners, etc., he will always have a special place in my heart.”
—Lisa Young, PR/Communications Professional

“I was saddened to hear about Vinny Testa’s passing. I haven’t seen him in years, but, back in the day, when I was editing magazines, I had some great conversations with him. He contributed a vast amount to the industry in so many ways, and he will be sorely missed.”
—Steve Oppenheimer, Public Relations Manager, PreSonus Audio Electronics

“Vinny was a dynamo. He talked the talk—often very colorfully!—and he certainly walked the walk, having paid his dues
coming up through the New York City recording industry in the ’60s. Vinny successfully leveraged all that insight into his vision for Testa Communications, journaling the business culture of pro audio and MI. He had many stories of his own, and he was excellent company at a trade show dinner. He was a look-you-in-the-eye, my-word-is-my-bond kind of guy, and I always respected that. The industry won’t be the same without him—such a big personality. Rest in peace, Vinny. You’ll be missed!”
—Guy Low, Senior Creative Manager, Robert Bosch LLC

“When I first met Vinny Testa some 22-plus years ago, I was a young, impressionable kid starting out in the business of professional-audio manufacturing. Vinny’s legend seemed larger than life, but, when I finally met him and got to know him, I soon discovered that Vinny was much more than my initial perceptions. Vinny was a very down-to-earth, straightforward man looking to help people make connections. Always on the move at a show and always brainstorming ways in which his team and he could be of service, Vinny was a man full of boundless energy and ideas, and he was an icon of our business. Rest in peace. Until we meet again.”
—Phil Sanchez, Professional Audio Product Developer, Marketer and Media Relations Professional

“I’m just heartbroken. Vinny was such a fabulous guy. I have nothing but great respect for him. Especially during my time with Rane Corp., I felt more of a partnership with Vinny and his company than with any other publisher. With me, he was always a gentleman. And what I also found unique with Vinny was that the people he hired stayed with him. To have that kind of longevity with a staff must mean that he was a special boss. He was truly a one-of-a-kind guy, and he’ll truly be missed.”
—Dean Standing, International Sales Manager, AtlasIED

“Vinny was one of a kind—someone who embraced life fully. He always had time and a big smile for me whenever I saw him. I’ll never forget his riotous bowling parties at NSCA. ‘Cold pizza! Warm beer!’ RIP, Vinny. We’ll miss you.”
—Elaine Jones, Elaine Jones Associates Marketing and Public Relations

“Vinny was larger than life and an icon in the MI and DJ industry. He will be missed.”
—Brian Dowdle, Marketing Director, ADJ Group of Companies

“I had just spoken to my assistant a week or two ago about the fact that I had not yet received my annual—if not biannual—call from Vinny. Vinny would always call to say hello, check in on my father and chat for a bit to see if there was anything he could do for us. Of course, he was pushing advertising, but he never did it in a way that ever in the slightest felt pushy. I rather enjoyed speaking to Vinny and looked forward to his calls. Even when we decided to step away from the print for a while, he wanted to be sure Galaxy Audio still sent any news his way because he wanted to cover it. One of Vinny’s best business practices was you didn’t need to spend money with him to get coverage for your brand. Not something you get in many publications these days. Vinny will truly be missed.”
—Bacheus Jabara, Marketing Director, Galaxy Audio

“It is true: Vinny was a very unique individual who lit up the room when he walked in. His charisma and smile were always infectious. I remember for the years of the DJ show he was always walking up to me and telling me to ‘turn it down.’ Then, he would lean over to me, kiss me and tell me, ‘I love’a bubbie.’ His leadership and his forward thinking will be missed in so many parts of our industry. Vinny was the symbol of passion, and it was all around him in everything he did. RIP, my friend.”
—Sam Helms, Sigmet Corp.

“Throughout our 25 years of business, Vinny and Testa Communications have played an integral role in our company. Odyssey is extremely appreciative of all that Vinny did for us here at Odyssey and for our industry. We look forward to brighter days ahead, and to our continued longstanding relationship with all at Testa Communications.”
—John Hsiao, Dave Lopez and Mario Montano, Odyssey Innovative Designs

When Vinny purchased Sound & Communications back in 1984, I was about 6 months into my new role as Advertising Manager for Music Sound Output and as green as any young upstart trying to find his way could be. Vinny knew how green I was, but he saw something in me that I did not know I possessed.

Almost as soon as Vinny purchased Sound & Communications, he immediately named me the Ad Director and placed all the responsibility of generating advertising revenue on me. At that time, I was still the Ad Manager of Output and Vinny had recently turned his attention to launching Post. I felt overwhelmed. I remember him pulling me aside at AES in NYC, looking me square in the eyes and telling me straight up that he needed me to take charge and “handle it.” As I remember it, the only real option I had was to own it and make it happen as I had absolutely no intention of letting Vinny down.

I’m certain Vinny didn’t put that kind of pressure on every employee who worked for him. I believe Vinny had an intuition about people and was a good judge of character. I think he always knew just how much be could push his young upstarts and how much they could handle at any given time. Whenever I needed help (and I did), Vinny was always there to give me just enough direction and advice and then send me on my way to figure the rest of it out.

It was an enormous responsibility taking on Sound & Communications at that moment, and I will never forget what Vinny did for me personally by putting me to the test like that. He instilled confidence in me that has served me well through the years and especially in the years to follow, when times were tough and when I was struggling with my confidence.

I kept in touch with Vinny over the years. We would talk on the phone, exchange email and we’d even have lunch on occasion when I visited Long Island. He continued to mentor me and offer advice even after I was well into my fifties and as recently as just a few years ago. I’m glad that I got to tell Vinny (many times) how grateful I was to him for giving me that break, challenging me and for all the advice he gave me – both as a kid and, as a grown man.

I am honored to have known Vinny, work for him and, most importantly, call him my friend.

—Clifford Capone

Sound & Communications July 2021 digital edition
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