Donna Codd – CEO
Donna took over as CEO in 2013, after working as the General Manger. She has 20 years of prior experience creating new teams, processes, and organizations for startups. She has also helped large corporations evolve in new directions, creating entire departments. Prior to moving to Durango, Donna also managed strategic relationships with a $Billion, software company.
She brings a breadth of knowledge, gained by working for Fortune 500 companies and owning several successful business ventures of her own. When Donna takes on a project, she makes things happen! Her organizational skills are only matched by her drive and enthusiasm. She enjoys growing companies by guiding her employees to find and utilize their strengths and allowing them to help set the direction for success.Being in Durango provides the perfect space for hiking, horseback riding, gardening, skiing, and making jewelry in her off time.
Richard Cooke – CIA, Chief in Artistry
Conformity was never in the plans for Richard Cooke. Growing up in St. Louis, Missouri, he studied music through voice, piano, and trumpet, but an organized band was not his calling. He went on to attend Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, where the improvisation of blues and jazz re-ignited his musical fire. The freedom of improvising and teaching himself to play new instruments by ear set Richard on a happily rambling road of adventure, musical expression, and creation.
Armed with only a 10-speed bicycle, a contrabass clarinet he picked up at a pawnshop, and an unabashed enthusiasm for the vagabond lifestyle, Richard found his way to a retreat by the famed Paul Winter of the Consort jazz ensemble. Though he had not yet played his “new” clarinet, Richard let his ear and soul guide through an experimental session. There was a joy to playing when he had no expectations of himself. He overcame the constraints of self-consciousness and reveled in the freedom of spontaneous music making. That is where the seed for Freenotes was planted. Richard eventually traded in his 10-speed for an old Volkswagen van and moved to the otherworldly landscape of Moab, Utah. In Moab, he focused his abundant energy on building instruments that would make music accessible to novices and seasoned musicians alike. Though he was blessed with talent, his mission was to bring an experiential component to music wherein anyone could step up to an instrument and play.
Richard continues to play music professionally, including collaborating with Paul Winter on the 2007 Grammy Award-winning Crestone album. His artist’s soul and wandering spirit underscore his dedication to building his instruments. It is out in the wilderness where he finds inspiration. But it is long, focused hours in the shop where he hones each prototype until it balances the appeal, the durability and the perfect pitch that will earn the name Freenotes.
Joe Benavidez – Vice President Of Manufacturing
Joe has been with Freenotes Harmony Park since June 2016, he brings with him over 17 years of manufacturing management experience. He holds an MBA and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of Texas at Dallas. In his former responsibilities include: Operations Manager, General Manager, Vice President of Operations and Manufacturing, and Senior Vice President of Operations and Development; spearheading research and development, new design development, and company growth. He has assisted in the development of companies as small as $5.million to $180.million before retiring in 2007.
He stepped out of retirement to join FHP for the uniqueness of our products, and the future growth potential the company has. He aspires to use his experience to assist these potentials throughout the manufacturing development of the company from raw materials to customer delivery of product; all while insuring the same quality of product and future product development FHP has always aspired to offer.
Mike Torres – Creative Director
Over the course of Mike’s career, he has worked for both hands on and leading teams in conceptualizing, designing, and developing notable work for new products, services, and communications. Primarily working with Start-Up companies, or new markets for established brands.