This session will aim to share real world learning experiences of panel members as they changed and improved the audio systems within their respective communities during periods of rapid expansion.

Knowing whether to add-on or replace, how to qualify the need for an “upgrade” and impartially justifying the need for change are just some of the topics that will be discussed.

Members of Hillsong Church, Elevation Church, North Point Ministries, WJHW Inc and Adamson Systems Engineering will all contribute to this knowledge sharing.

Learning Objectives

  • Is this safe?
  • Needs Assessment – Exceeding Expectations
  • Building a Balanced Team – Internal and External Contributors
  • Finding the Right Partner – Doing the Due Diligence


About the speakers

Mick Whelan

Mick Whelan
Director of U.S. Business Development

Mick Whelan has lived Professional Live Sound for more than 45 years. Primarily engaged as a front of house engineer and/or system engineer on tours with Bob Marley, Carole King, Cheap Trick, Elvis Costello, Parliament Funkadelic, the Beach Boys, Rod Stewart and many many more before coming off the road and taking on the role as chief of research & development at Electrotec Productions, California. While running the R&D program at Electrotec he developed monitoring and/or PA systems for Mick Fleetwood, Bob Dylan, Guns N’ Roses, Bob Seeger, Tom Petty, Randy Travis, Alan Jackson, Alabama and the Los Angeles Olympics trials.

Mick moved into working with Pro-Audio manufacturers some 20 years ago and has experienced working for JBL, Crown Audio, Electro Voice, Sennheiser and most recently with Adamson Systems Engineering.

Andrew Starke

Andrew Starke
Audio Director
North Point Community Church

Andrew Starke is the Audio Director at North Point Community Church in Atlanta Georgia and has been involved with Audio / Live Production for over 14 years. An Australian native, Andrew and his wife relocated to Atlanta in 2016 after serving as a part of the production staff at Hillsong Church for 12 years, leading production teams for various campuses & events and touring as FOH Engineer for Hillsong Worship.

As a lover of all things music and with a passion for people, Andrew’s mission is to create environments where individuals on production teams thrive in both the use of their talents and in their church community. As a result, Andrew seeks to challenge culture in a way that leads to healthier teams, better practices, and a genuine connection between what’s being presented on stage to what’s felt in the room.

Andrew and his wife recently celebrated 10 years of marriage as well as welcomed a new baby girl into the world. You can find him on Instagram (@andrewstarke) or via the Facebook Group, “Worship Audio Collective”.

Brian Poole

Brian Poole
Director of Live Production Technologies
Elevation Church

Brian Poole lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife and three kids and serves as Director of Live Production Technologies at Elevation Church. Brian spends most of his working hours designing AVL systems for Elevation’s permanent and non-permanent campuses and extension sites, as well as for all of Elevation’s external events. Over the past eight years on staff at Elevation Brian has learned how to manage timelines, budgets, and people to effectively build and deploy systems to further the reach of the Gospel in the city of Charlotte, and around the world. Brian also serves as the front of house audio engineer at Elevation’s main campus and oversees the development of the Elevation sound engineer team.

Ricki Cook

Ricki Cook
Director of Audio & Infrastructure
Hillsong Church Australia

Ricki Cook grew up on the Central Coast of New South Wales, around one hour north of Sydney, Australia. As a youth, he expressed interest in all things connected with electronics & communications; computers & networking, along with the internet were fascinating to him. In his later teens, he began investigating audio and then the live sound segment attracted his keen interest. His first job after school was for a local rental production company. After being inspired by the life story of Bruce Jackson, Ricki then made audio into a fulltime career, moving through various roles handling service & support, installations, live production and then onto global arena touring for various companies including the largest audio company in the southern hemisphere. In 2010 Hillsong Church invited him to start touring with Hillsong United on their biggest ever U.S. arena tour. Ricki is now the full-time Director of Audio & Infrastructure at Hillsong.