At DWP Live, we pride ourselves on our team’s range of expertise and dedication to making our clients’ visions come to life. To show off our incredible AV All-Stars, we’re sharing a behind-the-scenes look at the people who help us deliver the best solutions and events across the world. Meet Danny Whetstone, founder of DWP Live!

In 1996, Danny Whetstone embarked on his career in live events as a production assistant (PA) for High Five Entertainment, a local Nashville film and television company. After rapidly progressing through the ranks, he became a key PA, collaborating with the grip and set departments. By 1997, Danny transitioned into a role as a video technician on tour, while also working on corporate events during his downtime. 

After nearly a decade on the road, Danny sought greater control over his career and, in October 2007, founded DWP Live. Initially established to create his career path, DWP Live quickly expanded as opportunities grew throughout the city. By 2009, he began acquiring equipment, focusing on projection, media servers and related technology to build a robust company. 17 years later, Danny continues to prioritize delivering top-tier solutions for clients with immense gratitude for every opportunity that has come his way.

We recently sat down with Danny to learn more about his vision for the future of DWP Live, what he has learned over the last 17 years, his favorite project and more.

  1. What do you think is the most important aspect of your role as the leader of such a well regarded company in the industry?

Consistency and integrity are paramount in my role. My customers trust me with complex projects because they know I will deliver as promised. Even for less complicated productions, they have confidence that I will meet or exceed the job’s requirements, and consistently execute on time and on budget.

  1. What’s next for DWP Live? What’s your vision for the next 17 years? 

I’m focusing on building upon our core competencies and continuing to deliver excellence in every job, regardless of scope or scale. As for my vision for the next 17 years, it likely involves a beach and an umbrella for a good portion of that time!

  1. DWP will celebrate its 17th birthday this year. What is the biggest lesson you have learned since you started the company?

I’ve learned to adapt much better than I did in my early business years. People come and go, technology evolves and the economy fluctuates. While these are beyond my control, I have learned to focus on what I can control and deliver my skills to the best of my ability.

  1. What do you enjoy most about your role as the president of DWP?

The relationships are what I enjoy most. Vendor/customer relationships are often transactional, but I have been fortunate to have developed many lifelong friendships with both vendors and customers over the last 17 years. These close-knit relationships bring me the greatest joy.

  1. What does DWP bring to the industry and its clients that nobody else does?

Many great companies in our industry do excellent work, but a key advantage of working with DWP Live is that we are small but mighty. A tight-knit team gives us the ability to react quickly to timelines and changes.

  1. What has been the biggest contributor to DWP’s success?

People’s trust in us to deliver has greatly contributed to our success. New customers may only know me by reputation or through a nice introduction, but their confidence in our ability to deliver as promised has allowed us to grow and expand with new projects and clients.

  1. How do you overcome challenges as a leader?

Bourbon? Therapy? A long vacation? Joking aside, I overcome challenges by pressing onward and finding the right solution. I rely strongly on my industry colleagues for advice and my trusted network for guidance. When faced with a challenge, you can either address it and find a solution or give up, and I am not one to give up. 

  1. What is the best career advice you’ve been given? 

The best advice I’ve been given is to do what you love! If you don’t love what you are doing, do something else. While my job always requires hard work and is sometimes stressful, I truly love it and find it rewarding, which fuels my drive to continue.

  1. What do you find most exciting about the audio-visual industry?

The AV industry is constantly evolving, which I find particularly exciting. I love finding new ways to contribute to that evolution, riding the waves of technological advancements year after year and improving upon customer solutions.

  1. What has been your favorite DWP project and why?

One standout project was “Beyonce: I Was Here,” shot live inside the UN General Assembly Chamber. The impact of a single music video calling for global action resonated with me beyond stardom or political power.

Beyond Beyonce, my favorite projects are often the ones that don’t make headlines—middle school theater projects, church missions and charitable events that make a real impact on any scale.

  1. DWP has many partnerships with trusted vendors. Why is this so important? What’s the key to building these relationships?

DWP does not manufacture equipment, so our success relies on making the right choices in the vendors we source equipment from. We do not simply buy gear from vendors and resell online. We develop strong partnerships based on mutual trust and support and sell their gear to our clients because we trust it. Our most trusted vendors value our feedback, allowing us to push product boundaries and influence their development. Such relationships take years of human interaction to nurture and develop, and we are proud of those that we have formed at DWP.

  1. What is your proudest career moment so far and why?

My proudest moments often involve working with mentors from my past and seeing former employees develop their careers. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without help from others and am thankful for the opportunity to pay it forward to the next generation.

  1. What’s your favorite way to spend a day off?

My favorite way to spend a day off is with my wife! Whether it’s an RV trip, a fun beach locale, or just sitting on the back porch, she makes my world go ’round, and I cherish every day we spend together.

  1. What’s your hidden talent or superpower?

I consider myself a relatively talented cook. Not a chef, but a good cook. I love challenging myself in the kitchen, on the grill, or on the smoker. Cooking is my therapy!