Giff Swart and Dizzy Gosnell
USA - Bandit Lites recently held its Annual General Meeting to launch 2024, celebrating the previous year’s accomplishments and revealing the company’s new goals and updates. Following a ‘wildly successful 55th year’, Bandit chair Michael T. Strickland offered remarks and insight on Bandit’s successes and its continuing goals in the New Year.
Milestone awards were handed out, with multiple Bandits celebrating decades at the company. Arie Zaky, Scott Wesson, Chris Noll, Jacob Edge and Mark Scherer accepted accolades for five years. Andy Reese was honoured for 10 years, and John Jenkinson, Erich Hudgens and Chas Albea were recognised for 15 years.
“I cannot thank each of these individuals enough for their countless contributions to making Bandit what it is today,” offered Strickland. “Each of them contributes at a high level in their own way and all are amazing. You will never find a better team. No other firm in the industry has full time people with this type of longevity.”
Giff Swart celebrated 20 years at Bandit Lites which included the Bandit tradition of a Rolex watch.
“When we began the Rolex at 20 years, that was a milestone in this industry,” said Strickland. “Today we have many people over 40 years at Bandit. Giff’s personality, demeanour and people skills make Giff a crowd favourite both inside and outside Bandit. I want to thank him for all he does to assure our clients are well taken care of, and that the work we deliver is second to none. Giff deals with the biggest names in the world on a daily basis at Blackberry Farm, and no one could do it better! Thank you, my friend!”
Dizzy Gosnell was lauded for his 30-year Bandit Lites anniversary. Gosnell first met Michael 42 years ago in Nice France on an Iron Maiden Tour. The two have been fast friends ever since, with Dizzy joining Bandit Nashville in 1993.
“What can you say about Diz? He is an industry icon, and well deserved,” Strickland shared. “Everyone in the industry knows Diz as he has been an innovator and force since the late 70’s. He and I both worked with Thomas on development of many products and eventually I acquired Thomas US. From lighting director for AC/DC to general manager of Meteorlites to vice president of production at Bandit Lites, Dizzy has done it all. It would take pages to list his accomplishments. His ongoing innovations and contributions span the industry, not simply Bandit. Thank you, Dizzy, for 30 years of greatness, but more importantly for over 40 years of friendship. Love and respect Diz, here is to 40 more.”
“Diz and I joke about who will die last at their desk, but the funny thing is we are serious!” Strickland added.
In addition to the Bandit anniversaries, Strickland distributed three ‘Rock’ awards for outstanding team members who have gone above and beyond in their career. Recipients included Chas Albea, Craig Richter and Rick Herndon.
The meeting was closed with the mantra that Strickland promotes daily that he picked up from the former Alabama head coach, Nick Saban, “We earned our way here, we are entitled to nothing. We earn our clients trust and business every day, and we will never stop working to keep that!”

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