About Westmark

Since our first days in 1975, Westmark has focused on providing top-quality recording, post-production and finished media to music programs and ensembles engaged in the performance of current and historic fine arts literature.

Today, our horizons are expanding.

One-of-a-kind service

We provide our clients with high quality audio and video services delivered by a staff of experienced recording, post-production, and support professionals. Our historic focus on fine arts music performance capture is unabated and is the foundation upon which we build. With the changing times we have embraced new outlets for our skills. We are able to record or live stream concerts or recitals, recording sessions, graduations, educational and business presentations and on occasion weddings and other life events, all with the same quality and attention to detail that has made Westmark the largest recording and production service of its kind in Minnesota.

Meet the crew

Nick Benson, recordist, editor and tech explorer; owner-designate
Nick is the newest member of the Westmark family, although new is a relative term. Nick and Walt co-own All in the Couch, LLC, a creative services company specializing in artist management, creative business development, media production, and marketing. Of late Nick has been moving out of his audio engineering comfort zone (as have we all) and is refining his skills in the video realm. Read more about Nick here.

Walt Boyd, recordist, educator and media advisor; owner-designate
Walt called out of the blue many years ago and asked if there was anything he could do to help. From taking any job that was given to him to being out in the world of social media to bringing new business our way Walt has indeed helped. And not just a little. He shares his expertise with the next generation of audio professionals through his teaching at Hennepin Technical College. See Walt’s bio for more information.

Doug Geston, owner and student-for-life
Doug has owned the business since 1999. Before that he held a variety of engineering and management positions in both large and small firms, and before that was a working musician and studio recordist. He is an avid recordist with 45+ years of experience (and counting), and has delighted in finding new and interesting projects and educational opportunities to explore. He’s a very happy father and grandfather with an unrelenting appreciation of dad jokes. He’s very excited to be turning over the Westmark reins to Walt & Nick in the not-too-distant future. Read more about Doug here.

Mary Kay Geston, DMA, co-owner, choir director and music advisor
Mary Kay has done so many things musical, administrative and personal over the years that it’s hard to pin a single label on her. She’s a leader, conductor, advisor, educator, student, volunteer, mother, grandmother, and administrator. She is a whiz at writing grants for non-profits and allows Doug to introduce them as “Dr. and Mr. Geston.” Click here to read more about Mary Kay and her work with Great River Chorale.

Patricia Lassle, office assistant, choral singer and cat whisperer
Patricia has been around the Westmark scene for a whole lot of years. Since the pandemic hit she’s mostly been retired, but is still active in maintaining a semblance of normalcy when Mary Kay and Doug go out of town. Pre-pandemic she did graphic design, took care of order fulfillment, record-keeping and general sanity maintenance. That last one is a tough job in this business. She is adored by the Westmark cats.

Tam├ís “Tomi T-Time” Majoros, recordist, editor, producer and guitarist extraordinaire.
Tomi is a husband, proud cat-dad, and friend to countless people in all walks of life. A native of Hungary, he has been active in the Minnesota Hungarians organization and is a constant source of advice on what music to listen to and what plugins to investigate. His music has enriched the lives of many whether as a guitarist in R&B bands or solo performer.
tamasmajoros.com

Ryan Ripley, web master
Ryan has worked for a variety of non-profits over the years and took the plunge to become an independent web designer several years ago. He’s the guy who set up this site but can’t be blamed for any of the content. He is well known to the owners due to the fact that he married their daughter in 2010.
ryanaripley.com

History

The business began as an avocation for DuWayne (Dewey) Kloos. Dewey was a public school music director and audiophile. His work in music and interest in high-fidelity audio led him to experiment with making his own recordings. He purchased microphones and a recorder and in 1973 began recording music groups in his school district. Colleagues asked him to do other recording jobs and what began as a hobby became a business in 1975. In addition to his teaching duties, Dewey began operating a professional recording service that catered to the school, church, and community music group market with vinyl LP records produced from the recordings. He joined a consortium of individuals with similar businesses that existed to get volume-buying discounts for vinyl record mastering and pressing. This association, known then as Mark Custom Records, had grown out of the Century Custom Recording organization. When the Minnesota affiliates of Mark Custom Records broke ties with the central office in New York they chose the name Westmark Records as a way to both maintain name recognition and underscore their mutual location west of the Mississippi. Other members of the original Westmark consortium were Don Geiken in Moorhead, Al Opland in Pipestone, and Herb Streitz in Waseca.

In time the vinyl LP was replaced by the audio cassette as the medium of choice for clients served by the business. Cassettes, unlike vinyl records, could be duplicated locally and the need for the consortium faded away. With the retirements of the other Minnesota associates Dewey’s business became the sole remaining bearer of the Westmark name. The name was updated to Westmark Productions as the business moved away from vinyl records to audio and video cassettes, compact discs and DVDs. 

In 1993, Dewey retired from teaching and devoted full time to Westmark Productions. The business had been growing steadily, and with the added time available to take on work, the rate of growth increased. In 1997 Dewey began to investigate the sale of the business in anticipation of his retirement. In January of 1999 he entered into an agreement with Doug Geston to sell the business. After a six-month apprenticeship Doug assumed ownership on September 15, 1999.