Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Who We Are 2013

February 28, 2011

Who We Are: Ian C. rogers

Taking the road less skated

Ian Rogers was never one to stroll the beaten path. Because of that he has progressed from a 1980s teenager skateboarding through the streets of Goshen to one of the most innovative and respected experts of Internet music distribution and marketing. Now 38 and living in Santa Monica, Calif., Rogers is CEO of Topspin Media. Before that he owned his own company, was director of Yahoo Music and, oh yeah,  toured with The Beastie Boys.

Where did you grow up?

My parents divorced when I was young and I walked between our two houses, mom on 104 W. Waverly and dad on 10th Street just by Goshen Rubber. ... I grew up stuck between the worlds of Goshen’s identity crisis: Am I a heady peacenik Mennonite college town or am I a blue-collar factory-working company town? My dad was a captain on the Goshen Fire Department and my mom and the rest of my family worked at Johnson Controls. But we lived a few blocks from Goshen College and liked to feel like we belonged inside the “culture” of the south side.

How did you get your ‘start’ in the music business?

Against my guidance counselors, well, guidance, I enrolled myself in Elkhart Area Career Center during high school. I wanted to be close to my love, music, and the radio broadcast program seemed like high school for music lovers. The program director was excited to have a kid who could actually read (his words, not mine) and gave me a job at the station. My first job in “the industry,” if it counts.

Where did you attend school?

I went to Goshen College Laboratory Kindergarten, Parkside Elementary, Whiteman Junior High and Goshen High School. I studied a year at Indiana University South Bend before escaping to Bloomington. I have only visited Goshen a handful of times since.

What are your best memories of growing up in Goshen?

Playing under the waterfall at the dam, skating a small ramp in front of my dad’s house on 10th street and pretending Goshen College was our playground.

How has Goshen changed since you first left?

Goshen is a very different city. When we were little there was a lot of local culture. By the time we graduated high school, globalization ate our town; fast food and Walmart dominated. I was glad to see the reemergence of locally owned shops, restaurants, and even a bar downtown. Goshen felt more vibrant now than it did when I left in 1990.

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