Mark Aling, a nearly 30-year veteran of the industry who spent much of that time in marketing for Paradigm Electronics, passed away on Friday, August 20. He was 56 years old.
Aling, who lived in Burlington, Ontario, had been diagnosed with glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer, in January. In recent weeks many of his friends in the industry had been sharing a GoFundMe campaign, seeking to assist Aling and his family during his illness.
Having spent most of his life in Ontario, Aling graduated from Sheridan College in 1992. In 1994, he began a two-decade stint at Paradigm, where he was director of marketing and later senior director of marketing. He also worked on the MartinLogan and Anthem brands, which were owned by the same company.
Following the end of his time with Paradigm, Aling worked with TEN: The Enthusiast Network, beginning in 2015. In 2018, he joined The SoundStage! Network. In recent years, Aling also did some consulting for such brands as Clarus and Tributaries Cables.
Since Aling’s passing, condolences have poured in from all over the consumer electronics and A/V worlds. Messages and social media posts from friends and those who worked with him indicate that Aling was an especially beloved figure in the industry.
“Mark Aling is one of those people who imprint on your life,” Kim Lancaster, founder of Caster Communications, which worked with Aling for over a decade, told Dealerscope. “I met Mark in 1995 at a hi-fi show in San Francisco and we quickly became cohorts. In March of 2000, while Mark was at Paradigm, he became a Caster client, giving our firm credibility and helping cement us in the CE space for thirteen years. We parted ways after the Paradigm acquisition, but Mark and I remained incredibly close friends.”
“Mark and I grew up in the industry together, starting young and growing our professional careers,” Lancaster added. “He always brought so much warmth and laughter to everything we did, and he was never averse to trying any boundary-pushing ideas, even the crazy ones. The world is short on people like Mark, but if you were fortunate enough to meet him, you never wanted to let go.”
“Mark took me under his wing as a young buck in the industry and he very quickly became my mentor, family, and very best friend,” said Erin Phillips in an interview with Dealerscope. Phillips worked with Aling at Paradigm and is now director of marketing & public relations for Theory Audio Design and Pro Audio Technology. “He was inherently kind, selfless, quick-witted, and had a deep belly chuckle that was incredibly contagious. There isn’t a single soul whose path he crossed that wasn’t touched by him. He left his ‘mark’ everywhere he went and for that and so much more, he will be dearly missed.”
“Mark was one of the first people I ever met in the audio industry and served as a mentor for me professionally during the early days of my career,” Nick Brown of SVS Sound told Dealerscope. “His passion for life and positive attitude were infectious and he could always light up a room with his presence. I will forever be grateful for the experiences we shared as we went from colleagues to friends and will cherish the memories and laughs we had through the years. He will be missed greatly.”
“I met Mark Aling early in my career & I can say [with] confidence I haven’t met anyone since [with] the same kindness, love & loyalty for his people,” said Ashley Daigneault, who formerly worked for Caster, on Twitter just after his passing.
Aling was long a fixture at CES, CEDIA Expo, and other industry events, often manning Paradigm’s booth, demonstrating new products, and visiting with his many industry friends.
In addition to his work and family, Aling is remembered as an avid cook, golfer, and traveler.
According to an obituary published on the website of Smith’s Funeral Homes, Aling is survived by his fiancée, his children, and his fiancée’s children, as well as his mother, siblings, nieces, and nephews. Aling had become engaged late last year, not long before his diagnosis.
That GoFundMe campaign remains online, to assist Aling’s survivors with medical expenses. The obituary stated that “a celebration of life will be organized at a later date.”