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Akron company, Panyard Inc., marches to beat of a different drum

At work manufacturing a steelpan at Panyard Inc.
, USA - From the outside, Panyard Inc. looks like a bland building in the middle of an Akron working class neighborhood on California Avenue.

But if you step inside, close your eyes and listen, you can easily imagine sitting on a Caribbean beach with a mai tai at your side.

Panyard is recognized as the world leader in manufacturing steel drums. The company, now in its 21styear, carefully crafts instruments that make that "put a smile on your face" reggae sound.

....Panyard is just starting to turn a nice profit. A big reason for that: kids and schools clamoring for a beginner steel drum called The Jumbie Jam.

"The Jumbies, we're putting out close to 3,000 or 4,000 a year, and that's growing rapidly," Kerns said.
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Once a thief, always a thief.  As I said, there is so much more.   Ron Kerns and his company Panyard is profitting through major theft.  Trinidadians have been a very informal 'lot' when it comes to patenting their steelband stuff, including even pan stands, and other innovations and designs.  They seldom do.  They use their designs and creations openly year after year with almost no formal patents.  And other parties delight in practicing in unauthorized "borrowing" for profit. 


And Ron kerns with his company Panyard is a very MAJOR THIEF of several Trinidadian steelpan innovations.  I have not seen him personally driving any Ferraris, or such cars as Andre-Roger Dellevi has posted, but if he is it would be no surprise, because of his company's ongoing practice of grand larceny of ideas. 


Take this particular instance.  A friend of mine is close to Utopia steelband in New york, and one of the group's founders created/came up with a marvellous physical layout for the six bass.  I understand that Utopia never patented it, no suprise there.   And several years ago, Ron Kerns took that exact physical layout claiming it is his, and selling it in Panyard.  'Nuff said for this particular story.  More to come.

Terry Joseph was said to have such photos...  On maybe the PanYard peeps would supply their own... http://www.panyard.com/contact/index.html
wmlpan the 4ths and 5ths bass was designed by Anthony Williams in the 1950's


Why did Roland leave? He refuses to talk about Pan Yard.

they took advantage of him...Roland told me himself.  When Ron Kearns and, I'm assuming, Shelly Irvine went to Trinidad to get their show on the road, a tuner took advantage of them and left them with no pans.  Roland felt sorry for them and helped them out out of the goodness of his heart.  He made pans for them and as things were getting good, they brought him and his people to Akron to mass produce.  From there Roland said that they took advantage of his crew & him (I don't know in what way) but he ended up walking away from the venture.  Roland wouldn't walk away unless things were bad. He went into this venture with a good heart and for what he thought would be a way for pan to rise.  He got burned. If everything went as it was intended, everyone would be showering him with praise.  But Panyard doesn't care about anybody.  You notice that they have a high turnover rate?  They never have the same tuners/"crafters" for more than 2 years.  Visit their website and you will see.  How many of the original staff do they have? Ron Kearns alone.  Most companies will keep employees for a long time if they are good to them.  Roland is in no way a sell out.  His love for Pan is always at the forefront.  Those who call him a "sell out" or a "traitor" obviously never met the man and talked with him.  I have the utmost respect for him and I always refer him to other bands here in Western Canada.  His service is courteous, professional and tuning is always on point. 

Come on Trinidesi. How was Roland working with Panyard going to benefit anyone but Roland?  Why didn't Roland start his own Panyard in Trinidad?

Panyard is no different than any other colonial company.  They are all based on exploitation and many times straight up evil.

The problem is Trinidadians are always looking for some outside validation or deliverance.

Roland was your classic Pocahontas.

Pan Trinbago and the Methanol Company were the ones that introduced Panyard to Phase II - Roland was the tuner for Phase II.  Boogsie & Ray Holman used to really rate them up.  Now Jojo, if you were a tuner who got introduced to someone by people you trust,  and you are given the opportunity to make some money with your talent, wouldn't you jump at it?  Jojo...u cant tell me you wouldnt.  Tell me back in the late 80's/early 90's, which pan tuner had the money to start a pan manufacturing company of the calibre of Panyard?  Pan Trinbago had nothing in motion in that regard and still does not.  I agree with you on the rest of your points regarding exploitation and foreign validation.  But at the same time, when you don't get appreciation and support at home, you would look and find appreciation elsewhere.  ( I have a feeling that last sentence will start a forum post of it's own...) :D
You are right about the tuners, Trindesi, few if any would have had the wherewithal to start a Pan Manufacturing factory.

But you mean to tell me that neither the Trinidad government nor those moneyed "smart Men"businessmen in Trinidad an Tobago couldn't have foreseen the possible benefits of investing in a Pan Factory in T&T?

Not even when the oil money was flowing in Trinidad?

How shameful !
Mr. Joseph, that has been the Pan Man's cry since the days of Eric Williams.  Successive Governments have promised the world to pan, but few have delivered.  I am hopeful that Mrs. Persad-Bissessar follows up on her promise regarding the completion of the Pan Trinbago Headquarters & Pan Factory - but I am not holding my breath. When the ribbon cut to open those facilities, I will believe it.  I would also like to see that all Steelbands would be protected from eviction by the Government - that alone would be a step in d right direction...

Panyard was not all that when it started or at the point when Roland was involved.  Moreover, Roland knew exactly what he was doing.  He deliberately went against the culture of the day as it relates to Trinidad tuners behavior.  As with most Trinidadians he was not promised anything.  He was looking for deliverance and outside validation.

Roland is as guilty as sin. Panyard did not offer him anything he wasn't already doing or could do for himself.

Pan Trinbago and Roland are the same people.  There is no differentiation between the two.

Very interesting insider stuff, Eustace. That's what I appreciate about this forum. Here we have the ability to get the real story.

Did you say that the course was set up by the Trinidad government to teach Nigerians, and Trinidadians were only included as an afterthought?

I find that very disturbing.

This just fuels my thinking the the Trinidad Government were extremely derelict in their duty to promote and protect the culture on behalf of the ones who created it.

Glenroy -  WST actually did a story on one of these Nigerian students who now has a successful pan factory in Nigeria. WST has a few stories on Nigeria and pan.

check this http://www.panonthenet.com/news/2008/hc_reports/nigeria-5_7_08.htm


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