Reverend Guitars began quietly, in a garage behind a bicycle shop in East Detroit in 1997. Joe Naylor drew upon his years of study in Industrial Design, Lutherie School, and professional vintage guitar repair to create the first Reverend Guitar. It was unusual in its design, but what impressed most people was the attention to detail that Joe put into the instrument.
The brand has now grown to encompass a global presence and has garnered the attention of rock stars, working musicians, journalists, and kingmakers from all across the industry. Reverend offers many shapes and styles of guitars and basses, but the one thing that remains the same is the professional quality that’s available for everyone – whether you’re selling out amphitheaters or playing in your living room.
Currently based in Toledo, Ohio, Reverend is run by Ken and Penny Haas. All of the guitars are expertly designed by Joe Naylor, proudly manufactured in South Korea by boutique guitar manufacturer Mirr Music, and meticulously set up by our tech team – lead by Zach Green who initials each one before it goes out the door.
From the well-known to the unknown, players of all stripes are impressed because Reverend pays attention to what makes an instrument the kind of instrument players want to play. And that, by the way, is where Reverend’s attention will always lie.
Joe Naylor launched Reverend in 1997 in East Detroit. A guitarist since 1980, he holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Design, and is a graduate of the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery. Joe has repaired guitars professionally since 1981, and opened his own vintage guitar/repair shop in 1992. That store evolved into J.F. Naylor Engineering, known for the now collectable Naylor amps and speakers. A tireless designer, Joe owns several guitar-related patents, and has conceived many other innovative guitar products including Armor Gold Cables, StringDog Products, the Heads Up Strap, All-Tone Speakers and Railhammer Pickups. To date, products designed by Joe have won several awards from major guitar and industry magazines. Naylor continues to handle all product design and technical support at Reverend.
Ken Haas is Reverend’s CEO. Ken started with Reverend demoing guitars at trade shows and was promoted to Head of Sales in 2007, then became General Manager in 2010. Ken has been playing guitar since 1981 (he’s amassed quite a collection since then). He currently plays in The Polka Floyd Show with his wife, Penny and Reverend Warehouse Manager, Chris Zielinski, as well as in J Navarro and the Traitors with Reverend endorsee, J Navarro. He also plays steel guitar in The Zimmerman Twins with Reverend employee, Kevin Tufts. Ken’s the father of four and the proud owner of a sweet Mustang Cobra.
Penny Haast is the COO of Reverend, in charge of all social media and outside marketing, as well as the day-to-day operations at Reverend. She brings a civilized charm to the booth in contrast to the sometimes unruly behavior of Ken and Joe, and “makes the trains run on time”. Penny holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Art History & Film, has been a pianist since 1981, guitarist since 1999, and plays keys in The Polka Floyd Show with Ken. She’s also a proud mom and/or step-mom of four.
Zack Green sets up, inspects, and play-tests every Reverend guitar that goes out the door. His initials (ZSG) are on the back of every guitar and bass Reverend makes. A guitarist since 1984, Zack began repairing guitars professionally in 1991. In his spare time, Zack restores vintage arcade games and muscle cars, and maintains a collection of about 50 guitars.
Chris Zielinski is the warehouse manager and is responsible for everything in the warehouse and shop – as well as trying to make everyone else’s job a little easier. He also helps Zack Green with the set up process. Chris started taking bass lessons in 1982, and was playing in his dad’s polka band by the 8th grade. He plays bass in The Polka Floyd Show alongside Ken and Penny, and in The Thirsty Houligans with fellow Reverend Employee, Kevin Tufts.
Zak Ward is Reverend’s Head of Sales. Zak has worked NAMM shows for Reverend since 2011 and started working full-time in June of 2014. Zak has been playing guitar since 1990 and currently plays in his self-tilted band “Zak Ward & Co” five nights a week.
Andrew Clark holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design and is in charge of Internal Marketing: photography, newsletter design, website updates, and any other in-house graphic design work that needs to be done. He’s also a long time Reverend and Railhammer Pickups endorser, fronting his Toledo based rock bands Highbinder and TroubleGiant.
Kevin Tufts is our shipping manager who gets the instruments ready to go out the door. He’s also our resident drummer in The Zimmerman Twins – with Reverend CEO, Ken Haas – The Thirsty Houligans, with Warehouse Manager, Chris Zielinski, and The Dougouts.
Seth Anderson is a guitar tech at Reverend Guitars. He is a guitar player, a bass player, a drummer, and a DJ. He’s in way too many bands to mention, including The Zimmerman Twins with Reverend CEO Ken Haas. He really likes Bruce Springsteen, and has an epic beard.
Doug Wuellner is a guitar tech at Reverend Guitars. A fantastic guitar player who is currently in The Dougouts with shipping manager, Kevin Tufts. When he’s not playing, he can be found with his motorcycle, at his cabin, and with his family.
Johnny Cola often works guitar shows on the East Coast, and every musician seems to know him and his “New Yawk” accent. A guitarist and bassist since 1971, he’s been published in Vintage Guitar magazine, frequents jams and blues festivals, haunts NYC guitar shops, and is proud to be FDP Member #13.
Nick Malamis NICK MALAMIS brings his salesmanship and enthusiasm for guitars to trade shows across the country. He’s an avid collector, and is also known as the man who first showed a Reverend guitar to Ken Haas.