You could work for any manufacturer, past or present...

If you had a chance to work with anyone related to audio, pro or home, spend time in the workshop, go to the shows and sell it, who would it be?

I'd love to go back to the early days of sound and sit in on the talks with western electric and the others who started this whole thing. 

Maybe Paul Klipsch when he was designing the K-horns would be fun too. 

or early Quad ESL

With my friendship with Richard Vandersteen ( since 1983 ), I feel like I am living that dream already....

I had solid on-line friendships with Charlie ( Ayre ) and Roger ( Music Reference ) - not a day goes by where I don’t think about them and the great contributions they each made, so yes just another minute with each of them would be priceless...,
Hmmm, working in this space would probably ruin the hobby for me. 

But, if I had to make a choice, since so many companies have turned over or gone away, I might opt for stability... so maybe magnepan... and it helps that they make a great product and seem to care about customers and progress. 
For me it would be Altec or JBL. Would love to be there in the early days of theater sound. :)
Past or present? I would work with Nicola Tesla. "We" would "invent" quantum tunneling, and make a fortune having cornered the directional audiophile cable market, which we would lose gambling in the desert waiting for the first CES to arrive. 
Myself. If I had been brave enough to sell my phono amp back in the late 80s. Who knows where it would have gone. After reading Paul McGowan's book, I can imagine. Instead, I work for the man and hate every day of it.
Whichever company is located in Hawaii, assuming they'd pay me enough to live there comfortably with a killer kit.
Nelson Pass during the week to teach me to be a bit more patient with people, and a couple of shots of up front directness (ahem, cough cough) on the weekend..via a few days with John curl.

Then, on sabbatical and retreat with Scott Frankland, previously of MFA, to absorb the Zen of Tubes.

For speakers, no one. Just me. I’m like Leonardo DiCaprio in ’The quick and the dead’. I’m at my peak. Some Gene Hackman of speakers might shoot me down, though. One can’t know it all, one can only think that one does.
It would have to be somewhere in the Western Electric days or even Bell Labs. Telephony had a strong interest from me, and to witness the development early on would be priceless. No doubt, there were other interests as well, given that radio was changing every couple of years or so, which by that days standards, was lightning fast.
Pierre Spray or Peter Belt. Oh, snap! I did work for them. John Curl and Bob Crump, too, technically. Never mind.
Without knowing any audio designers personally I tend to think that those who would be best to work for are (a) those having well established top-notch design talents, and (b) those whose companies are known for being conscientious, responsive, and supportive when dealing with customers and potential customers. I believe that how a designer/manufacturer treats his customers and potential customers would generally tend to correlate with how he treats his employees, and with the culture that exists within the company.

Among those who are still living that I would include in that category are Nelson Pass, Ralph Karsten, Keith Herron, Lou Hinkley, Kevin Hayes, and Dan Wright. There are many others, of course.

Best regards,
-- Al

"...make a fortune having cornered the directional audiophile cable market," abandoning cables altogether. Tesla was a "wireless" kind of man.

"Nicola Tesla"
Nikola Tesla.
You mean his boat or submarine, or whatever that was? It was impressive.
I would be sitting next to 4crowme at Western Electric.  They were at the cutting edge of everything--speaker design, acoustics, amplification, radio, electric parts and tubes, you name it.

geoffkait, THAT is very funny.
I worked for ARINC Aeronautical Radio INC down at FAA HQ. ARINC was the engineering company hired by the Government a long time ago to assess the aviation requirements for tube electronics, mostly radios which as fate would have it were still in abundant use by the Airline industry and the FAA as late as 1986 when solid state radios replaced them. ARINC developed standards for avionics and when I was there was involved in all aspects of Aviation industry communications systems.
I have to change my vote. After reading the above, I would like to have worked with geoffkait.
Today/Current - Bruce Thigpen - Eminent Technology - just call me Bruce I am coming to Florida on my Canadian dime.  

Peter Walker era - Quad
John Bowers era - B&W
Roger - Music Reference
J.C. Verdier - Turntables

Adding some designer/manufacturers from the (distant) past to my previous post, which only addressed those who are presently active:

-- Saul Marantz & Sid Smith, at you know which company.

-- H. H. Scott & Daniel von Recklinghausen (at the original H. H. Scott company). I believe, btw, that it was Daniel von Recklinghausen who first said "If it measures good and sounds bad, it is bad. If it sounds good and measures bad, you’ve measured the wrong thing."

-- Lincoln Walsh (Brook Electronics, which manufactured high quality amplifiers using 2A3 directly heated triode power tubes in the late 1940s and early 1950s; also the creator of the Walsh driver later used in Ohm speakers).

-- E. H. Scott (no relation to H. H.), who manufactured high quality multi-chassis "radios" mainly in the 1930s (many using 2A3 and 45 power tubes), which can be considered to be precursors of modern hifi systems.

-- McMurdo Silver, a competitor of E. H. Scott; same description applies.

Best regards,
-- Al

I would be sitting next to 4crowme at Western Electric. They were at the cutting edge of everything--speaker design, acoustics, amplification, radio, electric parts and tubes, you name it.

  And don't forget, um,   phones.

Jadis ~~Esoterica Electronique~~~Magical~~~Mystical~~~
For Stereo shows, ,, i'd hook Jadis up with SEAS and SB Acoustics. all Mundorf Supreme SGO cap xovers. 
Mind blowin...
every Jadis show on YT has crappy speakers. 
I'd take out every 12AU7 and place in the ~~E80CC~~~ and for all AX's, Telefunken.
My Defy came alive with the E80CC. The Tele AX also made a  nice lil pop.

I am thinking the early days of JM Lab/Focal too would be good. Not necessarily as a fan of the speakers, but living in a French town with old school cabinet making down the road from the driver manufacturing.
@erik_squires i was thinking of JM Lab as well. I visited the factory once as I was working with them on some novel membrane technology with them. I built my first speakers using a Focal kit. 
I now work a mile from Krell and wonder what the crazy Dan D’Agostino would be to work with...
Dan D'Agostino and Jim Thiel were the two people most concerned with the quality and technical validity of their products I have ever known. 

*G* Well, obviously Lincoln Walsh...

...but my 2nd choice would be Apogee. *S*

But I got involved in telling people where to go....Beautifully, and with Style...;)

Great topic, good one Erik.

Of the dead guys, I'd say Julius Futterman, Harvey Rosenberg, Roger Modjeski, Robert Fulton, J. Gordon Holt, Bill Johnson, Doug Sax, Jerry Wexler (Atlantic Records producer).

Of the living: Max Townshend, Ralph Karsten, Bruce Thigpen, Roger Sanders, Danny Richie, Keith Herron, Nelson Pass, Dave Edmunds & Buddy Miller (singers/guitarists/producers). But most of all Iris Dement, an Angel sent down from Heaven. On the road now.

I’ll bring the time machine and the ale, you bring the green bud, and away we go. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success. Etc, etc.
Perfect, I am in Illinois where recreational is legal and Master Kush is 86% THC - might not even need the time machine
.....and Time....*inhale & hold*(pause)*exhale*....

is not only Relative....but is tending irrelevant....of late....

....damn time machines always seem to dump one into the wrong era, anyway....
1.)Harry F. Olson, engineer at RCA Victor. Awarded 100 +patents including the 44 and 77 series microphones. Loudspeaker baffles anyone?

Yes, the criticisms of Dynagroove were certainly warranted. IMO, it was simply a serious attempt to improve the listening experience for people with less than ideal audio equipment. (His book, "Music, Physics and Engineering" is available on Abe Books for $6.16 w/free shipping.)

2.) Ed Miller & John Wood (Sherwood).