UK - Collaborative Creations has announced three new appointments in key positions.
Nic Farman has joined the CC team as its new lighting designer & business development specialist. Farman was previously a freelance lighting designer and will now be continuing his lighting design work in theatres internationally, but under the CC banner.
Farman has more than 10 years of experience lighting musicals, theatre and opera. He has worked extensively in the UK’s West End, as well as on shows in Lebanon, Dubai, and Kuwait.
The appointment comes following two further additions to the team at Collaborative Creations in recent months. Chris West joined as training and education director in February, offering a wide range of in-person and e-learning training courses.
West’s previous role was Global Training Manager for disguise. He has also worked in training roles for MA Lighting, White Light, Martin and Avolites.
In December 2021, Collaborative Creations also appointed Tyler Holpin as business development specialist. Holpin’s previous role was sales manager at console manufacturer Zero 88
Collaborative Creations managing director Tom Wilkes comments, “We continue to add more strings to our bow with these three appointments. Nic, Chris and Tyler are all well-known faces in the industry who are at the very top of their game. They bring a huge amount of experience, a deep roster of contacts and a powerful set of skills to our clients and the industry at large.”
UK - Polar has announced the expansion of its team with the appointment of two new members of staff. Mark Bracken has joined Polar’s integrated solutions team as a business development manager, whilst Joe Glading has been recruited as a marketing assistant.
Bracken is an experienced AV industry professional who has enjoyed sales, marketing and business development roles with Cloud Electronics, Imagesound, Rolec Music and Hayden Laboratories, before broadening his scope as a freelance consultant in the video sector.
“As the world began to emerge from the worst effects of the pandemic, I was looking for a new challenge within which I could bring together the skills and experience I’ve gained across different areas of the AV industry,” says Bracken. “When the opportunity with the Polar integrated solutions team arose, it aligned perfectly with that ambition, and I had no hesitation in joining what is clearly a successful and customer-focused team.”
Joe Glading joins Polar from outside the technology industry, having previously worked in the commercial design sector as a graphic designer. “I’m very excited to be joining Polar and moving into the world of AV,” he says. “Whilst there is much to learn and absorb, I’m confident that my previous experience will transfer effectively to my new position and can add value to the business.”
Polar managing director John Midgley comments: “We have emerged from recent market turbulence in a strong position, and these two appointments are a response to steadily increasing demand acr
UK - Le Mark’s head of export Karolina Wlodarczyk has been invited to be an ‘export champion’ for the UK’s Department of International Trade.
Karolina is a Polish citizen originally from the town of Raciborz, who studied (2004-2009) and graduated from Opole University with a master’s degree in English Language and Cultural Studies.
She is currently undertaking additional formal business training and education with an ambition to see a future graduation with ARU Peterborough.
Since joining Cambridgeshire based Le Mark Group, her career has grown from strength to strength. Karolina has built a reputation internationally, leading from the front at trade shows around the world. Since joining Le Mark she has represented the company at LDI Las Vegas, Prolight+Sound Frankfurt and Light + Audio Tec (formerly Prolight+Sound NAMM Russia). Karolina is now responsible for over 70 international Le Mark distributors, either directly, or overseeing via her export department team.
“Karolina has worked with me on several DIT initiatives, both regionally, internationally, and more recently in London at the DIT headquarters in Old Admiralty Building,” says Le Mark managing director Stuart Gibbons. “She is respected by many. I believe her skills were recognised at high level where she was formally invited to take on the position of ‘export champion’ by DIT.
“She will now represent both her company and the UK, encouraging and developing companies to export and develop their overseas trade skills. It’s a pleasure to share this story of
Italy - Outline has extended its organisation with appointment of Daniele Tebaldi as CTO (chief technology officer). Daniele will liaise with the company's R&D team, sales and tech support crew and board of directors.
After embarking in the mid-80's on a successful career in Italy and Germany as a concert sound engineer with a keen ear for jazz, classical and contemporary music, 10 years later Daniele conceived and directed Live Sound Education, one of the earliest and longest-running audio courses in Italy, hosted by the City of Modena – while continuing to work as a freelance copywriter, publicist and translator for the pro audio industry. This landed him a key role in the incorporation of a (now well-known) German professional loudspeaker manufacturer's Italian subsidiary, which he subsequently directed for 25 years.
"In 1997 I attended Daniele's education program in Modena, on the advice of my late father Guido Noselli, founder and technical guru of Outline," says Outline's marketing and communication manager Michele Noselli. "Even 25 years later, I can still clearly see the reasons for which my father had vouched so strongly for Daniele's teaching in my education - back then he had indeed found common ground to his vision there."
"Outline is a stronghold of solid audio engineering, sparked by a degree of passion that is often lost in the big corporate world," says Daniele Tebaldi of his new appointment. "I've found a most talented crew in each of Outline's units and departments, members of which may have been with the Company for well ove
UK - Avolites has announced new appointments to strengthen its operations in North and South America.
Returning to Avolites, Francisco Yañez Valdivia has been appointed as territory manager for LATAM. Based in Santiago de Chile, Francisco’s role will focus on driving a new phase for Avolites in the region, following the recent launch of the Diamond 9, along with the company’s continuous development of its software platforms Ai, Titan and Synergy.
Francisco has over 10 years’ experience using Avolites products across different positions, including lighting technician and operator, product manager and sales engineer. Avolites’ presence in South America is already very notable, with a substantial userbase of Avolites products.
Stephen Baird-Smith will assume the role of special projects and territory manager for North America. Having worked at Avolites for the past 14 years, Stephen is an Avolites product expert that has a full understanding of customer’s needs and how Avolites products can address these needs.
The new structure will also see the promotion of Ronald Carrington as territory manager for the UK and Ireland. During his more than five years at the company, Ron has seen the introduction of new Avolites products including the Diamond 9.
“In line with our global expansion ambition, the Americas region is very important to Avolites,” says Paul Wong, managing director at Avolites. “Francisco’s appointment will play a significant role in advancing our presence across the LATAM region. Together with Stephen’s and
UK - 5 Star Cases has announced the appointment of Allen Smith as quality assurance manager, to set product and process quality standards across its range of products and provide quality related guidance to 5 Star’s staff and management.
5 Star Cases services multiple industries from entertainment, medical, telecoms and robotics, to motorsport. Longstanding clients include Terry Tew Sound & Light, Universal Studios, Allen & Heath, Power Maxed racing, DiGiCo and Arden Motorsport. The company’s ambitious growth strategy and ever-increasing product portfolio, including a new range of wooden packing crates, prompted the search for a quality assurance manager.
“As part our long-term strategy, we have been investing in state-of-the-art equipment to ensure we can serve our customers with products that are manufactured to the highest quality standards,” says Ingus Lasinskis, operations director at 5 Star Cases. “The investment in technology goes hand in hand with the investment in our team, which is the backbone of 5 Star’s philosophy. With the growing demand for flight cases and our latest addition - wooden packing crates - we felt that quality assurance manager position was necessary to maintain the high product standards our customers expect from us.”
“Allan has over 30 years of experience in the manufacturing industry. He has sound commercial awareness and a proven track record in multi-site, people, performance and project management,” shares 5 Star’s accounts & HR manager Kirsty Locks.
USA - Celestion has appointed Josh Martin as business development executive. Martin will work together with Celestion’s sales and distribution partners in the US and Canada to expand their offerings to new markets, as well as servicing their current clientele, further strengthening the Celestion brand in North America.
Josh Martin joins Celestion, having had an extensive career in the audio and MI industries. He has considerable experience in the loudspeaker industry, having previously worked in a number of technology, sales management and artist relations roles at a variety of companies such as Eminence. Martin is an owner of Green Light Consulting, which does sales and marketing consulting in the audio industry as well as Commuter Studios, where he does recording and production, mastering and performing.
“We really are excited to welcome Josh to our team. He brings his extensive knowledge and experience in both the MI and PA marketplaces,” says Ralph Nichols, vice-president of business development North America at Celestion. “In his role as BDE, Josh's passion, skill and experience will be major assets to our team at Celestion.”
“Celestion has a long and rich history and a well-known reputation for being a legendary brand that sets the highest standards in audio,” adds Martin. “I am very excited to get to be part of this team and work with some of the best people to work with in our industry. I look forward to being part of the company’s rich history.”
USA - Pixotope Technologies has announced the appointment of Brian Olson as the new vice president of sales, covering North America.
Olson joins Pixotope following an extensive background in media and broadcast production and is highly skilled in strategic business development, technical execution, and troubleshooting for an international client base.
In his new role, Olson will focus on driving brand awareness and nurturing existing customer relationships on a global scale, helping to bring the next generation of visual storytelling tools to media professionals.
Olson comments, “I had the opportunity to work with Pixotope as a technology partner in the past and was blown away by what they were able to accomplish with Unreal Engine in virtual production 7-8 years ago. This solid foundation in both software and experience has led to the creation of a truly great product. I’m grateful to be a part of the team. Let the adventure begin.”
UK - Area Four Industries UK continues to expand its operations with the appointment of Matthew Millward as head of automation to manage its EXE Technology brands.
Millward comments: “To be finally working with the world’s largest manufacturer of truss, staging and automation products has a great sense of achievement and pride. It is an extremely exciting phase for EXE Technology with the introduction of the All In One / One for All smart solutions.”
Sales & marketing director Glen Brown adds: “I am delighted with Matt joining the A4i UK team at this time. He is the perfect plug & play solution for this new role and joins with a vast knowledge and practical experience of entertainment / theatrical environments. Our customers and users will feel the benefits immediately with his level of professionalism and empathy.”
USA- Chauvet Professional has appointed Brian Craft as content marketing manager. Craft recently served as director of marketing & outreach at Manatee Performing Arts Centre, director of marketing & communications at Realize Bradenton, and in public relations with IHPR in New York City. Craft serves as creative director on the Board of Florida Public Relations Association, and as a founding board member of Project Pride SRQ.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work alongside such a driven and dedicated team,” says Craft. “I have followed Chauvet for as long as I can remember, and I look forward to continuing the standard of excellence the team has achieved and amplify the impact and messaging of the house of brands.”
USA - Bandit Lites has promoted Scott Wesson to facility foreman where he will oversee integral day to day functions including de-prep of all incoming equipment as well as maintaining the organisation of hardware, cable, truss, and road cases. He will also coordinate with Bandit’s project managers to assist with preps, hardware and truss needs.
Wesson came aboard at Bandit in 2014 where he toured as a lighting tech with artists including Rascal Flatts and Jason Aldean. He also provided extensive support for multiple festivals ranging from Bonnaroo, Firefly, and Electric Forest to Lollapalooza.
“Having been a touring technician for many years, Scott has a detailed understanding of how the Bandit machine works as well as ideas on how to be even more efficient,” reflects Bandit Lites’ director of technical services, Jake Tickle.
France - Nexo has appointed Delphine Hannotin as manager of its engineering support team. Based at the company’s Plailly campus northeast of Paris, the Nexo engineering support team supports production services providers, integrators and consultants with system designs and commissioning for live events and fixed installations. Hannotin will focus on delivering similar technical support for the group's AFC immersive sound solutions, from project design through to system calibration.
Drawing on 20 years of experience as a trainer at France’s Institut national de l'audiovisuel (INA), Hannotin will also bring her commitment and know-how to the partnerships implemented by Nexo and its parent company, Yamaha Corporation, with leading universities and to the group’s Audioversity training programme.
Nexo director of engineering support François Deffarges comments: “In 2022, we are strengthening our team again. Our occasional collaborations with Delphine on festivals and other projects over the years have recently become much more frequent with many projects undertaken jointly with Yamaha, so her appointment at Nexo is a natural evolution. Delphine's skills, energy and personality will be important assets for our user clients, and her arrival in our division will further strengthen the ties with Yamaha Corporation.”
USA - Eastern Acoustic Works (EAW) has announced the addition of Richard Muggle to the position of service and support manager. In his new role, Muggle will oversee and manage the department to ensure customer satisfaction.
“As EAW continues to enhance its customers’ experiences, we are pleased to welcome Richard into the EAW family,” says T.J. Smith, president of EAW. “We look to Richard’s knowledge and his vast industry experience to help expand EAW’s world class service and support centre, located in our Whitinsville headquarters.”
With over 20 years of experience in the audio industry, Muggle comes to EAW from Numark Industries where he served as project manager of Alesis Drums. During that time Muggle oversaw all aspects of construction from concept to mass production. He also worked with various teams to maintain schedules and meet deadlines.
“I am excited for this incredible opportunity not only because of EAW’s stellar reputation and innovative product inventory, but also because of its team atmosphere,” comments Muggle.
USA - Powersoft has welcomed three new employees to its US office in Flanders, New Jersey.
Peter Robinson – whose industry experience includes more than 25 years as a system integrator and speaker designer – joins Powersoft as consultant liaison with immediate effect. Providing oversight and management for large scale projects, Robinson will also assist consultants, architects, engineers and end-users, coordinating the efforts of Powersoft’s solutions engineering team.
Evelyn Caruso joins as inside sales coordinator in the United States, bringing over 20 years of experience in industrial sales support, distribution and manufacturing to the newly created position. Caruso will be responsible for the coordination and execution of sales and customer support, as well as assisting the US sales team with forecasting reports.
Powersoft’s third US appointment is recently graduated, Zach Wenzler who has been appointed to the role of solutions engineer. With a particular flare for circuits design and structural analysis, Wenzler hopes to bring new ideas and innovations to further improve Powersoft’s approach to technical support.
Powersoft’s growing presence in the US recently led to an office relocation to more sizable space in Flanders, New Jersey. The office expansion not only benefits the current customer base, but facilitates overall growth of the team and of the company. Caruso, Wenzler and Robinson will be based in the new office, reporting to Tom Knesel, Powersoft’s US general manager.
“We are delighted to welcome the th
Germany - LED specialists, Absen has appointed Jaswinder Guleria as industry development director for the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region. Bringing two decades of experience within the AV industry, Guleria will expand and strengthen the company’s business alliances throughout the MEA region, to bolster Absen’s global network.
Reporting to Ruben Rengel, senior vice president, global business development at Absen, Guleria’s primary objectives will be identifying and introducing Absen to potential clients, consultants, and distributors in the region, to forge new business associates and partners in Absen’s global network.
Guleria - whose industry experience includes more than 19+ years in the visual display market - joins the global LED display manufacturer, having previously worked alongside brands such as Philips, Samsung, LG, and Epson.
Ruben Rengel notes: “We are thrilled to welcome Jaswinder to the team, his wealth of industry knowledge will be an invaluable asset in growing our network further as well as strengthening the relationships Absen already has in this region.”
USA - Christie Lites has welcomed Chris Patton as its VP rentals. Patton’s new role comes as part of a wider expansion of the Christie Lites management team, bringing increased focus to both client and rep support. To that end Patton will join Ken Alexander, senior VP rentals, to lead, develop and support the Christie Lites rental rep team.
Huntly Christie, CEO of Christie Lites, says: “As the company expands into new countries and market segments, the additional management capacity that Chris brings will ensure continued focus and consistency in our customer experience. Chris will concentrate on expanding our relationship capabilities and developing sustainable business opportunities across the Christie Lites global network.”
A UK native, Patton has 20 years of professional experience, embracing roles including business and team development manager for a large rental operation in the UK and as senior product manager for several key professional lighting manufacturers in the USA.
Patton states: “I am inspired to be joining Christie Lites. This is a company that has a proven track record in providing outstanding lighting solutions to a vast array of entertainment and corporate projects. My appointment comes at a significant time in the industry, with the reopening and reimagining of many sectors of live entertainment and I am delighted to be part of that.”
UK - Television lighting specialist Version 2 has appointed Kelly Cornfield to the position of sales director at their Reading operation.
Graduating with a degree in Live Event Technology, Cornfield began her career at the Vari-Lite warehouse in 2002 (later VLPS). After a year out travelling in New Zealand, she returned to the warehouse, since acquired by PRG, and moved to an office role, working under project manager Mick Healey on major events including the Robbie Williams’ 2006 World Tour to the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow.
Cornfield went on to focus on the TV market covering numerous shows including the Brit & MTV Music Awards, X Factor, Britain’s got Talent and more recently The Masked Singer.
Over the last 20 years she worked her way up the ranks to become head of TV and film at PRG.
Version 2, MD Nick Edwards comments: “We are delighted that Kelly has chosen to join the board of directors. For me, without doubt Kelly is the leading account manager in the light entertainment television sector.”
UK - Sam Healey, formerly of PRG, has joined television lighting specialists Version 2 as lighting gaffer, bringing extensive knowledge of the entertainment and events industry built up over 24 years.
Healey’s father Mick Healey, retired account director at PRG UK, introduced Healey to the industry back in 1999. Starting in cables at Vari-Lite, Sam worked his way round the departments from lanterns and follow spots to moving lights and rigging and in the early days would take his holidays and weekends to go out on site.
When PRG acquired Vari-Lite, Healey became full time crew member as events co-ordinator touring extensively and has enjoyed working on countless rock and roll gigs over the years, notably the Led Zeppelin 2007 gig at the O2 Arena, and more recently as event manager on TV productions and red-carpet events.
He acknowledges his father and Rich Gorrod, head of event services at PRG, among his mentors and looks forward to new challenges at Version 2, run by long-time colleague and friend Nick Edwards.
As lighting gaffer at Version 2, Healey will be working from both their Reading HQ and at customer’s sites on a growing number of prime-time TV shows and live events.
Version 2 MD, Nick Edwards comments: “When the opportunity arose to bring Sam into our team we jumped at the chance. Sam will play a key part in shaping Version 2’s future, not only in establishing our on-site production team, his experience will also be drawn upon for all areas of our operations.”
USA - Altman Lighting has promoted Angel Couto to the position of production manager. ‘Cap’ has worked for Altman lighting for over 30 years, during those years he has held many different titles ranging from but not limited to, forklift operator, assembler, customer service, customer support, buyer, to his most recent role, inventory manager.
Cap’s new role will allow him to take all of his years of experience into action by overseeing all things production from production and order scheduling and timing to running the facility with our incredible Altman fabrication and manufacturing teams.
“Cap’s passion, drive, collaboration, and attention to detail makes him a perfect fit for the production manager role,” comments Altman’s general manager Pete Borchetta. “His dedication and service to Altman Lighting customers has been second to none. I am thrilled to be working with Cap in this new role and see incredible things ahead.”
UK - John Hornby Skewes & Co (JHS) has announced the appointment of Paul Smith as managing director, along with further changes in management, sales and administration.
Founded in 1965, JHS is a family owned and led SME, distributing a range of over 4,500 products across a blend of third-party distributed and proprietary brands through a variety of channels in over 150 countries.
With effect 1 April, Adam Butterworth, who joined the company in May 2006, is appointed to the position of director of sales. Adam, who has been instrumental in the growth and consolidation and success of JHS’ export business, will be bringing his considerable commercial acumen and sales skills to bear across JHS’ export and domestic sales activities.
Simon Turnbull, another long serving JHS team member is appointed to the position of media and communications manager. Simon, who has been with JHS since 1984 will be ‘building upon his decades of experience to align the JHS Media Department to the ever-changing needs of todays and tomorrow’s markets, products and customers’.
In the purchasing department, Dominic Rossington becomes senior buyer. Dominic brings a wealth of knowledge and a quarter of a century’s experience to this position.
While handing the managing director baton to Paul, Dennis Drumm will be taking up the role of CEO, and will be working with Paul, the directors, managers and staff in all departments across the company and with external sources and contributors, with a focus on future commercial and brand strategies.
USA - Christie Digital has announced Hideaki Onishi as its new chairman and CEO. With more than 30 years of management experience in various positions within the Ushio group – parent company of Christie - Hideaki will begin his role immediately to lead Christie into its next chapter. Hideaki will replace Kazuhisa Kamiyama, who has completed his tenure with Christie and is returning to Japan to take up a new role at Ushio headquarters.
“It’s a great honour to lead Christie,” says Onishi. “Christie has a proud legacy of continued innovation, in its products, manufacturing, and in its ever-evolving business models. I aim to bring strong leadership and to honour principles of respect, transparency and integrity. Kazuhisa’s work was pivotal in navigating Christie through the many challenges faced in both the industry and the wider economy in recent years. I look forward to holding open conversations with all levels of the Christie team globally to learn more. I am excited for the journey ahead and Christie’s continued growth - it's an exciting time to be joining the company.”
Hideaki began working for Ushio in 1989. He has a broad and extensive range of experience in various roles, having worked at Ushio Lighting, Taiwan Ushio Lighting, Adtech Engineering, Ushio Asia Pacific (Singapore), Vietnam, Thailand and Ushio Europe.
“Looking back at my time at Christie, I am filled by a sense of accomplishment and gratitude,” says outgoing chairman Kazuhisa Kamiyama. “I would like to thank everyone at Christie for their hard work and dedicat
UK - Christie Lites has welcomed Mark Burnett as a new rentals rep. Burnett will be based out of Christie Lites Coventry and will focus on developing market share in theatrical rentals. He will also be working closely with the growing team of CL Reps on both sides of the Atlantic.
Huntly Christie, CEO of Christie Lites says: “As a pivotal member of the Christie Lites team, Mark will support the company’s UK and North American clients to strengthen our growth directive across our 10 multi-office network locations. Mark’s 20 years of experience in the UK rental market, and the strong relationships and friends he has nurtured along the way, are both huge assets to our company. We are all delighted to welcome his expertise, knowledge, and great humour to our global Christie team.”
Burnett comments: “This is an exciting time for Christie Lites, the industry and for me. I relish joining a team that is as passionate about theatre as I am. Christie Lites’ maturing standing within the touring theatre industry and its undisputed reputation for providing top-quality kit, great people and exceptional service make me proud to add my experience and networks to support the company’s growth."
USA - Bandit Lites has announced the recent promotion of Mike Stanley to client representative. In this position, Stanley will identify and develop new opportunities of growth for the company.
Stanley has worked at Bandit Lites for 16 years. During that time, he has toured as production manager, lighting designer, lighting director, crew chief, lighting tech as well as automation engineer. Previous productions include tours with Melissa Ethridge, Trace Adkins, OAR, Avenged Sevenfold, Killswitch Engage and Chris Young.
“I’m excited that Bandit has given me the opportunity to expand my role in the company,” said Stanley. “I look forward to catching up with old friends and cultivating new relationships as I open this new chapter in my career.”
“When it came time to add a Client Rep to the firm, hands down Mike Stanley was the first choice. Mike’s great personality and amazing ability to get along with literally everyone makes him a special individual.” says Bandit chair Michael T. Strickland.
USA - Theatre Projects has announced two additions to their team in North America - Peter Wilson and Thomas Bukovac. Both have joined the firm as associates.
A licensed architect, Peter is an accomplished venue designer who previously worked at architectural firms such as Gensler and Barton Myers Associates. He is passionate about designing theatres and says he’s “thrilled to share my knowledge with new clients and new colleagues, and to learn as much as possible from each of them in turn.” His past projects include the renovation of the Madrid Theatre for the City of Los Angeles, several theatres at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles, and a new 600-seat theatre for the Television Academy’s Saban Media Centre in Los Angeles.
Thomas joins Theatre Projects as their new audiovisual and integrated technology team leader. A licensed professional engineer (PE), his role will focus on the design of high-performance audiovisual systems and innovative technology designs that aim to enhance the built environment. Having worked previously at Kirkegaard and Arup, his project portfolio spans numerous markets from performing arts to healthcare, from corporate headquarters to higher education.
Theatre Projects’ general manager, Daniel Ordower, adds, “Peter and Thomas are fantastic additions to our team. They bring creative energy, curiosity, and great experience to our work. We’re looking forward to seeing our clients and projects benefit from their knowledge and insights, and creating more dynamic, immersive experiences for their