UK - Production AV's concert touring services expansion is on track as the company appoints video and sound technician Nathan Dunbar as technical project manager.
Dunbar brings industry knowledge, experience and contacts in the sector, having worked on some of Europe’s largest AV projects including Glastonbury, UK-produced Hollywood movies and the MTV Europe Music Awards.
“We’re thrilled that Nathan has joined our growing team as Production AV looks to expand the scope of our projects and services in 2020,” says MD Pete McCrea. “His kit know-how, contacts and standing in our industry is an incredible asset to Production AV as we look to further strengthen our live music offering. We look forward to working with Nathan to achieve our goals in this next stage of growth.”
Dunbar comments: “I wanted to join a company where I could feel part of the family. I’m excited to help take the company further into the concert touring sector with full force with that added Production AV attention to detail that gives us the edge.”
Production AV has supplied kit and crew for a number of high-profile live music and concert touring events this year. A major project was the Teenage Cancer Trust’s Royal Albert Hall fundraising concerts.
In December, Dunbar will head a Production AV team to supply and deliver an AV solution to British rapper Little Simz’s headline performance at London’s O2 Kentish Town Forum.
Europe - Digital Projection has announced the appointment of three key sales employees across the EMEA region. The new hires - Christoph Hellmuth, Artur Kita and Nizar Nasser - will serve Digital Projection’s interests in DACH, Poland and the Middle East, respectively.
Hellmuth, who has been hired as regional sales manager for the DACH region, brings decades of experience in the pro AV market. After serving as an audio engineer for major musicals, Hellmuth worked as a senior marketing manager for Shure in EMEA, before becoming the CEO and founder of VividAudio Media.
As the new regional sales manager for Poland, Artur Kita joins Digital Projection with a wealth of experience in the Polish AV market, where he has been responsible for the sale of screen mounting solutions, projectors and other AV equipment.
Joining Digital Projection’s Dubai team as the new regional manager for the Middle East region is Nizar Nasser. Nasser has worked for over 10 years as Crestron’s regional sales manager for Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, as well as Middle East business development manager.
Chris Axford, international sales and marketing director at Digital Projection, comments: “We were looking for new recruits that would bring both experience and knowledge to the markets they are responsible for, and I am confident they will better expand the reputation of Digital Projection in EMEA. We’re very pleased to welcome them to the team.”
UK LSi is sad to report that lighting designer Chris Ellis passed away on 8th November 2019, aged 69. Born in Gloucester, on 23rd April 1950 to Doctor John and Mrs Mary Ellis, Chris Ellis lost both of his parents before he turned seven. He became ward to the Reverend Eric and Mrs Vivienne Gethyn-Jones in Dymock, spending a happy country childhood with a brother and sister that the couple had also adopted. From age eight to 18 he attended the Dean Close boarding school in Cheltenham, where he discovered a love of the backstage world - and the skill, which would be useful throughout his career, of persuading people to pay for new lighting equipment. In this case, the school bursar was convinced to buy four new Patt 23 spotlights.
With his ambition to be a commercial airline pilot thwarted by asthma, he decided instead to try making a career in lighting. Accepted by the BBC for their engineering programme, he discovered that it would be 15 years before he could specialise in lighting for them. Offered a job at the local Cheltenham Everyman theatre, he persuaded the BBC to keep their offer open for two years while he went to try the world of theatre lighting. He never went back.
After Cheltenham, he moved to the New Theatre in Bromley, then to the newly opened Hull Arts Centre, then in early 1971 to the Leicester Phoenix. That meant he was the person the City Architect turned to for advice on the new Haymarket Theatre which was then in planning. Ellis worked to ensure that the theatre would have a good lighting provision, including one of Strand
USA - Waves Audio has appointed Greg Kopchinski as live and install product manager, further developing Waves’ live and commercial AV products.
Kopchinski began his career in professional audio as an FOH and monitor engineer for several regional sound companies and churches in California. Prior to joining Waves, Greg served in product management and marketing roles at Bivio Networks and as a principal product manager at Avid Technology.
As Waves live and install product manager, Greg will be responsible for driving the product vision and strategy for Waves Live and commercial AV products, from concept and definition, through launch and full lifecycle.
UK - Peerless-AV has announced that Karl Ingham has joined the UK professional sales team as area sales manager for the North of England and Scotland.
“Karl is a great character and valuable addition to our successful UK and EMEA sales team,” comments Keith Dutch, managing director, EMEA, Peerless-AV. “He’s already made a great impression on our Northern and Scottish customer base and his technical skills and product knowledge will be vital for broadening the business opportunities in alignment with our global strategy.”
Based in Burnley, Karl will be responsible for implementing the company’s business and growth strategy, driving new leads and supporting the reseller and distributor network in the region through sales promotions, marketing initiatives, training and events.
He joins from a global manufacturer of education technologies where he was channel partner manager for England and Ireland. Prior to that, he held operations and commercial management roles and technical account management positions at various network specialist and distribution firms.
APAC - B-Tech AV Mounts, a designer, manufacturer and distributor of AV mounting solutions, has appointed Jenny Li as its new director of operations for APAC with immediate effect.
Based in B-Tech’s office in Ningbo, China, Li first joined the business in 2013 as a salesperson, whilst also providing valuable input into the manufacturing, supply chain and logistical procedures of the business. Excelling in her role, she went on to become sales manager for APAC, working closely with B-Tech teams and customers across East and Southeast Asia, playing a crucial role in establishing the company as a leading brand in the region.
In her new role as director of operations (APAC), Li will be responsible for all operational procedures across B-Tech’s existing China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Vietnam facilities as well as continuing to oversee sales throughout the region.
Matthew Bennett, CEO of the B-Tech International Group, comments: “We are thrilled to make this announcement and be able to again reward the exceptional work and loyalty shown by our employees. Jenny has done an incredible job since joining the company, playing a vital role in transforming B-Tech’s APAC operations from being solely production and logistical facilities, into full scale APAC sales offices. Her understanding and knowledge of the AV market, coupled with her exceptional leadership skills make her a perfect fit for such an important position within the company as we look to continue our growth story.”
In other news, B-Tech recently increased its global foot
UK - It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Alistair Grant, the much-loved UK lighting designer and production electrician, who died peacefully at home on 4 November 2019 after a battle with motor neurone disease.
Born in Dublin and raised in Belfast, Alistair came to London to join the National Youth Theatre, then trained at LAMDA and took his first professional role with Theatre Projects. This marked the start of a remarkable career which involved him in over 200 UK and international productions.
Known to all as Ali Barrel, his inate skill and professionalism was matched by his warmth and generosity. Don Holder remembers him as “a great and immensely loyal friend, a brilliant colleague and sensitive collaborator,” and Jeanne Koenig as “an inspired person, an inspiring person, an artist, a person of brilliance, a humourist, a kind and good man.”
His long-term colleague, Andrew Bridge, describes him as “a colleague who was calm, dedicated, knowledgeable, optimistic and persistent, who had a talent for getting the best out of designers and crews.” Meanwhile, Ken Posner remembers him “as one of the most caring, generous, and thoughtful human beings and theatre professionals I have ever known.”
As production electrician, Alistair Grant was at the heart of many iconic musical productions and tours of the ‘80s, ‘90s and naughties, including Time, Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables and Miss Saigon, test
USA - 7thSense Design has promoted Eric Lehman to the position of global sales and marketing manager.
He joined 7thSense as business development manager in 2017 and has since been instrumental in establishing the company’s Orlando office, securing high profile theme park and attraction projects internationally, and playing an active role in developing new media serving and control solutions, as well as strategic partnerships for new products. Lehman’s career has seen him work with and contribute to the commercial success of respected companies including Universal, Electrosonic, Solid Control Inc., and Mad Systems, in addition to his own consultancy business Lehman AV Consultants.
“I am very pleased that Eric will be leading our global sales and marketing strategy and activities.” says Matt Barton, CEO of 7thSense Design. “He knows the industry exceptionally well with more than thirty years’ experience under his belt and brings so much energy to the team. We look forward to this next chapter with him as we continue to grow.”
USA/UK - Ayrton has appointed Chris Lose as designer relations manager and Jonas Stenvinkel as director of strategic development.
Chris Lose, an international touring lighting director, programmer and columnist, will be based in North America. His most recent clients include Hall and Oates, Nicki Minaj, Fleetwood Mac, Don Henley, Calvin Harris and corporate events around the globe. At Ayrton, Lose’s role will be to develop successful relationships with the predominant designers and specifiers in the industry.
Jonas Stenvinkel will be based in London. Originally from Sweden, he has spent the last years in a senior EMEA role at Martin/Harman after many years heading up Martin/Harman APAC out of Singapore. With his international experience he will develop mid- and long-term relationships on the distributor and customer side.
“We are delighted and excited to welcome Chris and Jonas to the Ayrton team,” says Ayrton global sales director, Michael Althaus. “Ayrton is expanding at a phenomenal rate and the addition of the rich industry experience proffered by our two latest team members will progress this development still further whilst ensuring we maintain our high standards of customer relations that have become the hallmarks of Ayrton.” Both Chris and Jonas will be at the LDI show in Las Vegas this month.
UK - Prolight Concepts Group has appointed Ollie Wilkinson, who will represent the company as in-house technical sales manager. Wilkinson has been working in the lighting and entertainment industry for over 12 years and was previously employed as head of lighting for ArranPaul. He brings a broad working knowledge from his experience of planning and organising equipment and staff for nationwide touring shows and lighting large scale events.
“I am looking forward to stepping into the role of technical sales manager here at Prolight,” says Wilkinson. “I feel my wealth of experience and knowledge of working hands on in this industry will benefit the company in many ways. It’s a fantastic team and I am excited to be part of the journey.”
UK - Funktion-One founder Tony Andrews has been recognised by Wrexham Glyndŵr University for his work in professional audio.
Andrews was presented with an Honorary Fellowship in a ceremony that also saw graduates being awarded their degrees in Art and Design, Media and Communications Technology, Humanities and Computing.
The university confers Honorary Fellowships upon people in recognition of their significant commitment to the university and the wider community and is the highest honour that the university can bestow.
In his acceptance speech, Andrews said: “I consider myself fortunate that I have been able to make a living pursuing what intrigues and stimulates me. This is a driving force that, much to my amazement, has persisted for over 50 years now.
“Amongst the qualities essential for progress and achievement are application and perseverance, which today’s graduating students have amply demonstrated by successfully completing their studies.
“Keep in mind that there is great soul expression in going after the things you are passionate about. Most of the interesting stuff in life happens at frontiers and boundaries, and the status quo is merely a temporary condition on the way to truth - thank you very much.”
Colin Heron, Faculty of Arts, Science and Technology associate dean for student engagement, said: “Our Honorary Fellowships are for people who have made a significant difference in a particular field, and Tony’s work in sound system design and development very much matches that description. Fellows are a
Benelux - Chauvet has named lighting specialist Gerrit Schottert as its senior business development manager for the Netherlands. Operating out of the company’s office in Belgium, Schottert will be responsible for the Chauvet Professional line.
Schottert will report to Steven Batslé, sales manager Benelux for Chauvet, who said, “Gerrit is a tremendous addition to our team. He has a well-deserved reputation as a professional who knows products and is determined to get the job done right for his customers. We are looking forward to working with him.”
In fulfilling his responsibilities at Chauvet, Schottert will be drawing on over 25 years experience in the entertainment lighting industry. He comes to his new position from Livingprojects, VAP for Signify, Vari-Lite and Strand Lighting, where he served as sales manager of the entertainment distribution division.
“Gerrit has compiled an impressive track record, not just for his keen knowledge of lighting, but also as a result of his dedication to customer service,” comments Stéphane Gressier, Chauvet’s international sales director. “Rental houses, designers and others in the Netherlands market are very familiar with Gerrit’s commitment to making his customers happy. We are excited to have him on our team and are confident he will make valuable contributions to our continued growth.”
Italy - Shure Incorporated has strengthened its marketing and sales operations in Europe with the appointment of Emanuele Luongo, a new integrated systems market development manager for Italy.
Luongo will assume the position on 1 December. He will be based in Milan and will concentrate on the Italian integrated systems market, working closely with Shure distributor Prase Media Technologies.
Luongo’s background is in sound engineering, acoustics and wireless audio. He has held sales and product management positions at Shure’s Italian distribution partners as well as live sound engineering positions for notable artists.
“We are pleased to appoint Emanuele to this key position, supporting our market development activities in Italy,” comments Rob Smith, senior director, integrated systems sales Western Europe at Shure. “As Shure continues to expand globally, adding Emanuele will be essential in building customer relationships and providing solutions to meet the needs of this important market.”
"Our collaboration with Emanuele will maintain focus on the Shure brand and on the Integrated Systems market, where Shure has a strong presence and is continually growing," comments Ennio Prase, managing director of Prase. “We wish Emanuele all the best in his important position at Shure.”
Denmark - Pascal has announced two executive appointments to its management team, positioning the company for a new phase of strategic expansion.
Gorm Eichenberger has been appointed as CFO, following the retirement of Henrik Gunst Smith, the company’s director of finance since 2013. Also joining the company is Gustaf Høskuldsson, taking up the newly created position of COO. Both come to Pascal with extensive experience with audiology market leader Widex, where Eichenberger held the position of head of operation finance and Høskuldsson vice-president, global supply chain.
The appointments follow a year of sustained investment by the company, during which personnel, and R&D and operations facilities at its Copenhagen HQ have expanded by more than 30%.
“In continuing to manage the growth process and maintain an exceptional rate of expansion, we are seeking to become ever more outside-in customer centric,” says CEO Lars Rosenkvist Fenger. “Customer centricity has always been a core value for Pascal; offering our clients what they actually want, rather than what they have come to expect. This new phase of our growth strategy is centred on the expansion of our existing customer specific offerings and on developing new customer interfacing capabilities for the pro audio industry."
India - Martin Audio’s APAC representative Generation AV has appointed Sanak Pandit as applications engineer.
Based in Bangalore, Pandit has been working in audio since the age of 14, having completed his studies in the Bangalore School of Audio under the training of Vishnu Pandit, one of the most respected technical experts in the touring & rental market in India. In addition to working with his family companies of V&P Sound and SD Audio, the new recruit also served as a freelance sound engineer for a number of Indian artists.
Generation AV founder David McKinney, comments: “I am very excited to have Sanak in the team; he has the technical abilities to support all the brands in Generation AV and I believe will be a great asset to our business in Asia. With his strong background in the touring market he is able to hit the ground running.”
Martin Audio MD, Dom Harter, adds: “Following the appointment of Generation AV, it is reassuring to know that Martin Audio sales support in the APAC territories is in such safe hands with the appointment of Sanak. This is a developing region for us and it is vital that our customers know they have such an advanced level of on-the-ground backup.”
Israel - Kramer Electronics has announced the appointment of Itzhak Bambagi as chief executive officer, effective immediately.
Bambagi has held key executive roles at IBM and Digital/Compaq over the past 18 years. Among the various projects and technologies on which he worked, he also led IBM’s IT transformational experience using cloud technologies and various digital workplace initiatives across EMEA.
“I am both proud and honoured to be joining Kramer as their CEO,” declared Bambagi. “For the past four decades, Kramer has led the way with advanced AV solutions and the Kramer brand is known and respected worldwide. I have been a long-term admirer of Dr. Joseph Kramer’s dedication, work and vision and look forward to working with the global Kramer teams to further enhance the company’s evolution and making Kramer even greater.”
Dr. Joseph Kramer said: “We are incredibly excited to share this fantastic appointment. Itzhak’s decades of experience in sales, service and operational management paired with his deep understanding of advanced networking and cloud technology will be invaluable assets as Kramer meets the continuing challenges of the converging pro AV and IT industries.”
USA - Atlona has announced the appointment of four new members to its sales team. Three new regional sales managers and a new inside sales representative have joined the company.
Robb O’Brien has been named as regional sales manager, commercial, for the Southwestern United States, while Patrick Smith takes on a similar position for the North Central United States region.
O’Brien brings with him 15 years of experience in professional AV sales, most recently as a regional sales manager for Kramer Electronics. Smith is also an AV industry veteran, with 30 years of background in sales engineering and management including roles at Visitec and Crestron.
The new commercial RSMs will represent Atlona’s portfolio of innovative solutions including the Velocity AV control and OmniStream networked AV platforms. The duo joins six other nationally-placed sales team members in assisting Atlona’s dealers and integrators to drive opportunities for growth in environments ranging from classrooms, conference rooms and huddle spaces to large-scale AV distribution.
On the residential AV side of the business, Steve Neylon has joined the company as regional sales manager for the Eastern United States.
Atlona has also further strengthened its growing inside sales team with the addition of Joseph Sebek as the company’s newest inside sales representative. Sebek has previously held similar positions in the AV industry, most notably focusing on the digital signage market for display manufacturer Planar Systems.
“One of the more visible ways in whic
USA - Newly-elected ESTA board members are Todd Spencer, PSAV, for president; Alan M. Rowe, IATSE Local 728, returns for his second term as organisational director, and Joe Aldridge as individual director. These terms of office begin on 1 January 2020 and run through 31 December 2022.
ESTA and its members wish to thank outgoing board members Jules Lauve of Theatre Projects Consultants and Dana Taylor for their dedicated service.
South Africa - DWR Distribution has announced the appointment of Nicole Barnes to the marketing team. Barnes was previously employed as the editor at etech magazine.
“We are very pleased to welcome Nicole on board,” said Duncan Riley of DWR. “Being a vibrant people’s person, we know that she will fit right in. Our brands have grown over the years, and with her help, we look forward to being able to offer an additional service to our clients and suppliers in terms of press releases and marketing ideas.”
Italy - Giovanni Barbieri has taken on the role of general manager of Italian pro audio manufacturer dBTechnologies, part of the RCF Group.
Barbieri joined dBTechnologies' sales force as export sales manager in 2009. In 2011, he became business development manager and since 2012 has served as sales and marketing director.
The new appointment was announced by the CEO of dBTechnologies and RCF Group, Arturo Vicari, who commented: "The group is expanding, we have several interesting projects to carry out and it is natural to consolidate the organisation of a company that in recent years has shown not only to create quality products, but also to be able to propose and distribute them to an increasing number of users. Over the years, Giovanni Barbieri has demonstrated many qualities, first of all the ability to transmit to the market who we are and what we can do. This makes him the most suitable person to represent dBTechnologies, taking on the role of general manager.”
Barbieri added: "I was welcomed into this family in 2009. At the time, dBTechnologies was a smaller company, both in terms of turnover and workforce. Over the years I have had the opportunity to meet and grow together with people who represent excellence, both from a professional and personal point of view. And this is true for every single department of the company.”
UK - Industry veteran Andrew Smith has joined CUK Audio in the newly-created role of director of business development. Smith, who spent the last 11 years at Kramer Electronics UK in a number of roles including chief operating officer, will be championing CUK Audio’s growing portfolio of video and control products.
Commenting on his career move, Smith says: “I've known Stuart and the team at CUK Audio for many years and am delighted to be joining them at such an important point in the company’s development.”
Managing director Stuart Thomson adds: “Andrew will be a huge asset to our company. With his extensive industry knowledge, technical skills and sales ability, I know Andrew will help us deliver our ambitious growth plans over the coming years.”
UK - The Autograph Group has announced the departure of long-serving Financial Director, Duncan Bell.
Bell joined the company straight from school aged 18 and worked his way up to the position of Group Financial Director. He had established himself during the ‘80s and ‘90s as a respected Production Sound Engineer working on many high-profile theatre productions in the UK and abroad. His slavish attention to engineering and economic detail was what set him apart and marked him out for his future role within the companies.
Bell went from coiling microphone cables to running the financial fortunes of a group of companies that have a combined annual turnover of over £10M.
“A month’s work experience in 1984 has led to a 35-year journey as part of an incredible company and family” says Bell, “but I have decided that the time is right to find a new challenge for the next chapter of my life. Whatever that turns out to be, it will be defined in no small way by the experience gained as part of Autograph.”
“Looking back on it, having industry pioneers such as Andrew Bruce, Julian Beech, Jonathan Deans, Bobby Aitken, Tony Robinson and Terry Jardine as your collective mentors, teachers and friends must surely be the holy grail… and that was just within the company. It will be strange to move on, but I know that Autograph is in good hands and will continue to flourish for years to come.”
The departure of Autograph’s previous financial and business director Julian Beech, in 1999 due to ill-health, led to Bell’s promotion to Gr
UK - Green Hippo has strengthened its product development and logistics teams with the appointment of three new members of staff at its London HQ.
Joining as supply chain manager is Tosan Kogoro (pictured, left), who brings a wealth of experience in supply chain and distribution processes. Kogoro, who is fluent in English and German, arrives from DHL Global Forwarding where she was responsible for major clients including WH Smith and Argos.
Specialist media server and control systems engineer Leon Dickens (centre) joins as product support technician. Leon has three years’ direct experience of Green Hippo’s range of media servers in training, operations and troubleshooting. He was most recently employed as an event services technician at PRG.
Joining the R&D team is Pratik Mankawde (right). An experienced software developer, Pratik joins Green Hippo from DNeg VFX Studio in London, before which he was employed by Qualcomm and DreamWorks in Bangalore, India.
“We’re thrilled that Tosan, Leon and Pratik have joined Green Hippo - this is an exciting time for the company as we expand our London operations in line with our strategy for growth in the coming twelve months,” says CEO Emma Marlow. “We are increasing production, distribution and support services and investments in our team reflect our commitment to that. We look forward to working with them all.”
The appointments come at a time of expansion for the media server company, which recently launched V4.5 of its Hippotizer software.
UK - Audiologic has promoted David Smith to the position of senior business manager, completing a management restructure recently instigated by MD, Andy Lewis.
Smith, who previously served as business development manager, will now take responsibility for the day-to-day management of the company’s external sales team, providing “a clearly defined link to the directors, whilst retaining some hands-on sales accounts”.
Lewis comments: “In the time Dave has been with us he’s clearly demonstrated what an excellent operator he is. His knowledge of the industry is second to none and his management experience in previous roles has equipped him with all the skills necessary to run a cohesive and effective team. We’ve enjoyed significant growth in recent years and it’s vital that we establish a robust and dynamic management structure to meet the challenges ahead. Dave, along with head of operations Anne Broadley and senior application engineer Ben Spurgeon, completes a very strong team who are well-equipped to take responsibility for every aspect of our business.”
Smith adds: “We go from strength to strength at Audiologic and I’m very pleased to be taking up this important new role within the company.”