UK - Technical production supplier Blitz has announced the appointment of Martyn Hunt as theatre and sound project development manager.
Hunt will work towards growing the company’s portfolio within the theatre sector. He will also act as technical support on a daily basis for all theatre productions.
Hunt has worked worldwide designing and engineering sound in theatre, live events and broadcast. He started out in in regional theatre 30 years ago and quickly moved to the West End. Hunt has since held the role of head of sound on a number of long-running productions.
Aron Ross, sound director of Blitz, comments: “It is a real pleasure to have Martyn as part of the team here at Blitz. His wealth of industry experience and technical expertise will prove invaluable as we grow our client base. He also brings a fantastic work ethic and sense of humour to everything he does.”
Blitz, a GES company, has supplied the theatre industry for over 30 years and currently provides sound and technical support to high profile productions including The Phantom of the Opera and the UK tours of Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em and Trainspotting.
South Africa - DWR Distribution’s SOS Charity Fund has helped finance the hand surgery of Vibe Audio & Backline owner Vincent Joubert, with further financial backing promised by DWR.
Joubert, who has worked at festivals and alongside South African artists Jo Black, Ray Dylan, Liezel Pieterse and Deon Groot, developed septic arthritis in a joint of a finger he injured a decade ago.
“Ten years ago, I hurt my finger and the joint was damaged,” Joubert explains. “Initially, the doctor was going to amputate, and I was actually relieved as I was in such immense pain. It was difficult to function.”
The surgery, which could not have taken place in a government hospital, was enabled by an SOS Charity Fund donation of R7,000 (£400).
Joubert adds: “People in the industry, including artists I work with, and DWR Distribution’s SOS Charity Fund have been wonderful and assisted me with the initial operation costs. They have all been amazing - thank you very much!” As a single dad, kind gestures have gone a long way.”
UK - Corporate and event audio professional Dave Woodman of DWA has agreed to act as a senior project manager on a wide range of live events for London audio rental company RSH Audio.
Woodman has over 20 years in the live audio industry and is responsible for audio design and engineering on a series of high-profile events and productions. DWA’s rental equipment tailored to the corporate events market is now integrated within the RSH hire fleet.
Joe Haycocks, RSH managing director, comments: “Dave brings his knowledge and experience to our team at a time of rapid growth for our business. Combining his equipment, projects and skill with ours provides a broader resource for the benefit of all of our customers.”
RSH recently made a series of significant investments in d&b audiotechnik audio equipment to grow and diversify its rental stock. The business is focused on provid-ing audio services and equipment rental for the corporate event and live music markets.
USA - Signify (formerly Philips Lighting) has announced the appointment of entertainment lighting executive Brian Friborg as head of its Entertainment Lighting Group. The appointment of Brian, an experienced leader with a deep understanding of the unique requirements of the entertainment lighting business, is a clear signal of the company's commitment to this specialist sector, says the company.
Danish by birth and a United States resident, Friborg has over 25 years of business experience, including 14 years at Martin Professional in North America where, as president and CEO, he had an outstanding track record in developing sales performance. After the company's acquisition by Harman, he played a key management role in the integration and in establishing the Martin by Harman brand.
"I am excited to join Signify and to help fulfil its enormous potential in our wonderful industry," says Friborg. "The entertainment production business is a tight-knit, highly-skilled and creative community of amazing people. It thrives on great relationships and Signify's brands and our team have a great heritage within it."
He adds, "My focus is on building our role in that community by doing what we know works in our business: listening carefully to our customers, end users and designers, and understanding exactly what they need. We'll be making sure that we are customer-centric in everything we do, and that for our partners and our customers worldwide, working with us is a great experience - positive, easy and fun."
Signify became the new company name of Phili
UK - J&C Joel has announced the appointment of Alan Jackson as UK sales manager.
Jackson has more than 35 years’ experience in the industry including working for Hawthorn for 14 years, most recently as their installations director. He will work closely with the UK sales team to develop inclusive relationships with customers, drive a focussed approach to the UK market and raise awareness about the broad range of products J&C Joel provide.
Jackson comments: “As a Yorkshireman, it’s great to go back to my roots and work with a fantastic Yorkshire based company. I’ve had a long connection with J&C Joel and I’m really looking forward to developing the UK sales team, meeting customers and raising the profile of the team and the company’s products and services.”
J&C Joel CEO James Wheelwright adds: “Alan is a great addition to our senior management team. He brings many years of experience, has extensive knowledge of our products and services and is a well-known industry face. He was the ideal choice to head up our sales operation in the domestic market.”
Europe - Didier Streel has been appointed vice-president of business development, for Solotech’s Rental Division, Europe, as the Montreal-based company continues to expand its international reach.
Didier has more than 30 years’ experience in the entertainment technology industry, which has earned him a solid reputation in the European market. He will be instrumental in implementing Solotech's expansion strategy in the European market, overseeing the setting up of service points to support Solotech's commercial activities in Europe, as well as ensure the development of new European client bases in the tour, corporate and special events market segments. He will be based in Brussels.
USA - L-Acoustics has appointed Jeff Rocha, formerly head of market development for North America, to the newly created position of director of product management.
As a member of the L-Acoustics board of directors, Jeff accompanies the product development lifecycle end to end, liaising with key stakeholders across geographies and functions to recommend and implement processes and systems that allow L-Acoustics to identify and address new business opportunities effectively and deftly.
This role encompasses market intelligence and identification of key opportunities; crafting product portfolio and technology roadmaps cross-functionally in collaboration with R&D, applications, sales and marketing teams; development of marketing and sales collateral and training; and coordination of communication around products and services.
“Since joining L-Acoustics, Jeff has proven adept at forging relationships throughout the company and with external partners while leading business development in North America where we have experienced accelerated growth,” explains Anne Hamlett, director of HR & Legal. “Bringing more than two decades of experience in touring and installation markets, Jeff is a trusted and highly regarded audio expert.”
Rocha notes, “It’s exciting for me to be able to help guide L-Acoustics into new markets via a systematic approach to product management.”
Joining Jeff’s team as product manager is L-Acoustics application engineer Germain Simon. “Germain’s passion for sound and expertise in international ins
UK - Wirral-based Lift Turn Move (LTM) has reported two of its apprentices have now joined the company as full-time staff members. Jonathan Street also joined as an apprentice on an engineering apprenticeship.
Charmaine Pude came to LTM in 2016 to gain office experience and work towards her NVQ Level 3 in Business Administration. She has recently passed her NVQ and subsequently been given a full-time job at LTM as a sales and purchasing assistant.
Joshua Field-Baines approached LTM in 2015 wanting to work in engineering. He has since completed his apprenticeship and is working towards his advanced apprenticeship qualification in BTEC HNC in Engineering which includes an NVQ Level 4 and he is also doing his LEEA foundation training.
John Jones, MD of LTM, comments: “We are very lucky to have gained two valuable team members at LTM. We know how important it is to give the younger generation a chance - the lifting industry suffers from an aging workforce, something has to be done about this.
The company also welcomed Jonathan Street as an apprentice on an engineering apprenticeship in Electrical and Mechanical Maintenance. His apprenticeship involves one day of tuition at a local college to learn essential theory and four days a week working in the hoist assembly area. He will spend time in the warehouse receiving product training, dispatching goods and working with the other engineers.
UK - The International Theatre Engineering and Architecture Conference has confirmed its final keynote speakers.
Joining the array of confirmed speakers from around the world is founding partner of Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R), Elizabeth Diller, whose New York-based design studio practice spans the fields of architecture, urban design, installation art, multi-media performance, digital media, and print.
Her appearance on Monday, 4 June 2018 will be complemented by co-founder of the Bridge Theatre and former National Theatre executive director, Nick Starr CBE, on Tuesday, 5 June 2018.
USA - QSC has announced the appointment of Aravind Yarlagadda as chief technology officer and executive vice-president (product development). He will oversee all aspects of product development for QSC.
Yarlagadda has over 25 years of product development experience and joins from Schneider Electric, where he held senior executive roles in product management, research and development, marketing, strategic partnerships and new business initiatives. He also held senior leadership roles at Invensys, Tyco and Quest Software.
Joe Pham, president and CEO of QSC, comments: “Over the past years, we have continued to make large investments into our product development organisation, and as a result, we now have a sizeable organisation poised for continued innovation. Aravind’s new role will allow us to organise product development as its own major function under one senior executive leader. We are delighted to have Aravind join the Executive Team and are confident that his experience and expertise will be invaluable as we expand our capabilities to support our next phase of growth.”
“I am very thrilled and honoured to become a part of the QSC team, and to positively contribute to the QSC growth journey,” adds Yarlagadda. “With the IT-AV convergence trend picking up, I am personally very excited to leverage enterprise technologies and unlock the new wave of disruption in the AV&C industry.”
Europe - AVIXA, the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association, has announced the appointment of Chris Lavelle to the position of senior director of development Europe. Lavelle takes on the role having spent nine years as regional director for UK and Ireland. He will lead the team based in Munich and the UK.
“It’s a real pleasure to be given this exciting opportunity, and I look forward to getting started in my new role,” says Lavelle. “There has been some fantastic work done by our team in Europe, and there is a strong desire and commitment from AVIXA to do even more to deliver our message, liaise closely with our existing members and further drive membership growth.”
The move will be effective 1 June. Current senior director of development Europe, Pam Taggart, will be moving into a global position with AVIXA as senior director of strategic relationships, based in the US.
AVIXA has also announced a raft of team changes New recruits in Munich include Jennifer Leutgeb. Jennifer is replacing AVIXA education programme manager Ally Fowler, who will step up to the role of director of international education following the retirement of Bill Thomas. A European marketing manager has been appointed and will be announced in due course.
Other developments include the promotion of Ben Barnard to regional manager, UK and Ireland. Sarah Carless will also move into a new role as member relations manager, with a new programme coordinator to be appointed in her stead. In addition, Valeria Rapa has been made programme coordinator in Italy on
USA - GLP US has strengthened its team with two new members.
Brandon Jeffrey takes on the role of central regional sales manager and Brad Haynes joins in the newly created position of SceneX Lighting brand manager.
GLP US president Mark Ravenhill comments: “Brandon has a fantastic combination of skills and energy that will really support our customers and their projects in a very solid way. We can’t wait to get him fully embedded into his new position.”
Jeffrey adds: “I am excited to begin work with the great team that GLP is putting together, I can’t wait to hit the ground running and help the company grow within the central territory.”
Haynes joins GLP in a newly created position to promote and strengthen the company’s SceneX brand of LED solutions that it promotes in the North American markets. A 20+ year industry veteran, Brad will add his insight and extensive experience to GLP and the SceneX Lighting brand.
Ravenhill adds: “In North America, the SceneX Lighting brand has always been about supporting customers in special LED projects and installations, but it was often done on a bespoke basis. Now we want to take things to a whole new level, and I couldn’t be happier than to have Brad taking on the challenge. We have worked together in the past and his commitment, professionalism and passion are second to none.”
UK - Flashlight has appointed David Manister to a directorship role within the company. Manister joined Flashlight in 2013 and had since spearheaded its business development.
He comments: “I am delighted to be given the opportunity to play my part in the continued growth of Flashlight. I’m lucky to work with a great team of highly motivated, industry professionals who help us to make sure we continue to deliver the highest level of service expected by ourselves and our customers."
Flashlight founding directors Andy Dodd and Rob Williamson comment: "We're delighted with David’s progress within the company. His enthusiasm allows us to continue to be in front of end users and support new business with a strong presence."
Flashlight supplies lighting equipment to the broadcast, motion picture and theatre industries from its Manchester and London bases. The company alsoprovides equipment to freelancers, productions, studios, and theatres across Europe and beyond.
USA - Ashly Audio has appointed Noel Larson to serve as vice-president of marketing and business development. With over two decades of experience in the industry, Larson will work with Ashly engineers and strategic partners on new product development and will report to Ashly CEO Jim Mack.
Larson most recently served as Harman Professional’s global director of retail solutions - signal processing, mics, and connected PA. At various points, Larson had oversight of the dbx, Lexicon, BSS, Digitech, AKG, and Soundcraft brands during his seven years there
Larson said. “I was looking for an opportunity where I could make a real impact at a company that’s ready to grow fast and that has a management team that fully supports that vision. Ashly has CEO Jim Mack and a cast of talented people, and Jim has successfully piloted rapid company growth in his past endeavours and now has positioned Ashly to rise to the challenge.”
Asia-Pacific - Adamson Systems Engineering has announced the appointment of Ayumi Hanano as education & support coordinator for the Asia-Pacific region. In her new role, Hanano will be assisting Adamson’s APAC team with technical support and is now the first point of contact for all training inquiries and initiatives in the region.
“Ayumi has already proven herself to be a valuable addition to our diverse international team,” says David Dohrmann, Adamson’s technical director for the APAC region. “She’s incredibly smart, a strong brand ambassador, and will be a major asset as we continue gaining traction in the Asian markets and increase our global focus on education and training.”
Hanano has already overseen the delivery of Adamson’s Applied Certification training for hundreds of attendees in several countries and will soon begin presenting Adamson’s recently launched Advanced Certification training as well. She’ll also be spearheading technical support for Adamson partners and users throughout the region.
Born in Japan but spending some her formative years in Birmingham, U.K., Hanano returned to her native country in her mid-teens. She realized her penchant for live audio production relatively early was mixing shows while still attending upper-secondary school. Her professional career began with an FOH engineering position at well-known jazz venue Motion Blue Yokohama, a branch of Blue Note Japan. From there, she freelanced in several reputable jazz venues throughout Yokohama and Tokyo while also touring several co
Europe - Elation Professional B.V. has announced that lighting control specialist Menno Appelhof has joined the company with the aim of growing the M-Series brand of lighting controllers in the European market. Elation acquired the M-Series range of entertainment lighting controllers from Harman Professional in March.
Menno has been a lighting console specialist since 2004 and has developed a wealth of relationships and valuable experience since joining the entertainment technology industry in the early 1990s. His position at Elation encompasses maintaining contact with the current M-Series customer base while growing the M-Series network of users and partners in Europe. He is a familiar face in the lighting controller milieu and comes to Elation from a similar position at Fairlight, the Dutch sound and lighting company that also distributes the M-Series.
"After working four years with M-Series at the Dutch distributor, it makes me proud to be part of the Elation family and have the opportunity to make something great out of the M-Series. I look forward to working closely with all of Elation’s partners. There are many amazing things that together we can and will do."
Canada - The President and CEO of Groupe Solotech Inc. (Solotech), Martin Tremblay has announced the appointment of Mickey Curbishley as president of Solotech’s US rental division. This appointment will be effective as of 3 June.
Mickey has over 20 years of experience in the entertainment industry, working with the largest and most successful global acts. In recent years, he has helped the production needs for the likes of Madonna, Prince, Lady Gaga, Roger Waters, Taylor Swift, Bon Jovi and The Eagles.
Curbishley began his career in the mid 80s touring with some of the biggest bands of time. In 1994, Mickey was part of a team that proceeded to the acquisition of Light and Sound Design (LSD), where he played a strategic role in LSD’s international expansion. Following PRG’s acquisition of LSD in 1998, he filled leadership roles for PRG’s concert touring division for over 18 years, eventually taking on the role of President and CEO of PRG Music Group until 2016. Most recently, he was the senior vice president touring at TAIT Towers.
Curbishley will “play an important leadership role in ensuring Solotech’s continued growth”. He will be responsible for overseeing operations in Las Vegas, Nashville, DeKalb, and the upcoming Los Angeles office. “As a senior executive with over 20 years of experience in the entertainment and music industry, Mickey will be a major addition to our executive team. The US market represents significant growth opportunities for Solotech in the future, and Mickey will be instrumental in implementing our growth s
USA - Lawo has welcomed Browning McCollum, David Desrochers, and Stanley Pan to its growing North American team of customer support specialists.
“Lawo’s growth in the U.S. and Canada just keeps accelerating,” says Sam Schauland, technical director, Americas. “More and more broadcasters and audio production professionals are realising that true standards-based audio and video routing and mixing are the only way to go. That’s awesome, for the industry and for us. We’re adding more positions all the time.”
Browning McCollum joins Lawo after a successful tenure with Viacom, Nashville, where he held the position of remote engineer in charge. McCollum, a 2016 Emmy Award winner for his work on Grease Live, also holds the distinction of having installed the first two Lawo mc296 mixing consoles. His role at Lawo will be as a broadcast technology specialist.
David Desrochers was most recently chief engineer and VP of engineering for The New England Sports Network headquartered in Watertown, Massachusetts, where he designed, built and managed large-scale, mission-critical digital audio/video systems. Desrochers becomes a project manager for Lawo North America.
Stanley Pan will fill the position of junior network architect. Pan previously specialised in evolving IP technologies, including SMPTE 2110 interoperability testing, during his position as a Network Solutions Engineer with Evertz.
Recently, Lawo opened a new support and logistics hub in Elmsford, New York with testing facilities, a training centre and an East Coast sales
Denmark - Continuing its accelerating pace of expansion, Pascal, the provider of pro audio amplifier electronics, has announced the appointment of industry veteran Michael Munch to the newly created position of product manager.
Munch’s extensive and diverse career in professional audio spans more than 30 years, encompassing sound engineering and international touring, production management, product management and business development. He has held product management leadership roles at TC Electronics, Lab.gruppen, Tannoy, TC Group and Dynaudio, and brings a wealth of experience, industry knowledge and personal contacts to his new role at Pascal.
Canada - Systems integrators, Solotech’s integration division is targeting considerable growth in its Canadian market share in the next few months. As part of its action plan, four new appointments have been announced recently:
Peter Chartrand becomes business development representative in the greater Ottawa region. New at Solotech, Peter will be in charge of developing new and existing business accounts in the corporate, sports arenas, government and theatre segments.
Alexandre Piquette as business development representative in the greater Quebec City area. will be responsible for developing new and existing accounts in the educational, recording studios and musical instrument (MI) segments.
Philippe Giron as business development representative in the greater Montreal area. will be responsible for developing new and existing accounts in the corporate, government and institutional segments.
As director of sales in the Montreal head office, Frédéric Senay will be in charge of overseeing internal and external sales with the objective of significantly growing Solotech’s integration business and market share.
USA - Paul Vincent, president of Vincent Lighting Systems, has accepted an invitation to join the Behind the Scenes Foundation board of directors. Paul, who founded VLS in 1978, brings a wealth of industry experience to the Board. He is a past president of ESTA and the recipient of its highest honour, the Eva Swan Award.
Paul has been an ardent supporter of Behind the Scenes since its inception: VLS employees have participated in a company sponsored Behind the Scenes Workplace Giving Campaign for the last 12 years, Paul has generously leant staff member, Kim Craigie, to work the BTS booth at trade shows for many years, and he has frequently donated prizes for BTS raffles and auctions.
Paul comments, "I appreciate the vision of the Behind the Scenes Foundation, and the important support provided to people in our industry who are in need of a helping hand. I accepted this appointment without hesitation because this great work makes a difference in people’s lives.”
Rick Rudolph, chair of the Behind the Scenes Foundation, adds, “When we proposed appointing Paul, the response from board members was incredibly enthusiastic. Paul is articulate, passionate, thoughtful, and extremely well respected in our industry. We are looking forward to working with him and we know he will be tireless in helping us achieve our mission.”
The Behind the Scenes charity provides entertainment technology professionals who are seriously ill or injured with grants that may be used for basic living and medical expenses. For more information about Behind the Scenes
UK - Peerless-AV has announced that Matt Nixon has joined the UK professional division as distribution channel sales manager. Matt is responsible for developing and implementing the long-term business strategy, broadening sales opportunities, managing distributor relationships and providing support for the ongoing growth of key accounts.
“Matt is a great asset to the UK team, with the motivation, commitment and people skills needed to successfully manage and develop our distribution network,” comments Keith Dutch, managing director - EMEA, Peerless-AV. “He has demonstrated strong customer relationship skills and has a thorough understanding the AV and IT industry. His energy and experience will help us maintain our UK market leading position and explore new routes to market with our expanding portfolio.”
Prior to Peerless-AV, Matt was a commercial consultant at a cloud-based software provider and before that worked as an account manager at a specialist AV distributor.
Europe - Lawo, the German manufacturer of IP-based AV systems and control solutions, has appointed Craig Newbury to the position of director of sales and operations in the UK and Ireland.
Newbury brings with him over 18 years of broadcast related experience across a range of technical, operational and commercial roles. After several years of experience in senior sales management positions across the UK and Europe, he most recently held the position of vice-president of sales and marketing for Wohler.
Newbury comments: “Lawo is a progressive, engineering led company which holds values of innovation, quality and reliability at its heart. The company’s unique selection of solutions allows it to offer its customers a complete IP-based broadcast workflow across audio production, video infrastructure, control and analysis. Lawo’s technological innovation, future-oriented thinking, and absolute focus on customer satisfaction made Lawo a natural choice. I’m looking forward to continue to develop and improve Lawo’s presence in the UK and Ireland and helping our customers to fully recognize their visions.”
Jamie Dunn, head of global sales, adds: “We are very pleased that Craig is now a member of our Lawo family. He brings a lot of experience and has excellent relationships with both clients and partners. Craig is a perfect fit with Team Lawo as we continue to invest in important markets such as the UK.”
UK - Following a three-month business review, specialist LED lighting manufacturer GDS has announced management changes at its Bristol HQ, “to assist in the long-term growth of the business”.
Richard Cuthbert will take on the role of managing director, whilst Matthew Lloyd will now occupy the position of sales director for entertainment. Ian Colquhoun will continue in the role of finance director.
Lloyd comments: “During the 14 years of the company’s history, Richard and I have overseen the growth and success of ArcSystem, BluesSystem, CueSystem, GDS-Korea and the business as a whole. I feel now that Rich should take GDS forward with his strategic view, allowing me to focus on the sales and international business so core to our roots.”
Cuthbert adds: “It has always been a pleasure working with Matt to create great solutions for the industry and we will continue to forge ahead together in our new capacities. I’m looking forward to assessing and further developing the commercial areas of GDS and helping to improve products and services for our customers. These are very exciting times for GDS and the focus is now firmly on establishing a solid base for the company’s long-term growth.”