Germany - John Roberts-Davies has joined German audio console and IP video specialist Lawo AG as head of pre-sales & projects. In his new role, he will lead and develop the team that delivers technical consultation, solution design and system delivery to customers across the entire range of live production applications.
The appointment comes at a time of rapid growth in demand for Lawo products and solutions, which are expertly designed to help gain maximum advantage from new technologies in the fast-changing world of live production.
Roberts-Davies has over 30 years’ experience in the industry. He worked in operational and technical roles in radio and TV stations in several countries, as a sound recordist, radio engineer, ENG cameraman and radio and TV system engineer, before moving to the manufacturer side with various technical, commercial and professional services management roles within Sony, Quantel and SAM.
“We are very excited to have John join our team," says Ulrich Schnabl, director of operations at Lawo AG. “His broad knowledge of the industry, coupled with his ability to ensure suppliers consistently deliver the best services possible, make him a strong asset for Lawo at this time of rapid growth."
UAE - Sennheiser has announced the appointment of Arif PK as its new area sales manager for the System Solutions Channel in the UAE and Qatar.
Arif will report directly to Mig Cardamone, director of sales and marketing at Sennheiser Middle East who comments: “We feel that the Middle East - with special focus on Qatar and the UAE, given the upcoming major events - continues to prove that it is a very crucial market with a demand for high quality audio equipment and international expertise. With over a decade of experience in large scale AV projects specifically in those key markets, we feel it is a great synergy to have Arif join our team and build momentum for Sennheiser.”
Prior to joining Sennheiser, Arif was the country manager in Qatar for Mayflex/Excel Networking, a converged IP solutions provider. He has also held senior sales positions in CGC (Qatar) and Pixel Projects AV.
Commenting on his new position, Arif says: “My focus is to build relationships in the region based on our brand’s core values of innovation and excellence. I will be working to strengthen ties with our existing customers and partners, while making headway into new avenues in the UAE and Qatar.”
South Africa - The South African entertainment industry bid farewell to Peter Anthony Crowther, a popular Durban-based electrician, who has passed away. Messages on Facebook poured in as tributes were made to a ‘very special and caring gentleman’.
“The news came as a shock to the entertainment industry, losing a friend, a colleague and good drinking buddy,” says Nicholas Barnes from DWR Distribution. “Peter was always there to help when help was needed and will be missed by friends, colleagues and family. So, here's to Pete, may you rest peacefully bud!”
DWR Distribution’s SOS Charity fund joined hands with the industry to contribute to Peter’s funeral cost. A celebration of his life was held on Friday, 16 February at the Slip Inn, which was Pete’s local for the past 17 years.
UK - L‑Acoustics has announced the creation of a purpose-built sales and application team for the UK, with additional support from L-Acoustics Marcoussis headquarters.
The UK team comprises sales manager Paul McMullan, who has been with L‑Acoustics since 2016 and continues to expand the brand’s traditionally strong association with the UK market. He is now joined by new team members Sergey Becker, application engineer, touring, and Jeff Woodford, application engineer, Install. Continuing to support the UK market are Nathalie Prade in sales support, and Alex Linn in customer service.
“The UK is a seismic centre for both the touring and installation markets and is recognized for its cutting edge performing arts centres. It is also home to many of the globe’s most important consultancies,” explains Jochen Frohn, L‑Acoustics director of business development. “As such, it is a key territory for us, which is why we made the decision to strengthen the UK team with the addition of Sergey and Jeff, both experienced application engineers whose extensive knowledge will help to expand the brand in the robust UK touring and install markets.”
Sergey has spent almost 20 years designing and implementing PA systems and their control infrastructure, as well as being an experienced FOH and monitor engineer. He joins L‑Acoustics from Delta Sound, where he gained experience in high profile events such as the Olympics and Commonwealth Games, as well as at prestigious venues such as the Royal Albert Hall.
Jeff Woodford joins from RG Jones Sound
Spain - FENIX Stage has announced a new staff member joining its export department. Juan Bautista joins after a long international career in the industry.
“I have always tried to contribute with effort and passion everywhere I have been working at, as purchasing analyst, legal advisor or trade advisor in many industries in different countries,” says Bautista. “Now I have the chance to work on the other side, on the sales department, and FENIX Stage offers me the opportunity and the confidence to begin this new challenge thanks both to its great professional team and its formidable range of products, with continuous innovation and improvement processes. The complete trust in our products is a key point for me.”
“For FENIX Stage, Juan’s incorporation is an important bet for new and unexplored markets, within the ambitious, but realistic, expansion strategy during the coming years”, says Alex Bryan, export manager at FENIX Stage. “In addition, he will be a valuable support to develop and consolidate some of the existing markets, enriching the relationships with our customers.”
USA - D.A.S. Audio of America, Inc., the North American division of parent company D.A.S. Audio, has announced the appointment of Leandro Jose Arguello to the position of retail sales manager - Latin America. Arguello’s appointment commenced in January 2018. He is based at the company’s U.S. headquarters in Miami.
In his new position, Arguello will be responsible for driving retail sales for the MI marketplace by developing customized strategies for each Latin American country. Arguello will travel extensively throughout the Latin American territory to meet with current and potential new distributors—all with the goal of increasing D.A.S. Audio’s brand awareness throughout this important region.
Prior to joining D.A.S. Audio, Arguello served in several capacities that have well-prepared him for his new position. Most recently, he was the principal and owner of PA Sound & Solutions Corporation of Medley, FL
Jaime Villegas, general manager at D.A.S. Audio of America, Inc., comments, “Leandro has a wealth of experience in the Latin American retail market and I’m confident he will do a terrific job helping us take our business to the next level throughout this vital and potentially lucrative territory. All of us at D.A.S. welcome him aboard.”
UK - Cardiff-based events services provider, 11th Hour continues to expand its team. Rising demand for its wide-ranging services has seen the company appoint a number of experienced professionals to key positions, to keep pace with continuing growth.
Simon Baker brings 30 years of sales and hire experience in the technical services sector to his role as 11th Hour’s warehouse manager and new administration assistant, Rachel Burbidge, adds the skills developed during 15 years in the areas of construction, insurance and health.
11th Hour director John Davies comments, “Last year saw us significantly increase the size of our team and our investment in equipment. Events such as the visit of The UEFA Champions League to Cardiff, demonstrated our capacity to provide services on a large scale and for very diverse requirements. It’s essential that we have the expertise, commitment and energy to deal with every demand that come our way.”
The Netherlands - Astro Spatial Audio has announced the appointment of Graham Murray to the position of global business development manager, effective immediately.
A highly respected figure within the professional audio industry, Murray brings 35 years of industry experience and expertise to his new role, alongside the determination to "raise Astro Spatial Audio's profile on a worldwide level and cultivate the success that this astonishing technology deserves".
With both technical expertise and a deep knowledge of the global audio industry, Murray has attained experience across a broad spectrum of market sectors within the pro audio sphere, from high-end broadcast and post-production to the studio sector and live sound. Most recently he held the position of sales director, EMEA for the Harman Pro brand, Studer, while in the past he has served in leadership positions for brands including Calrec, Fairlight and AMS Neve.
Murray joins Astro Spatial Audio during a period of rapid expansion, with a string of high profile reference projects having taken place over the last 12 months. They include the completion of a landmark object-based immersive audio installation within the Berlin Opera House, and the creation of a fully immersive audio experience for The Band's Visit, the hit new musical on Broadway. From Europe to the United States and in Asia, Astro Spatial Audio's 3U, rack-mountable SARA II Premium Rendering Engine is delivering new creative possibilities in object-based 3D audio, room acoustics and more.
Italy - Powersoft has announced the appointment of Giacomo Previ as sales manager at OEM solutions. Giacomo is based at Powersoft’s headquarters in Scandicci, near Florence whilst also travelling around the world to be closer to customers.
Giacomo joins Powersoft from Italian speaker manufacturer Eighteen Sound, where he was in post for almost 15 years, and was already very familiar with Powersoft’s patented IPAL technology following the transducer specialist’s adoption of Powersoft’s amplifier hardware module, IpalMod.
In his most recent role as sales director for Eighteen Sound, he oversaw all sales activities with a particular focus on B2B customers, whilst also developing the yearly sales budget and mid to long term business plan. He also undertook business development activities and produced the innovation roadmap during his four-year tenure. Prior to that position he was sales and marketing manager for the company for over a decade, a role in which he focused on OEM customers worldwide.
Earlier in his career, Giacomo held a marketing-focused post at Loud Technologies in Amsterdam where, as European marketing communication manager he drove the MarComms activities for its brands, supporting branches and independent distributors.
Says Luca Giorgi, sales and business development director at Powersoft, who oversees the OEM Solutions Division to which Giacomo has been hired: “Giacomo is a fantastic addition to our team and I’m delighted to welcome him on board. His professional background combined with his strength of character m
Italy - Outline has announced the appointment of Fernando Rey Mendez to the newly-created position of Newton product specialist.
Launched in 2017, Newton is a full-featured, FPGA-based ‘Multi Media Nucleus’ which includes comprehensive loudspeaker system control facilities, media conversion, audio distribution with networking capability, freely-assignable analogue, AES, MADI optical, MADI coaxial and Dante inputs and outputs, simultaneous multiple-clock synchronisation and independent dual-redundant power inlets.
Born in Buenos Aires, Mendez he is a musician, while his professional experience includes sound system engineering and system commissioning, but for much of the last decade he has focused on audio DSP programming and design.
He commented, "Becoming part of the Outline family as their Newton product specialist and taking care of this unique project is a great privilege to me. I am happy to make my past work experiences available to Outline, and I am sure that together with its history we will produce excellent results."
UK - London-based technology industry expert Paul Wong has been appointed managing director of Avolites.
Born and raised in sunny Southport, Paul is an experienced business-to-business managing director with a track record of strong growth in multiple industries with a focus on industry-leading technological innovation.
He joins Avolites with a wealth of experience, most recently as MD at Bosch Security Systems Ltd and MD of Record UK Ltd. Paul brings a Master of Business Administration (MBA) focused in Strategy & Finance from Cass Business School and a degree in Electronic Engineering, Software and Communications from The Manchester Metropolitan University.
Paul is welcomed to Avolites as an addition to existing senior management - Steve Warren, director of business development and Ric Salzedo, chairman.
"I'm thrilled to be joining Avolites at this exciting time for the company," says Wong. "Avolites has a great history as one of the pioneers of lighting consoles and a major innovator of new features which have transformed the visual experience of live entertainment. I am looking forward to working with a team who are busy working on incredible new products which will be greatly appreciated by the loyal Avolites fanbase, as well as new users. Having been working in the company since November I feel terrific enthusiasm for the future."
Having held the roles of both chairman and managing director for a number of years, Ric Salzedo will now retain the position of chairman. Along with Steve Warren, he was both architect and
UK - LSi is sad to report the passing of much loved industry personality Ian Dow. An engineering manager and lighting designer and director for the BBC for many years, in his retirement Dow also served as Chairman and Chair of the Papers Committee for lighting conference Showlight, and dedicated much of his time to training and supporting students.
In 2013, Dow was awarded the Enrico Caironi Lifetime Recognition Award during the Knight of Illumination awards ceremony.
Dow was also a long-serving contributor to LSi magazine. His popular Recollected Works column – which ran for 10 years and 37 installments before concluding in December 2016 – saw Dow reflect on his long and varied career in lighting; in particular his experiences lighting countless television dramas, light entertainment shows and outside broadcasts. His good-humoured accounts were always a joy to read, offering a stranger-than-fiction glimpse behind the scenes of shows that many of us will have grown up watching.
USA - Focusrite has appointed industry veteran Pepe Reveles to the position of VP sales & marketing for Latin America. Reveles has nearly 25 years of industry experience, having most recently been part of the team at Avid, where he was in charge of the audio division for Latin America.
Reporting to Damian Hawley, Focusrite global director of marketing & sales, Reveles will be responsible for extending the brand’s reach to the customer base in Latin America. He will work to expand Focusrite Novation’s Latin American presence in all market verticals, from home and project studio interfaces for independent artists, all the way up to professionals in commercial studios relying on Red and RedNet interfaces to simplify complex workflows.
“Focusrite is a vibrant and dynamic company,” remarks Reveles. “The passion, quality and innovation printed on each and every product is super-exciting. From the Novation synths and Launchpad product family to Focusrite’s wide portfolio of interfaces and preamps, the workflow benefits and ease of use help musicians at all levels to create and perform. The Focusrite, Novation and Focusrite Pro brands are global market leaders, and I’m excited to further extend their reach to customers in Latin America.”
UK - Lighting and rigging provider TSL has announced that Colin Paxton will now be managing its dry hire department.
Colin brings considerable experience and technical knowledge having previously worked in similar roles in rental companies, including a senior position as hire manager.
Colin will be supported by hire coordinator Ryan Abrahams who has been with the company since May 2017.
Colin comments, "I have admired TSL for a long time for their strong focus on quality equipment, maintained to the highest standard and backed up by knowledgeable staff who have a passion for what they are doing. I'm looking forward to getting back to building relationships with hire customers. It's a really exciting time to join the company as with the addition of Blinding Light there are a huge range of opportunities for customers."
Alongside Colin's appointment, John Beer, TSL's previous hire manager, will progress into the role of operation manager. John now be concentrating on improving and expanding all areas of the business. John also takes overall responsibility for the hire and warehouse teams with support from Colin and Stephen Beresford, TSL's warehouse manager.
Europe - Lawo has appointed Tibor Tamas to the position of senior sales manager for Austria and Switzerland.
Tamas brings with him over 35 years’ experience in technical development and sales positions in the field of audio mixing consoles, plus extensive broadcasting know-how. After several years of international experience during which he established and organized service and sales infrastructures for Studer in North America, Tamas also worked as business development manager for Studer’s Professional Audio division.
“Lawo is a forward-thinking company that understands applications and customers, and can map the complete broadcast workflow with its IP-based systems and solutions,” says Tamas.
Lawo sales director Martin Blum says, “We are very pleased that Tibor is now a member of our Lawo family. He brings a lot of industry experience and has excellent business relationships with both clients and partners. Tibor is a perfect fit with Team Lawo.”
USA - Kevin Loretto, popular New York based lighting and technical sales specialist died on 23 January in New York after a lengthy battle with cancer.
Celebrating his life, bubbly personality, resilience, dignity and amazing contributions to the world of entertainment and performance lighting, his friends and colleagues at Robe Lighting are all proud and privileged to have had the chance to work alongside Kevin for the last five years, says the company.
He is survived by his wife and soulmate of 29 years, Penny Loretto, three children Tammy Monroe, Kerry Watkins and Robert Monroe and four grandchildren and will be hugely missed by everyone.
Kevin graduated from St John’s University in Queens, New York in 1974 and has worked in many jobs over the years primarily in marketing and sales. It was his love of music which led him into entertainment industry lighting for the last 11 years of his career, where he became successful, and loved and respected by everyone whose lives he touched.
His infectious and affable persona and excellent communication skills opened doors wherever he went, bringing his unique gentle humour, intellect and lateral thinking to any scenario.
Since 2013 Kevin worked as Northeast regional sales manager at Robe North America, where he excelled and seized the chance to develop relationships with those at the forefront of creativity and innovation in the worlds of theatre and performing arts … an environment he totally embraced and had his finger on the pulse.
Previously he was a director of sales for Creative
UK - Ron Bonner, who has worked for PLASA for over 17 years, has announced that he will be retiring at the end of February.
Bonner has been an integral part of PLASA’s technical standards and resources department since early 2001, and has made a huge contribution to standards writing for the entertainment industry, both in the UK and internationally.
Under Bonner’s leadership, PLASA has instigated a wide range of standards which have contributed hugely to the safety of the industry.
Notable projects include the development of the European voluntary agreement for stage engineering that will shortly be converted to the first ever European stage engineering standard. He also led the way in guiding PLASA members on administrative compliance requirements for newly introduced European environmental legislation.
Bonner was instrumental in the creation of the electrical safety chapter of the Event Safety Guide and in creating new laser safety guidance for the industry when HSG95 was withdrawn by the Health and Safety Executive. He was also the sole driving force for a European engineering standard which ultimately led to the creation of a new Technical Standards Committee for the EU entertainment industry at CEN in Brussels.
Bonner has represented PLASA on a number of committees and was a founding member of the British Entertainment Industry Radio Group (BEIRG). Additionally, he worked closely with PLASA’s Skills department and assisted in the development of the National Rigging Certificate.
PLASA will continue to invest in
Germany - Absen Europe has announced the appointment of Thomas Klukas to the position of business development manager for Germany, Switzerland and Austria (DACH).
Thomas joined Absen in January 2018 and is based at Absen Europe HQ in Rüsselsheim, Germany, travelling to spend time with customers and prospects in the DACH region
In his role as business development manager, he will oversee the development of the retail, corporate and DOOH sectors across the three markets, plus sports and rental in Austria and Switzerland – building the Absen brand to increase specification of its innovative and award-winning LED display products in the region.
Prior to joining Absen, Thomas held a director position with audio solutions specifier and supplier Shure Distribution Gmbh, where he oversaw strategy development and partnerships with manufacturers in the AV industry. Other previous roles include business development for Crestron and AMX in Germany, and a strong technical background, Thomas having trained as a radio and TV engineer.
USA - Adamson Systems Engineering has appointed audio industry veteran Lin Buck to the position of director of sales for the United States, working as an integral part of the team led by Marc Bertrand, managing director of Adamson Americas.
In his new role, Buck will collaborate closely with Adamson’s Partner Network and manufacturer’s rep firms to continue driving sales and growing the brand’s profile in the ever-important U.S. touring and integration markets.
“Our comprehensive strategy for building a long-term, sustainable sales structure in the Americas fits very well with Lin’s experience, as well as his philosophies with respect to customer relations and the Adamson brand,” comments Bertrand. “We’re very pleased to have him aboard, and we expect great results.”
Buck served as senior manager of live entertainment sales for Harman Professional, developing a strong reputation among professionals in the North American and international touring communities. That followed successful stints with Bosch Security Systems’ Communications Division and Kansas City, MO-based manufacturer’s rep firm Tremain Marketing Group.
“I’m very pleased to be joining the Adamson Americas team and helping to continue the brand’s years of impressive growth in both the US and international pro audio markets,” says Buck. “Through decades of selling, managing, and teaching, I’ve successfully relied on a customer-centric sales philosophy and strategic development based on analysis, communication, and empowerment. The synergy with Adam
Italy - Outline has announced the appointment of Leonardo Dani to the post of deputy general manager of sales.
Leonardo joins the company during a period of strong growth and expansion, driven mainly by the success of Outline’s GTO loudspeaker family in global touring and by the growing number of high-profile installations of the Stadia Series, including those for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
His professional background includes many years of road experience in FOH, monitor and system technician roles in addition to a decade working in international pro-audio sales.
Leonardo commented, “I am confident that I can contribute to the continued success of Outline, especially as I am joining them at such an exciting time. Their systems are absolutely competitive with anything else currently available and brand new designs such as the extraordinary Newton processor will allow us to demonstrate clear operational advantages to our clients everywhere.”
UK - Creative Technology’s London operation has recently recruited Richard Rogers and Chris Jordan to work as senior project managers in their audio team. Richard and Chris have long careers stretching back to the early 80s, spending most of that time working together on a wide range of audio projects in corporate events and theatre.
“Having worked with Richard and Chris many years ago I am really excited to be working with them both again, bringing with them yet more experience and knowledge to an ever-growing audio team,” says Mark Boden, director of audio.
Richard comments: “It’s great for Chris and I to be joining Creative Technology and becoming part of the team. CT has a fantastic inventory, backed up by a team of experts with a real passion for delivering high quality audio for all kinds of events.”
UK - One of SSE Audio Group’s original team members - Carl Reavey - died suddenly aged 61 on 8 January, the company reported.
Reavey was the fourth member of the original SSE Hire team, joining the fledgling rental company in 1977. There he met his wife-to-be, Jan (who was SSE’s second staff member). His enthusiasm for everything he did always shone through, approaching every task with vigour and humour.
Reavey was crucially important to SSE Hire during these formative years, working the all-nighters, doing mad gigs and moving on to become FOH engineer for the Yachts and later the Undertones.
In 1979, after working around the clock for over a week, he went to Glastonbury with the, just finished, Turbosound festival system and ran the front of house with the legendary John Newsham. They were two very different engineers, but afterwards both said how much they had learned from each other across the three days.
Although Reavey left the sound business in 1995, he was an important figure in the audio industry, first as a sound engineer and later as the first product manager for mixing console company Total Audio Concepts (TAC). In 1991, he was appointed General Manager of Amek’s US Operations, based in Burbank LA.
His passion for live sound and expert knowledge of mixing consoles won him friends the world over.
He left the industry to run a hotel on the island of Islay, off the west coast of Scotland with his wife Jan. He reasoned that having spent so much time staying in hotels, he was well placed to know what guests were looking
USA - Lawo continues to add to its US operations by hiring Mike Franklin as senior sales manager.
US broadcasters are familiar with Franklin in his former role as senior sales manager for Studer in America, and his extended tenure with Euphonix.
“I’ve always admired Lawo, and I’m very proud to be a part of what they’re doing,” says Franklin. “Not only are they the most innovative company in broadcasting, they have amazing commitment to their customers. I think that’s why Lawo is the fastest growing broadcast company in the world.”
Franklin’s appointment is part of Lawo’s continued growth in the US TV and Radio markets, underscored by the recent commissioning of a new support and logistics hub in Elmsford, New York, and the addition of Hans Juergens and David Antoine as broadcast engineers for pre- and post-sales technical support.
“Our organization in America has been growing at an amazing rate, and I’m glad to have top talent like Mike joining the team,” says Jeffrey Stroessner, Lawo’s head of sales, Americas. “Everyone who’s worked with Mike is a fan. Not only is he a great guy, he is absolutely committed to making sure his clients are happy. We couldn’t have asked for a better fit.”
France - L-Acoustics has named a dedicated support team for the strategic and growing sports and cruise ship sectors, hiring Tom Williams to the role of applications engineer and appointing Scott Wakelin, who joined L-Acoustics in 2015 as regional sales manager, to the position of sales manager, sports facilities & cruise ships.
Working with the install applications team, headed by director of application Cedric Montrézor, Tom will represent the L‑Acoustics brand to consultants, architects and venue managers. He’ll also provide technical support to L-Acoustics partners for major sports venue and cruise ship projects around the globe.
Scott Wakelin has over 20 years’ experience in the professional audio industry, developing key partner strategy and focusing on large scale projects for stadia, casinos and railway, among others. His privileged relationships with consultants and key stakeholders in the AV market will be crucial to building the L-Acoustics brand in the sports facilities and cruise ships markets.
“Scott has built up a strong presence for L-Acoustics in Central Europe,” explains Jochen Frohn, director of business development at L-Acoustics. “He has demonstrated product and project excellence as well as technical expertise and I know he’ll be a strong advocate for our clients and partners in a key market.”
With over a decade of experience designing and deploying large-scale audio systems for both live events and fixed installations, Tom Williams has travelled the globe to oversee the sound system installations of