UK - Polar has announced the promotion of current national sales manager for integrated solutions, Will Turney, to the post of head of integrated solutions. Will joined the Polar team in 2017 as a business development manager after five years with HARMAN-owned AMX.
Will Turney comments: “My role managing the integrated solutions division will include supporting and developing the sales and technical support teams at Polar in continuing to meet the challenges of a fast-moving technology sector. I will also be responsible for liaising with our brands to develop strategies for new product launches, as well as ongoing product updates. My task is based on taking a holistic view of the industry to help us develop in new areas and respond quickly, as a value-added distributor, to the needs of the market.”
Polar managing director John Midgley adds: "In his time at Polar, Will has demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of AV technologies and their application in the widest range of market sectors. He’s very well respected by our team members and customers, displays great energy, and possesses a highly developed set of skills that make him the ideal fit to take charge of the division.”
Germany - Wireless LED lighting manufacturer Astera has announced the appointment of Thor-Andre who joins the after-sales technical support team based at the company’s HQ in Munich.
“This is a fantastic and hugely exciting chance to work directly with one of the world’s leading entertainment LED lighting manufacturers,” stated Thor.
He will be engaging directly with key customers and companies worldwide offering after-sales support and be working with gaffers, DoPs, lighting and set designers, rental and production companies, combining his first-class communications skills with his love of geekery. He will also be travelling extensively as well as attending all the major international trade shows once they get up to speed post-pandemic.
“Astera’s growth has been extremely strong even through this very difficult pandemic period, and that’s a testament to the ingenuity, foresight and imagination that goes into producing products that are so ultimately useful and usable!” he says.
Astera’s Sebastian Bückle comments: “Thor is one of the most knowledgeable Astera users and technical supporters out there. His expertise and dynamism will help take our after-sales services to the next level.”
USA - SmartLabs has announced that Rick Sailor has joined the company as VP for business development North America & Canada.
Gary Hamer, SmartLabs global SVP for sales and business development, says: “Service providers are facing some difficult challenges now about the best way to provide video; how to package channels and maintain costly equipment. At SmartLabs, we can help local providers address some of those challenges in a profitable way that gives them a competitive edge, thanks to our global experience. We’re delighted that Rick has joined us to lead our US and Canadian expansion at this pivotal time.”
Rick Sailor adds: “The opportunity to lead the roll-out of SmartLabs to the US and Canadian markets was too good to miss. The company has been in the business since it was in its infancy and has such a good track record in multiple countries, operating on multiple devices, deploying solutions in managed and unmanaged IP, Hybrid DVB+ IP and mobile networks.”
UK - The family of Mike Jarvis, lighting designer and projects manager, are sad to report that Mike passed away 9 August at the age of 65.
Mike grew up in south Birmingham in a loving home, with his parents Douglas and Peggy and his brother Paul. Music was very important to Mike, especially when it was live. Growing up in Birmingham meant that he saw bands in small clubs before they went on to become rock legends.
He attended Harborne primary school, followed by Lordswood boys school. His foundation year at Fazely street in Birmingham studying art was a happy one, experimenting with sculpture and design which led him to the Theatre Design course at the City of Birmingham Polytechnic in the mid-1970s.
Joanna was one of his fellow students on the course and they quickly developed a strong friendship. At the end of the three years that friendship developed into the loving relationship that has lasted for 42 years, 35 of them as a married couple.
Mike moved from the polytechnic to a job as an electrician at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre. He quickly gained a reputation as a cheerful and reliable member of staff and he became responsible for running the lighting for shows in the studio theatre. He loved the intimate atmosphere of the studio and enjoyed the camaraderie of the small company of actors for each show. Sitting at the lighting desk in the box, he was physically close to the performance, something that he appreciated.
Promoted to deputy chief electrician he moved to running shows in the main theatre, sitting in the lighting box
UK - Optimal Audio has announced the appointment of Raf Willems as head of sales and channel marketing EMEA.
Willems' 20-year career in the industry began in residential audio sales in his native Belgium, before a move into the commercial audio sector with Apart Audio where he progressed through a variety of roles to become sales and marketing director. Following Biamp’s acquisition of Apart, Willems became head of business development for Europe with additional responsibility for managing Biamp’s retail and hospitality team.
“It’s so rare in our industry to get the chance to be involved in developing a new brand from its inception,” says Willems. “I’m passionate about commercial audio so I honestly consider this to be something of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Everything I’ve seen and understood about the launch of Optimal Audio indicates that the company has got its approach to commercial audio right from day one by addressing exactly what the market needs.”
Bradley Watson, sales director at Optimal Audio, adds: “We’re delighted to have secured Raf’s services. He joins us with a proven record of success and a clear enthusiasm for the task at hand.”
France - Ayrton has appointed Fabian de Brücker to its sales team. De Brücker joins Ayrton as regional sales manager for all French-speaking countries and regions with effect from 1 September 2021. Brücker’s new role includes responsibility for maintaining a high level of designer relations, as well as promoting and supporting the Ayrton brand across these regions.
Fabian brings a wealth of industry experience having worked with many major lighting brands for over 25 years. He has built an extensive network among lighting professionals, but has developed a particularly close relationship with Ayrton.
“Fabian has always been a great advocate of the Ayrton brand since his days working with Axente, so his joining us is a huge bonus,” says Ayrton’s global sales director, Michael Althaus. “His years of experience means Fabian has super-strong designer relations in France. We are very proud to have him as the latest addition to our team.”
“This is a completely new role for me and I am very excited to join a company I have admired for so long,” says de Brücker. “I have represented some of the leading brands in my professional life, but Ayrton occupies a special place, in part due to a great relationship and friendship with Yvan Péard, founder and CTO of Ayrton but, even without that, because Ayrton is the most innovative brand on the market.”
UK - Bradford-based Pro Audio Systems has announced the recruitment of Chris Beardwell to the post of video and lighting sales.
His role will be to develop existing and new relationships with manufacturers, to enable Pro Audio Systems to supply video and lighting products alongside its extensive audio inventory. Chris will also look to drive sales and deliver turnkey audio/visual solutions for a variety of different customer applications.
Having graduated in Media Production from Lincoln University, Chris joined Luminar Leisure (now Rekom UK) as a lighting technician at Liquid, Envy and Trinity nightclubs. Chris gained valuable experience utilising moving light technology and control systems from Robe and Martin Professional, before moving to become head lighting technician/operator at Wolverhampton super-club Faces.
In 2014, Chris joined AC Entertainment Technologies as a technical video sales executive. During his seven years at the company, Chris developed strong relationships with suppliers and customers, providing sales, technical and after-sales support
Pro Audio Systems MD Brian Lumb comments: “Chris’s extensive experience in the video and lighting sector, both in hands-on roles and as part of a successful sales team, qualifies him as the ideal candidate for this position. He has established many strong relationships within the industry and shares our commitment to offering the highest standards of customer service.”
UK - Recently launched manufacturer Optimal Audio has announced the appointment of Al McKinna as head of product.
A sound technology graduate of LIPA, Al joins after 15 years at Avid, where he spent three years in sales and 12 in product management. As director of product management for live sound, Al led the business strategy and product development of Avid’s Venue brand of digital live audio production systems. Most recently as director of audio hardware at Avid, he led product management for Pro Tools systems, control surfaces and live sound.
Al will be responsible for creating a future product development strategy for Optimal Audio.
“The first phase of launching the Optimal Audio ecosystem into the market is well under way,” says Al. “It’s a fantastic system, based on principles that address a clear demand in the market. My job will be to build a business strategy and create processes that develop and sustain the brand.”
Dom Harter, managing director of Optimal Audio, adds: “Al’s career speaks for itself, and we are delighted that he has chosen to join us. His product management work at Avid, in both live sound and audio hardware, mark him out as an exceptional audio industry professional.”
France - Chauvet Professional has added David Launay to its team as a product specialist. As a lighting designer, operator, and Wysiwyg trainer, Launay was the LD for Marcel et son orchestre (2003), and Ghinzu (2005). He has also worked extensively as lighting operator for photography director on French and Middle Eastern events, such as the Paralympic Opening Ceremony, the Hand Ball World Cup, and Show Hello.
“I have known David for 25 years,” says Martin Fournier, European sales director of Chauvet. “His personal character and professionalism make him a valuable addition to any organisation.”
Michael Brooksbank, managing director of Chauvet Europe adds: “David brings an extraordinary set of talents and experiences to this position. Combining his strengths with those of our existing product specialist team puts us in an even stronger position to serve our customer and address market trends.”
Launay (who began his career at Audiolite in 1997, says: “There seems to be no limit to what Chauvet can accomplish right now. This is a dynamic company with a very bright future, and I’m very excite to be part of the team.”
UK - SSE Audio, part of the Solotech UK Group, has announced the appointment of James Baker to the role of live sound specialist to benefit the UK sales team.
In this new position, Baker will support SSE Audio and Manchester-based Wigwam’s live sound sales customers. Working alongside their team of technical experts and service providers, he will develop marketing strategies that promote the groups’ unique services for the live sound market.
He joins during the return of the UK live events industry post-pandemic, which is seeing an extremely busy summer festival season.
Baker has become well-known and respected in the pro audio industry during his 25-year career as a freelance sound engineer while working with Nile Rogers and Chic, Chase and Status, Girls Aloud, Kim Wilde and Gilbert O'Sullivan. This is in addition to his role as a live sound sales manager for Avid Technology, where he was instrumental in bringing the S6L range of consoles to the marketplace.
UK group sales manager Ryan Thomas comments: “We know that our core market for sales is the live production market, and we are looking to improve the service we give to our customers. James has hands-on experience using much of the kit in the live environment. This knowledge will be invaluable when advising customers on product selection.”
James Baker adds: "I've worked as freelancer with SSE in the past, so I know the culture and their core values. I'm really looking forward to playing my role in the company's post-pandemic recovery and sharing some of my experience to he
USA - Main Light has appointed Mike Gaynor to serve as the operations manager for Main Light West, now open in Las Vegas. Gaynor is overseeing operations at the new facility. He brings a depth of experience in the industry having worked at 4Wall Entertainment in logistics and as the assistant operations manager. Prior to working at 4Wall, he was the operations manager at Christie Lites in Las Vegas.
“I am really excited to be part of getting things up and running for Main Light in Las Vegas,” Gaynor comments. “I look forward to helping Main Light West grow from the ground up and I appreciate the opportunity to have a leadership role right from the beginning.”
“We want to continue the legacy of what we built on the East Coast in our new Las Vegas operation,” states Randy Mullican, general manager of Main Light, LLC. “With that said, we feel that Mike is a great addition to the Main Light team, and we welcome him.”
UK - Creative Technology’s UK operation has appointed Lee Dennison as head of client relationships. With over 25 years of experience in the live events industry, Lee brings extensive technical knowledge as well as a deep understanding of how to build and maintain strategic relationships and partnerships.
Dennison has previous experience at Autograph Sound Recording and DeltaLive. More recently, he was part of the senior management team at White Light, performing the role of head of business development.
Dennison comments: “The world has changed so much in the last 18 months, and we have seen technology rapidly evolve to support new ways of communicating and engaging with audiences. It’s an exciting time to join CT and I am looking forward to helping our clients explore technologies and solutions we offer, to help achieve their objectives”
“We’re really excited to have Lee on board.” notes Nick Askew, head of corporate. “Lee is well known and respected in the industry and alongside Lee, myself and the team are looking forward to developing new relationships and strengthening existing ones over the coming months, focusing on delivering high quality projects for all our clients.”
UK - Audiologic has announced that after almost 10 years at Polar, Stuart Leader is joining the team as senior sales manager.
Stuart started in the AV industry back in the late 90’s working on internal sales for a distributor local to where he was living at the time, selling projectors. His career began mainly in the displays, video and control side of the industry, working for distributors and manufacturers. Stuart then moved into the audio industry in 2012 joining Polar audio. In 2016, he joined the board, heading up the integrated solutions team.
Andy Lewis, managing director, Audiologic, comments: “We are genuinely excited for Stuart to join us, he brings a wealth of industry experience which will drive the sales function. Stuart will oversee the responsibility for the entire sales function. The role is a very strategic and focussed one, which will drive Audiologic through its next growth phase. We would like to take the opportunity to congratulate Dave Smith on his retirement and say a huge thank you for his seven years of service.”
Stuart Leader concludes: “I have observed the accelerated growth of Audiologic over the last few years and have had great admiration for what the Company has achieved. I’m delighted to be joining such a well-established and strong team and I look forward to contributing and playing my part in the building and development of the business in the future.”
Europe - Gerry Forde has become the latest member of the Point Source Audio family, taking on the new role of business development manager for the EMEA region.
Forde has a long history in the pro audio industry, working with distributors, manufacturers and rental companies. A large part of that career was spent working with Sennheiser. This was followed by spells at Rycote, and consultancy work for a variety of brands.
“My background is music and music recording," says Forde. "I was a hands-on RF operator too, so I am very familiar with the technical side of things and the production values in most sectors. I then went over to the commercial world, so I know it as a distributor, reseller, commercial manager, and sales director responsible for marketing."
“We see the EMEA region as critical for our ongoing worldwide growth,” states James Lamb, president at Point Source Audio. “We needed a safe pair of hands with the knowledge and skillset to provide the local support our dealers and distributors deserve while also driving the growth of the company throughout the territory."
USA - Main Light has hired Steve Nancarrow to be the rental executive based at the new Main Light West in Las Vegas, NV. Nancarrow’s responsibilities will include business development and client interfacing with professional production companies on the West Coast.
“I'm honoured to be here. Main Light has an excellent reputation in the business and everyone here is among the best,” says Nancarrow. “That is what I love about this industry, first and foremost, the people in it. It's a vast industry but it's a small community representing that industry and you end up seeing the same professionals over and over again. Professionals who are highly dedicated, highly professional, and highly skilled, and that certainly includes the people at Main Light.”
Randy Mullican, general manager of Main Light, LLC notes, “Steve is a great fit for our Main Light team. He knows the business, he has great relationships with so many people in the industry, especially on the West Coast, and he is committed to getting customers what they need to make their show a success. With his almost three decades of experience in a busy production house, Steve really brings a deep understanding of our customers and I know he will provide them with Main Light’s highest quality of customer service. We all welcome Steve to the Main Light team.”
Nancarrow previously worked for 27 years at PRG Las Vegas, most recently holding the position of entertainment lighting representative.
USA - After a storied career in the entertainment industry, ESTA’s membership manager, Frances Thompson, will be retiring at the end of 2021. For over two decades, she has been a vital force in the growth of the association and a galvanizing presence at trade shows and events.
In 1996, Frances was appointed to the ESTA Board of Directors, after being a part of the Business Resource Group for several years. She then served as manufacturer director until early 2000, when she was appointed as an affiliate director. Around 2001, Frances joined the ESTA staff and has since held several titles.
On her retirement, Frances remarked, “I will miss engaging with members and staff. We are irreverent, creative, resourceful, opinionated, and uproarious. But most of my family and friends are as well, so I will be happy.”
As her successor, ESTA has appointed Laura Hoepker as its new programme manager for membership and events, effective August 17, 2021. Like her predecessor, Laura also has a long history in the entertainment technology industry. Previously, she was the marketing events specialist at Electronic Theatre Controls, Inc. She also held sales and marketing positions with PLASA, before acting as a consultant to NAMM.
“I’m very excited about this new challenge,” Laura said. “I’m looking forward to reconnecting with old friends and colleagues and talking about the tremendous value of ESTA membership and events.”
USA - L-Acoustics Creations has appointed Mike Sumner to the position of business manager, based in L-Acoustics Americas headquarters in Westlake Village, California.
In this newly created role, Sumner spearheads the growth of the L-Acoustics Creations brand throughout the United States and Canada, reporting to L-Acoustics Creations global business manager Nick Fichte, based in London, UK. Sumner’s remit includes exploring new business opportunities, developing sales targets and strategies, gathering and sharing market intelligence, building and supporting the brand’s Certified Integrator network, and collaborating with the manufacturer’s application and communications teams, among other duties.
Sumner brings over a decade of experience in residential audio to L-Acoustics Creations. He spent nearly eight years with Harman International’s Luxury Audio/Lifestyle Division. Prior to that, he held managerial positions with both Bose and Adorama, plus operated a personal technology consultancy.
“Since inception, L-Acoustics Creations has made great strides in connecting with integrators in the UK and Europe,” shares Nick Fichte. “Mike will play a key role in bringing the power of professional audio to integrator partners in the North American markets. His passion for the high-end, luxury home audio market, combined with an understanding of how L-Acoustics Creations sound systems and immersive sound spaces offer something truly different, sets the stage for growing our reputation and client base.”
“L-Acoustics Creations is perfectly
USA - Powersoft has confirmed the appointment of Akira Mochimaru to serve as its new global marketing director, effective immediately.
His duties in this role will be to connect dots between customers, technology, products, communication, and distribution through strategic business planning and guiding implementation. Based in the US, he will also coordinate with Powersoft’s operations in New Jersey to help growing the company’s presence in the install market through his knowledge and network of contacts.
Mochimaru has made his move to Powersoft permanent after serving as a consultant for three months. He comes with a pedigree and track record extending over 38 years in the pro audio industry, including working as general manager for Bose Professional.
“My personal mission is to connect customer experience and products through the use of advanced technology with unique value,” said Mochimaru. “I have already experienced situations where customer problem-driven ideas met a company’s technology driven ideas. Powersoft has the capability and foundation to convert technologies to solve customers’ problems and improve their experience, so I look forward to working closely with staff across the divisions to develop a plan and execute it with excellence.”
“We are proud and delighted to have Akira Mochimaru joining our team” said Luca Lastrucci, CEO at Powersoft. “His appointment represents an important step in the process of implementing Powersoft's strategy of strengthening its presence in the installation sector, especially
UK - Collaborative Creations, a provider of creative business development and PR services for the events industry, has made a series of new appointments as it enters a period of expansion.
Stuart Wood joins as the company’s new content manager and will be overseeing its PR and editorial output. Stuart joins from event industry publisher Mash Media.
Also joining the team is Ian Saunders who is the company’s new business delivery manager. Ian will be helping the team manage its increased workload after a series of new client signings. Ian previously served for 15 years as executive director of the Association of Lighting Designers (ALD), recently renamed to the Association for Lighting Production and Design (ALPD).
Finally, Luke Edwards joins the company as its new marketing manager. Luke is a familiar face on the lighting circuit who has toured with artists including Gary Numan, Jacob Collier and Kelis. He will be helping to plan and deliver comprehensive social media packages for CC clients, and create event-specific marketing strategies.
Tom Wilkes, managing director of Collaborative Creations, said: “This is a really exciting time for us at CC. After a difficult 16 months for us and the events industry as a whole, we’re now at a point where demand is pent up and we can expand once again. The new people joining our team are at the top of their game and I’m really pleased we managed to secure such an impressive roster.”
UK/USA - Christie Lites has made several key new account rep appointments from across various industry sectors over the last several months.
Starting in the UK Christie Lites announced the addition of Mark Burnett, who is joining the UK account rep team in late Q2 of 2022. Burnett joins Christie Lites with over two decades in the stage lighting industry, having built an established and well recognised career focusing on the theatrical and events market sectors. He will work in conjunction with CL UK and North American team members and clients to further the Christie Lites growth mandate on both sides of the Atlantic.
Additionally, this summer, Christie Lites welcomed rental account rep Gordon Torrington, a live events and concert touring veteran, to be based out of the CL Coventry location. Torrington brings over 20 years of hands-on experience to his new position, in which he will focus on international touring and events opportunities in the UK, Europe and beyond.
Recent months saw three new rental account reps welcomed to the team based out of North America:
Julian Edwards joins with over three decades in the industry, bringing well-honed skills and a reputation stemming from touring internationally with many high-profile concert artists. Edwards brings a diversity of experience to his new role as a Christie account rep, which will focus on the cconcert touring sector in North America, Europe and globally.
Nathan Tomlinson, whose previous endeavours cover a wide range of industry positions, has a well-regarded track record in design a
UK - Nexo has announced the appointment of Rich Soper to its UK team, where he assumes special responsibility for the company’s sales activity in the tour sound and audio production rental markets.
Soper began his career as a freelance sound engineer and has spent many years at the sharp end of the business, notably as a system tech and FOH for well-known artists. He further developed his hands-on experience with an operational role at Disney Cruise Lines, running ship-wide audio and AV systems, before moving into technical sales for several successful pro-audio distribution companies, including Yamaha Commercial Audio.
For the last four years, he has been in charge of business development at Allen & Heath and, most recently, at Adlib Audio. In these roles, he was instrumental in developing training and technical support packages for his clients, building strong relationships between manufacturers and engineers.
He says, “Most engineers are familiar with the classic Nexo products like Alpha, GEO S8 and PS Series. I’m looking forward to introducing them to the current slate of loudspeaker systems, which includes probably the most flexible line arrays on the market, and certainly the most scalable. Nexo’s catalogue can tick every box, for the small regional company, looking for returns on investment, as well as the major touring partner, demanding high performance in an ultra-versatile package.
“Not only does Nexo have the backing of Yamaha, the world’s biggest music company, but this manufacturer makes itself highly accessible t
Germany - Fibre network specialist, Optocore, has announced the appointment of Márton ‘Marci’ Sós, as its new technical support engineer, with immediate effect.
Sós, who will take up the same role with sister company, BroaMan, hails from Budapest and is multi-lingual. He has wide experience in both system integration and sound engineer roles within the theatre world and as a freelance, and is proficient on many industry leading digital platforms, including Optocore partner DiGiCo, as well as Focusrite Pro and Dynacord.
Of his appointment, he says, “I met Optocore’s former support team a short time ago and was impressed with their immense level of knowledge, so I know I have big shoes to fill. The challenge therefore is to move into the role seamlessly so that clients don’t notice the personnel change.”
He says the move to the German company is a logical progression from the similar position he occupied with Chromasound plc, one of Hungary’s leading system integrators and distributors. “Whereas at Chromasound I had a broad variety of responsibilities, working with many leading pro audio brands, I was tempted by the possibility of narrowing down the palette to move deeper into a single technology.
“The Optocore philosophy and mindset is similar to mine in that the company builds future-proof systems designed to last for many years with minimum maintenance.”
Announcing Marci’s arrival, company director Tine Helmle, stated, “It is with great pleasure that we welcome him into the Optocore and BroaMan family. We are
USA - ACT Entertainment, the new entity formed by the ACT Lighting, RapcoHorizon and AC Power Distribution brands, has announced the appointment of David Johnson to the new post of senior vice president sales. Johnson is well known for managing the Live Design International (LDI) franchise.
“When we rebranded as ACT Entertainment, it was clear that we needed strong leadership in the sales department to bring all our world-class sales forces together across the organization and ensure their continued success and the high level of customer service for which we’re known,” says Ben Saltzman, CEO of ACT Entertainment. “David has 30 years’ experience in the industry and is a proven team leader. He’s well liked and has a broad knowledge of all the disciplines in which ACT Entertainment operates in. He knows the business front-to-back and side-to-side and understands the playing field in all its dimensions.”
Johnson says, “I’m beyond thrilled to join the team at ACT Entertainment. During my years at LDI, I straddled a lot of worlds: lighting, audio, projection and staging. I developed close and lasting relationships with top designers and critical thinkers, and I managed a very diverse group of talented individuals across multiple departments. That experience will serve me well in this new role.”
UK - Bradford-based Pro Audio Systems has announced the recruitment of Peter Butler and Callum Hall to the posts of business development director and audio sales respectively. For more than 30 years, Pro Audio Systems has supplied professional audio for sales, hire and installation, offering bespoke system design and comprehensive technical support to a wide variety of clients. As the company emerges from the turbulence of the Coronavirus pandemic, demand for its services remains stronger than ever.
Peter Butler joins as business development director in a role dedicated to improving efficiency and profitability, identifying new opportunities in the marketplace, and addressing potentially beneficial additions to the company’s portfolio. Peter began his career in a retail position at JSG music in Bingley. Moving into audio sales and hire at The Music Company (TMC), he enjoyed fifteen successful years, latterly as a director, before joining AC Entertainment Technologies where he established the AC Audio division.
Pro Audio Systems MD Brian Lumb comments, “Peter and I go back a long way, having worked together at JSG Music in the mid ‘80s. He is a well-liked, highly respected professional, whose technical knowledge, combined with an in-depth understanding of the industry, fits the profile of Pro Audio Systems to a tee.”
Audio Sales recruit Callum Hall graduated from Birmingham City University in 2015 with a BSc in Sound Engineering and Production, after which he worked as a freelance engineer on a variety of small theatre tours, including stint