UK - Backstage Academy has seen several new appointments over the past few months, gearing them up for the next phase in their expansion, application for university titleship, and to meet the needs of greater student numbers.

Managing director Paul Barton has been working in the events industry since he was 15 in a wide variety of sectors ranging from events structures to production, site management and sponsorship across Europe, the UAE and Southern Africa. Paul's last industry post was with GL Events as site manager for London's 2012 Olympic Rowing and Canoeing events at Eton Dorney. Paul's career in education started in 2008 at the University of Exeter where he launched the first Events Management module in any Russell Group university, building it from 35 students to 350.

Associate dean, Paul Walters has 15 years' experience in Higher Education with a focus on the event

USA - J. R. Clancy has added two people to its technical and project management staff.

Felix Garcia has joined JRC as a controls engineer. In this position, he designs and draws electrical circuits for control systems, and tests and troubleshoots the circuits, processors and communications networks of installed equipment. Garcia tests equipment including motors and starters before they are shipped to the customer, and he trains end users in the operation of JRC's control systems.

Originally from Cuba, Garcia earned his degree in electrical engineering in Cuba, and worked for an oil and gas manufacturer in Mexico before moving to upstate New York.

Joe Sheppard returns to his native Auburn, New York, to take the position of standard systems project manager at JRC. Most recently, he served as technical supervisor at the Centre of the Arts at George Mason University, where he

UK - Central Theatre Supplies has announced the appointment of Jo Beaumont-Ward to their management team. Jo formally of Lancelyn Theatre Supplies (now National Stage Technology) and Stage Electrics, had taken a health break from work but is delighted to be back working within the industry.

"Jo has 25 years' industry experience and we welcome both her technical and management skills," said David Harwood of CTS. "We are looking to drive the company forward and face the challenges ahead and her dedication to supporting the education and amateur sector fits well with our company's position in the market."

In addition to her office based managerial role, Jo will continue to design projects and be actively involved with the installation aspect of the business. Jo said, "It is a very competitive market at the moment and we need to change with the times, I

USA - In response to recent growth and in line with the company's strategic expansion plans, Elation Professional has announced several new appointments in its key headquarter sales staff. Elation sales director Eric Loader comments, "As part of a sales team realignment which will present new opportunities for our extremely committed sales team, these changes are designed to better support our dealer/distributor/rep network, offering more coverage and increased focus on established and developing markets."

The appointments see John Lopez, a 15-year veteran with the company, promoted to international sales manager - Latin America. Lopez will manage Elation's external sales rep network in Latin America, who work to support Elation customers in each key country. Eric Loader commented on the new appointment, "Our growth in Latin America demands more support and with

USA - PixelFLEX has announced the appointment of Grif Palmer as its new vice-president of sales. With a wealth of industry knowledge and experience, Palmer will oversee the day-to-day operations of the PixelFLEX sales team while implementing the sales strategies necessary to keep pace with the increased market demand for the innovative line of PixelFLEX LED video technologies.

"We could not be happier about the introduction of Grif Palmer as our new vice president of sales for PixelFLEX," said Monty Rains, president and COO. "He has a very distinguished career in the technology industry, and he'll be an invaluable addition to our team strengthening and developing relationships with both our current and new clientele of video integrators and designers."

Prior to joining PixelFLEX, Palmer has worked in the entertainment technology industry as a business dev

UK - PRG XL Video has announced that Rob Brown has joined their corporate team, as a senior account manager, based at the company's Hemel Hempstead location.

Brown has more than 14 years' experience in the AV and technical industries, working with 360? production companies, mostly in the financial sector. He now brings his expertise to PRG XL Video, to help the Corporate team better serve multi-discipline event production agencies and their end clients.

He comments, "I'm delighted to join the team at PRG XL Video at such an exciting time in their history. With PRG and XL Video coming together, now is the ideal time for someone with my expertise to join them. I look forward to helping the team expand their technical knowledge into more 360? events."

On a day to day basis, Brown will report to Guy Vellacott, head of PRG XL Video's corporate events business.

Ric

USA - Technical Productions, Inc. has added award-winning lighting/set/production designer Seth Jackson as a full time member of its executive creative team.

"This is a huge step forward for both of us, and we're both able to service our existing and potential clients better because of this synergy," says Michael O'Keefe, CEO of Technical Productions Inc. (TPI). "For Seth, he has better facilities at his disposal and the support of a full service office. And TPI gains full-time access to his design talent - Seth is absolutely one of the most creative designers working today."

This merger comes at an opportune time for both. "TPI is expanding in a lot of new areas, and we need what Seth brings to the table on a daily basis, from conceptual ideas to final design," he says. "At the same time, Seth found himself increasingly in demand and spend

UK - To continue its dedication to supporting the lighting and stage technology markets in the Middle East, ETC is introducing Darren Beckley as its new regional manager for the area. He brings to ETC many years of experience working in the industry and across the Middle East.

In his new position, Beckley will be responsible for the sales territory that includes the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain and Iraq. He will be based out of ETC's London office, with much of his time spent in the Middle East, working in symphony with ETC's distributors, dealers and integrators.

The son of a theatre manager, Beckley spent much of his childhood in the theatre, which sparked a lifelong passion for the entertainment industry. After completing his studies, he did a vocational apprenticeship in mechanics and engineering, where he gained valuable fabrication a

USA - With only weeks away until the music industry gathers for the 58th Annual Grammy Awards, Nashville's Grammy chapter gathered for an evening of celebration with nominees such as Little Big Town, Ashley Monroe, Point of Grace and Mr. Talkbox.

Bandit Lites provided a lighting package for the event with Chris Lisle Lighting Design and Erik Parker as programmer. Clay Paky's Scenius fixtures helped to set the mood for the evening, with some placed in the media room for texture along the back wall while others were placed in the gathering space with a small stage and cocktail tables. VL 2500s were loaded with custom Grammy gobos and projected in each room along with an additional 2500 fixture as a special on the stage.

GRN Battens and ColorBlazes illuminated the set pieces in the media room, while Par 64s and Lekos provided general washes on both the step and repeat and the s

USA - Apollo Design Technology, Inc. has announced the appointment of Aaron Creps as a production technician. In this role, Creps is responsible for the assembly and testing of mechanical and electronic subassemblies and products including precision calibration. He will also provide technical assistance to internal personnel and customers.

"Aaron brings great technical skills and a strong mechanical background to the Apollo team," said Mr. Joel Nichols, president of Apollo Design. Prior to joining Apollo Design Technology, Creps worked at Fort Wayne Nissan in the service department. He holds a Technical Certificate from Universal Technical Institute. "I'm excited to join Apollo," said Creps. "It's a great opportunity to grow my mechanical and technical skills while working with a fun group of people."

(Jim Evans)

Germany/UK - Sennheiser electronic GmbH & Co. has announced the retirement of Paul Whiting, president of strategic collaborations. A familiar face in the audio industry, Paul leaves Sennheiser enjoying a much higher profile in the professional audio, consumer and integrated systems industries than it did when he joined the company more than 25 years ago.

Paul began his career with Sennheiser in 1990, after 15 years with former UK partner Hayden Laboratories, which saw him establish a Sennheiser pro-audio network in the UK and head the company's professional division as sales and marketing manager.

On joining Sennheiser he helped establish Sennheiser UK as a wholly owned subsidiary and, as managing director, oversaw the company's continued UK expansion. His exceptional technical and organisational skills saw him being promoted to vice-president North West Europe. In 2007, he

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