USA - Robe North America has announced the appointment of Charlie Hulme as business development manager. He will focus on advancing systems sales and the coordination of installation projects.
Robe North America co-CEO Lorienn Cochenour comments: “As business development manager, Charlie will be a perfect partner with Tal Janowitz in managing the Robe Anolis architainment brand and representatives, and he will also liaise with our Robe regional sales managers on permanent installation projects.”
Hulme is based in Austin, Texas and will be travelling extensively in his new role. He has been involved in entertainment lighting for around 30 years, including working for two high profile American moving light brands in this time. He brings extensive experience to the Robe equation.
Josef Valchar, CEO of Robe s.r.o. states: “We offer a warm welcome to Charlie. He already has a great synergy with many of his ‘new’ colleagues and we look forward to his energy and commitment adding another dimension to our already fantastic, highly motivated and very successful team in North America.”
Robe North America has also just relocated to a new 32,000sq.ft purpose-built office and warehouse space in Davie, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
UK - Jamie Kluckers has joined the technical sales consultant team at Stage Electrics. Based on the South Coast, Jamie is responsible for developing new business and maintaining existing relationships with customers in this area.
With over 20 years’ experience as a technical and production manager, Jamie had a long-standing relationship with Stage Electrics as a customer. “As a freelancer, Stage Electrics were my go-to supplier, it’s great to now be part of the team,” comments Jamie.
“Jamie’s appointment falls in line with our continued expansion,” says commented Paul Roughton, national sales manager at Stage Electrics. “Having Jamie join us with his knowledge and background is a real positive and he is a perfect addition to the team.”
USA - Bob Schacherl, co-CEO of Robe North America, has announced that he will be stepping down from his post on 30 June 2019.
“After nearly six fabulous years working with one of the most innovative and inspiring moving light manufacturers, which has included amassing a sales ‘dream team’ covering all regions, helping to take the brand to the very top of the entertainment lighting industry, it is time to spend more time with my family and in developing several ongoing projects,” he stated.
Bob joined Robe at the end of 2013, just prior to the launch of the BMFL range of powerful high brightness fixtures that have become one of the Czech Republic based brand’s signature products.
His career began in the 1980s with Blackstone Audio-Visual also based in Bob’s hometown of Austin, Texas.
This became Blackstone Productions / Lightwave Research and then High End Systems. His career continued with a stint at Vari*Lite.
Robe’s CEO Josef Valchar says: “It has been fantastic working with Bob – he has brought a lot of energy and we have all learned and benefitted from his vast knowledge, his great personality and commitment which has been very enriching. We wish him all the best in the future.”
Robe’s sales director, Harry von den Stemmen, adds: “Bob has really delivered during his time at Robe: He has built and coached an excellent sales team, and with his expertise in intelligent lighting, has helped place Robe firmly on the map in North America.”
UK - Le Mark Group has announced the appointment of Jeff Demain as northern sales manager, UK.
Demain has worked in the entertainment industry for over 35 years. His experience has encompassed sound, lighting, sales and installation, and he has managed key projects in Russia, the Middle East and the UK. His history has included leading companies including Concert Light Systems, Playlight Hire, White Light North and most recently, HSL Blackburn.
“I have known Jeff for many years and have always been in awe of his industry knowledge,” said Linda Gibbons, joint managing director. “With Jeff now on the ground locally, he is perfectly positioned and readily available to meet with many more companies interested in our products and to expand our sales in the north of the UK. It is an important move forward for the company.”
“We are all delighted to have Jeff join us,” said Stuart Gibbons, joint managing director. “Jeff is exactly the right person to help take Le Mark to the next level. His experience is invaluable and his enthusiasm to succeed is clear. The sales team are eager to work with him.”
“I am really looking forward to joining the team at Le Mark,” said Jeff. “I’ve known Linda and Stuart ever since they began the business and have been really impressed with the company’s growth and innovation.”
Demain will provide sales and support for Le Mark’s leading range of consumable items, including the self-adhesive tape MagTape, Pro Tapes, Slipway and award-winning BlackTak. He will be the lead advisor in the nor
UK - Genelec is strengthening its customer support in the UK with the appointment of Andy Bensley, whose new role as regional business development manager is effective immediately.
Bensley is already closely associated with Genelec after more than six years of service with their UK distributor Source Distribution, first as the company’s pro audio product specialist then later as brand manager. Both roles saw Bensley play a central, hands-on role in the growth of Genelec within the influential UK market as he commissioned and supported dozens of high-profile projects.
In his new role, he will continue to provide support to ongoing Genelec activities while also delivering new opportunities for training, education and more at the Genelec Experience Centre in London. Based in London, he will report to international sales director Ole Jensen.
“I am delighted and excited to welcome Andy to the Genelec family,” enthused Jensen. “He brings a wealth of UK market knowledge and of course he has a very deep understanding of what makes Genelec special.”
USA - NEP Group has announced the promotion of Graham Andrews to global president of NEP live events and CEO of the Creative Technology Group. The announcement follows significant growth in NEP’s live events operating segment over the last several years, growing from two US-based businesses in 2012 to today a family of six brands and one of the largest live events platforms in the world.
As global president, Andrews will continue to report to CEO Kevin. Rabbitt and oversee NEP live events globally to help each division accelerate growth, service clients across geographies and cross-sell services from NEP’s other operating segments.
Andrews has worked in the live events industry since 1976, beginning his career as an audio engineer working on theatre and music productions around the world.
Rabbitt says: “We have great opportunities ahead of us – and the right people, resources and strategy to be a strong partner for our clients. I’m confident in Graham’s ability to support our talented live events teams in meeting their operational needs and to act as a global advocate and resource for all of NEP live events.
APAC - Powersoft has hired Raymond Tee as application engineer for the APAC region, effective 1 April 2019. He brings a wide range of experience in live sound and fixed install application to the role and will report to Powersoft’s global business development manager for fixed install and application engineering manager, rack amplifiers, Marc Kocks.
Tee’s primary duties will be to support Powersoft’s distribution networks and end users in the region, enabling them to get the most out of the company’s products, as well as providing training and support for control software platform, ArmoníaPlus.
Kocks commented: “Raymond has proven to be a perfect fit thanks to his work as application engineer for other manufacturers, as well as his experience with local Malaysian companies. The APAC region is a very important one for Powersoft, with many established and emerging markets, and this appointment strengthens the team even further.”
After being chosen for the role, Tee undertook an intensive training period at the Powersoft headquarters in Scandicci, Italy and he has been conducting training sessions with end users and distributors in the APAC region since then.
“At Powersoft we are investing heavily in enlarging our application engineering team,” continued Kocks. “We want to help customers getting back the value they paid for our products, and we put in place a global team available 24 hours-a-day to assist end users, consultants, system integrators, rental companies and distributors with design support, training and integratio
Europe - ETC has given new roles for two of its employees. Jeremy Roberts has been appointed as regional sales manager for the UK and Mark White - as regional sales manager for Ireland, & UK rigging.
Roberts will support ETC and High End Systems’ dealers, distributors and customers across the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa sales territories and provide strategic and operational client management whilst continuing to identify sales opportunities across these regions. He joined ETC 20 years ago having previously worked as the head of light and sound at Nottingham Playhouse Theatre. He had experience working in theatre for 15 years before starting with ETC in the London office.
Mark White has worked for ETC for over 18 years. In his new position, he will focus on growing the business in Ireland whilst progressing ETC’s stage machinery offering across the UK. As the rigging sector continues to grow, White will concentrate on ETC’s exciting developments in this area whilst also continuing to build customer and dealer relations.
Prior to ETC, Mark worked at the Royal Opera House where he was actively involved in the redevelopment of the building.
Darren Beckley, sales manager of ETC, comments: “As ETC continues to grow and develop as a business, offering these new positions ensures that there is a sustained effort in driving the business forward. They have both been instrumental in the growth of their regions for ETC and High End Systems and their wealth of knowledge and expertise gives me huge confidence that they will be successful in their
USA - Avid Labs, a sister company to Apollo Design, has announced the promotion of Taylor Davis to director of business development and project management.
Davis comments on his appointment: “Avid Labs is a dynamic organisation. We aim to solve complex problems and tackle technical design challenges that others turn down. The team here is filled with extremely capable, skilled people. I am excited to be helping guide Avid Labs in the new projects that we take on.”
Joel Nichols, chief innovation officer for AVID and Apollo, adds: “AVID is a customer-driven company, meeting and exceeding customers’ expectations. We want to leave our customers with pleasant surprises along the way. Davis is now lead on interacting with the customer and setting goals and timelines for the engineering team. We believe having Davis serve in this capacity will significantly enhance the Avid experience.”
UK/USA - Green Hippo has appointed Ashley Hazlett as an inside sales representative at Green Hippo US, whilst Warren Keyes has joined as development manager for the UK team.
Hazlett, whose career originally started at Green Hippo, is bringing hands-on experience of the company’s solutions, including media server QC responsibilities at VER. “The first media server I ever learned on was a V3 Hippo. After working closely with the Green Hippo team and products over the years, I am thrilled to get the opportunity to represent a company and product I truly enjoy.”
Warren Keyes brings 16 years of professional programming experience to his new role at Green Hippo, including most recently, working with Microsoft in Seattle as an engineering manager covering Xbox and AR/VR. Warren has also worked at Skype and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. “This role is the ideal opportunity for me to use the skills that I have developed over many enjoyable years at the likes of Microsoft and Skype,” he says.
Germany - Sennheiser has appointed Ron Holtdijk as director business communication. He will be responsible for driving forward Sennheiser’s strategy and success in business communications, particularly in the field of ceiling array microphones and in the further growing of Sennheiser’s education market.
“The outstanding breadth, depth and international scope of Ron’s experience is an ideal fit for Sennheiser’s ambitious vision and company culture,” says Peter Claussen, COO at Sennheiser. “He will bring his broad experience and insight to our BizCom management team and play an instrumental role in driving forward our strategy in B2B markets.”
Ron Holtdijk will take on his new role with Sennheiser on 1 June 2019. He will be based at Sennheiser’s headquarters in Wedemark and report directly to Peter Claussen.
An accomplished audio industry executive with 25 years’ experience in the sector, Ron Holtdijk joins Sennheiser from Bang and Olufsen, where he was director of its global business-to-business division and played a key role in developing the company’s portfolio and go-to-market strategy in this field.
Ron Holtdijk started his career in audio at Bose Corporation in the Netherlands in 1994.
USA - DAS Audio of America has announced the appointment of John Fiorito as national sales manager installation & nightclubs. This newly created position is geared toward strengthening the company’s standing in the AV integration market by increasing the company’s sales and support capabilities. Fiorito started with DAS in February and is based out of the Miami headquarters.
Among his various duties he is responsible for the distribution of DAS Audio products to authorized installation dealers throughout the United States and Canada. This includes determining / selecting those dealers best suited to represent DAS while also developing business and marketing strategies. In addition to having an integral role in the sale of DAS products, Fiorito will also be involved in the company’s support services. In addition to assisting customers with the selection of product best suited to a given application, he will be responsible for company training standards, including that of XTA signal processing and OEM amplifiers manufactured by MC Squared Audio of the United Kingdom that DAS sells.
Fiorito most recently served three years as the East Coast regional manager for Sound Investment Audio of Chicago. Prior to this he was the technical director for Ohm Productions.
UK - AV and event production company Blitz has announced that Zak Roby has joined as commercial director.
Roby, who has more than 16 years’ worth of industry experience, will focus on driving and strengthening the commercial strategy for Blitz. He joins Blitz from TMB Events. Roby will report in Mike Phillipson, managing director for Blitz.
Roby says: “I am delighted to be joining Blitz at such an exciting time. The team are fantastic and at the top of their game when it comes to their creative event production and technical knowledge, so I look forward to helping to grow the business.”
Roby will also be joined by Phil McMichael as new business development director. McMichael joins Blitz from 9 Yards Creative, a creative digital agency, a division of Future AV. He will report into Zak Roby.
USA - In a recent move to strengthen their executive management team, Elite Multimedia Productions has appointed Shana Devine to the position of director of corporate sales and business development. With over 20 years of experience in the live event and hospitality industry, Shana will now oversee the development of worldwide strategic corporate partnerships for the Nashville-based production provider, while also assisting with the evaluation of the latest emerging trends and technologies for the live event and production industry.
“Understanding their level of commitment to providing the highest quality customer support for any live event or production, I am very excited to to be joining the team at Elite Multimedia Productions,” says Devine. “This is a wonderful opportunity to utilise both my sales experience and event industry knowledge to help build many new partnerships, while at the same time maintaining the Elite Multimedia Productions commitment to excellence for all our current partners as well.”
Prior to joining Elite Multimedia Productions, Shana most recently served as the director of sales of audio visual with PSAV for the newly opened JW Marriott Nashville.
UK - Following the death of lighting designer Bryan Leitch last month, Backup chairman John Simpson has written an open letter to the industry charity’s supporters.
“You will have read with great sadness that Bryan Leitch, the legendary production and lighting designer passed away peacefully on Tuesday, 23 April. His work over 30 years covered many of the top artistes and his encouraging advice along the way brought so many young and talented designers and technicians into our industry.
“Over the last few years, whilst still working, he embraced his role in Backup as that of an ambassador but more importantly he engaged with those in our industry who were suffering from degenerative and life-threatening illnesses. His calm and supportive presence and regular contact, no matter what time of day or night, meant so much to those who faced exhausting treatment and recovery.
“He, himself, was no stranger to this as he suffered from Non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosed some nine years previously. He received a Knight of Illumination award for his work a few years ago but Backup will remember him as a Backup Knight in shining armour who willingly and with compassion stepped forward and helped those in need.
“Whilst in hospital recently I talked with Bryan and Tracey, his wife, about Backup and Bryan was still so supportive about our charity. She and Bryan recognised how much Backup does for people in our industry who fall on hard times through long term illnesses and how much our financial support can help in such times of family crises.
UK - Community Professional Loudspeakers has announced the appointment of Rob Davidson to the UK-based position of EMEA sales manager. With an early career in medical technology sales, Davidson joins Community from the professional audio export company PAXT, where he held the position of senior international sales manager.
Davidson will report directly to Community’s CEO, Steve Johnson, who commented, “We’re very pleased to welcome Rob to the team. Combined with excellent technical experience, he has a proven track record of building great working relationships with distributors, consultants, system integrators and dealers.”
Johnson continues: “With our wide offering for installed sound, market leading all-weather systems, and new products like the IV6 modular vertical array already rapidly increasing sales, Rob’s professional approach will provide great support for our important EMEA markets.”
Davidson adds: “I am delighted to be joining Community, a brand whose products and ethos I respect and believe in. At its core, Community is dedicated to delivering high quality, great sounding products, providing practical solutions across a wide variety of installed applications. This will always make our products suitable and desirable, so I see plenty of growth opportunity across the region.”
UK - AV and technical production company Blitz has announced the promotion of Jason Sorabji to the newly created role of group production director.
Jason’s new remit includes directing the company’s overall production and project management strategy, engaging directly with key clients and prospects to drive innovation. The position sees Jason join the Blitz senior management team and report directly into managing director, Mike Phillipson.
Jason has been with Blitz for over three years and was previously group account director at ExCeL London, where Blitz is the official in-house supplier delivering AV solutions and production for the venue.
New hire Paul Stuart will be joining Blitz to take over Jason’s position at ExCeL London. Paul brings extensive experience in the industry, joining from White Light where he oversaw the AV technical delivery for customers such as The Science Museum & Wembley Stadium.
Jason said: “It’s such an important time for Blitz; the business is growing and we are developing our production strategy to meet the increasingly exciting expectations of our clients.”
UK - London and Dubai based event design and technical production company Maestra Group has added several new staff to the London team.
The company has also doubled the size of its premises in east London by acquiring the warehouse space next door, creating a brand-new environment from which to service and administer a diversity of shows and events.
The new staff joining the team include two project managers, two production designers and another technical manager.
Maestra London’s managing director Justin Hammond comments: “I’m always very energised to see new talent coming onboard and am really looking forward to working with all our new colleagues, offering them opportunities to flourish as individuals and to excel at their work in a friendly and inclusive atmosphere”.
Michaela Welford (senior project manager) worked in Dubai’s vibrant and a high-pressure events bubble for five years.
Matt Appleby (senior project manager) used to work as a sound engineer. He’s worked in most sectors of the events industry in recent years.
Technical manager Alex Hardie brings the lighting element of technical design to the fore with a career that started as a theatre ASM working his way up through being a technician, an operator and then an LD.
Production designer Adrian Powell’s previous employment was in exhibition design, and he engages in a lot of videography and photography skills which are definitely transferable to his work at Maestra London
Assistant production designer Kat Fung is an interior architecture grad
USA - Prolyte Group continues expansion in the North American market with the announcement of Keith Bohn as general sales manager North America.
Keith Bohn is a seasoned veteran in the entertainment industry with over 25 years in design, manufacturing, and use of structural rigging solutions ranging from simple span truss applications to complex permanently installed structures worldwide.
Keith has served as a principal voting member in the Rigging Working Group of the ESTA Technical Standards Programme since 1998 and has chaired the task groups creating and revising ANSI E1.2 (aluminium truss and towers) and ANSI E1.21 (temporary outdoor structures). Keith is also a founding contributor of the Event Safety Alliance and a co-chair of the rigging task group within the Event Safety Working Group. Keith’s experience includes instructing courses on the safe use of truss and outdoor structures worldwide and has authored multiple articles on safe rigging practices. He is also an ETCP Certified Rigger and ETCP Recognized Trainer.
“I am very excited about joining the Prolyte team,” states Keith, “The attention given to user training and safety is impressive, not to mention the breadth of the product line covering very light applications to clear truss spans over 180' in length. I am eager to introduce more of the US market to Prolyte's solutions, especially the innovative tool-free Verto line of truss.”
UK - Film, TV and theatre lighting supplier Flashlight has appointed Elaine Frost as its business development manager. Frost, who recently left Le Maitre after 16 years at the pyrotechnics company, will provide field-based sales and support for Flashlight’s expanding range of lighting brands.
On her new role, Frost says: "I'm looking forward to the exciting challenges and having a new range of products to get my teeth into."
Flashlight director, David Manister, adds: "We're delighted to welcome Elaine to the company. Her enthusiasm and hunger to succeed allows us to continue to be in front of end users and support new business with a strong presence."
UK - LSi is sad to report the passing of lighting designer, Bryan Leitch at the age of 69. During his celebrated career, Leitch lit many of the world’s biggest artists, festivals and events, including tours by Britney Spears, Coldplay, Kanye West, Kylie Minogue, Justin Timberlake and many more.
Having been diagnosed with a form of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2009 and undergoing a successful bone marrow transplant the following year, Leitch embarked on the Cancer Bonus Tour in his trusty 1963 Vauxhall Victor, visiting 332 venues throughout the UK that he’d previously visited during his 30+ year career. The tour benefitted two charities close to Leitch’s heart - Bloodwise and Sussex Cancer Fund - and promoted a positive message about public health care in the UK.
In 2012, Leitch was awarded the Knight of Illumination Award’s Enrico Caironi Award for Lifetime Achievement. The award was presented by fellow lighting designer (and Leitch protégé) Cate Carter, who said at the time: "Bryan has been an inspiration to so many lighting designers. He is an incredible talent and his ability to come up with some of the most stunning concepts has never ceased to amaze me. Furthermore, he has taken the time to give so many people the opportunity of a career in lighting; taking them under his wing and giving them the support and advice to go out there and do it for themselves."
A statement from design collective MIRRAD reads: "It is with unbelievable sadness that t
UK - Stage Electrics has appointed a new technical sales consultant for the north west.
Jayney Bell is returning to Stage Electrics after some years as a freelance lighting technician, predominantly for touring theatre. Bell was previously the London branch manager.
Anna Western, Stage Electrics sales director, comments: “Jayney is a hugely experienced production electrician and combined with her historical knowledge of how we work, she has already hit the ground running. I am excited to have someone as knowledgeable and who knows the industry as well as she does to represent us in the north west.”
UK - Hawthorn has announced the appointment of Alex Bingham who has joined the business as technical production director.
Before joining Hawthorn, Bingham held the position of production director at Vibration Group where he was most recently responsible for assisting with the growth and delivery of production at Printworks London.
With over 20 years’ experience in the industry, this isn’t the first time that Bingham has been a member of the Hawthorn team, having been employed as their head of London projects from 2005 to 2011.
Simon Wood, group director of projects at Hawthorn, says: “We’re delighted to welcome Alex back to the team. He brings a wealth of knowledge to the new position and I believe that he will be a great asset to Hawthorn. With his in-depth experience of the industry, Alex knows how to create truly memorable experiences for his clients and shares Hawthorn’s commitment to working collaboratively every step of the way to deliver amazing results.”
Bingham adds: “I’m thrilled to be re-joining the Hawthorn team at such an exciting time for the company, which has seen exceptional growth over recent years. Hawthorn is renowned for delivering award-winning technical production for a wide range of events and venues across the UK and Europe. I’m very much looking forward to working with the hugely talented team here to deliver incredible events.”
UK - Stage Electrics has appointed a new technical sales consultant for rigging, trussing and staging solutions. Nick Key joins the sales team with over 30 years’ experience working hands-on as a rigger, and being NRC-qualified for nine of those years.
Keys new role will focus on promoting the Prolyte brand and rigging accessories. “Having someone to concentrate purely on rigging sales is a new role,” comments national sales manager, Paul Roughton. “Nick’s experience in the field will allow us to offer rigging solutions to customers and benefit them enormously as they will be able to tap into his knowledge.”