Spain - Chauvet Professional has appointed Eusebio ‘Sebi’ Romero Garcia as product specialist for Spain. An experienced lighting and stage technician, Garcia will be working closely with the company’s Spanish distributor, Barcelona-based, ACSON, to coordinate product training and roadshows throughout the country.
“There are exciting opportunities for us in Spain,” said Michael Brooksbank, general manager of Chauvet Europe. “Sebi’s experience and talent make him a valuable addition to our team as we continue to work with ACSON to build on our success and develop our brand in this vibrant market.”
Garcia will be based in Madrid, but will coordinate his activities closely with ACSON in Barcelona. He will report directly to Sam Bowden, Chauvet’s European product manager, but will also work closely with the Stéphane Gressier, international sales director, and Jon Petts, business development manager at Chauvet Lighting.
“Working together with the teams at Chauvet and ACSON, Sebi will bring a high level of educational resources and training in support of our products in Spain,” said Bowden. “His extensive experience cuts across many segments of our market, including theatre and broadcast as well as concerts. He also has a passion for service, which will make him an excellent fit for the Chauvet Professional team.”
UK/USA -Media serving and pixel management specialist, 7thSense Design, has appointed Eric Nolfo as project manager as the company expands its North America operations to the West Coast.
Eric’s twenty-year career in the entertainment industry has seen him work in a wide range of project management and technical direction positions, including most recently with The Producers Group as technical coordinator for Bollywood Parks Dabangg Stunt Show and Motiongate Theatre’s Step Up Dubai
Matt Barton, CEO, 7thSense Design comments: “We are excited to be expanding our global operations with a new presence on the West Coast of the United States, and we’re very pleased that Eric has joined us in our first step of that expansion. Eric brings with him a wealth of project management experience that will be invaluable to the many exciting projects we have in the pipeline.”
USA - ENCO, a specialist in automated workflow solutions for radio, television and professional AV systems, has appointed Shane Finch as sales director, effective immediately. Reporting to ENCO president Ken Frommert, Shane will focus on global sales and business development across all markets and product lines, and introduce ENCO’s automated workflow innovations into new business verticals.
Shane comes to ENCO with more than 40 years in the broadcast industry, including 35 years with broadcast groups in the Midwest and Florida, where he currently resides. His experience has mainly focused on radio operations, balancing a mix of on-air personality and director-level management roles throughout his career. He later transitioned into the technology space as vice president, business relations for MusicMaster, ENCO’s longtime music scheduling partner, where he spent seven successful years focused on customer relations and new business development.
“ENCO has long connected remote broadcasters to studio automation systems, and WebDAD extends this concept as remote broadcasting shifts from novelty to requirement,” comments Finch. “Furthermore, their AI and software-driven enCaption and enTranslate systems present a springboard of new business opportunities for ENCO and its partners, with exceptional value and performance for all of our end customers.”
“Shane’s experience with sales management and customer relations, along with his direct familiarity with ENCO’s technology and business culture, makes him a natural fit for this important ro
USA - Glenn Becker, the Entertainment Services and Technology Association (ESTA)’s first president, passed away on 19 June aged 70.
“Glenn’s vision was about bringing the industry together to make it a better industry”, says ESTA. “He thought that competitors could come together and share ideas and solutions to make business easier and more successful for everyone. Because of that vision and Glenn’s hard work, the Theatrical Dealers Association (TDA) was born.”
Becker organised its founding meeting in 1987 and served as the first president from 1987 to 1991. In 1994, when the decision was made to form ESTA, the TDA board turned to Becker to chair the committee that rewrote the bylaws and set up the new organisational structure. The board would continue to turn to him over the years to take on special projects.
He became involved in theatre in high school. In 1968, Becker took a job delivering newspapers for the Chicago Sun Times and on his first day he read the paper and saw an ad for a job at Grand Stage Company which had been founded by Paul Tyler in 1947. Becker was hired and one of his first jobs was to assist in the company’s move to its new building on Lake Street - in the midst of the infamous Democratic National Convention. Becker started off coiling cable and helping in the rental department and within a year had worked his way up to become general manager. He also worked as a theatre electrician and stage manager across Chicago area theatres.
In 1977, Becker and his wife Janel took over the full running of the comp
USA - Altman Lighting has appointed Matthew Klasmeier as product development support engineer.
Klasmeier was previously employed as a field service technician for Vincent Lighting Systems, specialising in the installation and verification of new entertainment and architectural lighting systems. Working within the new Altman headquarters in Denver, Colorado, he will be responsible for overseeing current and future product development, as well as in-house warranty service, support and repair.
“We are very excited to have Matthew joining our team as he will serve as an integral part of the launch and support of many new Altman technologies,” says Pete Borchetta, vice president Altman Lighting product innovation. “His expertise within the lighting industry is undeniable and he will be a valuable asset in the development and customer service behind our entertainment and architectural lighting solutions.”
“Understanding the reputation of Altman Lighting as one of the most trusted lighting manufacturers in the industry, I am very delighted to be joining the team,” adds Klasmeier.
UK - Immersive audio specialist Sonosphere has announced that commercial director Jamie Gosney and creative director Henrik Oppermann have been appointed to the company’s board of directors.
Sonosphere was formed in 2019 and specialises in all aspects of immersive audio from content creation, system design, consultancy through to installation. Find out more about the company in LSi's May/June 2020 issue.
Sonosphere also provides education, having developed an Ambisonics Workflow for Immersive Content Production training course. The course has recently been taken online to ensure continuity while face-to-face training is unavailable.
Jamie has over 40 years’ experience working in concert touring, theatre, for manufacturers and latterly as an audio systems designer, working on a variety of projects including immersive audio installations. Henrik, meanwhile, is a 3D sound specialist who has worked as head of sound at immersive content production company Visualise, and has over 10 years of recording studio quality audio on location for film, advertising and music industry clients, as well as 3D sound installations.
“This is a very apposite time to be part of such a creative team,” says Henrik. “So many changes have happened in a very short space of time, and the way we are listening to music is changing as a consequence.”
USA - Audio-Technica U.S. has announced two appointments to its product management team.
Kurt Van Scoy has been appointed to the position of executive director of product management for ATUS. In this position, Van Scoy will be responsible for directing the product development/management efforts at ATUS. In addition, Kurt will oversee the A-T as global product manager, based in Japan.
In addition, Gary Dixon has been promoted to the position of product manager for ATUS. In his previous position as sales engineer, installed sound, Dixon served as a technical resource for the Audio-Technica sales channel in the broad contractor market, where he helped ensure the proper and successful implementation of A-T products and technology in the marketplace while determining the application needs of customers.
USA - DAS Audio of America, Inc., the North American subsidiary of Spain’s DAS Audio, has announced the appointment of Carlito Cobos to the newly created position of national sales director, retail. Key responsibilities of the position involve strengthening the company’s focus on retail sales and E-commerce.
Cobos started with DAS Audio in May 2020 and is based out of the company’s national headquarters in Miami, Florida. Bilingual in English and Spanish, he is well positioned to address the diverse range of professionals that constitutes the North American pro audio market.
Cobos has over 20 years’ experience in pro audio and the music industry. Prior to joining DAS Audio, he served as the pro audio business development manager for Gibson brands. In this capacity, he oversaw 12 international distribution firms and managed distribution development strategies on an individual, per country basis. He also directed the various marketing programmes throughout this region. He also served as a studio technician at The Hit Factory in Miami, FL and audio technical manager at Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL.
Cobos comments: “DAS Audio has created the best live sound experience on the market, and I want every live sound professional in the country to hear the DAS difference. At the end of the day, nothing is more important than a well-designed, aesthetically pleasing, and reliable loudspeaker that fully engages the audience with accurate, articulate sound. DAS is a recognised leader in quality and performance, and I look forward to helping t
Europe - ETC has promoted Konstantinos Vonofakidis to regional sales manager. In his new role, Vonofakidis will oversee the sales activities in Greece, Portugal, Spain, Cyprus and Egypt. He will manage sales arrangements for key accounts in these regions and work in cooperation with the company’s distributors and dealers.
Vonofakidis previously worked as a field project coordinator for High End Systems in the Southern European, African, Middle Eastern and Indian territories. He began his career as a service engineer working with High End Systems for 10 years before going on to manage significant lighting projects such as the National Theatre of Greece, Bahrain National Theatre and Onassis Cultural Centre.
Darren Beckley, sales manager - ETC Ltd, comments: “Vonofakidis is a valuable member of the sales team who has built a great rapport with the dealers and customers in his territories. With his strong market knowledge and expertise, I am confident he will continue delivering high levels of service and be successful in his new role.”
Vonofakidis adds: “I’m excited to build new customer relationships and work more closely with our dealers and distributors in these markets. I look forward to working in this role and growing the business in my regions.”
UK - Sadly, we report the passing after a short illness of long-time Sennheiser executive and well-known industry personality Paul Whiting.
“It is with deep regret that we inform you that Paul Whiting passed away on the evening of Friday 5 June,” says Sennheiser. “Paul was taken ill suddenly in early May and, although he came home for a short period, it was quickly apparent that he would not recover. The family were given the opportunity to visit Paul at the end of last week to say goodbye. On the Friday evening, Paul passed away peacefully in hospital.”
The statement continues, “For those that did not have the privilege of knowing or working with Paul, he began his career at Sennheiser in 1990, after 15 years with former UK partner Hayden Laboratories as the head of its Professional Division as Sales and Marketing Manager. Paul was instrumental in establishing Sennheiser UK as a subsidiary and as Managing Director led the UK’s expansion. In 2007, Paul became President of Global Sales and joined the Sennheiser Executive Management Board, helping to double Sennheiser’s turnover between 2006 and 2015. Paul spent his final year with Sennheiser as President of Strategic Collaborations, focusing on partnerships with artists, industry partners and organisations.
“As part of the management board for Sennheiser Paul, played an integral part in driving new business opportunities. Just some of these projects included establishing the Nordic subsidiaries, building and driving the business in the Middle East and the partnership with Sennheiser C
UK - Sennheiser has reported that Alan March passed away on Saturday 30th May after a short battle with cancer. The statement reads: “It is with a very heavy heart that we have to inform you that our friend and colleague, Alan March, has been prematurely taken from us and his family. Alan sadly passed away peacefully on Saturday 30th May with his wife Kate by his side. After a short but brave battle with cancer Alan is now out of pain and at peace.
“Alan took up his employment with Sennheiser UK in 2008 as a ‘Business Development Specialist’. Alan’s 21 years’ experience in the pro audio industry in various roles, for HW International and Shure Distribution UK, meant that he arrived at Sennheiser with a wealth of experience and knowledge and was an instant fit within the Sennheiser team. Alan helped drive both new and existing business for Sennheiser with his exceptional reputation in the industry and he contributed greatly to the success of the Professional and Install Sound business areas.
“Alongside Alan’s Sennheiser role he also worked tirelessly as part of BEIRG’s steering team regarding the retention of radio spectrum for the entertainment industry. Alan’s enthusiasm in this aspect later led to his role as ‘Senior Manager for Spectrum Affairs’ for Sennheiser, where he continued to make headway for the industry and Sennheiser alike.”
Dr. Andreas Wilzeck, head of Spectrum and Innovation at Sennheiser, gave the following statement on behalf of his team, including Norbert Hilbich: “As musician and in his role at Sennhei
UK - Audiologic has reappointed Diogo Scutti as application support engineer.
Scutti returns to Audiologic after spending three years as project engineer with SSE, a position that involved complete responsibility for system design alongside a focus on developing exceptional standards of interface management.
Over his 20-year career, Scutti has played a major role in both live production and systems integration in many world-famous events and locations, including the opening and closing ceremonies at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
“It is with great pleasure and delight that we welcome Diogo back into the business,” comments Ben Spurgeon, senior application engineer at Audiologic. “Diogo’s experience in large-scale projects and expansive system design will help to push our technical offering even further and we are thrilled to have him back on board. Each member of the team has varying experience and Diogo is a perfect fit to keep expanding the team's vast knowledge base.”
“I am very excited to have the opportunity to re-join Audiologic,” says Diogo. “The leadership calibre and vision of the management team have created the environment in which my return makes sense. I look forward to adding to the team’s collective expertise and utilising my specialist knowledge in audio and video protocols and digital networking to help Audiologic continue to thrive.”
Germany - ARRI has appointed Ivo Ivanovski as general manager lighting business unit, effective 1 August, 2020.
In this position, Ivo Ivanovski will be responsible for demand creation including the areas of product management, application engineering, service, sales, and marketing. He will support long-term ARRI colleague Markus Lampier who will continue to focus on operations at ARRI Lighting. Ivanovski will report directly to Markus Zeiler, executive board member of ARRI.
Ivanovski studied electrical engineering at the University for Applied Sciences in Aachen and began his career at Targetti Lighting in Italy where he pioneered the use of LED technology in the field of general lighting. Soon after completing his MBA studies, he continued his professional career at Osram Opto Semiconductors.
Markus Zeilercomments, “We are thrilled to be able to welcome Ivo Ivanovski to our team. I was privileged to be able to work with him as a business partner during ARRI’s successful LED SkyPanel platform ramp-up; Ivo’s drive, talent, and leadership will certainly fit right in at ARRI Lighting.”
Ivo Ivanovski adds: “From the moment I was introduced to ARRI I admired the uniqueness of the products and the level of innovation. I am very enthusiastic and truly honoured to be part of #teamARRI.”
UK - Knight of Illumination Award winning live video director Ben Farrey (previously Miles) sadly passed away last week. Sharing the news, Coldplay – just one of many high-profile bands and artists Ben worked with throughout his career – paid tribute to a ‘beloved’ member of their crew in an emotional post shared across their social media platforms on Thursday 14th May.
The message, signed by all members of the band, reads: “We're sad to report that we lost one of our most beloved and talented crew members last night. Ben Farrey was our live visuals director. He was in charge of everything that you saw on the screens at our live shows. If you ever made it to a show, you’ll know that he was ridiculously good at his job. He was also one of the kindest and most generous-spirited people you could ever meet. We love you, Ben.”
The message was accompanied by a video of Ben saying what he loved most about his job. He said: “What I really like is coming to work, because my work day is the day thousands of people have been waiting for. The anticipation and the excitement – there’s some electricity in the air every work day.”
Having worked with Coldplay for over 10 years, Ben won the prestigious Knight of Illumination Award for Video Electronic Content in 2016 for his work on their A Head Full of Dreams tour. His considerable talents were also put to work for acts including The Spice Girls, The Script, George Ezra, Elbow and more.
Avolites - where Ben spent time working in the service department at the beginning of his ca
UK - AVIXA has elected Visual Displays founder and displays consultant, Greg Jeffreys, as new chair for its Standards Steering Committee, which advises the main board on issues relating to industry standards.
The Committee will provide recommendations for standards development within the context of AVIXA’s strategic plan, and approve completed standards before they are sent for American National Standards Institute (ANSI) ratification and subsequent publication.
As one of the committee’s founder members, Jeffreys had written the previously published projection best practice paper, in conjunction with international consultants, experts and dnp’s R&D team in Denmark. As a result, the PISCR (Projected Image System Contrast Ratio) standard was amongst the first task groups out of the blocks. He then assumed InfoComm leadership roles in preparation for becoming president in 2012, while continuing to lead the DISCAS (image size) standard group and undertaking other standards writing activities.
Greg reports: “When our first standards were published, we innocently assumed a grateful AV world would beat a path to our door and adopt them enthusiastically. The reality sadly did not match the expectation. At this point the InfoComm/AVIXA leadership stepped in. After producing articles, seminars and creating CTS courses I’m pleased to say the tide has turned and we’re now in a mature phase whereby impactful developments will affect the entire AV ecosystem.”
The refreshed 2020 Standards Committee had been due to meet at AVIXA’s Virgini
UK - 7thSense Design has appointed Geoffrey Platt to the position of product manager.
With over 20 years of experience as a media server technology and emerging digital media specialist, Platt has worked with a number of real-time video companies, and on many high-profile shows and events, including concerts, theatre, film, location-based entertainment and television.
Platt will work with global systems engineering and sales teams from the 7thSense Orlando office, defining key product features and future roadmaps of the expanding 7thSense product range.
“We’re excited to have Geoffrey join our team,” comments Eric Lehman, global sales and marketing manager, 7thSense Design. “His extensive experience of media server technology, interactive digital installations, product design for large-scale live events and video technology workflows will be a huge asset to the future development and feature releases of our Delta Media Server and Juggler pixel processing solutions.”
Italy - Proel SpA has appointed Fabiano Cammoranesi as business unit manager for Sagitter.
Cammoranesi can boast 24 years of experience in the communications and lighting sector. His career at Proel began in 2007 and his product and market strategies have contributed to the growth of the Sagitter lighting brand and the creation of a further brand, SDJ.
In February this year, Fabiano Cammoranesi was called to fill one of the key roles within the Sagitter Business Unit. “An important professional challenge begins,” he says. “This role stimulates me to pour all my enthusiasm and my determination to make the brand grow on the national and international fronts. My passion for this sector is great and it is a pleasure to share it with the whole team. Communicating and transmitting this passion will be my main goal.”
Italy - DTS Illuminazione S.r.L. has appointed Maurizio Gidoni as the company’s technical director.
Gidoni has a background in electronic engineering as well as management and process industrialisation. In his new role, he will lead DTS’ research and development department.
The company says in a statement: “During his 30-year career, Maurizio has developed a strong leadership attitude, alongside with a fundamental teamwork and coaching skills. We strongly believe he will be an example and a human incitement to our technical teams.
“For 10 years, Maurizio has successfully led technical departments and always focussed on electronic products development. His professional philosophy is to promote constant innovation by pursuing the excellence, paying strong attention to cross-functional interaction to achieve the company's goals.
“His skills include market analysis, definition of product specifications, purchasing, quality check from the supplier to the final product industrialisation.
“We are pleased to give him our warmest welcome and we strongly believe he perfectly fits the company growth.”
Europe - Ayrton has appointed Kseniia Igoshkina as the latest member of its international sales team. Based in Detmold, Germany, Igoshkina is responsible for emerging markets across the Baltic countries, the CIS states and South America.
Igoshkina joined Ayrton at the end of 2019, since when she has quickly established her position by appointing new distributors in Belarus, Armenia, Romania/Moldova, Colombia, Panama and the Caribbean. Her previous experience includes two years at Astera LED Technologies as key account manager based in China, after which she relocated to Europe to look for new challenges.
“My first experience of Ayrton was its famous lightshow,” she says. “I was immediately blown away by their unique products. Now, a few years later, I am working for this amazing company and I couldn’t be happier.
“Ayrton’s approach is very different from what I have experienced before. We handle many different types of project and take a very specialised, individual approach to each one. Ayrton products are so full of features that we have something to meet every requirement. It’s a perfect opportunity to create a bespoke solution for all our clients – every day is interesting and exciting.”
“Kseniia brings a freshness and dynamism to Ayrton which perfectly matches our team approach,” says Ayrton Global Sales Director, Michael Althaus. “We are excited to see the response from the emerging markets as she helps raise brand awareness in these new areas.”
UK - Tony Kingsley, a former PLASA chairman, industry maverick and disco lighting pioneer, passed away on Friday 8 May 2020 after a long illness.
If the early 90s marked the period when Tony Kingsley was in the chair of PLASA, it was a decade earlier, when the trade association was still known as BADEM, that he achieved his finest moments, writes Jerry Gilbert.
Tony ran the UK operation of Cologne-based Avitec Electronics GmbH, arguably the pioneers of the ‘superdisco’, who ran operations in four countries.
A former Roger Squire’s store manager, Tony set up Avitec Electronics UK in Hitchin at the end of 1979, and became distributor for the vanguard of popular lighting helicopters, scanners, ‘flowers’ and other effects - mainly from Spain and Italy - that would quickly populate nightclub ceilings and redefine the new disco genre. These included Kremesa (formerly Cremesa), Nisel and Clay Paky.
It was in 1981 that German parent company, Avitec GmbH, booked a staggering 6,000sq.ft of space on two floors at the DIFA Show in Münster. The ‘Discorama’, as it was termed, was designed as a showcase to present their own products and those from UK companies for whom they acted as distribution agents, namely Pulsar, Optikinetics, ICElectrics and Mode.
This did the rounds of mainland Europe, and such was the impact of these awesome displays of technology, that its arrival in London was not long coming. At the BADEM 82 Light & Sound Show in London’s Novotel, Tony Kingsley oversaw an incredible installation of a blue 1000sq
UK - Following the death of Alan Jacobi in April, Unusual Rigging has announced that Jacobi’s son Tom Harper will take on the role of managing director, with Jacobi’s wife Peta appointed as chairwoman. Beyond this change, the Board will continue to lead the Unusual team, directing the overall strategy of the business and assessing how best to respond to all future opportunities and challenges.
“The consequences of losing AJ are great,” says Harper, “and his absence will be felt, both by his family, colleagues, and the industry as a whole for many years to come. As a business, there are obvious implications that need to be addressed which in turn, honour AJ’s wishes regarding succession. AJ shared with Peta and myself that after he was gone, Peta would become the company Chairman, and I would become the MD”.
This strategy was recently reviewed and approved by the Board, which was formed in 2018 when Unusual was faced with exponential growth, and was enhanced by further directors – Simon Stone, Steve Porter, Simon Tiernan and Tom Harper, who each took on specific leadership roles within the organisation.
Jacobi said at the time: “We needed to regenerate the thread of continuity as we move forward and continue to grow, and the Board needs to reflect this intention in the management and governance of the company. We needed a solid and secure base to guide us into the future where responsibilities are growing ever more demanding”.
“And now”, says Harper, “our industry is facing challenges never before contemplated. Yet d
UK - Long-time ETC employee Mark White has announced his retirement from the company after nearly 20 years of service.
White has worked in theatre since 1985 and was part of a team of theatre consultants at the Royal Opera House before he joined ETC Europe in October 2000, taking on the role of sales manager for the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
He has remained at ETC since and his most recent position was regional sales manager, Ireland & UK Rigging, a role in which White focussed on progressing ETC’s stage machinery offering across the UK as well as growing the business in Ireland. Following his departure, Jeremy Roberts will take on those duties.
White comments: “ETC has been a fine company to work for. I am retiring at a time of new and exciting product development in the company, which will keep ETC in pole position as the go-to suppliers of entertainment lighting.”
Darren Beckley, sales manager, ETC Ltd, says: “Mark has been an integral part of developing the company’s brand these past 20 years. We thank him for all of his efforts and wish him the very best on his retirement.”
USA - Apollo Design Technology, the manufacturer of gobos, colour filters and lights, has announced the appointments of Connor Digan and Aaron Prins to sister company, AVID Labs.
Connor Digan is named a project manager for AVID. Digan graduated from Bishop Dwenger High School in Fort Wayne, and Purdue University in West Lafayette with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering Technology.
Joel Nichols, chief innovation officer for Apollo Design and AVID, shares, "It has been great to bring on Connor. He has done a great job of ramping up, leading the AVID team and taking project management to the next level."
Aaron Prins now serves as mechanical engineer for AVID. Aaron graduated from Rose-Hulman with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 2019 with a concentration in Aerospace. Aaron did an internship at Precision Aerospace Corp last summer.
"We’re excited to have Aaron join the AVID team. He is excited to build on his aerospace engineering experience with the AVID family," states Connor. "His addition in this role strengthens the mechanical aptitude of the team. Aaron’s curiosity for product development is equally matched by his tenacious problem-solving ability. The crew and I are excited to welcome him aboard."
UK - L-Acoustics Creations has recently appointed Nick Fichte to the role of business manager.
The appointment completes the existing new business team and “positions the division to make headway in key installation markets, leveraging the relationships and knowledge that Nick has forged in his 15-year career in the AV industry”.
Fichte first stepped into the AV industry when he was still a student, applying to work for custom installer, Audio Vision. He was offered the position and boarded a flight to Turkey the following day to assist on technology integration for one of the world’s largest superyachts. This experience cemented a vocation and led to his career progressing at Audio Vision where he became store manager of one of their Bang & Olufsen dealerships. Nick later held sales roles at London-based custom installers Olive Audio Visual and Inspired Dwellings, then, prior to joining L-Acoustics, Crestron.
Fichte comments: “I am extremely excited to join such a world-renowned professional audio manufacturer to drive growth as we enter the residential and marine AV markets. With unique solutions designed for the most exclusive homes and yachts, this is going to be a great journey.”
“We are very pleased to have Nick on board,” comments Christian Heil, president and founder of L-Acoustics. “L-Acoustics Creations brings a new way to experience music and home entertainment to market. It requires rethinking current approaches which in turn requires close collaboration with integrators and end users. Fichte’s proven abilit