UK - Highlite’s UK sales representative Dave Hartley will be enjoying his well-deserved retirement from 15 September. Jeff Davenport will follow in his footsteps and be the new contact for Highlite-related matters and products in the North of the UK region.
Jeff Davenport will be taking over the UK sales representative position at Highlite from Dave Hartley. Jeff will start on 1 September. During the overlap period, Dave will bring Jeff up to speed on the current state of affairs. Jeff will dive right in at the upcoming PLASA Show at the Olympia London (4-6 September), where he will join the team on stand (B23) to introduce himself to the market and clients.
Jeff is already familiar with the market, as he has previously worked for several businesses that are active in the industry. From his hometown of Burton upon Trent, he can be contacted at Jeff.Davenport@highlite.com.
UK - Solotech has announced the appointment of Lee Unsworth as director of UK operations – live productions, working out of the group’s Manchester office.
In this new role, Lee will oversee the day-to-day running of the company’s live productions operations at the five warehouse locations in Manchester, Redditch, Hemel Hempstead, London and Southampton. Lee first joined the group as operations manager for the Manchester office in June 2019 before stepping up to the role of general manager.
Lee Unsworth commented, “I’m looking forward to taking on this expanded role. Since becoming part of the Solotech group we have sought to standardise and integrate our processes across the UK operations and this position is key to delivering on that promise. I look forward to maintaining and extending our hire inventory to meet the demand of our clients, while overseeing our manufacturing operations from Sigma Fabrications and BCS Cases.”
UK managing director Bryce Jewell added, “Since joining the company, Lee has been a key leader in our UK operations. He’s an emphatic manager who has an excellent knowledge of our industry. I am confident he will continue to provide Solotech UK with outstanding service and commitment and will be pivotal in the continued growth of our UK operations.”
Solotech is also announcing that Pete Gale has been promoted to head of UK assets. Pete leads the asset management team responsible for managing rental assets to maximise profitability and efficiency. Together with data from business intelligence, they will he
UK - Martin Audio has announced the appointment of Henry Packard as its new finance director.
Henry had previously been financial controller at parent company Focusrite. He said the drive to fill the vacant position, following the departure of his predecessor Steve Miller, had become more pressing with the growth of Martin Audio and the launch of sister brand Optimal Audio. “As Dom [Harter, Martin Audio MD] and Sally [McKone, Group CFO] are in regular discussion the move came about quite organically,” he said.
“An internal move is great for the company and generally for everyone involved. I’ve effectively had a six-year interview process to prove myself with Focusrite, so it was a lovely surprise to be told I was being considered. There was no way I could let the opportunity pass, and after a few further chats with Sally and Dom, it seemed like a great match all round.”
Welcoming the new FD, Dom Harter said, “Henry has been a great addition to the management team. It’s another great example of providing opportunity for employees within the Focusrite Group and with Henry’s quality of thought, skillset and energy, I’m delighted with the progress and contribution he is making.”
USA - Clear-Com has announced the appointment of Marco Lopez as the company’s VP of engineering. Marco brings 30 years of experience in the broadcast market to his role at Clear-Com, where he will spearhead innovation across key strategic areas related to product development, including strengthening the company’s leadership in wireless technology and advancing its IP-based intercom solutions.
Over the past three decades, Marco has contributed to significant movements in broadcast technology. In the mid-2000s, he played a key role in the transformation of analog to digital signals with Miranda Technologies and helped develop the Active Format Description (AFD) standard that defined aspect ratio control between standard and high-definition broadcasting. After Miranda Technologies was acquired by Belden, Marco was appointed president and tasked with leading the acquisition of Grass Valley, where he eventually managed the company’s Live Production business unit.
“We are excited to have Marco on board,” said Mitzi Dominguez, CEO of Clear-Com. “He brings a wealth of technical expertise as well as an intrinsic understanding of the needs of our Broadcast users from his years in the industry, a unique and valuable combination for the business. He shares our enthusiasm for customer service and the drive for innovation leading our next generation of products.”
South Africa - Jade Manicom, known for her lighting design, programming and drawing skills has joined DWR as drafts woman.
After graduating, Jade entered the live events industry as a freelancer. Her first gig was with Keystone Productions, an audio, lighting, staging, and video production company that she ended up working for. “They kept me around for three months then offered me a job,” she says. “I learned so much and through them, the world of live entertainment opened up to me.
Said Robert Izzett of DWR, “We’ve known Jade for years, especially with all her work at Keystone Productions. It’s wonderful to have another lighting person join the team. Her experience in lighting shows will be invaluable for DWR going forward.”
The role of draftsman at DWR formerly belonged to Dylan Jones, who is now taking on a new position in the sales team. “I never imagined that I’d be working at DWR,” says Jade. “It’s amazing and it’s a strange path that led this way. Now I’m back to doing drawings which I love.”
UAE - Creative Technology has appointed Jemma Joy as head of operations. Over 20 years, Jemma has been involved in many projects including EXPO2020 Dubai, Qasr Al Hosn, Laureus World Sports Awards, Dubai World Cup, and Volvo Ocean Race.
Jemma comments, “I have worked alongside CT on some of the region’s biggest and technically advanced shows in the past and I am delighted to now be part of the CTME team.”
The company has also appointed two new project managers, Croft Clinton and Bhans Sheomangal.
Croft has worked alongside top event and production companies in the UAE as well as having a strong passion to deliver high quality events that exceed a client’s expectation.
Bhans has over 14 years of experience throughout the Middle East and Africa. He has extensive knowledge in production and is responsible for providing AV technical management across various events.
“We are excited to be building the team with highly skilled and well-respected industry professionals who will further strengthen our core areas across the business,” says Andy Reardon, managing director ME.
USA - QSC has announced the promotion of Ronda Ross to vice-president of human resources. Ross replaces Vicki Arnold who has retired after leading HR for 16 years.
“First, we’d like to thank Vicki for all she has done for QSC, LLC. Her contributions in building our HR team and capabilities have been immeasurable and we appreciate the dedication and care she has always given the organization and our employees,” says Joe Pham, chairman of the board and CEO, QSC, LLC. “We are thrilled to have Ronda fulfil this position as she has already made such a large impact over the last five years by delivering many improvements and laying a solid foundation to support the growth of our organisation.”
Ross joined QSC, LLC in 2017 as director of HR operations and promoted to senior director human resources in 2021 where she focused on advancing the strategic partnerships between human resources and business outcomes.
UK - Venue-finding agency ExecSpace has reshaped its senior management team and hired a number of new recruits to facilitate further growth and focus on quality of service.
Founder and CEO Emma Little has appointed Louise Lowe as managing director to lead its expanding team.
Lowe, previously the agency’s commercial director, joined the Edinburgh-based company four years ago and has been promoted alongside Pamela McCaw who steps up from finance manager to head of finance and business operations.
The moves follow three hires of meetings and events executives: Logan Muir, Georgia Kinsella and Ellie McPhail.
The restructuring continues the agency’s recovery from the repercussions of COVID lockdowns with more than £5m worth of bookings already won this year. Last year it also launched the ExecTech platform, dedicated to supporting meeting and event planners manage their spend and streamline the process across their organisations.
Emma says: “Given everything the business went through over the past two years due to COVID, I am chuffed to bits to see ExecSpace back firmly in growth mode. Louise, Pamela and I worked extremely closely during incredibly difficult times and for me it was a no brainer to reward that loyalty and great work with these two promotions.
“We are a very different business post pandemic, focused on quality and profit over quantity and activity which the high calibre leadership and new hires very much reflects. I am very much looking forward to watching the impact Louise and Pamela have and seeing the bu
USA - QSC has announced that David Angress has joined the organisation as senior vice president and general manager of the company’s new pro audio division.
“Throughout the years, I have always had the greatest respect and admiration for QSC – its people, its culture and its portfolio of innovative, market-leading products,” says Angress. “The pro audio division is gearing up for an incredible phase of transformative growth and I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to serve as its leader going forward.”
Angress, a seasoned veteran of the music and pro audio products industry, brings a wealth of experience in senior executive leadership with roles at brands including ADAM Audio GmbH, Guitar Centre, Harman, and AKG. As principal at Angress Consulting for the last 12 years, he has utilised his extensive international experience in marketing, product management, and international distribution to develop business relationships for its clients throughout the US, Europe, and Asia.
“We are thrilled to have David Angress take the leadership of our pro audio division,” states Jatan Shah, president and chief operating officer, QSC, LLC. “David’s decades of experience in the MI and pro audio industries - in retail, manufacturing and as a trusted and accomplished advisor to a number of organizations - makes him the ideal individual to take the helm of our Pro Audio business. Our leadership team of Perry Celia, David Fuller, Ray van Straten, Linda Lee, and now David Angress, will most certainly guide our business to great success
UK - Void Acoustics has announced the appointment of Dan Moors as head of sales & marketing. Dan joins the team having previously worked in the construction and PPE sectors, and he is motivated about the challenges of working in a brand-new industry and at a time of record expansion for Void Acoustics.
“This is the first time I have worked in the professional audio industry which is clearly both dynamic and fast-paced, and I am embracing it 100%! I have a lot to learn from a product perspective, but there is real synergy with what I have done previously with similar supply chain structures and distribution networks. In addition to which, joining Void at this exciting phase of its development is a fantastic opportunity and one I am really looking forward to being a part of.”
Alex Skan, managing director Void Acoustics comments, “We are pleased to welcome Dan to the team. He is full of enthusiasm for our products and has already shared several great ideas he has for future growth.”
Dan concludes, “I am looking forward to being part of the next phase of the company’s expansion. An important part of this is working with key audio specifiers and our network of distributors and installers to develop those relationships further, whilst supporting them in achieving their own goals alongside ours.”
UK - Neutrik UK has announced the appointment of Jason Rajack to the position of business development, industrial. The appointment recognises the Neutrik Group’s strategic commitment to expanding market penetration for its signal, data and power connector products beyond its traditional core AV media and broadcast sectors.
Rajack brings over 25 years’ experience in business development, sales and project management to the position, with a track record in product design and applications, expanding diverse global markets, strategic planning and engaging customers globally; including with companies like Thales, Bombardier, BAE, Bombardier, Hitachi and TFL, across Mil/Aero, Oil & Gas, Marine Industrial sectors.
“Jason’s extensive experience in the wider connectivity market will serve to further accelerate the growth of our customer base beyond our core AV and broadcast applications base, meeting specific requirements across wider industrial manufacturing sectors,” says sales manager Karl Cowing.
UK - Lift Turn Move (LTM) has promoted Robert Price to general manager of the Wirral-based supplier of lifting and rigging equipment to the industrial and entertainment markets.
Price, previously head of sales, will lead ongoing growth of the business, following the 2018 acquisition by GIS AG, the Swiss electric chain hoist and light crane manufacturer. LTM distributes the full range of GIS hoists, control systems, material handling equipment and components. The company will name a replacement head of sales, who will join a team of 12 employees, in due course.
Price, who has been at the company since 2019, is continuing a second spell at LTM, having originally joined in 2011 and leaving three years later to explore other opportunities. An experienced industry professional, Price started out at Pfaff-Silberblau in 1998, where he sold GIS hoists so his association with GIS goes back many years.
He said: “I have always seen career progression as an important part of my personal development and with a long association with GIS products, this opportunity was perfect. Since I returned to LTM we have seen a significant growth in both turnover and profitability year-on-year, and I am planning to continue this growth over the coming years. The focus on selling GIS electric chain hoists and trolleys has really improved the overall running of the company. Our entertainment business has been the main driving force over the past 18 months or so, with our industrial hoists close behind, but we are seeing a substantial increase in our special application hoists,
USA - AV systems integrator and remote collaboration service provider Kinly has announced the reappointment of Vel Johnson as its managing director for the US.
Johnson returns as Kinly’s US MD, having originally relinquished the position in December 2021 as part of his semi-retirement plans, after three years.
Based in Kinly’s Cedar Knolls (NJ) corporate office – one of four on the east coast (Fort Lauderdale, Washington, New York) – Vel was inspired to return to Kinly following positive discussions with newly appointed CEO, Tom Martin, who revealed his growth and expansion plans for the company in the US market.
Vel, leading the US team, will now develop and execute ‘a more business and culturally aligned go-to-market strategy to mirror that deployed in Kinly’s other global markets’ including Europe.
Tom Martin, CEO at Kinly, comments: “With over 20 years of experience and supporting more than 2,500 clients, Kinly is a recognised and trusted global provider of fully tailored AV and video collaboration services and support. We have identified opportunities in the US market and under Vel’s leadership, I have no doubt those opportunities and our ambitions as a company can be fulfilled.”
UAE - Creative Technology (CT) has announce a further two additions to its live team in the Middle East.
Joshua Spencer has joined the company as a crew operations manager. Joshua is responsible for the management of the crew bookings where he utilises his extensive knowledge on management of people to ensure every event has the right calibre of people assigned.
Spencer comments, “I feel very privileged and proud to be able to call CTME my new home. It’s so evident to see that everyone here shares the same vision and dedication to maintain the highest level of service. I am excited to develop this team and be part of CT’s growing vision.”
The company also welcomes Samantha Peltret who has joined as a projects co-ordinator. She has many years of experience within the Middle East and South Africa.
Pelteret comments, “It’s so great to be a part of such a huge family here at CT. There’s a genuine spirit of cooperation, collaboration, and shared goals. I love being part of this incredible talented team, each day is so different, it’s a constant adventure and such an exciting opportunity.”
UAE - Creative Technology Middle East has appointed Huw Godfrey as head of system integration.
Huw has professional experience in AV across both systems integration and live events within roles that encompass the full project lifecycle, including engineering, project, account and operations management. He has provided leadership in the design and implementation of multiple simultaneous national and international projects to support accountability, building transparency and collaboration across the project teams.
Over the years he has led teams on numerous high-profile projects including Bloomberg Walbrook Square, Russia World Cup, to the Palm Jumeriah launch party in the UAE.
Godfrey comments, “I am delighted to be returning to CT at what is an incredibly exciting times for both the SI division and the business as a whole. There is such fantastic growth in the region, and I am look forward to working on many more exciting projects with the team over the coming months and years.”
UK - Lightware Visual Engineering has announced the appointments of Craig Storey as CEO and Craig McQueen as sales director to head the UK team.
Craig Storey heads the Lightware UK office, overseeing all aspects of the UK business and its strategy. After joining Lightware a few weeks before COVID hit, Craig has steered the company through the uncertainties of the pandemic while managing to maintain revenue for the UK through the first year [2019-20] and then grow the team who delivered the highest revenue year for the division on record for the 2021-22 financial year.
Joining Storey is Craig McQueen, who will take charge of a growing sales team, in times of an ongoing recruitment drive.
“These are very exciting times and I’m looking forward to the challenge of building on this impressive recent success,” said Craig McQueen. “Lightware is has big things happening over the next five years, both in the UK and the international stage. We’re going to have a big impact on the market and can’t wait to meet our customers' needs.”
Craig Storey adds, “I firmly believe that Lightware’s approach to product and engineering, as well as their customer focus, create opportunities for growth that are difficult for others to replicate. I have no doubt that we have the strategy, product, and a growing team of professionals to create value for our customers and fulfil our potential.”
UK - Following some significant changes within their project management department earlier this year, Creative Technology (CT) has announced a further two additions to the corporate team in the UK.
Georgia Williamson has joined the company as a project manager, with almost a decade of experience in this role and within the live events industry.
The company also welcomes James Shirley who has joined as a senior account manager. James was most recently head of production for a large agency and has nearly 20 years’ experience working within the live events sector.
“I am extremely pleased to bring on board two extremely talented individuals to the corporate team who bring with them invaluable insights and experience in adding to our client journey,” says Nick Askew, head of corporate events at Creative Technology UK. “Both Georgia and James join CT from different companies, areas, and roles and this is essential in making sure we as a company are as dynamic and forward-thinking as we can be when supporting our clients.”
USA - QSC has announced senor appointments in its newly-created pro audio division. Perry Celia becomes VP global sales and service, David Fuller is VP product development, Ray van Straten is VP brand, marketing & training, and Linda Lee, sr. director, operations.
Celia takes the reins of the division’s global sales and service functions after having served at QSC for over 14 years – most recently as sr. director sales, Americas.
Van Straten joins the team as a 20-year veteran of QSC, having led the company’s retail sales, marketing, training, and brand functions, as well as previously serving as VP of its live sound business unit.
Linda Lee rejoins QSC with 23 years of progressive growth in key operations and supply chain roles, most recently as sr. director of global supply chain and operations at Identiv.
“We are ecstatic about the new leadership of the Pro Audio division,” states Jatan Shah, president and chief operating officer, QSC, LLC. “Perry, David, Ray, and Linda are each exceptional in their areas and bring decades of experience to the team.
“Effectively navigating through our pandemic-influenced world necessitates that we cultivate our relationships with our customers and business partners; serving them to the best of our best abilities, manage and solve complex supply chain challenges, and invest in our talent. We could not have asked for a better set of leaders to not only navigate through these challenging times but position the QSC brand to thrive and grow as we move forward in this exciting new phase
UK - Polar has announced the further expansion of its team with the appointment of Mark Jennings to the post of business development manager, integrated solutions. With more than 15 years’ experience of the sector, Mark will be primarily focused on helping to deliver solutions for the education market.
Mark Jennings comments: “I’m delighted to be joining Polar and look forward to working with what is a fantastic team. The importance of technology, particularly in further and higher education settings, has become more and more important as educators seek to expand the scope of teaching and learning. I’m keen to share my experience in this area with our customers and help them benefit from the wide range of options in our portfolio.”
“Polar managing director John Midgley adds: “Mark joins us at a time when our Integrated Services team is in great demand across all sectors.
The market in educational technology is strong and growing, and our comprehensive range of brands addresses a multitude of applications within the sector. His detailed understanding of the products, wide-ranging experience, and ability to communicate with clients to help them understand exactly what will work best in a given setting, make him an excellent addition to the Polar team.”
USA - Elation Professional’s atmospheric effects brand, Magmatic has welcomed atmospheric FX Specialist Joey Olaerts to the Elation and Magmatic team.
Olaerts will work with Elation’s R&D and sales teams to ensure that current Magmatic products meet customers’ needs, as well as conduct product research, testing, and viability studies to develop and market new atmospheric effects solutions.
Olaerts will also be overseeing Elation sister-company ADJ’s atmospheric product line.
Olaerts is a Halloween enthusiast and fog machine aficionado who founded Fog It Up!, a fog, haze, and snow fluid company, while in college. The company expanded over nearly a decade to include lighting and sound before being acquired by Antari Lighting and Effects. Olaerts comes to Magmatic from Antari where he worked as a sales representative while setting up their fluid production facility.
USA - Theatre Projects has announced the addition of two new full-time staff members to their team. Chris Smith joins the firm as the marketing and content manager and Ashley Keen joins their strategic planning team as a senior consultant. Both bring significant expertise in their respective fields, have backgrounds in the performing arts.
Chris joins the company’s New York office to lead marketing and PR efforts. Over the past decade and a half, Chris has worked with a wide array of non-profit organizations in Chicago, Texas, and Oregon. His experience includes content creation, digital communication, writing, brand and marketing strategy, and data analysis. Prior to Theatre Projects, Chris worked with Oregon State University, The Black Sheep Agency, 4th Wall Theatre in Houston, Echelon Design, Chicago Art Department, and the Chicago High School for the Arts.
Ashley specialises in helping performing arts organizations and venue managers plan for the future. She combines experience working in flexible spaces and multi-venue arts centres with a love of creative problem-solving to find solutions that support an organization’s strategic goals. Her new role will include working on feasibility studies, needs assessments, business planning, community engagement efforts, and more.
France - Naostage has announced the appointment of experienced pro-AV professional Alexis Reymond as its new sales manager.
Reymond has worked as a freelance audio engineer, electro-acoustic consultant, sound designer and music producer for more than 20 years, most recently in a sales engineering capacity with fellow Nantes-based company Arbane Groupe (APG/Active Audio). His other experience includes spells with event specialists Videlio and Magnum, where he worked as a sound engineer for 17 years, and Disneyland Paris, where he served as a freelance AV technician.
In his new role, Reymond – who is tasked with developing Naostage’s commercial strategy and overseeing its development, both domestically and internationally – will initially focus on building relationships with major industry players in the EMEA region and showcasing the benefits of the Naostage product. He explains that he sees live shows, corporate events, performing artists, and attraction venues as priority markets for Naostage.
“My ambition is for Naostage to become, over the next three years, a major worldwide provider of automated tracking solutions by establishing ourselves as the market leader in France and establishing a distribution network across Europe, the Middle East and Asia,” states Reymond.
At Naostage, Reymond joins a team that includes the company’s founder and CEO, Paul Cales, as well as partners Olivier Le Doeuff (CTO) and Nathan Van De Hel (COO).
USA - Renkus-Heinz has appointed Sebastian Rivas as software development and research engineer. Rivas will work closely with chief technology oficer Ralph Heinz and engineering manager Chad DeFranco.
“I had the opportunity to speak with Harro Heinz about the role and found great value in learning about the history of the company and the innovative processes that have put them as the leader in beam steering loudspeaker technology,” said Rivas. “Renkus-Heinz is a leader in the audio solutions industry and I am fortunate to enter the company at a time to contribute to the sound revolution.”
Prior to joining Renkus-Heinz, Rivas worked as a professor at St. Thomas University, 2D Software Developer at Sensey Electronics in Mexico, and at Danley Sound Labs developing the Direct Sound System modelling software.
“Sebastian’s talent and ambition in the audio industry made him the best candidate for the role,” said Heinz. “I know he will be a huge asset to the Renkus-Heinz team and look forward to working with him to advance the Sound Solution.”
“The addition of Sebastian to our team will advance our software algorithms to generate FIR filters that will ultimately enhance the overall sound of our audio solutions,” added DeFranco.
Rivas joins the Renkus-Heinz team at a pivotal time as the company has just completed organizational changes with founder, Harro Heinz, retiring and appointing Monika Smetona as president of the company. The loudspeaker manufacturer has also recently debuted new products at ISE and InfoComm includin
UK - Mash P is getting a hands-on, practical introduction to the world of production thanks to the Audient sponsorship at ICMP. Enrolled on the six-month Music Production & Sound Engineering course, he is building on his talent as a musician. He performed at Glastonbury Festival this year, celebrating the release of his latest music.
“I want to say thank you to ICMP for the environment, the equipment, studios and the space for people like me to learn,” he says. “Also, thank you for the equipment given to me from my Audient sponsorship.” Audient provided him with the EVO Start Recording Bundle, which includes EVO 4 audio interface, the EVO SR1 Condenser Mic and EVO SR2000 Monitoring Headphones.
Mash, whose given name is Nathaniel Sesay, was captured by civil war rebels when he was nine in his native Sierra Leone. After the brutal civil war was over, he spent 12 years living on the streets of Freetown. When he started writing music his alter-ego Mash P was born.
“Doing music keeps me alive. I forget about my past. Music can’t judge me. The only thing I had was music. Music saved my life,” he says. He is getting so much out of his studies in the UK, he said he’d like to do more courses in the future. “It’s a pleasure to be in the school. I want to say thanks to the tutors and staff for their encouragement, as they are really helpful.
“ICMP gives me more courage and energy. Now I believe my dream is coming true,” he says. “This is what heals me. I just want to be accepted into the community for my musical talent, so