UK - LSi is sad to report the passing of Australian lighting designer Richard Pacholski – perhaps better known to many in the industry as R2 – on 19 August after a brief and intense battle with cancer.
Fellow lighting designer, and LSi journalist Rob Halliday remembers his friend and colleague: “For many people taking shows, particularly musicals, down under, R2 was the friendly face that welcomed you to Australia. You immediately knew, from the ‘Hey mate’ said in that calm Aussie voice, the big open smile and that sparkly twinkle in his eye, that everything was going to be alright.
“Richard began his career at the Adelaide Festival Centre, then joined the Australian Ballet. He wasn’t the first Richard there and so soon became R2, a name that just stuck. In the late 1980s, when Cameron Mackintosh set up an Australian office, R2 joined as lighting manager, touring with Cats, Les Misérables, Five Guys Named Moe, Phantom, Miss Saigon and Rent!. He then went freelance; his biog continued to read like a list of theatrical greatest hits, continuing his relationship with Cameron’s shows, but adding Mamma Mia!, Billy Elliot, We Will Rock You, Mary Poppins, Matilda, War Horse and more; Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was due next.
“In every case, he’d figure out the show in fastidious detail, then assemble and lead a brilliant team who would deliver it with the utmost skill, dedication, delicacy and refinement. But a great time would be had by all along the way, while working hard in the theatre and then af
Germany - Adam Hall Group has announced further expansion to its international sales team.
Markus Jahnel, COO and managing director, will assume responsibility for the Group’s global business development with immediate effect. Bodo Falkenried, who has headed that department since 2013, is retiring and will complete the handover to Jahnel by the end of September.
Jahnel comments: “The long-term development of new business areas and partnerships and the development and personal maintenance of our global networks are important priorities for the immediate future. I am looking forward to being even closer to our marketplace expansion.”
He adds: “We would like to thank Bodo for his great work and wish him all the best for the new chapter in his life. He was a valued employee who was greatly appreciated by the entire team.”
Marcel Mieger will be Adam Hall’s new sales director for Europe, assuming the role at the start of September. He will look after the expanding European sales network of the event technology solutions provider.
Gabriel Medrano takes over as COO of Adam Hall North America, Inc., the New Jersey subsidiary founded in January. Together with Steven Savvides, president of Adam Hall North America, Inc., Medrano will be responsible for the development of the entire business in North America. He was most recently international sales manager for Southern Europe & South America.
UK - Bandit Lites has appointed Jerry Archer as an installation and service specialist to its sales and installation team. Archer will work from the company’s base in Charlotte, North Carolina. His responsibilities will include helping organise and provide support and ideas for the creations of new lighting systems, installing those systems and then maintaining those systems over time.
Chris Barbee, Bandit Lites Director of Sales and Installation: “We have spent the better part of a year looking to add this position in Charlotte in order to support our work in the Carolinas as well as nationally. We have a very diverse portfolio of projects which demands a person with a wide skill set and a great personality. We wanted to find the right person for our team and Jerry is definitely the right fit.”
Archer adds: “I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of the Bandit team. I'm honoured to be a player on such a strong roster of system integrators and project managers. My skills and knowledge have already grown day by day and I couldn't be more excited!”
He received his BA in Theatre Arts from Catawba College in Salisbury and attended the Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas where he took advanced lighting classes in lighting technology. Following graduation, Archer accepted an entertainment technician position for the Walt Disney Company, where he spent four years working on many installations including Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular and Happily Ever After as the Installation Lighting crew chief.
USA - Electro-acoustics specialist Audio Precision (AP) has announced the passing of its co-founder and former president Bob Metzler, aged 84.
Metzler founded AP in 1984 alongside Dr Richard Cabot, Bruce Hofer and Robert Wright. He served as the organisation’s president until his retirement in 1999 and was the face of the company in its early days, taking up marketing and sales duties as well as travelling internationally to engage with customers.
His legacy includes authoring the Audio Measurement Handbook in 1993, which was widely read throughout the audio community and was used as a text in university-level courses. Metzler also wrote numerous magazine articles and application notes, edited AP’s newsletter, Audio.TST, and conducted seminars and training sessions.
He earned his Bachelor of Science in Physics (University of Louisville) and his Master of Business Administration (University of Portland), as well as fulfilling roles as diverse as marketing manager, radio broadcast station engineer, and development engineer for telemetry, display systems, antenna design, meteorological instrumentation and mobile radio. He was a licensed amateur radio operator and an accomplished photographer.
An AP statement reads: "Bob was a respected colleague and leader, appreciated for his dry sense of humour and his ability to be direct but tactful.
USA - Ed Grabscheid has joined the executive team at Atlona as chief financial officer (CFO), effective immediately. Grabscheid has spent more than three years at the company as its vice-president of finance and administration. In his new role, he will report to CEO Ilya Khayn and look after all aspects of Atlona’s strategic investments, reporting functions, human resources, and tax and treasury requirements.
Grabscheid’s finance experience spans more than two decades, including leadership positions with several Silicon Valley technology companies. Prior to joining Atlona, he served as VP of financial planning and analysis at ServiceMax; and senior director of finance at Intermolecular, where he built and managed the financial reporting function through the transition from a private company to a successful IPO.
Among other management positions over his career, Grabscheid served as controller, worldwide services at Cisco.
USA - DAS Audio of America has appointed Edwin Guerra to the position of US marketing manager. In his new role, Guerra will be responsible for all US tradeshow coordination from concept to execution, social media management and content creation, supporting the company’s sales staff with a variety of marketing initiatives, and overseeing the creation of related marketing collateral. Guerra is stationed at the Miami office.
Prior to joining DAS, he served as production director for Battlefrog Race Series of Miami, where he consulted on all audio equipment purchases in addition to overseeing the deployment of equipment for events. He was also an AV installation technician for AVED of Miami.
Reflecting on his new role with DAS Audio, Guerra comments: “I’ve been very fortunate to work with music and sound in several different areas and, with DAS Audio, I now have the opportunity to further solidify the company’s standing in the US market.”
USA - Harman Professional Solutions reports that Tommy Vext, lead vocalist of heavy metal supergroup Bad Wolves, has joined the Harman Professional Solutions Ambassadors Programme.
Bad Wolves released their debut album Disobey on 18 May and are preparing to embark on a 32-date summer amphitheatre tour across the U.S. with Five Finger Death Punch and Breaking Benjamin.
“I’m beyond excited to partner with Harman Professional Solutions and represent legendary brands like AKG and JBL as we continue our wild and exciting journey,” says Vext. “Bad Wolves brings an incredible amount of energy and focus to our shows, and we need rock-solid gear that works as hard as we do. Harman brands have set the standard for professional performance for decades, and I’m honoured by their support.”
The Harman Professional Solutions Ambassadors programme gives leading artists a powerful platform to share their passion for music and audio technology. More artist and audio professional partnerships will be unveiled in the coming months - from composers and engineers to breakout stars and veteran musicians.
UK - Event design and technical production company Maestra London has expanded its team in readiness for a busy autumn season.
Joining MD Justin Hammond and the London team are Matt Spark (senior project manager), Euan MacLeod (business development manager) and Cameron Pullar (warehouse assistant).
Spark started working at festivals and events like SW4 and the Isle of Wight and other international events, as well as becoming a freelance production assistant for a succession of artists. This experience took him to Australia for three years where he worked with a raft of brands including Star Wars, Quantas and Disney.
MacLeod worked in New York and Woodstock before relocating to Scotland to take a degree in Events & Entertainment Management at Glasgow Caledonian University.
Pullar worked at a Scottish LED company whist still at school and then studied Music Performance & Production at the University of East London. He’s subsequently worked as an audio technician at the New River Studios in north London.
Czech Republic - Architectural LED lighting manufacturer Anolis has appointed Peer Oestergaard as sales director.
Based in Denmark, Peer will be managing and co-ordinating Anolis sales teams globally and travelling extensively in his new role. He has most recently worked at SGM Light (sales manager) and has also held a business development role at Alfred Priess and international sales management roles at Thorn Lighting and Martin Professional.
Anolis director Tim Van den Eede comments: “We are delighted to have someone of Peer’s calibre and talent on-board. His personality, approach to business and smart outlook is the perfect match for us, and we share the same core visions for taking Anolis to the next level of operation. This is the first of several important upcoming announcements for Anolis over the coming months.”
Peer adds: “I am lucky enough to have worked on lighting some truly landmark projects worldwide over the years.”
Based in the Czech Republic, all Anolis products are designed and produced in Europe. The brand is currently undergoing restructuring and positing itself for long term future expansion and the development of new and ground-breaking product lines.
UK - AV technology specialist Peerless-AV has added Kate Butcher as key account manager (southern region) to its UK professional sales team. She will be responsible for maintaining and building on existing relationships with Peerless-AV’s reseller network, promoting new product offerings, and providing support on new tenders and sales enquires.
Butcher brings over four years’ AV sales experience, having held key account manager roles at Exertis-Medium, Sahara Presentation Systems and Beta Distribution. She studied International Theatre at the University of East London (UEL) and spent eight months at the University of Colorado Boulder campus in the USA.
Keith Dutch, managing director EMEA at Peerless-AV, comments: “Kate’s energy and enthusiasm, combined with her AV distribution experience and good industry connections, make her perfect for the Key Account Manager position. We value relationships above all at Peerless-AV and our team is renowned in the industry for being great ambassadors for the company. Kate has the qualities to help us develop this further and drive business growth in key accounts.”
France - Chauvet has named Alain Minet marketing manager of Chauvet Europe.
Based in Chauvet's Paris office, Minet will helm the European marketing of the entire family of Chauvet brands and will report directly to John Castelino, global vice-president of marketing.
CEO Albert Chauvet comments: “We have enjoyed exponential growth in Europe. Our French and German offices, which opened in January, have both been off to incredibly fast starts, while our UK and Belgium facilities have been growing at a rapid pace. Given this growth, we needed someone who could oversee our expanding marketing efforts. Alain fits this need perfectly.”
Michael Brooksbank, European general manager at Chauvet, adds: “Alain brings a wealth of experience to his position. His knowledge, experience and passion for excellence will make him a valuable addition to the Chauvet team.”
UK - Rich Rowley has joined Adlib as general manager (lighting and video). Rowley has enjoyed a long relationship with the Liverpool-based full production and rental specialist over the years and brings more than a decade of senior management experience from working at XL Video and PRG.
Rowley will be concentrating on the already substantial lighting and video / AV aspects of Adlib as the company completes the transition from its original audio roots into one of the premier full service technical solutions providers in Europe.
The appointment comes at a pivotal time for Adlib, which is poised to move into a new warehouse and office facility.
Adlib owner and founder Andy Dockerty comments: “I am delighted to welcome Rich into the Adlib family. I believe it is testament to the growth of Adlib and the development of our lighting and video departments that we have secured the services of a character of Rich’s unquestionable status. His wealth of knowledge will enhance a tremendously focused and talented team.”
UK - Cardiff-based events services provider 11th Hour has welcomed Matthew Morgan and Rhys Thomas as warehouse assistants, while Debbie Alexander takes the role of in-house bookkeeper.
Morgan has previously worked in various temporary capacities for 11th Hour across a range of projects and is an experienced stadium safety steward, having worked at Cardiff City Football Club. Thomas has experience as a freelance crew member in operations and logistics and has crossed paths with 11th Hour teams on many occasions. Debbie Alexander brings more than 20 years of experience in finance and accounts, accrued whilst working for a range of businesses in South Wales.
11th Hour director John Davies comments: “Demand for our services continues to grow and it is now common to find ourselves working simultaneously on multiple large-scale projects. Our staff are our greatest resource and it’s imperative that our teams have the manpower to maintain the very high standards of efficiency that our clients are accustomed to.”
USA - API has added Steven G. Christensen as the newest member of its engineering department. He will specialise in digital technology.
Christensen has been in the audio industry for 30 years, beginning as a high-capacity telecom chip designer. He was also part of the original Pro Tools development team, inventing and implementing the TDM system architecture. Christensen then went on to work for Telex and designed their ADAM digital matrix intercom system, before starting his own companies focusing on digital audio.
"Working at API is a breath of fresh air," says Christensen. "Larry Droppa [API president] does a great job leading the company and everybody is following in his footsteps. I love it here and have a lot to learn."
UK - ER Productions has announced the appointment of Jean Pierre Jammaers to the role of project manager. He joins ER with over 10 years of experience in the lighting and production industry and was the lead in lighting the Sydney Harbour Bridge for the Chinese New Year Celebrations in 2016 and 2017. He has also produced various installations for light festival Vivid Sydney.
Alongside Jammaers, George Baker has been appointed as special effects project manager for the organisation. Baker has over eight years of experience within the live events sector and has delivered special effects for international stars, including Robbie Williams, and for a number of popular festivals.
Based in the London office, the duo will be responsible for managing the communication for worldwide client projects, ensuring lasers and special effects have been successfully delivered for the show or event.
Marc Webber, co-founder of ER Productions, comments: “Both Jean Pierre and George have joined ER at an exciting time of growth for the business. We are delighted to have them on board, to continue producing stunning work across the globe.”
USA - Sensaphonics has promoted Claudia Pyne to the position of artist relations / sales specialist. The company has also hired Richard Sandrok as an independent outside sales and marketing consultant.
Pyne has been with Sensaphonics for 15 years, developing first-hand knowledge of every aspect of the business, starting as receptionist, then spending several years as a lab tech before moving back to “front of house” duties as primary client liaison and support. An accomplished visual artist, she helped develop silicone earpieces with handcrafted multi-colour swirls preferred by artists like Chance The Rapper. Previously, Pyne worked as a multidisciplinary theatre tech in northern California and the Chicago theatre community, doing everything from scenic and properties design to sound and lights.
Sandrok comes to Sensaphonics with a wealth of pro audio experience, including 10 years of artist relations experience at Shure, working with many of the leading artists and sound engineers in touring sound.
Sensaphonics president and founder, Dr. Michael Santucci, comments: “We’re constantly working to extend our reach while providing top-notch service and support to our clients. Claudia Pyne is steeped in every aspect of our business and already has great support relationships with most of our clients. I’m also thrilled to add Richard Sandrok to our team. As a musician and industry professional, he shares our passion for helping people make smart choices with their hearing and monitoring, both on stage and off.”
USA - Shure Incorporated has promoted Brian Woodland to vice-president of business development, and Patricia Knoll to associate vice-president of global facilities.
Woodland joined Shure in 2002 and has held positions of increasing responsibility in strategic planning and in global business development. He was responsible for several of the company’s acquisitions and manages Shure’s partnerships in joint business ventures. Woodland has a BA in Engineering from the University of Illinois and an MBA in Marketing from the Kelly School of Business at Indiana University.
Knoll joined Shure in 2005 and leads an international team responsible for all acquisition, leasing, construction, maintenance, disposition, and activities associated with company offices, manufacturing plants, warehouses, and other facilities worldwide. Additionally, she has led other major undertakings, including the design and construction of the S.N. Shure Theatre and the Great Hall history exhibit in Shure’s corporate headquarters.
Chris Schyvinck, Shure president and CEO, comments: “I want to express my congratulations to Brian and Pat on these well-deserved promotions. Brian’s expertise in developing strategic relationships with outside companies is invaluable to Shure, and Pat has been instrumental in helping guide major facilities projects in support of our growing global business. We are fortunate to have these two leaders on the executive team, as they both will continue to be an integral part of our company’s long-term success.”
Canada - Solotech has announced David Brazeau’s appointment as director, research and development (R&D).
In this role, Brazeau will lead a team of audio, lighting and video technology solution consultants and specialists. This team will support other Solotech professionals, contribute to the delivery of various complex projects and help select equipment from suppliers, in keeping with the company’s overall technology strategy.
During more than 21 years as a Solotech employee, David has developed a diversified expertise, first, as a shop technician, then as a production technician on international stages while touring with André Rieu and Céline Dion. He went on to make a name for himself as an audio project manager for various Solotech clients, including Britney Spears and Michael Bublé. Until recently, he was a technical advisor in the audio department.
USA - Community Professional Loudspeakers has announced the appointment of Francesca Lynch to the position of a marketing associate.
She will report directly to Community’s director of marketing and sales operations, Julia Lee. Community says that in previous roles Lynch “had demonstrated herself to be an experienced content marketing specialist, using her skills in advertising, integrated marketing, event planning, public relations and social media management to enjoy eight successful years in the food and beverages industry”.
Lynch comments: “I’m thrilled to join Community, an outstanding brand that continues to innovate and transform in this exciting industry.”
UK - Ambersphere Solutions has announced that David Martin and Ian Green have joined the company as key account managers.
David Martin joins with almost 30 years of industry experience, having worked as an electrician at London Studios and as a key account manager at Martin Professional and most recently at Elation Professional. He will focus on the UK Film & Broadcast markets providing a knowledgeable contact for the gaffers, designers and rental partners for the Ambersphere range of products.
Ian Green spent 10 years in theatre, first qualifying as an electrician and then progressing to chief technician, before he made his move into business development. During the next 11 years Ian used his experience at Stage Electrics in a regional role and more recently in a national role at GDS. Green will be based in Glasgow and will focus on the northern UK region.
Ambersphere MD Glyn O’Donoghue comments: “Our business is only as strong as the team behind it and I am so pleased that David and Ian join us at this exciting time for Ambersphere. We recently started to work with two new supply partners; Astera and Zactrack, and David and Ian are going to help us ensure that we can continue to deliver on our commitment to quality service and support.”
Europe - Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association (AVIXA) has appointed Peter Schädel as European marketing manager.
Peter Schädel is a marketing and industry expert, having previously worked for Meyer Sound Germany for over 10 years as marketing manager. With his sound expertise, he will be in charge of establishing and expanding the marketing activities of AVIXA in Europe.
"I am very happy about my new challenge. While AVIXA has been a fixture in the US for decades, there is still a great potential for growth in Europe. It is therefore important to further raise awareness and communicate the benefits of membership." said Schädel.
USA - Signify Entertainment Lighting has announced the return of Philips Vari-Lite veteran George Masek. Based at the company's Dallas office, Masek will look after business development for the Philips Vari-Lite, Philips Strand Lighting, Philips Selecon and Showline brands.
A well-known figure in the international show lighting business, Masek has specialised in automated lighting for almost 30 years. Beginning his career in 1990 as a Vari-Lite road technician, he toured the world with leading artists, providing on-site support for Vari-Lite products from the renowned VL1 onwards. He later moved into technical support and sales, becoming Vari-Lite product manager in 2002.
In 2012, Masek left Philips Vari-Lite to take the role of VP of automated lighting at ACT Lighting. In this position, he represented a range of leading manufacturers to the US market, gaining further invaluable experience with a broad variety of new customers and product lines.
Masek comments: "I'm thrilled to be able to return to a company where I've had so much history. Working with all the talented people there over 22 years to create, sell, and support cutting edge, industry changing luminaires, was a great pleasure. Since the first time I saw Vari-Lites on their early tours in the 1980s, it was my dream to work for this amazing company. I'm honoured to be able to come back and see that dream continue to the next stage."
Welcoming the appointment, Brian Friborg, business leader at Signify Entertainment Lighting, adds: "We could not be more delighted to welcome George back
USA - DPA Microphones has announced that Paul Andrews and Chris Brunhaver have joined the company as the new global sales support & business development manager and regional sales manager, Pacific Northwest, respectively.
"With the addition of Paul and Chris, we are adding over 23 years of industry experience and expertise to the DPA team in the U.S.," says Christopher Spahr, VP of marketing and sales, DPA Microphones, Inc. "We are excited to welcome these two highly qualified individuals and look forward to their many contributions as we continue to grow our market share and reinforce our commitment to the industry."
In his new role, Andrews will be responsible for brand development and support through technical and application driven informational presentations. Andrews began his musical career as a student at the University of Denver, studying classical guitar under Ricardo Iznaola. He made the transition into audio recording at A&M Records, and currently acts as the owner/engineer of Bridge Recording Studios. Andrews has recorded artists such as Sheryl Crow, Aerosmith, Boyz II Men, Dennis Chambers, Bill Evans and the CSU Symphony Orchestra and Big Band.
Brunhaver brings over 15 years of experience in the A/V industry including design, project management, systems integration and sales with successful stints at Sony and Digital Projection where he covered a similar sales territory. Brunhaver's nine state territory in the Pacific Northwest is comprised of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota and Alas
UK - Pinewood MBS Lighting (PMBS) has announced Billy Smith as the first team member to complete its apprentice programme. The PMBS Apprentice Programme was introduced to provide in-depth, hands-on instruction and tuition covering all aspects of working within the electrical department.
Smith joined PMBS as an apprentice lighting technician in June 2015 and has undergone training throughout each department within the warehouse, gaining working knowledge of the company’s specialist lighting equipment.
Along with in-house experience, Smith also completed the necessary electrical qualifications at Uxbridge College whilst adding some additional practical proficiency via secondment with a contracting electrician.
Toby Dare, PMBS operations director, says: “Billy has built up a solid working knowledge of all aspects of the lighting department. From stands to distribution, from textiles to automated fixtures, we have been able to augment Billy’s education with in-depth training on the proper, safe operation of a broad variety equipment.”
As part of the scheme, PMBS apprentices also benefit from experience working within Pinewood Studios, often including assisting in rigging stages or lighting short films. During his time with the company, Billy was able to act as part of the crew on a recent commercial filmed at the studio and, having completed the PMBS Apprentice Programme, is now embarking on a freelance career working with a group of well-established commercials gaffers.
Dare concludes: “We’re extremely proud of our apprentices.