UK - GDS has given new roles to two members of staff as the company prepares to launch new product ranges in the coming months.
James Hall will head up sales in entertainment and architecture, whilst Scott Kerslake will act as key accounts executive for entertainment products. Hall worked in the entertainment lighting side of GDS’s business before leaving for a brief period to develop his knowledge of the architectural sector. He will work closely with MD Richard Cuthbert to introduce customers to the company’s new Reality Series and Prodigy Series lighting and control products. Kerslake meanwhile is a highly-skilled former production technician.
Managing director Richard Cuthbert states that the appointments are part of the new long-term development plan for GDS: “Both James and Scott are dedicated to GDS and are proven, highly-committed specialists. With the departure of former director Matt Lloyd, it was essential to place strong candidates in these important, customer-facing roles. I am fully confident that James and Scott have all the required qualities to help develop further significant growth for GDS.”
USA - Business development specialist Jeff Meyer has joined AV solutions integrator OSA International (OSA). An industry veteran, Meyer has 35 years of experience in live sound and video for corporate events. Based at OSA’s Las Vegas office, he will be responsible for developing new business relationships and expanding sales of LED technology.
Meyer joins from Video Equipment Rentals (VER), where he worked business development and account management since 2010. Prior to that, he spent over 23 years at Creative Technology (formerly Media Control). Meyer joined Media Control as a sound engineer and warehouse technician in 1987. He then became a project manager in 1990 and went on to take up the roles of operations manager and subsequently, general manager.
USA - AVIXA, the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association, has promoted Dan Goldstein to chief marketing officer. In this role, Goldstein will lead the strategy for AVIXA's marketing, communications, market intelligence, content creation and delivery, strategic alliances, and new product innovation.
Goldstein joined the association in 2015 as senior VP of marketing and communications. He led the rebranding initiative from InfoComm International to the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association - AVIXA - and has built an all-new market intelligence team focused on providing the AV community with industry analytics and insights that were previously unobtainable from any source.
Prior to joining AVIXA, he served as a senior marketing and communications professional at the ISE trade show for seven years.
"Dan has been a major driver in AVIXA's evolution in recent years - leading our brand transformation, market intelligence, and much more," says David Labuskes, CEO of AVIXA. "Since joining the association four years ago, he has made a huge impact, and we're excited for him to take on a bigger leadership role.”
UK - During his four years in the company, Martin Audio’s Richard Van Nairn has steadily broadened his remit, and with the recent restructure of Martin Audio’s sales force, it has opened the door further for Van Nairn to bring even more territories under his management.
The restructure, which has seen Bradley Watson promoted to the new role of international sales director, meant many of the countries under his management has moved to Van Nairn.
Already in charge of Cyprus, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Slovenia, Estonia and the PALOPS block, Van Nairn now has responsibility for a further swathe of territories across Central and Eastern Europe, as well as the Middle East (including Israel and Jordan). He also has responsibility for the whole of Africa (apart from South Africa), including Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco.
“I feel privileged to be entrusted with so much responsibility at a time when Martin Audio’s sales are at a record high,” Van Nairn says, “and the opportunity to expand the brand’s visibility in some of the lesser known parts of the world remains of paramount importance.”
UK - TechPro, a lighting, video and sound services provider for live events, has given new responsibilities to its event services director, Mike Foyle. Foyle, who joined TechPro in 2012 as a project manager, had previously covered all aspects of marketing and communication, but with a focus on video production and live events. He will now solely focus on improving the company’s communication and collaboration with its clients. Foyle comments: “This is a new role designed to help us engage better with our clients and understand more fully what they hope to achieve from their events, which will determine how best TechPro supports each production.”
TechPro managing director, Mark Stokes, adds: “The significant growth we have achieved in recent years has been driven in large part by our commitment to the flawless delivery of live events, regardless of size or complexity.”
UK - Event production specialists Light Fantastic Production Services has introduced four new members to the team at its Borehamwood offices. Working across a number of different areas, the addition of Gareth Shippen, Angela DiTomaso, Leo Neilson and Svetoslav ‘Slavi’ Nikolov strengthens the range of creative production and technical support services provided by the company.
Taking the role of scenic project manager, Gareth is a scenic arts graduate with extensive experience in all aspects of the creative set building and prop making process.
Angela joins the production engineering department as video engineer, providing technical support to the diverse range of projects serviced by LFPS. A keen follower of new technology, Angela is highly experienced in both creative video design and systems engineering.
Strengthening the operations team, Slavi and Leo join as warehouse technicians responsible for the preparation, maintenance and deployment of equipment.
Commenting on the appointments, LFPS’ Rob Myer says: “People are the most important ingredient in everything we do. We are absolutely delighted to welcome these talented individuals to our team. Each of them brings a level of technical ability and aptitude that complements perfectly the range of production services that we offer.”
UK - Television lighting rental specialists Version 2 has appointed Laura Byrne to its account management team. She brings considerable experience from the film, TV drama, commercial and music video genres to the company.
Starting her career with rental giants Panalux, Laura was part of the rental desk team at the company’s’ busy Waxlow Road operation. A move to global lighting company Cinelease subsequently followed. Most recently, Byrne worked with equipment supplier LCA.
As account manager at Version 2, Byrne will be liaising with DoPs, LDs, gaffers and production managers to offer support and advise on all aspects of the production process.
Managing director Nick Edwards comments: "I’m excited to be welcoming Laura to our management team, I see many similarities between our career paths, her enthusiasm for the industry is clear. Laura has not only a proven in-depth equipment knowledge but she also understands the importance of strong customer support.”
UK - inspHire has announced the appointment of Martin Bestwick as sales director. Martin’s promotion from general manager coincides with the rental software providers recent acquisition by Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) and is geared towards inspHire further strengthening its position in the UK and globally.
When asked about his appointment, Martin says, “I’m incredibly excited and very much looking forward to the challenge. I’ve worked in the rental industry and have helped deliver value for inspHire’s customers for some time now. Whether that be through implementing solutions which introduce operational efficiencies, or helping prospects and customers discover the true value in any potential investment.”
Graham Dobbs, inspHire managing director adds, “Understanding the wants and needs of rental businesses, being empathetic to the challenges they face and taking a collaborative approach to developing solutions to address these challenges is what we’re all about. The depth in Martins knowledge and experience across all of these areas enables us to continue to progress and enhance the services as well as products we offer.”
UK - Sparq, part of Saville Group, the technical event production specialist which underwent a brand transformation six months ago, is strengthening its senior leadership team with the appointment of John Moore as head of national operations.
Moore has been brought on board to spearhead Sparq’s ambitious growth strategy and oversee the operational direction of the brand, as it continues to develop its 360 technical event production offering. Moore’s remit will focus on improving efficiency across the division, developing and implementing strategic change, together with growing the specialisms and expertise within the national operations team.
Colin Nixey, managing director of Sparq, comments, “Following our rebrand in September, the last six months have been really momentous for us as a company. Our brand transformation formed part of a wider strategy to ensure we remain competitive and innovative, while continuing to deliver an exceptional service to our clients. This also included reviewing our operations and ensuring we have the very best people in place to achieve our strategy for success.
“John’s appointment is central to this strategy, and with his wealth of experience across the industry, there is no doubt that he will play a key role in driving forward the brand. John is a fantastic asset to our expanding leadership team and after an impressive career ‘sabbatical’ we’re delighted to be welcoming him back to the Sparq team.”
USA - Rocky Paulson will become the third recipient of the ESTA Lifetime Technical Achievement Award.
The award, which recognises individuals with ‘significant and sustained’ technical contributions to the entertainment industry over at least 25 years, will be presented at the conclusion of the New World Rigging Symposium at the Hyatt Regency Louisville at 5:15pm on 20 March.
After being discharged from the Navy and while in college, Paulson worked for the stagehands' union, rigging at the Cow Palace arena in San Francisco and other locations. In 1973, Rocky took a job with the NBC network as a production rigger for Peter Pan and toured the world with them for several years.
After returning to the Bay Area, he founded Stage Rigging in 1977. The company went on to become one of the preeminent rigging companies in the world, providing services to such shows and events as the Super Bowl, the RNC Convention, Pink Floyd, and The Who, among many others. Paulson has also been described as an ‘an extraordinarily generous teacher’ for his commitment to training and standardisation.
Paulson was one of the co-chairs of the original ETCP Rigging Certification Subject Matter Experts. In addition, he was a founding member of ESTA’s Technical Standards Programme and authored its first ANSI Standard, E1.1, on the construction and use of wire rope ladders in the industry.
In 2000, Paulson sold Stage Rigging to Freeman Decorating staying on to help run the company until he retired from full-time work as a rigger. He continued to teach an
USA - Atlona has appointed Craig Childs as regional sales manager, TOLA, for the residential and commercial markets.
A certified technology specialist in professional AV technology, Childs will also manage relationships with regional partners that sell and install Atlona solutions. He will be based in Dallas and report to Bruce Moses, director of sales, western region.
“I look forward to capitalising on the success that Atlona has had in the TOLA region by developing new residential and commercial accounts, and providing excellent customer service to established customers,” says Childs. “I will leverage my extensive commercial AV sales experience to drive my ambitious sales goals, as well as the strong relationships I have built with corporations, universities, systems integrators, consultants, and others throughout the region. The common denominator is that these organisations all require reliable AV solutions that enhance collaboration and communications.”
Childs brings nearly 25 years of industry experience to this new role, and has held positions of increasing responsibilities with some of the industry’s most recognised brands.
France - Robert Juliat has reported the passing of Jean-Charles Juliat, aged 76. Joining Robert Juliat in the 1960s, Jean-Charles became company manager in 1972 and was a driving force behind RJ’s move into theatrical and entertainment lighting.
“This is a very sad news for all Robert Juliat family and friends,” says a joint statement from François and Frédéric Juliat. “We cannot find the words to express the deep sadness that overwhelms us as we pay tribute to our father, Jean-Charles, who passed away today at the age of 76.
“Blessed with a curious spirit, a passion for the entertainment world and its lighting, and a strong personality, Jean-Charles raised us with the same spirit and made Robert Juliat into an enduring family business of which he can be proud. The flame of his presence will continue to shine in our hearts forever.”
USA - ETC has announced that Fred Foster, its co-founder and CEO, has passed away at the age of 61. Foster started ETC in 1975 with the goal of installing the first memory lighting-control system in the New York Metropolitan Opera House. He went on to develop a wide range of innovative products including Mega-Cue, perhaps the first console to utilise digital multiplexed data over two conductors between the desk and dimmers; the Concept console that led to the Expression / Express line of control desks; the Obsession Console and the Sensor Dimming System. He also contributed to the design of the Eos, Congo and Ion desks and led the commercialisation of what became the Source Four family of spotlights.
A statement from the company reads: “Foster was a visionary, an innovator, and a role model. The ETC culture of family, support, and encouragement is attributed to Foster and his vision of a creating a people-focused environment. It’s difficult to put into words what it has been like to work for and with such an inspiring leader.”
“One of Foster’s greatest qualities was his ability to bring people together and rally them around a goal or a vision. Whether it was a new product technology, a tradeshow booth design, or an employee meeting space, he was always creating, always making, and always giving. His ideas were big, and his heart bigger.”
Foster is credited with countless industry contributions, ranging from product innovations to student mentorship programmes. He has been recognised repeatedly for his philanthropy from a number of organ
France - Active Audio has appointed Eric Grandmougin as its new marketing and customer support director.
As part of his new role, Grandmougin will provide Active Audio's senior management and strategic committee with insight into market trends and technologies. He will also oversee customer requests and assist with the development and promotion of existing products.
Active Audio’s CEO, Régis Cazin, comments: “Eric has a very strong reputation in the world of pro audio and acoustics in France. He brings a wealth of experience as an acoustic consultant, deep knowledge of markets, technologies and future trends, which will benefit both the APG and Active Audio brand, as well as our partners and end users worldwide.
“Eric’s recent arrival has already benefited several of our distributors to choose the best products for their projects and it won’t take long for the whole market to truly see the impact his appointment will make. Moving forward, having Eric on board will allow us to review our approach with customers, their training and market access methodology. It will also have a very positive impact on our relations with leading international acoustic consultants.”
Grandmougin says: “My first goal is to give distributors and consultants the tools to better understand the rich possibilities of Active Audio technologies and products. The customer support and marketing actions are somewhat related because, when we put tools in place, we must first help users to become familiar with them.”
SE Asia - Nexo has announced the appointment of Joe White to its international sales team. He will be taking up the role of business development manager with responsibility for Nexo’s activities in South-East Asia, India and Oceania.
White is a familiar face to Nexo customers, having spent four years with the company as Global Marketing Manager. Since 2011, he has been running his own business in Indonesia, but, in his words, “I really miss the audio industry and all the co-workers and colleagues in Nexo’s international orbit.”
Reporting to sales director Denis Baudier, White will shoulder the responsibility for managing Nexo’s distribution network in the Far East.
“Over the last seven years, I have had a ringside seat to watch the cultural and economic evolution in this territory,” says White. “New government policies and investments into infrastructure are highly encouraging for a sound reinforcement equipment manufacturer of international renown. As the countries in south-east Asia become more tolerant of, and receptive to, multi-culture, we can see huge growth potential in the entertainment and worship sectors.”
Europe - MDG reports that Nicolas Duhamel has returned to the company full-time to become its marketing and European business development director. Duhamel, who worked MDG’s marketing manager part-time, will now be responsible for the company’s marketing activities globally and be the central point of call for European distributors whilst seeking out new opportunities to develop the brand across Europe.
Duhamel had previously spent two years at MDG, overseeing the overhaul of its marketing resources including the creation of a new website. After returning to his native France in 2016 to take up a position in event management, he has now returned to MDG full-time.
"Nicolas never left us completely as he continued to look after our marketing part-time, so we are delighted to welcome him back to the MDG family full time,” says MDG president & CEO, Martin Michaud. “Nicolas has played an important part in the MDG story over the past five years, and with his experience and passion for the brand, I have no doubt that he will do so again in the years to come. There are exciting times ahead for MDG."
"Atmospheric effects have been a real passion for me and, since I first saw MDG products in February 1996, it was my dream to work for this amazing company that has so much history,” says Duhamel. “Working with these talented people over the years has been a great pleasure, and I'm thrilled and honoured to be able to come back and see that dream continue to the next stage." Duhamel will be based in the south of France.
UK - Lincolnshire-based manufacturer Logic Systems Pro Audio has appointed Andy Mullen to the new post of international sales manager.
Mullen joins the company having worked with major sound and lighting companies in the fields of sub-assemblies, electronic design, mixing desks, amplifiers and juke boxes across 25 years.
He also joins as Logic Systems launches its new Notion line-up, which replaces the popular ML range.
“It’s an exciting time at Logic, with two major new line-ups launched last year and more scheduled for this year,” he commented. “The company has a rich heritage in producing outstanding loudspeaker products and we want to build on that, applying new technologies and techniques to design and product development. We’ve set our sights on being at the forefront of manufacture for the next generation of premium loudspeaker products in the UK.”
As well as the new Notion range, Logic Systems has also introduced the powerful V-Line range, featuring HPLS and MPLS models, and the Ci Series of cabinets, a dedicated installation range aimed at the theme bar and nightclub market.
USA - Elation Professional’s Anthony Velazquez and Shawn Butcher have assumed new roles as product specialists.
Velazquez has been named Antari product specialist while Butcher has become control product specialist, responsible for Elation’s Obsidian Control Systems line of professional lighting control products.
Velazquez has been with Elation for over four years and moves from a position in inside sales. Butcher has been with Elation for two and a half years as a lighting designer and programmer.
“We are excited to promote from within our organisation both Shawn and Anthony, who have proven over the years to be strong team players, both with a passion for servicing our customers,” comments Elation sales and marketing director, Eric Loader. “Their focus and dedication on developing these product categories will be key to our growth plans for each brand."
Sweden - Ayrton has announced Linnea Ljungmark as the latest addition to its expanding international sales team. Based in Sweden, Linnea will be responsible for Ayrton across the whole of Scandanavia, the Baltic and Benelux countries and the Iberian peninsula.
Linnea brings to Ayrton a lifetime of experience in the industry, having spent the majority of her working life at Intersonic AB, the family-run distribution company founded by her father Per Olof Jlungmark in 1997.
“I’ve worked with my father for as long as can remember, first in the office and at local trade shows, and later as general manager of the newly acquired lighting distribution company, One Two Sales,” Linnea says.
During this time Linnea gained in-depth experience in the Scandinavian market and a long association with Ayrton through Intersonic’s distribution of the brand. “I have fond memories of Valère with whom I worked closely and who typified Ayrton’s approach to business,” she says. “To join Ayrton is a dream come true.”
“We are delighted Linnea has joined our international sales team,” says Michael Althaus, Ayrton’s global sales director. “This is a time of rapid growth and increased activity for Ayrton and Linnea is a very welcome addition to the team. Her expertise, energy and enthusiasm will be invaluable asset to Ayrton’s adventure going forward and we are excited to welcome her on board.”
Germany - Pro audio and broadcast audio specialist DirectOut Technologies has announced changes in the structure and leadership of the company.
As of January 2019, Claudio Becker-Foss is promoted to the role of CTO and CEO of DirectOut GmbH. He takes over both positions from Stephan Flock, who will now focus on the research and development of FPGA-based interface and DSP design.
As co-founder of the company, Becker-Foss has worked as product manager and software developer since its beginnings in 2008. Over recent years, he has become a networked audio specialist as DirectOut has progressively adopted network-based transmission technologies such as Ravenna, Dante and SoundGrid to its portfolio.
Together with Jan Ehrlich, who has been CEO and sales director of DirectOut since 2014, Claudio Becker-Foss will be responsible for technical strategy, and preserving the strong reputation the company has built within the industry.
UK - Allen & Heath has appointed Markus Sinsel as the mixing console company’s new sales director.
Sinsel joins Allen & Heath from its Germany, Spain and Great Britain distributor, Audio-Technica Europe, where he held the role of Allen & Heath brand manager. Allen & Heath’s managing director, Rob Clark commented, “Markus has been part of the Allen & Heath family for the past 17 years and has a truly exceptional understanding of both our products and our customers. I cannot imagine a more qualified individual to drive our continued growth in cooperation with our distribution partners.”
Markus Sinsel added, “Allen & Heath has been a central element of my professional life, first as an audio engineer, then working with the great team at Audio-Technica Europe to develop the brand in Germany and the UK. I am looking forward to building relationships with distribution partners around the world and working with them to provide excellent service to the customers who put their trust in Allen & Heath.”
“Being the distribution partner responsible for three strategic sales regions for the Allen & Heath brand (Germany, Spain and Great Britain)” comments Robert Morgan-Males, CEO of Audio-Technica Europe, “efficient and strong relationship is always the key success factor between manufacturer and distributor. While of course we’re disappointed to see Markus Sinsel depart after many years of service to the Audio-Technica German market, his consummate knowledge of the Allen & Heath brand, the European customer
UK - Allen & Heath has made two key international appointments as part of a wider expansion of its fast-growing installation team.
Based in Europe, Martijn Verkerk has been appointed as installation product manager. Tasked with ensuring Allen & Heath’s installation products meet the rapidly evolving needs of the market, Verkerk has been working with networked audio since 1999 and has extensive hands-on experience, having previously worked in technical sales for Crestron Benelux and for Allen & Heath’s Netherlands distributor, Ampco Flashlight.
Working out of Allen & Heath’s US headquarters, Brian McGovern has been appointed as commercial audio business development for North America. McGovern has an extensive install and commercial audio background, having held positions at Yamaha and Roland Professional, designing and implementing audio systems.
Managing director Rob Clark comments: “Many installation specialists are excited about the solutions Allen & Heath is offering for education, worship, leisure, cultural and corporate installations. As we continue to develop this part of our business, we’re very pleased to be adding key personnel of the calibre of Martijn and Brian to our growing team, in order to serve the needs of the increasing numbers of integrators and consultants who are choosing to benefit from the innovative solutions we offer.”
USA - The Audio Engineering Society has announced the appointment of Colleen Harper as the Society’s executive director, effective 21 January 2019.
“Our executive committee's challenge has been to find an individual with deep and broad organizational management, direct prior experience within professional membership organizations, and a unique skill set that combines operational expertise, marketing skills and team leadership capabilities,” revealed David Scheirman, the Society's president for the 2017-2018 term of office.
“The Society's executive director search team has selected Colleen Harper from a field of exceptionally well-qualified candidates. Our entire AES Board of Governors looks forward to working closely with Colleen from day one in her new position at the Society's world headquarters office in New York City.”
Most recently, as the Chief Operating Officer and Interim Chief Executive Officer for the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN), Harper notably led the implementation of strategic goals to drive both short- and long-term growth and sustainability for the $6m organisation, led organisational budgeting, managed ASPEN’s signature annual conference and led the expansion and enhancement of membership service and growth, exemplifying her talent and capabilities.
“I am thrilled to join the AES team,” shares Harper, “and look forward to leading the organization as we continue our work of uniting and educating audio engineers, creative artists, scientists, and students from all over the wo
UK - Sennheiser has appointed Neil Watson as regional marketing manager for the UK and Ireland. Watson will be responsible for ensuring the effective implementation and execution of product launches in the UK and the overall marketing strategy set out from CC&O HQ at a tactical and operational level.
Jane Craven, sales director - Enterprise Solutions Sennheiser UK, comments: “We are delighted to have Neil join our growing UK & Ireland team. His track record speaks for itself and we are certain that, with his experience, allied to our new introductions in 2019, we are going to have a fantastic year ahead marketing with our partners.”
Watson joins Sennheiser from Plantronics, where he managed channel marketing communications for UK and Ireland and developed partnerships with key industry partners, such as Microsoft.
“I am really looking forward to working for Sennheiser. As a headset aficionado, I have always admired Sennheiser’s products and the brand. I am relishing the opportunity to bring my experience from within the industry and beyond to the challenge of growing Sennheiser’s market share within the business communications space.”