USA - Atlona has announced the appointment of four new members to its sales team. Three new regional sales managers and a new inside sales representative have joined the company.
Robb O’Brien has been named as regional sales manager, commercial, for the Southwestern United States, while Patrick Smith takes on a similar position for the North Central United States region.
O’Brien brings with him 15 years of experience in professional AV sales, most recently as a regional sales manager for Kramer Electronics. Smith is also an AV industry veteran, with 30 years of background in sales engineering and management including roles at Visitec and Crestron.
The new commercial RSMs will represent Atlona’s portfolio of innovative solutions including the Velocity AV control and OmniStream networked AV platforms. The duo joins six other nationally-placed sales team members in assisting Atlona’s dealers and integrators to drive opportunities for growth in environments ranging from classrooms, conference rooms and huddle spaces to large-scale AV distribution.
On the residential AV side of the business, Steve Neylon has joined the company as regional sales manager for the Eastern United States.
Atlona has also further strengthened its growing inside sales team with the addition of Joseph Sebek as the company’s newest inside sales representative. Sebek has previously held similar positions in the AV industry, most notably focusing on the digital signage market for display manufacturer Planar Systems.
“One of the more visible ways in whic
USA - Newly-elected ESTA board members are Todd Spencer, PSAV, for president; Alan M. Rowe, IATSE Local 728, returns for his second term as organisational director, and Joe Aldridge as individual director. These terms of office begin on 1 January 2020 and run through 31 December 2022.
ESTA and its members wish to thank outgoing board members Jules Lauve of Theatre Projects Consultants and Dana Taylor for their dedicated service.
South Africa - DWR Distribution has announced the appointment of Nicole Barnes to the marketing team. Barnes was previously employed as the editor at etech magazine.
“We are very pleased to welcome Nicole on board,” said Duncan Riley of DWR. “Being a vibrant people’s person, we know that she will fit right in. Our brands have grown over the years, and with her help, we look forward to being able to offer an additional service to our clients and suppliers in terms of press releases and marketing ideas.”
Italy - Giovanni Barbieri has taken on the role of general manager of Italian pro audio manufacturer dBTechnologies, part of the RCF Group.
Barbieri joined dBTechnologies' sales force as export sales manager in 2009. In 2011, he became business development manager and since 2012 has served as sales and marketing director.
The new appointment was announced by the CEO of dBTechnologies and RCF Group, Arturo Vicari, who commented: "The group is expanding, we have several interesting projects to carry out and it is natural to consolidate the organisation of a company that in recent years has shown not only to create quality products, but also to be able to propose and distribute them to an increasing number of users. Over the years, Giovanni Barbieri has demonstrated many qualities, first of all the ability to transmit to the market who we are and what we can do. This makes him the most suitable person to represent dBTechnologies, taking on the role of general manager.”
Barbieri added: "I was welcomed into this family in 2009. At the time, dBTechnologies was a smaller company, both in terms of turnover and workforce. Over the years I have had the opportunity to meet and grow together with people who represent excellence, both from a professional and personal point of view. And this is true for every single department of the company.”
UK - Industry veteran Andrew Smith has joined CUK Audio in the newly-created role of director of business development. Smith, who spent the last 11 years at Kramer Electronics UK in a number of roles including chief operating officer, will be championing CUK Audio’s growing portfolio of video and control products.
Commenting on his career move, Smith says: “I've known Stuart and the team at CUK Audio for many years and am delighted to be joining them at such an important point in the company’s development.”
Managing director Stuart Thomson adds: “Andrew will be a huge asset to our company. With his extensive industry knowledge, technical skills and sales ability, I know Andrew will help us deliver our ambitious growth plans over the coming years.”
UK - The Autograph Group has announced the departure of long-serving Financial Director, Duncan Bell.
Bell joined the company straight from school aged 18 and worked his way up to the position of Group Financial Director. He had established himself during the ‘80s and ‘90s as a respected Production Sound Engineer working on many high-profile theatre productions in the UK and abroad. His slavish attention to engineering and economic detail was what set him apart and marked him out for his future role within the companies.
Bell went from coiling microphone cables to running the financial fortunes of a group of companies that have a combined annual turnover of over £10M.
“A month’s work experience in 1984 has led to a 35-year journey as part of an incredible company and family” says Bell, “but I have decided that the time is right to find a new challenge for the next chapter of my life. Whatever that turns out to be, it will be defined in no small way by the experience gained as part of Autograph.”
“Looking back on it, having industry pioneers such as Andrew Bruce, Julian Beech, Jonathan Deans, Bobby Aitken, Tony Robinson and Terry Jardine as your collective mentors, teachers and friends must surely be the holy grail… and that was just within the company. It will be strange to move on, but I know that Autograph is in good hands and will continue to flourish for years to come.”
The departure of Autograph’s previous financial and business director Julian Beech, in 1999 due to ill-health, led to Bell’s promotion to Gr
UK - Green Hippo has strengthened its product development and logistics teams with the appointment of three new members of staff at its London HQ.
Joining as supply chain manager is Tosan Kogoro (pictured, left), who brings a wealth of experience in supply chain and distribution processes. Kogoro, who is fluent in English and German, arrives from DHL Global Forwarding where she was responsible for major clients including WH Smith and Argos.
Specialist media server and control systems engineer Leon Dickens (centre) joins as product support technician. Leon has three years’ direct experience of Green Hippo’s range of media servers in training, operations and troubleshooting. He was most recently employed as an event services technician at PRG.
Joining the R&D team is Pratik Mankawde (right). An experienced software developer, Pratik joins Green Hippo from DNeg VFX Studio in London, before which he was employed by Qualcomm and DreamWorks in Bangalore, India.
“We’re thrilled that Tosan, Leon and Pratik have joined Green Hippo - this is an exciting time for the company as we expand our London operations in line with our strategy for growth in the coming twelve months,” says CEO Emma Marlow. “We are increasing production, distribution and support services and investments in our team reflect our commitment to that. We look forward to working with them all.”
The appointments come at a time of expansion for the media server company, which recently launched V4.5 of its Hippotizer software.
UK - Audiologic has promoted David Smith to the position of senior business manager, completing a management restructure recently instigated by MD, Andy Lewis.
Smith, who previously served as business development manager, will now take responsibility for the day-to-day management of the company’s external sales team, providing “a clearly defined link to the directors, whilst retaining some hands-on sales accounts”.
Lewis comments: “In the time Dave has been with us he’s clearly demonstrated what an excellent operator he is. His knowledge of the industry is second to none and his management experience in previous roles has equipped him with all the skills necessary to run a cohesive and effective team. We’ve enjoyed significant growth in recent years and it’s vital that we establish a robust and dynamic management structure to meet the challenges ahead. Dave, along with head of operations Anne Broadley and senior application engineer Ben Spurgeon, completes a very strong team who are well-equipped to take responsibility for every aspect of our business.”
Smith adds: “We go from strength to strength at Audiologic and I’m very pleased to be taking up this important new role within the company.”
Europe - Nexo’s Celso Papadopulos has moved into the role of European sales manager. Papadopulos has been part of Nexo’s sales team since 2003 as LATAM sales manager, tasked with building the company’s export network and sales in Mexico, Central and Latin America. His first task as Europe sales manager will be the development of Nexo’s European commercial department following the departure of Alain Boone.
Papadopulos comments: “It’s a new challenge, and challenge renews life,” says Celso. “In South America, I was working in many different countries with different cultures, so I recognise that every place offers new opportunity. he skills of distributors are critical to our success, and I hope to boost our outstanding network to achieve great things, drawing on my own wide-ranging background in both of NEXO’s main markets, touring and fixed installation.”
Meanwhile, Bertrand Billon has joined Nexo’s engineering support division. He will assume special responsibility for the company’s top-of-the-range modular line array systems, including the STM Series. He started his engineering career working on tours and events as a PA technician and engineer for the French production services company Dispatch (later known as Dushow) and then joined the newly-created Stage Entertainment France as head of sound.
“Coming to Nexo gives me the opportunity to focus once more on PA systems, which was my first occupation and passion,” says Billon. “I am excited to be doing this job on behalf of a manufacturer, which will raise my skill
Asia - To better serve its expanding market in the continent, Chauvet has appointed industry figure Desmond Kwan as its Asia business development specialist.
Kwan brings extensive experience in entertainment lighting to his new position, having served in various sales and management positions at Harman Professional for 15 years. During that time he acquired a reputation for his product knowledge and commitment to customer service.
“Desmond’s track record is extremely impressive,” said Stéphane Gressier, international sales director at Chauvet. “In addition to possessing an extraordinary level of expertise, he also has a genuine dedication to putting the customer first. This has earned him an excellent reputation throughout the markets he serves. It is also very much in keeping with our own philosophy at Chauvet, so he will fit in very nicely with our corporate culture and make valuable contributions to our continued growth in Asia.”
Kwan, who will be responsible for Chauvet Professional and Chauvet DJ products, shares this enthusiasm about his new position. “Becoming part of the Chauvet team is a wonderful opportunity,” he said. “Not only is this a company with tremendous growth potential in Asia, it’s also one that shares my values about being committed to excellence and customer service. I am very excited.”
UAE - Creative Technology Middle East has appointed Lee Forde as the new general manager of its Dubai branch. Lee is an industry veteran with over 33 years’ experience and has a strong technical and managerial background. Lee will play a crucial role in overseeing the day to day operations while further assisting Andy Reardon implement strategies to enhance and expand CT Middle East.
Andy Comments “It is an exciting time for the Middle East as we continue to grow and expand our team of professionals. I am looking forward to working closely with Lee and wish him all the best going forward.”
Rob Turner has joined as the integrated networks technical manager. Rob has joined CTME to develop the newly established communications and networking division, with over 24 years experience in the AV industry, 10 of which he spent at Delta Sound.
Europe - Radio Active Designs CTO James Stoffo has announced the appointment of Jim Bakker to the position of EMEA sales and technical support director.
Bakker is based in France and will manage the sales and distribution of Radio Active Designs products throughout Europe as well as the Middle East and Africa. Well known for his sales representation and strategic consulting capabilities, Bakker will spearhead efforts to increase sales and distribution for Radio Active Designs UV-1G wireless, analogue intercom systems as well as the company’s catalogue of wireless intercom accessories.
"Radio Active Designs is fortunate to have someone with Jim's experience championing our products in the region," explains Stoffo. “We are excited to have him on our team and are confident he will contribute greatly to the company's growth world-wide."
Bakker, who is also the sales and technical support director for Lectrosonics, started his wireless sales career as the north and western Europe sales manager for AKG in the early 2000s and has been a strong supporter of Lectrosonics since 2009.
"Radio Active Designs wireless intercom represents a terrific sales opportunity for our organisation," Bakker adds.
Spain - Chauvet has announced that Jose ‘Alberto’ Barja has been appointed as its business development market specialist for Spain.
Barja brings extensive experience in many facets of the entertainment lighting industry to his new position, having worked for 20 years in executive positions at manufacturers Traxon, Osram and Siemens, as well as at the distributor Stonex, Bofill & Asociados.
At Chauvet, he will be working closely with the company’s Spanish distributor ACSON and Jon Petts, the company’s brand development manager for Western Europe.
“The addition of Alberto to a team that already includes Jon Petts and Goran Doncic, business development manager for Western and Eastern Europe, greatly strengthens our position in this market,” said Stéphane Gressier, Chauvet’s international sales director. “Alberto brings a depth of knowledge about lighting to this position, and I’m confident our customers in Spain will find him to be a valuable resource.”
Barja adds, “Like many people, I have been impressed not only by Chauvet’s rapid growth, but with how it has managed this growth so it continues to maintain the highest quality standards. I share the same values and commitment to customer service as Chauvet, so I am very excited to grow with the company.”
Europe - d&b audiotechnik has announced the appointment of Alain Richer to serve as managing director in France, succeeding Didier ‘Lulu’ Lubin who retired in September having founded d&b France in 2000. In his new role Richer will be responsible for all aspects of business and market development of d&b in France as well as the day-to-day operations throughout the country. He will report to Phill Coe, territory manager, EMEA.
Richer comes to d&b from Sennheiser where he held the role of European marketing director. Commenting on his appointment Richer stated, “Throughout my career in the professional audio industry, I’ve always had deep respect for d&b’s commitment to quality and industry leading acoustic technology. I look forward to being part of d&b Group and lead the team that will create the next phase of growth in France.
“In the past four years we have more than doubled our market share in France,” continued Coe. “As we enter the next phase of our development, with the strong local team now led by Alain, we are well positioned for further growth.”
Group CEO Amnon Harman said, “France is a key strategic market for d&b and an integral part of our international growth plans. We are committed to support our local customers with our own subsidiary and will further expand our operations in this key market. I’m confident that Alain’s personality and drive as well as his professional audio and local market knowledge make him uniquely qualified for this role.”
USA - Gobos, colour filters and lighting manufacturer Apollo Design Technology has appointed Paul Cook as production technician and Ashley Gladin and Chance Parker as customer care representatives.
Avid Labs, a sister company to Apollo Design has announced the appointment of new engineers, Josh Thomas, and Andrew Trenton.
Paul Cook holds a diploma in Graphic Design from the International School of Business, and a B.A. in Social Studies from Tri-State University. “We appreciate Paul’s work ethic and willingness to help out wherever he is needed,” states Keersten Nichols, president of Apollo Design. “With 17 years at Apollo in the Art Department as Graphic Artist, we look forward to Paul’s contributions in Production.”
Ashley Gladin is a graduate of New Albany High School in southern Indiana. “Ashley works with most of our AV dealers and is a key component on our team,” explains Brandi Hite, customer care manager.
Chance Parker is a graduate of Indiana University Purdue University. “With Chance’s theatre background, he will build strong dealer relationships,” adds Hite. “His dealer base is mostly West Coast, which means he will serve the West Coast time zone requests and questions.”
USA - Powersoft has appointed industry veteran Tom Knesel to the position of general manager, North America. Knesel, who will be located at the company’s US headquarters in Kearny, NJ and who will start on 7 October, will report directly to Luca Giorgi, sales & business development director, Powersoft. The announcement follows the successful relocation of Powersoft’s North American headquarters two years ago, and coincides with the company’s increased focus on the systems integration market and launch of the Mezzo amplifier platform earlier this year.
“We are very pleased to welcome Tom into the Powersoft family,” commented Luca Giorgi. “Two years ago, we began a significant restructuring of our U.S. operations, which included relocating our headquarters to the east coast, hiring new operational and sales staff, and realigning our entire North American sales rep network. Having successfully completed these tasks, we are perfectly positioned in this region for sustained growth and net new revenue opportunities.”
Before joining Powersoft, Knesel was regional business development manager, Americas, for MUSIC Tribe and responsible for driving revenue and managing the Americas for the company’s commercial audio brands - including Midas, Klark Teknik, Lake, Lab Gruppen, TC Electronics, Tannoy and Turbosound. Prior to that, Knesel spent several years in the manufacturer, design and systems integration markets
Luca Giorgi, who has served in a dual role for Powersoft as GM, North America and sales & business development director for
USA - Fulcrum Acoustic has announced the appointment of loudspeaker designer Kirk Lombardo to its expanding engineering team. An industry veteran, Lombardo has experience in professional and consumer audio, working with companies including Electro-Voice, Altec Lansing, and Velodyne. In addition to his design work, Lombardo has worked in other roles including product management and contract manufacturer/supply chain management.
“We are happy to have Kirk join our team,” comments David Gunness, Fulcrum's CTO. “We have many product and technology goals established for the next several years. Experienced staff like Kirk are essential in bringing those to market.”
“I'm thrilled to have this opportunity,” adds Lombardo. “I've known David since we worked together at Electro-Voice. I look forward to working together again as part of the Fulcrum team.”
Denmark - Pascal’s CEO and co-founding director Lars Rosenkvist Fenger has been shortlisted for an EY Entrepreneur Of The Year award.
EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is a unique global program that recognizes entrepreneurial achievement among individuals and companies that demonstrate vision, leadership and success - and work to improve the quality of life in their communities, countries and around the world.
Fenger and Pascal are nominated in the Copenhagen region, home to over half the country’s commercial enterprizes. In less than 10 years the company has risen from a start-up to rank among the kingdom’s top 0.07% highest performing companies, in the process becoming the number one supplier of amplifier electronics to the pro-audio industry.
The EY award program focuses on spotlighting the world’s most successful and innovative entrepreneur led company’s where leadership and vision continue to make the difference.
UK - Shure UK has appointed Giuseppe ‘Peppe’ Mallozzi to its UK pro audio team.
Mallozzi will work with new and existing customers and build brand awareness in the concert touring, theatre and broadcast markets. He joins Shure UK after eight years at Autograph as technical sales engineer, where he was responsible for large-scale wireless projects across the UK and wider entertainment industry.
“I am very excited about my new venture at Shure UK, a company of which I have worked with for many years,” says Mallozzi. “I look forward to working with customers in London and the South and developing new relationships in an industry I am proud to be a part of.”
Stuart Moots, associate director, pro audio at Shure UK, adds: "Peppe's knowledge and experience make him an ideal fit for this role. As a trusted face within our industry, he is able to hit the ground running. With the right team in place, we are now ideally positioned to continue our growing success in theatre and broadcast, while also leading the way in touring and live events. The future looks bright for Shure UK pro audio."
UK - A.C. Entertainment Technologies (AC-ET) has announced the appointment of well-known industry figure Dave Ball in a newly-created audio sales executive role.
Joining AC-ET’s specialist audio division, Ball’s primary focus will be on developing business for the Dynamic Audio Device (D.A.D.) professional audio brand, which is exclusively distributed in the UK by AC-ET and in the ROI by sister company, AC-ET Ireland.
Operating out of AC-ET’s Northern sales office in Leeds, he will spend most of his time on the road visiting clients and carrying out product demonstrations. Ball will also represent AC-ET’s other key audio lines, as well as complementary services such as Tourflex Cabling custom cable assembly.
Ball previously held technical sales and business development roles for speaker brands and pro-audio distributors including RCF, Polar Audio, LMC and KV2 Audio, as well as running his own PA rental business for 12 years.
Peter Butler states: “I’m delighted to welcome Dave to AC-ET’s audio sales division. With his wealth of knowledge and experience in the professional loudspeaker market, along with his huge passion for audio as a user himself, Dave is well placed to develop the Dynamic Audio Device brand and provide first class service to our audio customer base.”
Italy - Claypaky has announced the appointment of Marcus Graser as the new CEO of the company. He replaces former CEO Pio Nahum, who is retiring on 1 October after 30 years in the lighting industry, the last 10 spent at the Italian lighting manufacturer.
Graser, 42, is an experienced Osram executive who has spent the past 15 years in a variety of roles at the organisation, most recently as head of business development and innovation for entertainment. When Osram acquired Claypaky, Graser led the Osram side of the integration. He has been Nahum’s designated successor, working closely with the former CEO since the start of 2019.
"I am proud of having become the new CEO of Claypaky and to oversee the exciting progress we anticipate in the years to come,” comments Graser. “I feel however that this is the right time to express on behalf of an entire Claypaky community, our sincere gratitude to Pio Nahum for his excellent contributions as well as pragmatic, visionary and passionate leadership that allowed the company to achieve important results.”
Nahum adds: "I am glad to hand my responsibility over to Marcus; we have been working together since January and he has acquired a perfect understanding of our organisation, our market and our business. I am confident that Marcus will carry out his new assignment with the utmost professionalism, enhanced by the enthusiasm and innovative attitude that are part of his personality.”
France - Lighting solutions manufacturer GLP has appointed Bruno P. Souchaud to head up its newly-formed subsidiary, GLP France.
Souchaud has nearly three decades’ experience in international show lighting, including three years with the French GLP distributor, LA BS.
GLP board member Kasper Gissel comments: “We are fortunate to have the services of such a lighting industry veteran as Bruno. The move will bring us closer to our customers and key LD’s. GLP has been specified by French LDs for many years, and previously we have done business directly with the major rental houses in France. So the timing is perfect for GLP to put a more solid structure in place and to further increase our presence in the market.”
Bruno says he is relishing the new challenge. “When Udo [Kuenzler], Kasper and the GLP team set out to emulate the formula that had worked so well for the UK and Nordic countries, I jumped at the chance, especially given the exciting launch of the Fusion range. I wouldn't have moved for a copycat brand or a brand without GLP’s level of creativity and innovation.”
GLP France will initially operate from Bruno P. Souchaud’s office in Aulnay-Sous-Bois on the suburbs of Paris, close to Roissy CDG airport.
Europe - Harman Professional Solutions has announced that Hamid Soufian has been appointed vice-president and general manager of EMEA.
Soufian brings more than 18 years of experience in the Harman organisation to his new role.
“We are pleased to welcome Hamid Soufian to this key leadership role as we continue to improve and strengthen the Harman brand worldwide,” comments Mohit Parasher, president & EVP, Harman Professional Solutions. “We are excited to have someone with Hamid’s expertise to help us grow and bolster our relationships with our valued partners in the EMEA region.”
Prior to his new appointment, Soufian was the VP and GM responsible for multiple European automotive customer accounts forging new relationships and enhancing existing partnerships with the OEMs.
“I’m extremely honoured by this appointment and will be working diligently to establish and strengthen long-term partnerships with our distributors and customers across the EMEA region,” says Soufian.
UK - During the PLASA Show, L-Acoustics founder and president Dr Christian Heil was announced as the winner of the 2019 Gottelier Award, as voted for by his peers. Named in memory of Tony Gottelier, the renowned industry innovator and commentator, this annual award recognises product developers who have made significant long-term contributions to the advancement of entertainment, presentation or installation technology.
Heil founded L-Acoustics in 1984, and the introduction of the V-DOSC line array system in the mid-1990s led to a fundamental shift in the live sound market, and line array systems proliferated for the next decade and a half. Still, Heil and L-Acoustics continue to refine the line array concept: the KIVA ultra-compact system came to market in 2008; the K1 system - seen as the long-awaited successor to the ground-breaking V-DOSC - debuted in 2009; the KARA modular line source system followed in 2010; and the K2 system in 2014. More recently, L-ISA’s comprehensive multichannel audio architecture has impressed with its ability to bring immersive audio to live performances in venues with capacities of 100 to 10,000 or more.
On receiving the award, Heil comments: “I am very proud to receive the Gottelier award, both as an individual but also on behalf of the whole L-Acoustics team who have accompanied me for 35 years now. I am especially happy that this award is given to someone that represents and contributes to the evolution of the sound industry. To my knowledge, the last time the Gottelier was awarded to a fellow sound luminary was in 20