UK - London-based technology industry expert Paul Wong has been appointed managing director of Avolites.
Born and raised in sunny Southport, Paul is an experienced business-to-business managing director with a track record of strong growth in multiple industries with a focus on industry-leading technological innovation.
He joins Avolites with a wealth of experience, most recently as MD at Bosch Security Systems Ltd and MD of Record UK Ltd. Paul brings a Master of Business Administration (MBA) focused in Strategy & Finance from Cass Business School and a degree in Electronic Engineering, Software and Communications from The Manchester Metropolitan University.
Paul is welcomed to Avolites as an addition to existing senior management - Steve Warren, director of business development and Ric Salzedo, chairman.
"I'm thrilled to be joining Avolites at this exciting time for the company," says Wong. "Avolites has a great history as one of the pioneers of lighting consoles and a major innovator of new features which have transformed the visual experience of live entertainment. I am looking forward to working with a team who are busy working on incredible new products which will be greatly appreciated by the loyal Avolites fanbase, as well as new users. Having been working in the company since November I feel terrific enthusiasm for the future."
Having held the roles of both chairman and managing director for a number of years, Ric Salzedo will now retain the position of chairman. Along with Steve Warren, he was both architect and
UK - LSi is sad to report the passing of much loved industry personality Ian Dow. An engineering manager and lighting designer and director for the BBC for many years, in his retirement Dow also served as Chairman and Chair of the Papers Committee for lighting conference Showlight, and dedicated much of his time to training and supporting students.
In 2013, Dow was awarded the Enrico Caironi Lifetime Recognition Award during the Knight of Illumination awards ceremony.
Dow was also a long-serving contributor to LSi magazine. His popular Recollected Works column – which ran for 10 years and 37 installments before concluding in December 2016 – saw Dow reflect on his long and varied career in lighting; in particular his experiences lighting countless television dramas, light entertainment shows and outside broadcasts. His good-humoured accounts were always a joy to read, offering a stranger-than-fiction glimpse behind the scenes of shows that many of us will have grown up watching.
USA - Focusrite has appointed industry veteran Pepe Reveles to the position of VP sales & marketing for Latin America. Reveles has nearly 25 years of industry experience, having most recently been part of the team at Avid, where he was in charge of the audio division for Latin America.
Reporting to Damian Hawley, Focusrite global director of marketing & sales, Reveles will be responsible for extending the brand’s reach to the customer base in Latin America. He will work to expand Focusrite Novation’s Latin American presence in all market verticals, from home and project studio interfaces for independent artists, all the way up to professionals in commercial studios relying on Red and RedNet interfaces to simplify complex workflows.
“Focusrite is a vibrant and dynamic company,” remarks Reveles. “The passion, quality and innovation printed on each and every product is super-exciting. From the Novation synths and Launchpad product family to Focusrite’s wide portfolio of interfaces and preamps, the workflow benefits and ease of use help musicians at all levels to create and perform. The Focusrite, Novation and Focusrite Pro brands are global market leaders, and I’m excited to further extend their reach to customers in Latin America.”
UK - Lighting and rigging provider TSL has announced that Colin Paxton will now be managing its dry hire department.
Colin brings considerable experience and technical knowledge having previously worked in similar roles in rental companies, including a senior position as hire manager.
Colin will be supported by hire coordinator Ryan Abrahams who has been with the company since May 2017.
Colin comments, "I have admired TSL for a long time for their strong focus on quality equipment, maintained to the highest standard and backed up by knowledgeable staff who have a passion for what they are doing. I'm looking forward to getting back to building relationships with hire customers. It's a really exciting time to join the company as with the addition of Blinding Light there are a huge range of opportunities for customers."
Alongside Colin's appointment, John Beer, TSL's previous hire manager, will progress into the role of operation manager. John now be concentrating on improving and expanding all areas of the business. John also takes overall responsibility for the hire and warehouse teams with support from Colin and Stephen Beresford, TSL's warehouse manager.
Europe - Lawo has appointed Tibor Tamas to the position of senior sales manager for Austria and Switzerland.
Tamas brings with him over 35 years’ experience in technical development and sales positions in the field of audio mixing consoles, plus extensive broadcasting know-how. After several years of international experience during which he established and organized service and sales infrastructures for Studer in North America, Tamas also worked as business development manager for Studer’s Professional Audio division.
“Lawo is a forward-thinking company that understands applications and customers, and can map the complete broadcast workflow with its IP-based systems and solutions,” says Tamas.
Lawo sales director Martin Blum says, “We are very pleased that Tibor is now a member of our Lawo family. He brings a lot of industry experience and has excellent business relationships with both clients and partners. Tibor is a perfect fit with Team Lawo.”
USA - Kevin Loretto, popular New York based lighting and technical sales specialist died on 23 January in New York after a lengthy battle with cancer.
Celebrating his life, bubbly personality, resilience, dignity and amazing contributions to the world of entertainment and performance lighting, his friends and colleagues at Robe Lighting are all proud and privileged to have had the chance to work alongside Kevin for the last five years, says the company.
He is survived by his wife and soulmate of 29 years, Penny Loretto, three children Tammy Monroe, Kerry Watkins and Robert Monroe and four grandchildren and will be hugely missed by everyone.
Kevin graduated from St John’s University in Queens, New York in 1974 and has worked in many jobs over the years primarily in marketing and sales. It was his love of music which led him into entertainment industry lighting for the last 11 years of his career, where he became successful, and loved and respected by everyone whose lives he touched.
His infectious and affable persona and excellent communication skills opened doors wherever he went, bringing his unique gentle humour, intellect and lateral thinking to any scenario.
Since 2013 Kevin worked as Northeast regional sales manager at Robe North America, where he excelled and seized the chance to develop relationships with those at the forefront of creativity and innovation in the worlds of theatre and performing arts … an environment he totally embraced and had his finger on the pulse.
Previously he was a director of sales for Creative
UK - Ron Bonner, who has worked for PLASA for over 17 years, has announced that he will be retiring at the end of February.
Bonner has been an integral part of PLASA’s technical standards and resources department since early 2001, and has made a huge contribution to standards writing for the entertainment industry, both in the UK and internationally.
Under Bonner’s leadership, PLASA has instigated a wide range of standards which have contributed hugely to the safety of the industry.
Notable projects include the development of the European voluntary agreement for stage engineering that will shortly be converted to the first ever European stage engineering standard. He also led the way in guiding PLASA members on administrative compliance requirements for newly introduced European environmental legislation.
Bonner was instrumental in the creation of the electrical safety chapter of the Event Safety Guide and in creating new laser safety guidance for the industry when HSG95 was withdrawn by the Health and Safety Executive. He was also the sole driving force for a European engineering standard which ultimately led to the creation of a new Technical Standards Committee for the EU entertainment industry at CEN in Brussels.
Bonner has represented PLASA on a number of committees and was a founding member of the British Entertainment Industry Radio Group (BEIRG). Additionally, he worked closely with PLASA’s Skills department and assisted in the development of the National Rigging Certificate.
PLASA will continue to invest in
Germany - Absen Europe has announced the appointment of Thomas Klukas to the position of business development manager for Germany, Switzerland and Austria (DACH).
Thomas joined Absen in January 2018 and is based at Absen Europe HQ in Rüsselsheim, Germany, travelling to spend time with customers and prospects in the DACH region
In his role as business development manager, he will oversee the development of the retail, corporate and DOOH sectors across the three markets, plus sports and rental in Austria and Switzerland – building the Absen brand to increase specification of its innovative and award-winning LED display products in the region.
Prior to joining Absen, Thomas held a director position with audio solutions specifier and supplier Shure Distribution Gmbh, where he oversaw strategy development and partnerships with manufacturers in the AV industry. Other previous roles include business development for Crestron and AMX in Germany, and a strong technical background, Thomas having trained as a radio and TV engineer.
USA - Adamson Systems Engineering has appointed audio industry veteran Lin Buck to the position of director of sales for the United States, working as an integral part of the team led by Marc Bertrand, managing director of Adamson Americas.
In his new role, Buck will collaborate closely with Adamson’s Partner Network and manufacturer’s rep firms to continue driving sales and growing the brand’s profile in the ever-important U.S. touring and integration markets.
“Our comprehensive strategy for building a long-term, sustainable sales structure in the Americas fits very well with Lin’s experience, as well as his philosophies with respect to customer relations and the Adamson brand,” comments Bertrand. “We’re very pleased to have him aboard, and we expect great results.”
Buck served as senior manager of live entertainment sales for Harman Professional, developing a strong reputation among professionals in the North American and international touring communities. That followed successful stints with Bosch Security Systems’ Communications Division and Kansas City, MO-based manufacturer’s rep firm Tremain Marketing Group.
“I’m very pleased to be joining the Adamson Americas team and helping to continue the brand’s years of impressive growth in both the US and international pro audio markets,” says Buck. “Through decades of selling, managing, and teaching, I’ve successfully relied on a customer-centric sales philosophy and strategic development based on analysis, communication, and empowerment. The synergy with Adam
Italy - Outline has announced the appointment of Leonardo Dani to the post of deputy general manager of sales.
Leonardo joins the company during a period of strong growth and expansion, driven mainly by the success of Outline’s GTO loudspeaker family in global touring and by the growing number of high-profile installations of the Stadia Series, including those for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
His professional background includes many years of road experience in FOH, monitor and system technician roles in addition to a decade working in international pro-audio sales.
Leonardo commented, “I am confident that I can contribute to the continued success of Outline, especially as I am joining them at such an exciting time. Their systems are absolutely competitive with anything else currently available and brand new designs such as the extraordinary Newton processor will allow us to demonstrate clear operational advantages to our clients everywhere.”
UK - Creative Technology’s London operation has recently recruited Richard Rogers and Chris Jordan to work as senior project managers in their audio team. Richard and Chris have long careers stretching back to the early 80s, spending most of that time working together on a wide range of audio projects in corporate events and theatre.
“Having worked with Richard and Chris many years ago I am really excited to be working with them both again, bringing with them yet more experience and knowledge to an ever-growing audio team,” says Mark Boden, director of audio.
Richard comments: “It’s great for Chris and I to be joining Creative Technology and becoming part of the team. CT has a fantastic inventory, backed up by a team of experts with a real passion for delivering high quality audio for all kinds of events.”
UK - One of SSE Audio Group’s original team members - Carl Reavey - died suddenly aged 61 on 8 January, the company reported.
Reavey was the fourth member of the original SSE Hire team, joining the fledgling rental company in 1977. There he met his wife-to-be, Jan (who was SSE’s second staff member). His enthusiasm for everything he did always shone through, approaching every task with vigour and humour.
Reavey was crucially important to SSE Hire during these formative years, working the all-nighters, doing mad gigs and moving on to become FOH engineer for the Yachts and later the Undertones.
In 1979, after working around the clock for over a week, he went to Glastonbury with the, just finished, Turbosound festival system and ran the front of house with the legendary John Newsham. They were two very different engineers, but afterwards both said how much they had learned from each other across the three days.
Although Reavey left the sound business in 1995, he was an important figure in the audio industry, first as a sound engineer and later as the first product manager for mixing console company Total Audio Concepts (TAC). In 1991, he was appointed General Manager of Amek’s US Operations, based in Burbank LA.
His passion for live sound and expert knowledge of mixing consoles won him friends the world over.
He left the industry to run a hotel on the island of Islay, off the west coast of Scotland with his wife Jan. He reasoned that having spent so much time staying in hotels, he was well placed to know what guests were looking
USA - Lawo continues to add to its US operations by hiring Mike Franklin as senior sales manager.
US broadcasters are familiar with Franklin in his former role as senior sales manager for Studer in America, and his extended tenure with Euphonix.
“I’ve always admired Lawo, and I’m very proud to be a part of what they’re doing,” says Franklin. “Not only are they the most innovative company in broadcasting, they have amazing commitment to their customers. I think that’s why Lawo is the fastest growing broadcast company in the world.”
Franklin’s appointment is part of Lawo’s continued growth in the US TV and Radio markets, underscored by the recent commissioning of a new support and logistics hub in Elmsford, New York, and the addition of Hans Juergens and David Antoine as broadcast engineers for pre- and post-sales technical support.
“Our organization in America has been growing at an amazing rate, and I’m glad to have top talent like Mike joining the team,” says Jeffrey Stroessner, Lawo’s head of sales, Americas. “Everyone who’s worked with Mike is a fan. Not only is he a great guy, he is absolutely committed to making sure his clients are happy. We couldn’t have asked for a better fit.”
France - L-Acoustics has named a dedicated support team for the strategic and growing sports and cruise ship sectors, hiring Tom Williams to the role of applications engineer and appointing Scott Wakelin, who joined L-Acoustics in 2015 as regional sales manager, to the position of sales manager, sports facilities & cruise ships.
Working with the install applications team, headed by director of application Cedric Montrézor, Tom will represent the L‑Acoustics brand to consultants, architects and venue managers. He’ll also provide technical support to L-Acoustics partners for major sports venue and cruise ship projects around the globe.
Scott Wakelin has over 20 years’ experience in the professional audio industry, developing key partner strategy and focusing on large scale projects for stadia, casinos and railway, among others. His privileged relationships with consultants and key stakeholders in the AV market will be crucial to building the L-Acoustics brand in the sports facilities and cruise ships markets.
“Scott has built up a strong presence for L-Acoustics in Central Europe,” explains Jochen Frohn, director of business development at L-Acoustics. “He has demonstrated product and project excellence as well as technical expertise and I know he’ll be a strong advocate for our clients and partners in a key market.”
With over a decade of experience designing and deploying large-scale audio systems for both live events and fixed installations, Tom Williams has travelled the globe to oversee the sound system installations of
UK - A.C. Entertainment Technologies (AC-ET) Ltd. has announced that Chris Millard has joined the company's Board of Directors in the new role of technical director, with immediate effect.
Chris is a well-known face in the industry, with over 35 years of technical experience gained in the film, television, and entertainment lighting markets. Chris joins AC-ET from his role as technical director at Panalux, where he spent 22 years working for the company - also previously known as AFM Lighting.
Chris will oversee the further development and growth of the company's Technical Services department and in-house Tourflex Cabling bespoke cable assembly service. This includes focusing on the continual improvement of AC-ET's technical procedures, and ensuring their compliance with the very latest, highest industry standards.
Chris comments: "I am excited to be joining the team at AC-ET. As a long-term customer of theirs before joining the company, I have experienced their exceptional technical service and support, which in my experience is second to none in the industry. I am looking forward to playing my part in building on this already high level of expertise and professionalism, as AC-ET continues to keep pace with customers' constantly changing technical needs."
AC-ET’s managing director, Phill Capstick states: "I’m delighted to welcome Chris to the company’s Board of Directors. As the technologies adopted by our industry become ever more sophisticated, this is matched by their increasing technical complexity."
Europe - GearSource has added Jeroen Knol to its business development team. Jeroen is based in Europe and well networked in the European markets, having worked the last 12 years with two of the world’s largest industry-related companies. He will bring his network and relationship management skills to GearSource Europe.
Along with Jeroen in Europe, the company’s US-based business development and operations teams will support everything from listings to orders, logistics and more.
GearSourceEurope.com now operates as a fully integrated and secure e-commerce platform, built on the company’s redeveloped engine, G-Suite offering users even more power than ever before.
“In developing G-Suite, our technology team has once again raised the bar. G-Suite will help us remain the largest name in used gear – globally,” says Marcel Fairbairn, CEO of GearSource.
USA - Lumileds has announced the appointment of Jeff Henderson as senior vice president of corporate development, effective 8 January. Henderson has over 25 years of experience in numerous executive roles, most recently at Keysight Technologies.
“As our business continues to scale, Jeff will be critical to our long-term development as he will be responsible for facilitating the process of defining, supporting and executing upon our corporate growth strategy,” said Mark Adams, CEO of Lumileds.
Prior to joining Lumileds, Henderson was at Keysight Technologies, where he was responsible for leading corporate development for the $4B electronic equipment, software and services business, which spun out of Agilent Technologies in 2014.
“My passion is helping businesses grow and maintain relationships that are vital to our company’s success. I look forward to working with the Lumileds team to generate ideas and opportunities to help accelerate growth,” added Henderson.
South Africa - DWR Distribution has announced the appointment of Shannon Fagan as accounts manager.
Born in Zimbabwe before moving to South Africa, Shannon studied accounting and has had four years’ experience in the workplace. “I am very excited to be here,” said Shannon. “It’s definitely an opportunity to grow.”
As DWR has expanded over the past 11 years, it has become necessary to ease the load of the accounts department. “We are delighted to welcome Shannon to the team and know she will fit perfectly into this family,” said Duncan Riley of DWR. “Shannon has a wealth of knowledge and skill, and more importantly, a great attitude. We hope that she will spend many happy years with us.”
UK - Lesley Harmer, a well-known face in the world of entertainment technology PR, has taken a step back from the industry to embrace retirement this year. The move sees the business change to the new name of Sprand Communications, under the management of Lesley’s colleague Sarah Thomas, and the closure of Harmer PR, the business which Lesley started almost 40 years ago.
Sarah says: “Harmer PR gave me my first job in the industry in 2002, where I stayed for three years, leaving to gain experience in the world of consumer PR. Lesley and I got back together in early 2012, when she closed the London office and I began to work for her again, this time on a freelance basis.”
Lesley comments: “Over the past six years, Sarah and I have known the end goal was my retirement. When I moved to the country a few years back, we began a gradual handover, so there has been no impact on our clients or the quality of our service.”
Sprand’s clients include Doughty Engineering and Unusual Rigging.
The handover will continue smoothly, as Lesley will be supporting Sarah on a consultancy basis. “It’s the perfect balance,” said Lesley. “The time is right to hand over the baton, but equally I’m not sure I could ever tear myself away from this wonderful industry completely.”
Italy - K-array has announced that effective 1 January 2018, Stefano Zaccaria has moved to the position of VP of sales and marketing, to work closely with president and co-founder, Alessandro Tatini.
Zaccaria arrived at the company in October 2016 as a temporary manager, but since January 2017 he has been a full-time insider, tasked with reaching long-term goals as strategic sales and business development manager. He has significant experience, consolidated into a long career path, working with small- to medium-sized companies particularly specialisng in luxury design brands and high-end product markets.
K-array also reports the promotion of Daniel Strasserra to sales engineer in the sales department at the company’s headquarters. Strasserra joined the company eight years ago and has progressively advanced through positions in both the service and sales departments’
Also confirmed is Daniele Mochi’s new position as project manager. During his four years at K-array, Mochi has assisted with the system design for applications such as Teatro di Habana in Cuba, Vodafone Arena in Turkey and White Nightclub in Dubai. He has also been responsible for hosting product workshops, seminars and presentations which, along with his background as a physicist, provides him with the passion and knowledge to now run the newly-launched K-academy.
"Stefano, Daniel, and Daniele have been important fixtures in the K-family for a while now and I look forward to seeing what their new roles will bring to the company," concludes Tatini.
Germany - It was at Showtech in Berlin that Michael Feldmann and GLP founder and CEO Udo Künzler met for the first time. GLP had previously caused a stir in the industry with the Patendlight and YPOC series and as a student Michael was looking for an internship as part of his lighting technology studies. "Here, the door to the event industry opened up for me and fulfilled a long-awaited dream to work for a renowned moving head manufacturer,” he said. “Udo then offered me the opportunity to take care of production as a German engineer in China, which I gratefully accepted.”
The paths of Feldmann and GLP were soon to part again. For four years he worked as a project manager and planning engineer in the field of architainment. But the passion that had originally sparked GLP duly led him back into the event industry for a number of years. Michael Feldman gained extensive experience in project and product management at one of the largest manufacturers in the industry, and built up extensive contacts with investors, designers and technicians.
"After a good 12 years, I am now very happy to be back at GLP. Of course, over the years I have never lost sight of the company and have always been able to follow how GLP has developed into an internationally renowned manufacturer in our industry. I have watched in admiration as the GLP brand established itself in the professional sector, and today their products are indispensable in almost all segments of the industry,” he states as the basis of his decision to rejoin GLP.
Michael Feldmann started working a
USA - Margie Kirby has joined husband Rik Kirby at the helm of Allied Professional Technologies where she will be extending the company’s services further into the marketing realm.
With over 28 years of experience in the professional audio industry Kirby most recently held the post of director of marketing at Renkus-Heinz, prior to which she held marketing and trade show management roles with TEAC’s Tascam division.
"At Allied Professional Technologies we provide a flexible approach to US distribution which we feel reflects the way the industry and supply chain have changed over the last 10 years or so,” explains Rik Kirby. "For Linea Research we operate as a full-service distributor while for Luminex we work as an extension of their existing North American operation. Now with Margie joining us, we’ll be able to offer our partners increased marketing services both in the USA and in support of their global businesses.”
“I’m excited to ring in the new year with this next chapter in my career,” concludes Margie Kirby, "working with long-time industry friends and colleagues, and of course making new partnerships along the way. Catch up with us at NAMM where we’re exhibiting with both Linea Research and Luminex in the new pro-audio hall on booth #18105."
UK - Pharos Architectural Controls has made a series of internal promotions and role changes across all its teams.
Thomas Ladd has been promoted to the role of international sales director. He is now directly managing the sales team worldwide and developing commercial strategies in Pharos’ key territories. Ladd has been with Pharos since 2010, and has been instrumental in growing its business with key customers in North America during that time.
Pharos managing director Chris Hunt comments: “Tom’s promotion is a great fit for his experience and skills, and it comes at a very exciting time for Pharos to help progress our presence in the fixed installation market.”
Bas Hoksbergen is now architectural market manager, with a broad remit to develop strategies that take Pharos into new markets in the wider world of architectural lighting. He will also be taking the lead in managing Pharos’ relationships with its larger corporate customers and OEM partners across all the regions, as well as coordinating Pharos’ work on special projects.
Richard Leivers has been hired as Pharos product manager. Leivers has been with the Carallon group for seven years, having previously worked as a developer in the Carallon FPGA team and then most recently as the technical product manager for Brompton Technology, playing a key role in the development and growth of the Tessera product line since its inception.
Pharos director Richard Mead says, “Richard brings a lot of valuable skills and a fresh perspective to Pharos, which we believe will be very h
USA - ESTA has named Erin Grabe to succeed executive director Lori Rubinstein in what is expected to be a year-long transition. Erin is currently ESTA’s assistant technical standards manager and part of the transition involves replacing her in that role.
Erin has been working in technical production in live events since the age of 15, including nine years working for Grand Stage Company as a sales associate, purchasing agent, and project manager. Following that, Erin worked as a freelance lighting technician and board operator for corporate and private events while pursuing a Bachelor of Technology degree in Entertainment Technology at New York City College of Technology.
Erin began as an intern with ESTA's Technical Standards Program in October of 2012, working as a scribe for some of the task groups writing American National Standards. In early 2013, Erin joined the staff as assistant technical standards manager, working very closely with manager Karl Ruling. Shortly thereafter, she incorporated administration of ESTA’s association management database into her daily responsibilities. Through these duties she has interfaced with ESTA’s staff on all of the association's key programmes and initiatives.
ESTA president, Jules Lauve, states, “Erin has the full support of ESTA’s Board of Directors. We have total faith and confidence in Erin and her capacity to shoulder these new responsibilities.”
Lori Rubinstein reflects, “Thirty years after helping to found the organisation and 28 years after becoming the first employee, it’s tim