UK - Solotech has announced the appointment of Bryce Jewell as managing director for the UK. He will drive the overall business strategy for Solotech and its two divisions, Live Productions and Sales and Systems Integration.
Jewell has over 20 years of experience within the technology sector spanning the UK, US, Norway, and Australia. He has led the turnaround of the UK and US enterprise businesses as MD at Global Cloud Xchange, which operates the world’s largest privately-owned subsea cable system. Prior to Global Cloud Xchange, Jewell served as director, sales Europe at Pacnet.
“This appointment is the symbol of a new major milestone for Solotech’s expansion in the UK and Europe, and a true testimonial of our intention to continue investing in our people, our technology, our operational structure and our brand,” comments Martin Tremblay, president and CEO of Group Solotech. “We are in it for the long run, and are definitely looking to build a strong, UK-based operation with - in addition to the audio heritage from SSE Audio, Wigwam Acoustics, Capital Sound and BCS Audio -other key services and technology that set Solotech apart and make it absolutely unique on the global market.”
“We are absolutely thrilled and proud to welcome Bryce as part of our leadership team. His knowledge of business management and technology background will be a major game changer for the diversification of our business activities in the UK and in all of Europe for the years to come,” adds Tremblay.
USA - Main Light, LLC has hired Patrick Bellino as an inside sales representative. His responsibilities will include working with both rental and sales clients as well as interfacing with the shop to ensure the smooth fulfilment of client’s orders. Bellino will work from Main Light East in Wilmington, DE and will report directly to Main Light rental manager Rick McKinney.
Bellino previously worked as a rental representative with the Christie Lites office in New York where he focused on the Broadway theatre market and as an account executive with 4Wall Entertainment.
Main Light’s business model as the leading industry source for dry hire equipment is something that is excited to be part of, as he explains. “Dry hire is a really great model,” says Bellino. “It lets us help everyone. We're not directly competing on jobs against other companies instead we get to be helpful to everyone so they can handle the work they have and provide the gear they need to do that work.”
Randy Mullican, general manager of Main Light, notes, “Patrick is a great fit with Main Light and will be a strong addition to our team. He has a real knowledge of the industry, a strong background, and solid experience to draw upon, plus he is committed to getting customers what they need when they need it.”
China - Powersoft has appointed Abby Hu to the newly-created role of chief representative officer in China, where her main responsibilities will be supporting and growing brand awareness throughout the Chinese market.
Hu brings over 10 years of experience in the AV industry to the role, having previously worked for a systems integration company specialising in conference, broadcasting and theatre.
Hu is no stranger to Powersoft, as she previously worked alongside Ezpro, Powersoft’s Chinese distributor, in conjunction with a project for Universal Studios. Hu states: “At its very foundation, Powersoft is a great brand. I believe my participation can really enhance the influence of Powersoft and its potential to flourish in new markets.”
"We are very excited to welcome Abby to our team at Powersoft,” comments Luca Giorgi at Powersoft. “Her regional expertise in business development will be invaluable for this position. We look forward to working alongside Abby to further our growing commitment in China.”
Hu’s first responsibilities will be to concentrate on vertical markets such as theatre performance, broadcasting and entertainment. “There is also great potential in Powersoft’s OEM strategy in this market,” she adds.
Genelec has further expanded its Nordic sales operation with the recent appointments of Mirko Ekberg and Fredrik Setterberg, both of whom bring with them a considerable professional audio experience.
Ekberg joins Genelec’s Finnish team as pro audio sales manager, with responsibility for developing both studio and MI dealer networks and building closer relationships with key studio customers. With a combined 20-year track record of sales management with both Fender and the Luthman distribution group, Ekberg steadily progressed to the role of chief sales officer for Finland and the Baltics for Luthman Nordic.
With over two decades of industry experience in both sales and technical solutions, Setterberg joins Genelec’s own Swedish distribution team as sales engineer, focussing on pre-sales and sales support across the studio, AV and home audio segments
“We’re extremely happy to add two such experienced, skilled and respected professionals to our Nordic sales team,” concludes Mikko Tuomi, Genelec’s Nordic sales director. “In their individual roles they will strengthen our already robust team, bring us closer to our key business partners, and provide even higher levels of customer satisfaction.”
UK - Audiologic has welcomed Jessica Raraty as internal business manager. Her role has a strong focus on relationship-building with Audiologic’s widening direct customer base. The company has also promoted Vicky Clayden to sales support supervisor, overseeing the structuring of the internal sales team.
The growth of Audiologic and its customers also sees a continued focus on procurement and processes. Anne Broadley, senior operations manager, continues to make sure the business has the support structure, processes, and best practises in place. To support this, Nicola Boyle takes on the role of procurement administrator.
Stuart Leader, senior sales manager, comments: “As a business and an industry, we have all had challenges to face and to overcome in the past year. Since joining Audiologic, we have been working hard on a strategy to help drive the company forward. I am proud that as we enter 2022, we have developed new roles and a sales structure that will allow us to focus on our business and more importantly, forecast where it is coming from. We are excited for the new year ahead and look forward to entering the next chapter of growth for Audiologic.”
Europe - Lighting designer, director and programmer Marc Lorenz has joined Ayrton’s international team as designer relationship manager with a focus on Europe.
Lorenz brings to his new role over 30 years of experience as a freelance operator, programmer, lighting director and designer on many well-known festivals, arena shows, tours, television and corporate events, as well as being a respected trainer for lighting consoles and media servers.
His past festival credits include Paleo Festival Nyon, Out in the green Frauenfeld and the Open Air St. Gallen while his touring career has encompassed groundbreaking tours for artists - many with leading lighting designer Gunther Hecker - like Die Fantastischen Vier, David Garrett and Herbert Grönemeyer, amongst many others. Lorenz is also co-author with Roland Greil of Showlicht, vom Scribble zum fertigen Design.
“I am very excited to be joining Ayrton,” says Lorenz. “I know some of the team already, and I know and like how Chris (Ferrante, Ayrton’s CEO) is driving the brand forward.
“As a designer and programmer, I have worked with Ayrton products before, firstly with the Creative Solutions products like MagicPanel and CosmoPix, and latterly with Khamsin and other of their Classic fixtures. So I already know about the quality of the products, and this is what I want to bring to people’s attention. In my new role, my experience and knowledge will be a touchpoint for the designers and operators. We talk the same language because I have been in their shoes for a long time, so I know about
UK - Ross Robertson has joined Arena UK MEA as managing director of the structures division, based in Arena’s St Ives headquarters.
Arena chief operating officer EMEA Tom Evans comments: “Arena Group is taking on a new look as we bounce back from the pandemic, and I am sure that Ross is the right person to steer the structures division, bringing great experience to achieve ambitious expansion beyond our core events sector.
“Arena’s structures division is gearing up for an incredibly busy 2022 across a wide range of events, and we are investing in our team to support our project directors, managers and site crews’ delivery of amazing events on behalf of clients.”
Arena’s structures team is already well underway with the build for Europe’s largest temporary triple-decker hospitality structure for the 2022 Cheltenham Festival and next year will also provide temporary infrastructure to many projects including The Randox Grand National, Wimbledon Championships, The Open, and The Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
Ross states: “It is fabulous that my career pinnacle sees me return to Arena, where my temporary structures journey began. Arena is an amazingly well-respected brand with a fantastic team of event professionals who I’m looking forward to working alongside.
“Paul Berger (Arena EMEA CEO) and Tom Evans have shared their exciting vision for Arena, presenting a great opportunity to stretch myself and take on new challenges to develop and deliver their business strategy into the demountable industrial structures sector.
Germany - The Riedel Group has announced an expanded management structure. Starting 1 January 2022, the Wuppertal-based company will be organised into three main divisions: The product division and managed technology business units will have Rik Hoerée and Lutz Rathmann as their respective new CEOs, with Riedel Networks and its managing director and CEO, Michael Martens, forming the group's third division.
This move allows Riedel Group CEO Thomas Riedel to devote his attention to driving business development and expanding global partnerships and networks. Together with group chief financial officer Frank Eischet, who is responsible for finance, HR and IT, Thomas will form the spearhead of the Riedel Group.
"The last year has given us time to take a deep breath and reflect on our setup. We realised that we would have to change some things to sustain the rapid expansion of our business," says Riedel. "These past few years, our company has seen tremendous growth, and 2021 is no exception. Now is the right time to broaden the management team to support this dynamic upswing. This reorganisation is the foundation to master current and future challenges to our business and to continue our strong organic growth."
Riedel chief sales officer (CSO) Martin Berger who has been driving this evolutionary step forward will withdraw from the Riedel management board.
"I take great pride in the fact that we have developed first-class leaders within our own ranks, who are now ready to take on greater responsibility for our next growth phase," said Berger. "It wa
UK - Audiotonix has promoted general manager Austin Freshwater to managing director of DiGiCo, signalling a new era for long-serving MD James Gordon, who remains Audiotonix CEO.
Audiotonix oversees entertainment technology brands Allen & Heath, Calrec, DiGiGrid, Group One Limited, KLANG:technologies, Solid State Logic, and newly acquired Sound Devices LLC, as well as DiGiCo.
“We were talking about Austin moving into the MD position just before COVID-19 hit, by which time it didn’t feel right for me to run off into the hills,” comments Gordon. “I don't think it would have sent the right message to our customers and teams.”
“In March 2020, everyone went into ‘serious concern’ mode,” he adds. “We’ve basically spent this time reassuring people within the company who aren’t used to not hitting their numbers that we’re all in it together.
“We’ve also spent a lot of time helping our end users, the DiGiCo sound engineers, because they’ve been miles away from their ‘on the road’ family and their usual support groups haven’t been there in person. Seeing how well Austin has led the team during this time has been exceptional. It’s really shown everyone that he’s more than capable.”
It was the first six months of ‘going dark’ that presented the toughest test says Freshwater. “We were in the office most days trying to keep in touch with everybody and keep them genuinely motivated,” he says. “Just checking in on everyone regularly and letting them know we were still around was vital. It’s been
UK - The Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT) has announced Mig Burgess Walsh and David Evans as co-chairs. The duo will succeed Richard Bunn, senior consultant at Arup, who navigated the ABTT during the pandemic period.
Walsh is lighting tutor at the Guildford School of Acting, chair of AAPTLE Wellbeing Group, and an active freelancer. Evans is the head of production at National Theatre Wales, former chair of the Production Managers’ Forum and a founding production manager and board member of the Lagos Theatre Festival.
The ABTT says: “The combination of Mig and David’s extensive background in the performing arts, encompassing teaching, touring, programming, production and venue management, alongside their ongoing commitment to improve our industry make them ideally-qualified to lead the ABTT’s council of management over the next two years.
“All at the ABTT would like to extend their heartfelt thanks, recognising Richard's hard work and commitment during very challenging times.”
Commenting on her role, Burgess Walsh says: “I am so pleased to begin this prestigious role with the ABTT. A role to which, quite frankly, I never thought I would ever be able to aspire given my mental health diagnosis. With David by my side as co-chair, I shall have tremendous support if and when I should need it. In fact, appointing co-chairs brings many inclusive and wellbeing advantages, we are each able to support one another, dividing the workload and bringing both our unique perspectives.”
Evans adds: “The ABTT is an organ
UK - Stage One Creative Services has announced a partnership with automation specialist Mark Ager, who will take an associate consultant role. The partnership is intended to elevate Stage One’s automation capabilities
Known for designing some of the first modern automation systems, Ager’s expertise has seen him play a key role in the engineering development of the innovative Bridge Theatre, London, and establish one of the foremost suppliers of live entertainment automation systems, Stage Technologies. In 2009 he and co-author John Hastie published Automation in the Entertainment Industry: A User's Guide.
Mark Ager comments: “I’m honoured and excited to be supporting Stage One. Mark, Tim, and Karl have built an incredible team that delivers world class projects! I really am looking forward to being part of the adventure.”
Managing director at Stage One Creative Services, Tim Leigh, adds: “In the world of automation there are few individuals who are as experienced as Mark. I’m delighted to have him on our team and excited about the opportunities this will bring.”
USA - PRG has made two senior appointments. Stephan Paridaen (pictured, right) has been named CEO. He currently holds the role of president & COO at PRG, leading its operations in EMEA & APAC since 2010, and will step into his new position from 3 January 2022.
PRG has also appointed Jeremiah J. (Jere) Harris (left) as the company’s executive chairman and CCO.
“There’s no one better prepared and able to lead the company than Stephan Paridaen,” Harris said. “Since arriving at PRG 12 years ago, he has demonstrated an exceptional passion for our mission and has focused on the continual growth of our business in the EMEA and APAC regions, while improving our operations and expanding our offerings.”
As executive chairman & chief creative officer, Harris will work with and support Paridaen and the leadership team. Harris felt that the timing was right for the CEO transition. He said, “We are at an inflection point for the company, the industry and indeed the world. After leading the company through the most difficult period in our history, we are now on solid footing. There is still much work to do, and I am confident in Stephan’s ability to realize the tremendous opportunity ahead.”
Speaking on behalf of the PRG Board of Directors, Lauren Krueger, managing director, KKR, said, “We thank Jere for his exceptional leadership of PRG and look forward to his contributions in his new roles. We are confident that Stephan brings the strategic vision and operational focus needed to accelerate growth and profitability at PRG.
Spain - Pixotope has appointed Sergio Cardenas as their regional sales manager for Southern Europe.
A specialist in real-time graphics, virtual studios, and virtual reality solutions, Sergio’s previous experience includes roles at companies such as Orad Hi-Tech Systems and Avid Technology.
Sergio comments, “Pixotope’s ground-breaking mixed reality and virtual production solutions are leading the market, and I’m really excited to help drive this moment of growth. I’ve been following their technology for a while now and look forward to being part of a team that is pioneering virtual production, providing broadcasters with the tools needed to deliver the most demanding live productions in the world.”
This new hire aligns with Pixotope’s growth plans for 2022, which include a number of projects in Southern Europe.
UK - Last month, Sonosphere started the next chapter in its journey to bring all areas of immersive audio to the live, studio and broadcast markets by completing a management buyout which sees existing director, Jamie Gosney, joined by Duncan Bell, a familiar name in the audio industry.
Sonosphere’s mission has always been to make immersive audio accessible to the industry at large. Over the past 18 months it has been part of the 5G Festival (part of the DCMS 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme (5GTT). This project aims to utilise the 5G network to revolutionise the live music industry, creating new commercial opportunities for arts and entertainment, and giving artists and audiences new ways to interact with each other.
“I became a shareholder and director of Sonosphere last year and I could see the huge potential the company had,” says Gosney. “When the opportunity to take over the ownership was presented, I knew that it was too good to miss. But I needed to have the right team in place to take it forward and make the most of all the opportunities that are presenting themselves.”
Gosney and Bell have decades of experience in the audio industry, and first met when Gosney was working as front of house engineer on a show for Autograph in the mid 80s. Whilst Gosney left the show and went on to forge a successful career as a studio owner, mix engineer and audio systems designer, Bell stayed with Autograph, working his way up the ranks to the position of group financial director, a position he held for over 20 years.
Having been an instrume
UK - Theatreplan has welcomed five new members of staff, just prior to and during the pandemic, to assist the company in meeting the demands of current and future projects.
Andy Josephs joined Theatreplan at the end of 2019 from the Bridge Theatre where he had been head of sound, and part of the small technical team that created and opened the theatre in 2017. Prior to this Andy worked as a sound technician at London's Almeida Theatre, Young Vic Theatre, and the St James Theatre, London. Since joining Theatreplan, Andy has been engaged on designing and specifying sound systems for a large school theatre in China and is also an integral part of the team working on the major upgrading project at Sydney Opera House Concert Hall.
Peter Crockett joined Theatreplan as junior stage engineer in summer 2021. Peter graduated in 2019 with an MEng in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Bristol. He subsequently worked with the Cotswold Canals Trust and was involved in Project Velocity Research Lab at the University of Bristol, which is researching into optimisation of chain drives for the British Olympic Cycling Team.
Andrea Sinigaglia and Anthony Grieveson both joined in 2020 to further deepen the BIM expertise within the company. Both had significant experience working for commercial architecture practices, but also had an abiding interest in theatre design. Anthony graduated in Architecture from Liverpool University and his MA dissertation focused on auditorium acoustics. Andrea studied architecture at Universita’ di Firenze and a Master’s degre
UK - Scotland-based event production and site management specialists, Rogue City Productions has appointed Graham MacIntyre as business development manager.
Graham has consulted on and managed projects across the UK including Edinburgh Hogmanay, Mela Festival and Social Bite’s Sleep in the Park, as well as developing growth with international live production suppliers. Graham is known for his ability to build strong relationships and drive strategic growth.
Director of Rogue City Productions, Shane Grieve states: “We are very excited Graham has joined our growing team. He brings with him vast knowledge and experience of the live event industry across the country. I’m confident his positive attitude and can-do approach will work well with our existing and new clients.”
UK - Event and brand logistics specialist Global Infusion Group has announced a change in its leadership. Bonnie May, previously GIG’s global operations director, takes on the role of CEO and Richard Duff joins the company as managing director as the business emerges from the pandemic.
Whilst continuing to lead the day-to-day operations of GIG and maintaining her hands on approach with clients, in her new role as CEO, Bonnie will shape the group’s strategy and vision. Rich, as managing director will be responsible for its implementation and lead all business functions including sales, finance and human resources.
Richard’s career spans sales, marketing and operational leadership roles within the FMCG, consumer electronics and homeware sectors. Over the last few years his focus has turned to the hospitality sector, and in his most recent role he was CEO of hotel technology firm Navarino Services.
Commenting on his appointment, Richard Duff said: “At the heart of Global Infusion Group ethos is a desire to make things happen and put smiles on people’s faces. They’re both things that I enjoy and honestly, who wouldn’t want to join a company that has been successfully delivering those things for the best part of 40 years?”
Bonnie May, CEO of Global Infusion Group adds: “Adding a managing director of Richard’s calibre and having his experience within both FMCG and hospitality puts us in an excellent position for driving the business forward. Like everyone, we’ve been in survival mode throughout the pandemic, and had our own ch
Canada - Solotech has appointed Nicolas 'Nico' Labbé as senior technical specialist (business development). Joining the company's Montreal Live Productions team, he will liaise with the Live Productions Division to offer clients the services they require and aid in the development of new business opportunities.
Over the last 35 years, Labbé worked as a lighting designer with the biggest names in the music industry, such as Charles Aznavour, Véronique DiCaire, Garou, Lara Fabian and Roch Voisine. He is also well known and respected in television, where he served as director and designer of photography on multiple live show recordings.
Solotech says Labbé will also play a crucial role as an ambassador of the company’s multiple technological solutions and his lighting and video expertise will help the team to better support Canadian designers.
Solotech says in a statement: "His know-how and unique approach will contribute to the development of new business opportunities. The entire Solotech team wishes him a warm welcome and much success in his new position."
UK - Pharos Architectural Controls has further strengthened its senior team with the appointment of Simon Hicks to director of product & marketing, and the promotion of Tim Edwards to director of operations.
As director of product & marketing, Simon Hicks will have responsibility for the Pharos product development strategy, while leading the product management team.
Hicks has worked for Pharos both directly and indirectly - with Pharos’ partner brands - since 2006. Having originally been employed in software development for Carallon, he moved to Pharos as the technical director in 2012 - a position he held for a number of years. Most recently, he led the team developing Pharos Cloud under the SixEye brand, before once again becoming part of the senior Pharos team.
Hicks comments: “This is a very exciting time to be taking on this new role as Pharos prepares to bring some innovative products to market. These have been our main development focus for some time and I will be working to ensure they deliver on their potential.
Tim Edwards, a well-recognised name at Pharos, is stepping up to become the new director of operations. In this role, Edwards will focus on a number of areas including customer service, after-sales support, order fulfilment and procurement processes.
Speaking of his latest responsibilities, Edwards said: “As the company grows, I’m delighted to continue my Pharos journey in this newly created role. It is an exciting development both professionally and personally and I look forward to helping the busin
UAE - Creative Technology Middle East (CTME) has announced further senior appointments.
Chad Smith is named project manager in the live events division. He has over 11 years of experience throughout the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Asia. Projects he has worked on include as Diriyah Season, World Air Games, Amway ALS & NPF Business Forum in Singapore, UAE National Day and many globally broadcast sporting events to take place in Saudi Arabia.
Nick Fenton has joined CTME as an AV project manager with over seven years of experience in the live events industry across the Middle East and South Africa. Over the years, he has worked on various large-scale projects, such as Jazz Fest, Red Fest, Arab Hope Makers, World Economic Summit, Dubai Rugby Sevens and Atlantis New Years Eve events.
Sam Connolly has been appointed head of lighting for the Middle East region. His portfolio includes the Special Olympics Opening and Closing Ceremony, AD Diriyah Inauguration, Burj Khalifa New Year’s Eve celebrations, Commemoration Day and multiple concerts and live event spectaculars.
USA - Ayrton continues to expand its international designer relations and sales teams with the appointment of Brian Dowd as its new designer relationship manager for North America. The new role takes effect from 1 October 2021.
Dowd brings to Ayrton nearly 45 years of experience across almost every aspect of the lighting industry, from production and rental to distribution, sales and leadership roles in a variety of companies. His new role will see him work with lighting designers, specifiers and key production contacts to excite and develop the market for Ayrton, supporting the work of Ayrton’s North American distributor, ACT Entertainment.
“I am thrilled by the opportunity to join the Ayrton team,” states Dowd. “I have always felt that Ayrton designs and produces the highest quality automated fixtures in the world. It will be an honour to help grow the brand. The years I have spent nurturing relationships will be well-served, and developing new ones will be exciting. I have known many of the Ayrton team for a long time so it will feel like home right away.”
“Brian’s previous experience with Ayrton from his time at ACT Lighting means he knows the product well and understands the Ayrton philosophy,” says Michael Althaus, Ayrton’s global sales director. “His work with major US companies has enabled him to develop a breadth and depth of understanding of designers, their needs and the market, which is important to us.
“While we are very excited to welcome Brian back on board in this new role, we are also very grateful for e
UK - Ashford-based Lighting Effects Distribution (LED Limited) has announced the appointment of Nick Terrell as senior sales associate.
With over 25 years of experience in professional lighting, Terrell says: “The chance to be involved with a high-profile distributor & manufacturer with superb range of professional lights is a dream come true”.
“We are very excited to welcome Nick to our team”, states LED Limited CEO, Ian Kirby. “This is the third time we have worked together; the first time was at Roger Squires London back in the late 80’s, then in 1998 Nick joined the team I was managing at Martin Professional UK, so it's great to be working with him again in a similar role. Nick joins other old Martin colleagues here such as Clive Bailey and Stuart Thompson. Nick is renowned in the industry as being very customer focused, something that very much aligns with our values at LED Limited.”
USA - Chauvet Professional has appointed Scott Laurentz to its management team. Formerly with The Lighting Design Group in New York, Laurentz joins Chauvet as product resource manager for broadcast lighting.
In his new position, Laurentz will draw on his extensive global experience working on lighting projects to provide the Chauvet Professional and Kino Flo product development team with strategic input. He will also be involved in building customer relations and conducting training related to broadcast, studio, and film lighting.
“This position is part our product resource group focused on customer-focused product innovations and applications,” says Albert Chauvet, CEO of Chauvet. “Adding Scott’s expertise to the Chauvet Professional and Kino Flo brands will drive our ability to provide a full range of solutions for this market. In Scott, we not only have someone who has valuable insights into this market, but also shares our company’s vision of following a philosophy based on customer first.”
“The experience I’ve had with Chauvet Professional and its people in the past has been very positive,” says Laurentz. “The company is demonstrating the understanding of this market by fueling development that is only strengthened by the addition of Kino Flo. The future is very bright, and I am thrilled to be a part of it.”
Norway - Pixotope has added three names to its senior global leadership team.
Ben Davenport joins Pixotope as VP for global marketing, taking charge of Pixotope’s international communications strategy. Ben has established a 20-year career in B2B marketing for the technology, media, and entertainment industries, heading up leadership positions at AmberFin, Dalet Digital Media Systems, and most recently, working as head of portfolio & marketing strategy for Vidispine at Arvato Systems.
After seven years as enterprise account manager at Avid, David Cheng has been appointed as VP sales & marketing EMEA at Pixotope. In his role at Avid, David focused on the sales of Avid video solutions, connecting and coordinating with some of the biggest international media companies, such as Viacom, Comcast, and Discovery.
Travis Sims has become Pixotope’s strategic account manager for North America, drawing from a 15-year professional history working at technology companies, including RED Digital Cinema, Atomos, and Creative Solutions. Most recently, Travis held the position of director of product for live production with Teradek, overseeing the development of several major products within the broadcast and streaming market.