USA - Bandit Lites has hired Nick Brown to provide lighting design and console operation for various productions, including events and Blackberry Farm, a luxury five-star resort.
Brown’s previous experience includes working as the resident lighting designer and technical director foat the University of Tennesseer the Irondale, an Off Broadway theatre in Brooklyn, New York as well as a lighting and video engineer at the Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
“I've loved concert lighting ever since I was thirteen years old,” comments Brown. “I knew about Bandit Lites when I was studying theatrical lighting design in college, so I'm very excited to finally be a part of this great team.”
Upcoming events featuring Brown include the University of Tennessee’s Senior Toast, where students are nominated by faculty and staff and invited to attend a dinner in Neyland Stadium, as well as L’Amour du Vin, Knoxville Museum of Art’s annual gala.
UK - Green Hippo has further strengthened its London team by appointing Abi Roberts as project and marketing coordinator.
Roberts joins from the legal world, where her attention to detail and communication skills led to a role liaising, and maintaining relationships, with a range of clients. She is now channelling this experience into managing a range of Green Hippo marketing, including digital and social media, trade shows and providing marketing support for the distribution network.
“I’m thrilled to join such a vibrant company with a clear vision for growth in 2020,” says Roberts. “The AV industry presents an exciting change of direction for my career where I can apply my experience to create some exciting new materials for our customers. I look forward to working with you all in the near future.”
Roberts joins Green Hippo as the company moves its London office to Camden and releases two new products for live entertainment and 3D mapping installations. Roberts will be working closely with Green Hippo’s head of marketing, Mercedes Stevão Boase.
Poland - Shure Incorporated has announced plans to enhance its market development initiatives in Europe with the appointment of Jacek Rusek as integrated systems market development manager for Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia.
In this new role based in Warsaw, Rusek will build direct relationships with end customers in the region to better understand their requirements and find solutions that best meet their needs. He will work closely with Shure distributor Polsound to help Shure expand its market growth and position in Poland.
“We are pleased to welcome Jacek to Shure,” commented Rob Smith, senior director, integrated systems sales for Western Europe, at Shure. “His background in video conferencing and unified communications as well as his expertise in sales, product management, business development, and technical training, are very beneficial. Jacek will make significant contributions to support our Market Development activities in Poland and will be a valued member of our team.”
Before joining Shure, Rusek worked for a telecommunications solutions distributor in Poland. His tenure there included management positions in IT, engineering, and business development.
UK - Stage and theatre drapes manufacturer J&C Joel has appointed Lauren Kellett as its new chief financial officer (CFO), replacing Nick Warton, who will leave the business in December after almost four years of service.
Kellett will helm J&C Joel’s Finance and IT department, assuming full responsibility for the company’s finances including planning, reporting and auditing. Working closely alongside the rest of the senior management team, she will support business growth across the world.
James Wheelwright, CEO of J&C Joel added: “On behalf of the company, I would like to welcome Lauren to J&C Joel. Her experience in the finance industry, as well as her knowledge of fabrics is very valuable to our team here at J&C Joel and I have every confidence she will be a great addition to our senior management team. We have expanded significantly in recent years and are currently working on a brand-new catalogue to showcase our innovative products and services to our clients around the world.”
Kellett brings 13 years of experience to the organisation, having worked for some of the biggest names in finance, most recently as director of finance at West Yorkshire-based textiles firm, Camira Fabrics. She was also finance manager for Colliers International (UK) and spent two years within the London Audit team at BDO, a major accounting firm with a global presence.
She comments: “I am delighted to join the team at J&C Joel, the company has such a rich heritage and is well respected within the events industry. The team has
UK - RCF UK has appointed Tom Martin to the role of UK technical sales/support. He will be supporting all RCF dealers south of the M62.
During his career so far, Martin has worked across many sectors, including tour/product management, FOH engineering, corporate production and audio installations, and many large-scale events including The Olympics, The Brits and MTV Awards.
Dean Davoile, UK sales director, comments: “As RCF continues to grow we needed to find someone that was capable of supporting our dealers and demonstrating across all our product ranges. Tom is that person; with his extensive experience in Live, Installed and AV applications, he fits the bill perfectly.”
Martin adds: “I am looking forward to getting my teeth into the RCF product lines and working with some great people, both in the UK and Italy.”
South Africa - DWR Distribution has appointed Andrew ‘Andy’ Pettit in the role of sales and technical support for the Cape Town market. He will be joining Bradley Bruchhausen at DWR’s offices in Milnerton, Cape Town from mid-February.
“I am very excited to be taking on the role of sales and technical support at DWR Cape Town. I believe that the position will present some much-welcomed new challenges and will allow me to grow both personally and professionally,” says Andrew. “I am honoured to be a part of the DWR family and am looking forward to a bright and rewarding journey with the team.”
Andrew is no stranger to the technical entertainment industry. After matriculating, Andrew attended The Cape Audio College where he achieved his Diploma in Audio Technology while working as a freelance technician. Following graduation in 2015, he joined SOLID Group, a well-established production and events planning company.
“I am very pleased to have Andrew join me at DWR’s Cape Town office,” says Bradley Bruchhausen, who currently manages the branch. “Andrew and I have worked together on various projects over the years, and I am confident that he will prove a fantastic addition to the family and fill Jethro’s shoes, who is exploring other opportunities.”
USA - Agnieszka Roginska has begun her term as president of the Audio Engineering Society.
Currently celebrating her 20th year as an AES member, Roginska has served in numerous leadership roles within the Society. Professionally, she currently holds the positions of Professor of Music Technology and the vice-chair of the Music and Performing Arts Professions Department at New York University.
In her role as Professor of Music Technology at the university, Roginska’s work involves conducting research in the simulation and applications of immersive and 3D audio including the capture, analysis and synthesis of auditory environments, auditory displays and applications in augmented acoustic sensing. She is the author of numerous publications about the acoustics and psychoacoustics of immersive audio and auditory displays.
“It is an honour and a privilege to begin my term as president of the Audio Engineering Society - the world’s leading society of audio professionals, creative artists, scientists, educators and students,” Roginska states in her inaugural AES president’s message. “One of my goals in 2020 is to build membership and continue to recognise that we are a diverse community of members - whether you are a student just exploring the world of audio, a young professional entering the workforce and growing in experience, in mid-career maintaining your skills while learning new ones in our rapidly changing industry, or a seasoned professional who wants to give back to the community as a mentor.”
She adds: “I look forward to a
UK - Audiologic has appointed Andy Barnby as business manager. This is a pivotal role built on a strong foundation to support their growing network of customers, which will ensure the highest level of customer service and support is offered.
Andy will be responsible for driving forward Audiologic’s strategy and success in providing technical excellence, conducting demonstrations and taking a true ‘hands-on approach’ to guide projects successfully through to completion, on time and on budget, to the highest standard.
With 30 years’ experience, Andy joins Audiologic from Prolight Concepts, where he was area manager for 14 years representing brands such as eLumen8, Global Truss, PCE, Kuzar, Zenith and Clever Acoustics. This included lighting, staging, truss and rigging, as well as audio. Andy first started his career in audio working at Bose Professional, following this with a range of sales and account management roles with other well-respected brands including Citronic, Cerwin Vega, Numark Alesis and Akai on the audio side.
"The outstanding breadth and depth of Andy's experience is an ideal fit for Audiologic's ambitious vision and company culture," said Dave Smith, senior business manager at Audiologic. "He will bring his broad insight into our team and play an instrumental role in driving forward our strategy into new markets with significant potential for growth."
UK - Hertfordshire-based live events video specialist Pixl Evolution has announced the appointment of Gilles Quentel to the post of warehouse manager. Gilles has enjoyed a successful career in the UK, following the move from his native France more than 25 years ago. With wide experience in the preparation of AV equipment for the touring, corporate and exhibition sectors, he is accustomed to management roles in busy, high-pressure environments.
“I’ve known Gilles a long time and had the pleasure of working with him for a number of years in a previous position,” says managing director Lee Spencer. “His technical AV knowledge is excellent, he has very strong IT skills and his commitment to delivering the highest level of customer service matches the Pixl ethos of going above and beyond. We’re delighted to have secured the services of an exceptional professional.”
Gilles Quentel adds, “I’ve come a long way since working for a small rental company in the south of France in the mid 1980s. My career to date has allowed me to develop a strong skill-set, meet some special people and a gain good understanding of the AV industry.”
USA - With sales on the rise, Mike Hedden, Danley president, has restructured the sales and marketing division to respond to that growth, virtually promoting from within.
Towards the end of 2019, long-time Danley staff member, Jeff Pulliam, was named general manager. At the beginning of 2020, Mike Hedden promoted Jonathan ‘JP’ Parker to director of global sales and marketing. JP will be overseeing the newly-fortified team including newly promoted national sales manager Skip Welch, who will manage the domestic sales team.
This will include Cooper Hedden, promoted to southeast regional sales manager, Jay Andrews (formerly with Lienau AV) promoted to northeast regional sales manager, and Kim Comeaux, (formerly with Anderson Marketing), promoted to western regional sales manager. Additionally, Harold Sexton and Scott Howard have been recruited as sports market & house of worship and recording specialists respectively. Both have extensive experience in these markets.
“We’re pleased to see continued growth in our well-established markets, such as house of worship and sports venues, and to be making significant inroads in other markets, such as live music venues and theatres,” said Hedden. “Tom and his team of engineers even indulged a long-time passion and designed a recording studio monitor system, the Danley Studio 1 and Studio Sub, which positions us for growth in a radically new market. We’ve been fortunate to have a fantastic team guiding our growth and expansion, and I’m not about to shake up that winning formula.”
USA - Ginny Wynn and Joe Muncy have joined the Bandit Lites world headquarters as inside sales representative and a sales floor technician, respectively.
Muncy will assist in the daily operations at the warehouse, including sales and production preps, facilitating used gear sales and listings as well as testing and prepping new gear for customer distribution. He has experience in both national tours and regional theatre and worked at VSA as a facilities coordinator in the College of the Arts as well as the technical director of the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra, lighting and scenic designer of the TSU Opera, and the technical director and lighting designer of many local dance schools.
As the inside sales representative, Wynn works with Bandit’s sales and purchasing department in client relations, project management, inventory control, quoting, purchasing and shipping.
Italy Prolights has appointed Andrea Gabrielli as the company’s technical director. Gabrielli brings a broad experience and extensive knowledge to the position, having been involved in the design and manufacturing of professional stage lighting and architectural lighting products for more than 20 years.
Fabio Sorabella, Prolights MD, comments: “I look forward to work closely with Andrea, as his addition to our team will play a strategic role to consolidate and elevate the technological development of the brand. He boasts a complete background, from design to manufacturing of products intended for the professional lighting market. Andrea will surely be an important asset for the company, leading a dynamic team towards the process of international growth and products recognition the company is experiencing”.
Gabrielli says: “I am happy to have joined Prolights. I have been greeted by a fantastic team and a stimulating work environment, and it will be a real pleasure to work together with them to achieve the ambitious challenges that the brand is facing.”
Germany - Munich-based fibre network specialists Optocore and BroaMan have announced the promotion of Dawid Somló to sales distribution manager for both brands.
Somló has been with the company for five years and during that period has managed relationships with existing distributors as well as significantly expanding the distribution network worldwide.
Stepping up to management level, and tasked with overall international sales and network responsibility, he states: “I am delighted to take up this new position and relish the challenge ahead, as nowadays technology allows us to make incredibly smart solutions with high bandwidths using all kinds of signal for different applications. I am honoured to be a part of this technological change on the board of such important companies as Optocore and BroaMan who can make this possible by utilising the optical fiber environment. More and more customers are starting to realise that thanks to our partners all over the world.”
Tine Helmle from the board of directors adds: “Dawid's promotion to this new position was a logical decision. He is a great person to work with and has grown our distribution network considerably in recent years. I am very happy to have him on our team.”
Germany - Ralf Oehl has been appointed as CEO of studio specialist Georg Neumann.
Oehl joins Georg Neumann GmbH after founding his own company, Concinno, which focused on strategic and M&A advisory services to high-end manufactures. With his expertise in areas such as disruptive industrial technologies, innovative new business models and innovation-driving organisations, he has also become a contributor to multiple prestigious institutions, including Fraunhofer Ventures and the World Economic Forum.
He has previously worked at high-tech engineering group M+W and a managing partner at Droege Group, a leading German strategy consultancy.
At Georg Neumann GmbH, Oehl will report to Peter Claussen, COO of the Sennheiser Group.
“It is a great honour to be joining Neumann.Berlin,” comments Oehl. “Taking the helm of a company with such tremendous history, impact and reputation in the professional audio world is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. While carefully preserving its highly appreciated values and unmatched commitment to quality, we will be striving hard to further expand our portfolio and make our offering available to even more audio professionals all around the world. I am looking forward to working with the team at Neumann as we take this iconic company to new heights.”
“I am delighted to welcome Ralf Oehl to our company,” adds Peter Claussen. “Thanks to his achievements and breadth and depth of experience, Ralf is the ideal choice to take this exceptional brand forward, while cherishing the legacy of excellence tha
Europe - Nexo has promoted its long-serving UK sales manager Gareth Collyer to the position of sales and marketing director.
Collyer has worked with some of the best-known loudspeaker brands in the industry, including Bose and JBL, in a long career which has taken him from DJ to respected partner for the UK’s top audio consultants and system integrators. He has played the central role in establishing Nexo’s direct sales operation in the UK, which is now one of the most successful and high-profile sectors of the company’s international business.
Amongst other recent achievements, he has been instrumental in Nexo’s success in large-format sporting venues, including the Etihad Stadium for Manchester City FC, the Wimbledon tennis championship, Croke Park in Dublin, and Headingley Stadium in Leeds.
“I’m pleased to be asked to take on this challenge,” comments Collyer. “Today’s high-end sound reinforcement business is very different to the one I had when I started work with Nexo. Manufacturers have to assume more responsibility than ever before, in terms of software and processing solutions as well as engineering support for the design and implementation of increasingly sophisticated systems.”
Nexo CEO, Jean Mullor, adds: “The Nexo sales line-up has been transformed over the last few months. With Gareth at the helm as sales and marketing director, we are looking forward to presenting a new Nexo in the coming decade.”
USA - Industry veteran Josh Berry has joined JRLX as Nashville-based account executive focusing on touring and production.
Berry comes to JRLX after a long history in the touring and live music industry. “I am so excited to join the JRLX team. I have met with several companies over the past six months and was very impressed at JRLX’s hunger and attention-to-detail. These guys know how to put out quality work and have fun - it’s going to be a great year,” notes Josh Berry.
“Our continued presence in the live music touring market has grown exponentially and we are thrilled to welcome Josh to our team where he will develop and service new touring and production accounts both in Nashville and nationally,” states JRLX CEO Jason Reberski. “Josh will draw upon his contacts and decades of experience to engage in touring business development and account support for JRLX. He is the right person for the job, his influence in the industry is significant, and we look forward to incorporating his strengths into our existing team.”
USA - Bandit Lites has hired David Sloan as IT manager, presiding over the entire information technology department, including overseeing the company’s computer equipment, hardware and software needs.
Sloan has worked with The Learning Company as a quality assurance tester of foreign language software. He was promoted to QA tech, where he was responsible for building and maintaining the computer laps with prefabricated and custom computer set ups. Sloan also worked as a network administrator for both Mattel Interactive’s Knoxville office and East Tennessee Human Resource Agency (ETHRA).
“For the first eight years, I was the sole technical support for the whole agency,” explains Sloan. “ETHRA continued to grow over the nine additional years, and in the middle of a moving project, the opportunity to join Bandit Lites appeared. It was an opportunity that I did not want to pass up.”
“With all of the growth Bandit is experiencing on both the production and sales side of things, we really needed to update our infrastructure,” comments Bandit Lites director of operations, Roth Edwards. “David's background is in managing large networks with multiple remote locations and a large mobile workforce. Coupled with his passion for his trade and desire to learn new technologies, he is a perfect fit at Bandit.”
UK - TechPro, a provider of lighting, video and sound services for the live events industry has announced Yvonne England as its new client account manager.
England, who brings more than a decade’s experience to the role, will be responsible for strengthening relationships with existing and new clients, as the business looks to build on its growing success working with live event agencies.
England comments: “TechPro appears to be one of the live event industries best kept secrets and ensuring prospects and clients understand everything we can do to make their lives a little easier will be an exciting challenge.
“Working closely with the directors and the marketing team, it’s important we not only explain what we do, but listen carefully to them to understand how we can make the workload of event agency teams simpler.”
TechPro director Rob Stokes says: “TechPro has achieved significant growth in recent years and we are ready to take the next important step in our development, which is how I see the appointment of Yvonne.
“We know we’re good at what we do and now it’s time for Yvonne to convince more agencies that if they want to look good in front of their clients, with an enhanced reputation for delivering flawless live events, then appointing TechPro as their AV service partner is a good start.”
Singapore - Generation AV, which represents Martin Audio in the APAC countries, has recruited Tony Sawyer as senior APAC applications manager. A significant addition to the team, Sawyer spent 11 years at Bosch Communications/Electro-Voice/Dynacord, and was most recently at Vue Audiotechnik in Manila.
Generation AV founder David McKinney, who has known Sawyer for 20 years, sees the appointment as a major boost to the company’s growth. “We started talks a few months ago and decided now was the right time to get him onboard,” explains McKinney.
Based in the Philippines, Sawyer’s role is to work closely with all distributors in Asia Pacific, providing project design support, training on new and existing products, supporting major touring events and carrying out product/system training across the region. He will focus on bringing Martin Audio factory training events to the Asia Pacific region, starting with Wavefront Precision series.
“In addition, having Tony in the region will enable us as a team to build stronger relationships with major rental companies and key AV Consultants,” adds McKinney. “As we continue to expand the Generation AV team in Asia Pacific, we expect to announce further additions later in 2020. I believe we are now better positioned to support our partners and customers in Asia Pacific, and with all the new products and technologies being released by Martin Audio. I am excited to see what 2020 holds.”
Italy - Audio engineer Paolo Calza has joined Outline in the role of pro applications engineer and Outline array trainer.
Calza graduated from Rome’s Saint Louis College of Music as a sound engineer and MIDI programmer and later from the University of Ferrara as a technician specialised in acoustics.
He has collaborated with numerous companies in the pro-audio sector as a technical consultant. Over the last 10 years, he has also concentrated on the acoustic design of loudspeaker systems. Calza has considerable experience in the live music field, working regularly on large events and national and international festivals.
He states: “I consider every new venture as a steep path to be ‘climbed’ to achieve new goals. I hope to be able to offer my support and experience to Outline, its distributors and its clients worldwide, and manage to communicate them with the same passion that I put into my work. Thanks to Outline and its almost 50 years’ of know-how, it’ll be easier to reach the ‘peak’ and in fact I can’t wait to see the view.”
USA - At the 2020 Parnelli Awards, Bandit Lites founder Michael T. Strickland was presented with the Visionary Lifetime Achievement Award for his pioneering work in the entertainment lighting business. The awards ceremony was held during the NAMM Show at the Anaheim Hilton’s Pacific Ballroom on 17 January.
In a touching tribute to Strickland’s lifetime achievements in founding and growing Bandit Lites, clients and friends Alice Cooper and Shinedown offered video tributes. Later, Shinedown lead vocalist, Brent Smith, stepped on stage to present the award to him, extoling the virtues of Michael as a person above all else. Smith then stated there was one more person who wanted to say a few words.
Singer-songwriter Garth Brooks then shared how he came to be a part of the Bandit Lites family, with Strickland believing in his dream of a concert that would rival the biggest rock shows. Thirty-two years later and several world records broken, the two remain close friends and Bandit remains Brooks’ lighting vendor. Brooks sang the praises of Strickland and his commitment and friendship with him. Kinder words could not have been spoken.
“Garth is just that kind of guy,” said Strickland. “He travelled 2,500 miles just to be here for me - what else can you say about him? It means the world to me. I love you Garth and thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
In accepting the award, a moved Strickland noted how this honour was one that was not only his, but belonged to the entire Bandit Lites team, calling several to join him on stage.
Europe - Antonio Parise has joined the Prolights team as international area manager. Parise (pictured, centre) brings 20 years of international experience in the professional lighting industry and will play a strategic role in developing business and representing the brand internationally in several countries.
Paolo Albani, Prolights’ international sales manager, says: “Adding Antonio to our team will be an added value to strengthen our international presence. I had already had the pleasure to work with him, and I have high confidence this will be a successful move for both his career and our company goals”.
Fabio Sorabella, managing director for Prolights comments: “Antonio’s professionalism and work culture had immediately a good match with the values and vision of the Company; during his career he has always demonstrated a genuine attitude to customer service and we are very convinced he will be a natural asset for Prolights and the international sales network.”
Parise adds: “I have been working in the professional lighting industry since 2000 and I have been impressed by the achievements that Prolights has reached in the last decade.”
UK - Marketing and PR agency Sound Marketing has appointed Megan Draper to the post of marketing, PR and events coordinator.
A business management graduate of the University of Birmingham, Draper gained experience spending a ‘Year in Industry’ at Disney Head Office. Upon leaving university, she specialised in the design and implementation of social media campaigns on behalf of a wide variety of brands and joins Sound Marketing after successfully coordinating a high-profile brand rollout in the London hospitality sector.
Steph Dell, Sound Marketing managing director, comments: “Megan has already gained a great deal of valuable experience in a comparatively short time. She has worked in demanding and fast-moving environments and shouldered a lot of responsibility. We’re confident that we have recruited an exceptional addition to the team.”
Draper adds: “Joining the highly respected Sound Marketing team is a great opportunity to apply my skills and knowledge to a very wide-ranging brief. Having operated in the entertainment and hospitality sectors, the move into the AV arena feels like a natural step and one that I’m very excited to take.”
USA - Harman Professional Solutions has appointed Brian Divine as president of the professional solutions division, effective immediately. Divine will be responsible for overseeing the division’s worldwide operations, strategy, product roadmap and performance across all eleven brands.
Divine’s appointment is the culmination of a nearly 20-year-career working in the professional audio, lighting and video control industry. In his 15 combined years at Harman Professional, Divine worked closely with distributors and customers in nearly all of the entertainment and enterprise vertical markets the division serves in roles overseeing customer service, sales, engineering, marketing and product management. Divine was most recently senior vice president for products & customer solutions in the Professional Solutions division and VP of product and programme management, respectively.
“I am honoured to accept this role, and do so with great humility and awareness of the awesome responsibility of carrying forward HARMAN’s brands that were built over the course of, in some cases, nine decades,” comments Divine.
“The pro industry is in my DNA as my career was built though dedication to Harman Professional Solutions and its employees, channel partners and customers. These influences will directly impact the direction of the division as we look towards a robust roadmap committed to, and aligned with, customer needs for leading-edge pro products in audio, lighting and video control.”