USA - PSAV has announced that Ben Erwin has been named chief executive officer, effective immediately, and will maintain his current title as president. In his new role, Erwin will be responsible for driving the strategic direction of the company and overseeing the execution of its business plan.
Says the company, “This leadership transition occurs as PSAV continues to take a leading role in helping its customers adjust to the current environment of the meeting and events industry. Erwin succeeds Mike Mcllwain, who has served as CEO since 2011.”
“I am honoured to assume the role of CEO during this pivotal time,” Erwin said. “We are focused on positioning PSAV for a return to growth and long-term success as we continue to provide creative solutions to our customers and venue partners.”
Erwin continued, “On behalf of the entire team, I want to thank Mike for all he has done for PSAV during his tenure and, personally, for his mentorship and guidance to help me prepare for this role. His impact will continue to be felt by our organization long after his formal departure from the business.”
“Ben has been an important partner in supporting PSAV’s growth over the last five years, and he has the right combination of leadership skills and financial and operational acumen to guide the company well into the future,” Mcllwain added. “Along with our full board, and Blackstone as our owners, I am confident in his ability to step seamlessly into the CEO role and build on our more than 80-year history of helping to bring unforgettable
UK - Audiologic has recently appointed Andrew Matthews as business manager for Ireland and Scotland. He will be responsible for maintaining and building on existing relationships with Audiologic’s integrator network, presenting the latest technical solutions from its suppliers and further developing the business in providing wide-ranging support for new projects and sales enquiries.
With a career that spans over 30 years, Matthews joins Audiologic from Bose Corporation where he was director/national sales manager for Ireland in all channels that included consumer electronics and live and installed sound.
Dave Smith, senior business manager at Audiologic, comments: “We are delighted to announce that Andrew has joined Audiologic, he brings with him extensive local knowledge, a fantastic approach to the customer experience and a wealth of expertise in advanced audio technology to match.”
Andrew comments, “When I knew this role was available, I knew immediately it was the perfect fit. Now I can leverage everything I have learned about the specific needs and excellent customer relationships I already have in these markets for the mutual benefit of all concerned. I am thrilled to have joined at a time when the company really is going from strength to strength.”
USA - LSi is sad to report that Howell Binkley, one of the most distinguished theatre/dance lighting designers of his generation, died on Friday 14th August in Jacksonville, North Carolina, of lung cancer. He was 64. "He was just a special spirit," his widow, Joyce Storey, told the Winston-Salem Journal. "He was adored by so many and will be missed by all."
According to the Journal, Binkley, a native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, attended Atkins High School, where he was first drawn to theatre. He worked at the Little Theatre of Winston-Salem and graduated from Reynolds High School in 1974. After attending East Carolina University, he moved to New York in 1978, and began working with the Acting Company and Paul Taylor Dance Company.
Early on, he established himself in the dance world, working with the Joffrey Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, MoMix, Peter Pucci Plus. Hubbard Street Dance, and American Ballet Theatre. Most famously, he was the cofounder and resident lighting designer for Parsons Dance, creating 85 original pieces for that company.
Binkley worked extensively in regional theatres, including the Goodman Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Alley Theatre, Guthrie Theater, McCarter Theatre, Hartford Stage, Signature Theatre, The Old Globe, and Shakespeare Theatre Company. He also designed six entries in the Kennedy Center’s Sondheim Celebration.
He made a notable Broadway debut in 1993 with Kiss of the Spider Woman; other productions included: How to Succeed in Busi
UK - Following the recent announcement of a strategic partnership with SFL, alongside its appointment of several new roles, WL is continuing to expand its production department, offering a complete technical service.
With so much recent change within both the wider world and live events industry, WL saw this as the ideal time to look at its existing production offering and assess how this could be broadened in order to further benefit the huge range of projects it delivers annually.
As such, it has restructured its existing team and created roles which will see them work even closer with clients in order to fulfil their creative requirements.
With many years of experience both at WL and in the technical production sector the account management team now consists of key account managers, Stuart Crane, Dominic Yates and Richard Stirzaker who have been joined by technical account manager, Joseph Smyth, adding additional technical skills, experience and knowledge in specific areas targeted for growth within the company.
Whilst certain job titles and roles have changed, the personal customer service and level of expertise will remain the same and any historical, existing or prospective Production clients are encouraged to contact the team as they would normally for any project.
Crane explains: “As a company, we are all about building and maintaining those relationships with our clients and offering them the best service possible. In my new role of Key Account Manager I look forward to continuing to work with customers old and new, listeni
USA - ClearOne has appointed AV industry expert, Craig Paller as senior director for sales development.
“ClearOne has always worked closely with partners to keep the sales organisation close to the pulse of the industry and providing that high-engagement our customers expect,” said ClearOne president and CEO Zee Hakimoglu. “Craig Paller fills a new position in our organization to engage even further with new verticals and new influencers– with the ClearOne mantra of approachability and support.”
Paller joins ClearOne with over 20-years of professional audio visual experience. He has held leadership positions with Harman Professional, Listen Technologies, and Shure, Inc., and most recently served as GM, Americas and global business development for Music Tribe.
“My background in sales, marketing and key customer development are crucial to expanding existing relationships while finding new areas of growth.” Paller states. “ClearOne has a great heritage, a wide portfolio and a fantastic solutions roadmap. I’m very excited to be part of this team, and I look forward to maximizing new opportunities for ClearOne.”
USA - UK-based loudspeaker manufacturer PMC has announced that pro audio industry expert Ted White has joined PMC USA as director of operations/chief engineer.
PMC is currently heavily involved in the supporting immersive audio by partnering with Dolby and Universal Music Group to develop and promote the Dolby Atmos format for music mixing.
“We are very excited that Ted has joined the PMC team in such a pivotal and dynamic role,” says Maurice Patist, president PMC USA. “While he was with Live Nation Studios he was responsible for mixing iTunes live concerts in surround sound and he is also very familiar with PMC products, having used them many times in studios and for trade shows and events. He is well known in the industry and incredibly well respected.
“Having someone of Ted’s calibre in a hands on role spanning many different disciplines will be a great asset for PMC as we move forward. There are a number of major Atmos Music projects in our business pipeline and we are delighted that Ted is here to ensure they run smoothly and efficiently.”
Ted’s pro audio career has spanned many management roles encompassing marketing, technical sales and service for companies such as Solid State Logic and Harman. He has also accumulated experience on the user side of the industry, working as a composer, music producer, engineer and audio mixer for West Coast facilities such as Conway Recording Studios, Media Hyperium Studios, Studio Intonato and Live Nation Studios. He joins PMC from Focusrite Pro, where for the last two years he has held
UK - Harman Professional Solutions has appointed Ben Payne as the head of sales for Martin Professional Lighting in EMEA. He has more than 20 years of experience in the theatrical and live entertainment industry.
“I am delighted to have Ben lead Martin Professional Lighting in EMEA. Having worked in theatre and live entertainment lighting for many years, Ben has an innate understanding of the needs of our customers and a passion for the lighting industry and the Martin brand,” says Hamid Soufian, vice president and GM for the EMEA region, Harman Professional. “I am particularly pleased that Ben’s promotion supports Harman’s global initiative to nurture internal talent and grow our people into key roles.”
Payne started working in theatres behind a lighting desk and quickly became a theatre technical manager for the Arts Theatre in Cambridge. He also worked as a lighting designer and production electrician, touring shows all over the world. In more recent years, Ben has worked with a number of leading UK rental companies and joined Harman in 2018.
"I am honoured to be given this opportunity to take the helm of Martin in EMEA,” Payne comments. “I am excited to work with our existing and new customers, and many talented and passionate individuals across the organisation.”
UK - Technological Innovations Group (TIG) has announced the appointment of Matthew Bailey as regional sales manager UC for the United Kingdom.
He will work with the TIG sales division to bring his extensive experience of the unified communications market to the team and will be responsible for driving the development of new business for TIG’s ecosystem of brands that integrate with Crestron’s world-class UC portfolio.
Discussing this new role, Bailey says: “I'm really looking forward to embarking on this new journey at TIG in the Crestron UC space. With my experience, drive & passion for UC technologies, both Company and ultimately Client success are on the horizon - I simply cannot wait to start, meet everyone and get going at TIG.”
TIG’s CEO, Robin van Meeuwen adds: “I’d like to welcome Matthew to TIG. In the unusual circumstances that 2020 has presented we’ve all had to find new ways of working, and we’ve seen that Unified Communications are crucial business technologies. Matthew’s role will be to help businesses invest in UC to future-proof their working practices.”
USA - Theatre Projects has announced the addition of Gena Buhler in the new position of head of new business development, North America. Joining from the Wheeler Opera House (Aspen, CO) where she served as the executive and artistic director, Buhler brings over 20 years’ experience in event production, venue management, operational logistics, festival and program development, and relationship-building of critical partnerships.
She will lead the business development team in North America and will act as a key member of the strategic planning team, offering timely and expert advice on project needs, feasibility, early project visioning, and other business planning
“Gena’s a great addition to our team,” says Daniel Ordower, general manager. “She understands the industry, our goals, and our markets - the arts, corporate, hospitality, retail, sports, and entertainment. She’ll be offering valuable and strategic insights to our clients on the management and operations of their venues, which will enable us to create more sustainable, impactful, and efficient spaces for their communities.”
“I’m delighted to be able to engage with the amazingly talented, smart, and creative group of people who come to work every day excited and full of energy,” says Buhler. “I’m looking forward to helping Theatre Projects realize our full potential, while being able to collaborate and offer support to my colleagues and friends across North America. Even amid the greater impacts of 2020 to our industry, I’m
UK - Harry Parslow, managing director of TourLife, which provides support services for the touring and live entertainment industry, has been shortlisted for the Young Entrepreneur of the Year category at the 2020 Great British Entrepreneur Awards for the South West region.
The Great British Entrepreneur Awards - which will be held on 23 September via a virtual ceremony for the first time - has shortlisted 550 entrepreneurs and 433 businesses across eight regions in 15 categories, including Creative Industries, Disruptor, Scale-Up and Young.
Launched in 2012, the Great British Entrepreneur Awards have celebrated and championed the entrepreneurs behind some of Britain’s upcoming and influential businesses.
Music industry disruptor TourLife, which is celebrating its fifth year in business this month, were founded in 2015 by the then teenage Harry Parslow. The company was created to bring about a new business model to support artists, producers and entertainers, by offering a single point of contact for them.
TourLife has built its business on providing on a range of key support services which include creative services such as videography, photography, merchandising and live streaming services, to on the ground support including tour management services, and luxury transport. Over the last five years, TourLife has worked with DJs, artists, bands and brands including The Game, Xzibit, Annie Mac, Charlie Sloth, Danny Howard, Defected Records and Ministry of Sound.
Parslow comments: “Being amongst some of Britain’s best industry leaders f
UK - Powerful Thinking, the outdoor events sustainable energy working group, has restructured to provide specialist sustainable energy advice to live events, appointing a new chair and project lead Tim Benson, heading up a new-look board, within the Vision: 2025 sustainable events knowledge hub, July 2020.
Powerful Thinking is a not-for-profit working group, whose mission is to provide the outdoor events industry with inspiration, resources and technical support to enable a transition from carbon intensive temporary power provision to lower impact solutions.
Tim Benson states: “I am delighted to be working with this diverse team of industry experts. We are going to focus on driving significant reductions in carbon emissions at events, producing a comprehensive library of resources to support the differing needs of all levels of organisers and suppliers.”
These resources will include ‘How to’ guides, energy monitoring tool kits and advice on how to get the most from your power contractor. The group will also continue to profile power contractors with a proven track record in delivering emissions reductions, share features on fresh and innovative clean tech solutions and maintain a case study resource bank for inspiration.
The new board brings together experienced industry professionals, representing different sectors of the outdoor events market, together with representatives of key industry bodies, generator and tower light specialists, battery suppliers and monitoring experts.
Board members include chair and project lead Tim
Canada - Atlona has hired Christina Cruzeiro as regional sales manager for Canada. Based in Toronto and reporting to Jamey Swigert, director of AV sales and business development, Cruzeiro is responsible for working with Atlona’s Canadian distributors and integrators, and expanding Atlona’s business across the country.
Cruzeiro’s AV industry experience took shape 10 years ago as a sales manager for New Toronto Group, where she led the company’s Adobe Connect Software product division for five years.
Cruzeiro’s experience with web conferencing and collaboration software over those eight years provided a natural bridge to the AV industry as business development manager for Stampede Presentation Products.
Cruzeiro says, “The industry will accelerate its transition to BYOD strategies in collaborative office environments, and businesses will invest more in technology for home offices. Our priority is to show how Atlona’s growing product line, notably the Omega collaboration product series and Velocity IP-based AV control, can help our integration partners build all-in-one solutions for end customers.”
The Netherlands - ETC has announced the addition of Robbi Nassi as field project coordinator for the Northern European territory. Based out of Amsterdam, Robbi will be responsible for providing sales support in the Benelux region. His role will involve managing projects and supporting regional sales manager Tim Stokholm in developing the customer and dealer network throughout the territory.
With over 18 years of experience in the industry, his interest in the field began with a Performing Arts Technology degree at the Tshwane University of Technology where he went on to specialize in lighting.
Prior to ETC, he was at Electrosonic SA where he worked in a sales position as a live events manager before moving to Sydney, Australia to pursue further career advancements as a technical sales representative for Event Communications. Robbi has worked on several large projects including installing the first ETC networking infrastructures in theatres in South Africa.
“We are thrilled to welcome Robbi to the team. He has already worked on several projects with ETC and brings a wealth of experience in the industry and knowledge of our products. I look forward to working with him and growing the business,” comments Tim Stokholm.
APAC - Alwyn Wong has joined Symetrix as their new regional sales manager overseeing the Asia-Pacific region.
Wong comes to Symetrix with over 20 years of experience in the professional audio industry. He was first introduced to audio DSP’s while working on a system installation for the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur in 1998. He later spent six years at Harman Professional as a technical sales engineer, and then as a senior application engineer.
Most recently, Wong came from Peavey Commercial Audio where he was the technical manager overseeing the APAC territory.
“It is my honour to work for one of the top Audio DSP brands where I can utilise my expertise in network audio,” says Wong. “With my ample experience in the Asia-Pacific market, I feel confident that we can navigate the audio-visual landscape and produce favourable outcomes.”
Wong will oversee the daily and long-term sales operations and performance of Symetrix distributors in Asia-Pacific and provide expertise and consultation on operations, sales performance, and growth strategies for authorized re-sellers, distributors and AV consultants.
“The SymFamily is thrilled to welcome Alwyn Wong to the team to represent Symetrix and to serve our partners across Asia-Pacific," comments Tylene Robinson, Symetrix international sales & operations manager.
USA - Austrian AV technology manufacturer AV Stumpfl has appointed Conor McGill as a global business development manager with a special focus on the US media server market.
McGill is the former director of strategic partnerships at Float4 in Montreal. At aV Stumpfl, he will focus on growing the customer base of the media server system Pixera.
"I first used an AV Stumpfl product for a projection mapping project at a NFL football stadium in the USA four years ago. That project was a smashing success and every interaction I've had with the company since has been stellar,” says McGill. “I feel very fortunate to have found my way to the company and am looking forward to working with old and new customers alike on cutting edge media projects with Pixera," says McGill.
In 2018, AV Stumpfl GmbH established AV Stumpfl Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia, and has continued to grow its team and general market presence ever since.
Fabian Stumpfl, AV Stumpfl GmbH CEO, comments: “Although it is a cliché on one hand, it is true that a crisis offers opportunities. Since the early lockdown phase of the pandemic, our Pixera team managed to train more than 300 AV professionals by way of our immersive online training courses. Many of the participants came from the US, which is another reason why we are very happy to welcome Conor to our team. His wide-ranging experience as an AV industry professional and his great enthusiasm for our Pixera product family will help our next generation media server system become a household name
Spain - Chauvet Professional has appointed Eusebio ‘Sebi’ Romero Garcia as product specialist for Spain. An experienced lighting and stage technician, Garcia will be working closely with the company’s Spanish distributor, Barcelona-based, ACSON, to coordinate product training and roadshows throughout the country.
“There are exciting opportunities for us in Spain,” said Michael Brooksbank, general manager of Chauvet Europe. “Sebi’s experience and talent make him a valuable addition to our team as we continue to work with ACSON to build on our success and develop our brand in this vibrant market.”
Garcia will be based in Madrid, but will coordinate his activities closely with ACSON in Barcelona. He will report directly to Sam Bowden, Chauvet’s European product manager, but will also work closely with the Stéphane Gressier, international sales director, and Jon Petts, business development manager at Chauvet Lighting.
“Working together with the teams at Chauvet and ACSON, Sebi will bring a high level of educational resources and training in support of our products in Spain,” said Bowden. “His extensive experience cuts across many segments of our market, including theatre and broadcast as well as concerts. He also has a passion for service, which will make him an excellent fit for the Chauvet Professional team.”
UK/USA -Media serving and pixel management specialist, 7thSense Design, has appointed Eric Nolfo as project manager as the company expands its North America operations to the West Coast.
Eric’s twenty-year career in the entertainment industry has seen him work in a wide range of project management and technical direction positions, including most recently with The Producers Group as technical coordinator for Bollywood Parks Dabangg Stunt Show and Motiongate Theatre’s Step Up Dubai
Matt Barton, CEO, 7thSense Design comments: “We are excited to be expanding our global operations with a new presence on the West Coast of the United States, and we’re very pleased that Eric has joined us in our first step of that expansion. Eric brings with him a wealth of project management experience that will be invaluable to the many exciting projects we have in the pipeline.”
USA - ENCO, a specialist in automated workflow solutions for radio, television and professional AV systems, has appointed Shane Finch as sales director, effective immediately. Reporting to ENCO president Ken Frommert, Shane will focus on global sales and business development across all markets and product lines, and introduce ENCO’s automated workflow innovations into new business verticals.
Shane comes to ENCO with more than 40 years in the broadcast industry, including 35 years with broadcast groups in the Midwest and Florida, where he currently resides. His experience has mainly focused on radio operations, balancing a mix of on-air personality and director-level management roles throughout his career. He later transitioned into the technology space as vice president, business relations for MusicMaster, ENCO’s longtime music scheduling partner, where he spent seven successful years focused on customer relations and new business development.
“ENCO has long connected remote broadcasters to studio automation systems, and WebDAD extends this concept as remote broadcasting shifts from novelty to requirement,” comments Finch. “Furthermore, their AI and software-driven enCaption and enTranslate systems present a springboard of new business opportunities for ENCO and its partners, with exceptional value and performance for all of our end customers.”
“Shane’s experience with sales management and customer relations, along with his direct familiarity with ENCO’s technology and business culture, makes him a natural fit for this important ro
USA - Glenn Becker, the Entertainment Services and Technology Association (ESTA)’s first president, passed away on 19 June aged 70.
“Glenn’s vision was about bringing the industry together to make it a better industry”, says ESTA. “He thought that competitors could come together and share ideas and solutions to make business easier and more successful for everyone. Because of that vision and Glenn’s hard work, the Theatrical Dealers Association (TDA) was born.”
Becker organised its founding meeting in 1987 and served as the first president from 1987 to 1991. In 1994, when the decision was made to form ESTA, the TDA board turned to Becker to chair the committee that rewrote the bylaws and set up the new organisational structure. The board would continue to turn to him over the years to take on special projects.
He became involved in theatre in high school. In 1968, Becker took a job delivering newspapers for the Chicago Sun Times and on his first day he read the paper and saw an ad for a job at Grand Stage Company which had been founded by Paul Tyler in 1947. Becker was hired and one of his first jobs was to assist in the company’s move to its new building on Lake Street - in the midst of the infamous Democratic National Convention. Becker started off coiling cable and helping in the rental department and within a year had worked his way up to become general manager. He also worked as a theatre electrician and stage manager across Chicago area theatres.
In 1977, Becker and his wife Janel took over the full running of the comp
USA - Altman Lighting has appointed Matthew Klasmeier as product development support engineer.
Klasmeier was previously employed as a field service technician for Vincent Lighting Systems, specialising in the installation and verification of new entertainment and architectural lighting systems. Working within the new Altman headquarters in Denver, Colorado, he will be responsible for overseeing current and future product development, as well as in-house warranty service, support and repair.
“We are very excited to have Matthew joining our team as he will serve as an integral part of the launch and support of many new Altman technologies,” says Pete Borchetta, vice president Altman Lighting product innovation. “His expertise within the lighting industry is undeniable and he will be a valuable asset in the development and customer service behind our entertainment and architectural lighting solutions.”
“Understanding the reputation of Altman Lighting as one of the most trusted lighting manufacturers in the industry, I am very delighted to be joining the team,” adds Klasmeier.
UK - Immersive audio specialist Sonosphere has announced that commercial director Jamie Gosney and creative director Henrik Oppermann have been appointed to the company’s board of directors.
Sonosphere was formed in 2019 and specialises in all aspects of immersive audio from content creation, system design, consultancy through to installation. Find out more about the company in LSi's May/June 2020 issue.
Sonosphere also provides education, having developed an Ambisonics Workflow for Immersive Content Production training course. The course has recently been taken online to ensure continuity while face-to-face training is unavailable.
Jamie has over 40 years’ experience working in concert touring, theatre, for manufacturers and latterly as an audio systems designer, working on a variety of projects including immersive audio installations. Henrik, meanwhile, is a 3D sound specialist who has worked as head of sound at immersive content production company Visualise, and has over 10 years of recording studio quality audio on location for film, advertising and music industry clients, as well as 3D sound installations.
“This is a very apposite time to be part of such a creative team,” says Henrik. “So many changes have happened in a very short space of time, and the way we are listening to music is changing as a consequence.”
USA - Audio-Technica U.S. has announced two appointments to its product management team.
Kurt Van Scoy has been appointed to the position of executive director of product management for ATUS. In this position, Van Scoy will be responsible for directing the product development/management efforts at ATUS. In addition, Kurt will oversee the A-T as global product manager, based in Japan.
In addition, Gary Dixon has been promoted to the position of product manager for ATUS. In his previous position as sales engineer, installed sound, Dixon served as a technical resource for the Audio-Technica sales channel in the broad contractor market, where he helped ensure the proper and successful implementation of A-T products and technology in the marketplace while determining the application needs of customers.
USA - DAS Audio of America, Inc., the North American subsidiary of Spain’s DAS Audio, has announced the appointment of Carlito Cobos to the newly created position of national sales director, retail. Key responsibilities of the position involve strengthening the company’s focus on retail sales and E-commerce.
Cobos started with DAS Audio in May 2020 and is based out of the company’s national headquarters in Miami, Florida. Bilingual in English and Spanish, he is well positioned to address the diverse range of professionals that constitutes the North American pro audio market.
Cobos has over 20 years’ experience in pro audio and the music industry. Prior to joining DAS Audio, he served as the pro audio business development manager for Gibson brands. In this capacity, he oversaw 12 international distribution firms and managed distribution development strategies on an individual, per country basis. He also directed the various marketing programmes throughout this region. He also served as a studio technician at The Hit Factory in Miami, FL and audio technical manager at Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL.
Cobos comments: “DAS Audio has created the best live sound experience on the market, and I want every live sound professional in the country to hear the DAS difference. At the end of the day, nothing is more important than a well-designed, aesthetically pleasing, and reliable loudspeaker that fully engages the audience with accurate, articulate sound. DAS is a recognised leader in quality and performance, and I look forward to helping t
Europe - ETC has promoted Konstantinos Vonofakidis to regional sales manager. In his new role, Vonofakidis will oversee the sales activities in Greece, Portugal, Spain, Cyprus and Egypt. He will manage sales arrangements for key accounts in these regions and work in cooperation with the company’s distributors and dealers.
Vonofakidis previously worked as a field project coordinator for High End Systems in the Southern European, African, Middle Eastern and Indian territories. He began his career as a service engineer working with High End Systems for 10 years before going on to manage significant lighting projects such as the National Theatre of Greece, Bahrain National Theatre and Onassis Cultural Centre.
Darren Beckley, sales manager - ETC Ltd, comments: “Vonofakidis is a valuable member of the sales team who has built a great rapport with the dealers and customers in his territories. With his strong market knowledge and expertise, I am confident he will continue delivering high levels of service and be successful in his new role.”
Vonofakidis adds: “I’m excited to build new customer relationships and work more closely with our dealers and distributors in these markets. I look forward to working in this role and growing the business in my regions.”