USA - Mountain Productions named Shawn Sack as director of North America Development for Rigging Sales. In his new role, he will be responsible for developing sales and enhanced customer relations across North America in all sectors of the entertainment industry.
Sack began his career at Mountain and has now returned after 10 years working across the entertainment rigging industry. He has almost 30 years’ experience holding positions that span staging supervisor, rigging shop manager and rigging sales. Most recently, Sack acted as a product specialist for rigging sales at A.C.T Lighting and previously with market leader Columbus McKinnon Corp within their Entertainment Business Development team. He also holds an active membership of ESTA Rigging Working Group.
Ricky Rose, CEO, Mountain Productions, comments: "Shawn is the complete professional with extensive product and industry knowledge that will help drive our growing and diverse rigging distribution business across North America. We are excited to welcome him back to the Mountain family."
"We are confident Shawn’s wealth of experience and industry knowledge will only enhance our existing core Mountain sales team.
Sack adds: “Over the past 10 years I have worked with a variety of industry leaders from Tomcat to CM and most recently at ACT. During this time, I fostered amazing relationships and further honed my skills across the rigging industry, but now I am ready to return home. I am excited to be part of the new generation of Mountain Productions team.”
Canada - Solotech has named Daniel Méjean as vice-president (strategic sourcing) effective 14 January 2019.
In this new position under the direction of Nicolas Lavoie, chief financial officer, Méjean will actively contribute to the performance of the rapidly growing sourcing department as a key player in strategic planning, as well as long and short-term alliance building with suppliers and partner.
Méjean has over 20 years of experience in strategic sourcing management and direction in large-scale companies.
USA - Rupert Neve Designs has appointed Tim Hurrell as European sales manager for Rupert Neve Designs.
Josh Thomas, general manager & co-founder of Rupert Neve Designs, comments: “We are immensely lucky and proud to bring on Tim Hurrell as our European sales manager. As the company continues to grow, we needed to find someone to support us further in the European markets. Tim’s extensive experience makes him the ideal partner.”
Hurrell adds: “The Rupert Neve name is synonymous with professional audio products, and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to help Josh and the team grow their presence in Europe. Having spent my career in the pro audio industry as a reseller, running Avid’s pro audio business and co-founding a professional audio-specific marketplace, I look forward to working with Rupert Neve Designs’ great network of European resellers and customers as we expand the business.”
UK - POLAR has announced the appointment of Andrew Plunkett to the post of business development manager for public address/voice alarm. Andrew joins POLAR after 15 years at TG Baker where he gained wide-ranging experience in the design and distribution of public address, voice reinforcement and voice evacuation equipment.
An experienced project manager, Andrew has worked across diverse markets including industrial, leisure, education and most recently, on large-scale stadium installations and joins POLAR to develop this area of its business. As well as liaising with new and existing customers, Andrew’s system design expertise will help introduce the commercial ranges in POLAR’s portfolio to organisations whose core business is not necessarily focused on audio installation alone.
Stuart Leader, director of POLAR Integrated Solutions, comments: “It’s clear that Andrew’s know-how in this field mark him out as an excellent asset to POLAR. We continue to grow our business and expand a formidable range of expertise across our team, enabling us to provide the very highest levels of support to our customers.”
USA - Bandit Lites long time team member Chas Albea has been promoted to equipment co-ordinator for the Nashville shop. He will be responsible for planning, directing and coordinating Bandit’s massive collection of gear for preparation and distribution among productions.
Albea’s journey into the lighting world was one of happenstance as he studied audio engineering in school before a friend recommended Bandit Lites.
“After working here for a month or so, I slowly started picking up knowledge in lighting as my quest for an audio job became a thing of the past,” comments Albea. “The rest, as they say, is history.”
Albea’s 10-year tenure at Bandit Lites has taken him on the road with tours such as Montgomery Gentry, Avenged Sevenfold, Paulina Rubio, Santana, Shinedown, WWE, Lee Brice, Rascal Flatts and Alice Cooper.
“Chas was ready to make the transition from road to shop life,” comments Bandit Lites general manager Mark Steinwachs. “His time in the industry and at Bandit give him a great understanding not only of what it takes to prep and do shows, but also the equipment that Bandit has in its arsenal. Chas has done shows with most of the road crew and worked with the office staff throughout his time at Bandit; simply put: Bandit knows Chas and Chas knows Bandit.”
Canada - Solotech has announced the appointment of Mitchell Sadofsky as sales director, effective 10 December.
Sadofsky holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Business Management (Double Major) from the University of Massachusetts. He has been working in business management for about 15 years. His areas of expertise include, among others, account management, and sales growth planning and analysis in large-scale companies such as Peerless Electric and Alico Lighting.
“Thanks to his solid experience in business development in Ontario, Mr Sadofsky was the natural choice for this position. We are looking forward to engaging his skills and leadership,” says Philip Giffard, president, sales and integration division.
Europe - ETC Ltd and ETC GmbH have appointed three new employees to work on the High End Systems brand. Tania Lesage has joined as High End Systems brand manager; Markus Farncombe-Fischer - as regional sales manager, and Konstantinos Vonofakidis as field project coordinator.
In his new position, Konstantinos will be responsible for High End Systems projects in the Southern European, African, Middle Eastern and Indian territories. He will manage sales arrangements for key accounts in these regions and work in cooperation with distributors and dealers.
Konstantinos joins ETC following a role as international sales manager for the High End Systems brand at AED group. He worked there for three and a half years and during this time managed sales and concentrated on developing the dealer network in Southern Europe, Russia, Turkey and Africa.
Tania previously worked for AED Group on the High End Systems account and brings years of experience working with High End to the newly created position at ETC. Tania will cover several key regions including Russia, Middle East, Europe and Africa.
As regional sales manager for High End Systems, Markus’s role looks after the sales territories of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Eastern Europe, Russia and CIS countries.
Markus joined ETC GmbH in 2008 after having worked as a freelance console expert for the company. He has a background in lighting design and programming and technical production management.
Canada - Solotech has announced the appointment of Nicolino Iannotti as vice-president, finance, effective 7 January, 2019.
Iannotti holds a bachelor’s degree in commerce from Concordia University, and the CPA, CMA and CA professional designations. He has 20 years of experience in accounting, external reporting, audit, and financial planning & analysis in large-scale companies such as Gildan and Deloitte.
“As a leader in financial management in the United States and Canada, Mr. Iannotti will be a great asset to support Solotech’s growth on a global scale”, said Nicolas Lavoie, chief financial officer.
Europe - Absen has appointed Alex Couzins to the newly created position of head of brand and marketing for Europe in a move that sees the company underline its commitment to the region.
Alex, who joins from systems integrator AVMI, will be part of Absen’s corporate marketing team where he will be responsible for European brand marketing and providing local marketing support for the group’s VAPs (Value-Added Partners), referring to Absen’s ecosystem of highly trusted and experienced distributors and systems integrators.
The role will involve collaborating with peers across the business, including China and the US, to develop and implement the company’s marketing plans and brand strategy at a European level.
On his appointment, Alex commented: “I’m excited to be joining Absen at this exciting time. The company has a fantastic reputation for high-quality, reliable products and has been the top Chinese export brand for LED displays for 10 consecutive years; a testament to the company’s vision, performance and endurance in such a competitive global marketplace. I look forward to being part of this international team and working with our valued customers and partners to drive business growth.”
USA - ESTA has announced that A. Scott Hoyt will receive the 2018 Swan Award. This award is only given when an individual has served the association above and beyond the call of duty.
Scott’s service on the ESTA board of directors began in 2007. In 2012 Scott was elected to the office of treasurer and served as the treasurer of the PLASA Governing Body as well. As treasurer, he was a member of the executive committee as well as an ex-officio member of the Technical Standards and ETCP councils. His second and final term as ESTA’s treasurer comes to an end 31 December, 2018.
Though he has completed his service as Treasurer, Scott continues to chair the oversight committee of the business peer group and serves on the member advisory group.
UK - Live events educational facility Backstage Academy has announced its new leadership team for 2019.
The team will be headed by vice-principal Rachel Nicholson, whose arrival is the culmination of an eminent journey in the theatre world. After gaining a degree in lighting design, she was awarded a postgraduate studentship to study an MA in Theatre Practice where she specialised in Lighting and Digital Scenography. Nicholson subsequently pursued a successful freelance career, working in a variety of venues and companies including Sadlers Wells and The National Theatre as a lighting designer and technician, before returning to the education sector permanently in 2006.
Also joining is Richard Sadler as academic director. He has worked in repertory theatre, touring and the West End. He spent eight years with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden before joining the London Bach Choir as their first professional general manager. He will drive academic enhancement and quality assurance at the Academy.
Matt Bate, director of operations and student services, joined the Academy in September 2015 from the University of Exeter, where he was vice-president and executive trustee of the Students’ Guild. At Backstage Academy, he will oversee the day-to-day operation of all courses.
Jack Scarr, marketing & commercial director, has worked in educational marketing for over seven years to apprenticeship and degree level.
Miles Marsden, industry partnerships director has been business development director at Production Park for Art, Brand & Arc
UK - White Light has appointed Stuart Porter as Hog 4 product manager. Porter has worked extensively in London’s West End as an associate lighting designer and lighting programmer.
He comments: “I am delighted to be joining WL. I am fully aware of the company’s reputation as a leading supplier of lighting equipment, having drawn on them myself for over three decades. This feels like a natural progression for me and I’ve been delighted with the immediate response by both the company and customers alike.”
He adds: “As an experienced programmer, I’ve learnt my trade on the Hog range, having worked extensively on the Hog 2 for theatre shows, along with events such as the Commonwealth Games in Manchester, so will be able to bring that knowledge seamlessly across to the Hog 4 platform. It’s a really exciting time for Hog under the new ownership of ETC and it’s fantastic that WL has been chosen as its UK base.”
Over the next few months, Porter will be travelling across the UK, visiting venues, colleges and theatres to promote the Hog range and allow users to see first-hand its capabilities.
Stuart and the WL team are also offering training days alongside ETC for users to learn more about the products. These will be held on 4-5 December 2018, 9-10 January 2019 and 12-13 February 2019 at ETC Park Royal.
USA - Vincent Lighting Systems (VLS) has announced that Bill Groener will be joining the company as its new president. Founder and former president, Paul Vincent will remain connected with VLS as an advisor moving forward. Groener, who will be based in the Cleveland area, will be taking on the responsibilities of his new role immediately. He will work closely with the VLS Leadership Team to assure a smooth transition.
“I have a huge amount of respect for the company that Paul built over the 40-plus years that VLS has been around,” says Groener. “I've known Paul since 1984. I continued to work with him over the years and got to know the good person and outstanding employer that Paul is. It is great to know that Paul is still going to be available as a resource to our team in an advisory role. All in all, it's a great situation and I'm looking forward to this new challenge.”
Groener’s career spans almost 40 years in the entertainment, themed and architectural technology sectors. Before joining VLS, Groener was the principal of the systems integration firm, GRO(2)B, before that he was the VP of national business development for 4Wall Entertainment.
USA - Lighting industry veterans Joe Saprito and Jon Zorrilla have re-joined the team at Stage Equipment and Lighting (SEAL), a Pro Sound & Video company. Saprito will serve as rental manager in Orlando while Zorrilla takes on the director of operations role in Miami.
Each is a former SEAL employee who’s spent well over a decade working with the company’s highest profile clients. Each also brings a wealth of outside experience and contacts to the organization with his return.
Saprito has spent the last several years working outside of the entertainment industry, focusing instead on commercial lighting. Zorrilla recently lead his own production and integration company.
“We couldn’t be more pleased with these hires,” explains SEAL president Rick Rudolph. “Having worked with both Joe and Jon, we know the level of excellence they’re committed to and how well they fit in our organization. Both our company and our quality of work are strengthened by their return.”
“This is another step in achieving our long-term vision,” adds Pro Sound & Video CEO Rod Sintow. “Jon and Joe share our belief that continued growth and expansion will be fuelled by superior service, technical expertise and creative innovation.”
Canada - Paul Tytaneck has been appointed director of design and estimating at Solotech. One of the founding members of Solotech’s Toronto office, Tytaneck was appointed director of operations at its creation in 2014. In this new role, he will “actively contribute to the growth of Solotech’s sales and integration division by ensuring that its numerous and complex projects are professionally designed and meticulously estimated to the satisfaction of our clients, consultants and suppliers”.
“In addition to his outstanding contribution over the years, Paul will play a vital role in our next expansion phase in the GTA. His understanding of technology, his strong leadership skills and his knowledge of the Toronto market made him a natural fit to lead the design and estimating department, which is essential to our growth” says Philip Giffard, president, sales and integration division.
USA - GLP has announced that Miles Dudgeon has been appointed as the company’s new sales manager for the North East.
Miles has spent many years in the industry, initially studying lighting design in college and starting out as a lighting operator. Miles was working with a major lighting supplier outside of New York City where he first met GLP US president Mark Ravenhill and sales director Brian Dowd as a customer. Miles stated: “I’ve long been a fan of GLPs products. The products are edgy and dynamic, they give designers amazing tools for creating visuals.”
Brian Dowd states: “We are very excited to have Miles join the GLP team. He brings a wealth of industry experience to the role as well as an intimate knowledge of the North East market.”
USA - Former PLASA director Chris Toulmin has joined Entech Roadshow in an advisory role ahead of the first Entech USA Roadshow in April.
Toulmin has over 35 years of experience in the entertainment industry. As a director of events at PLASA he was responsible for delivering the PLASA Show following the event’s relocation to London Olympia and also oversaw the the Association’s regional Focus shows.
Toulmin comments: “I am delighted to be working with Entech Roadshow LLC as a consultant on the inaugural US Roadshow in 2019. This tried and tested formula in the Australia/New Zealand market is a great fit for the expansive geography of the significant North American market. It’s a refreshing new model that adds in a positive way to what has gone before and brings a new level of convenience, accessibility and networking for decision makers and industry knowledge seekers alike.”
Thailand - Adamson Systems Engineering has established a new office in Chiang Mai to better serve its partner network and further enhance its brand profile. Ben Millson has been appointed as managing director, APAC. He will oversee sales and distribution operations across the region, working in close collaboration with Adamson’s current staff, partners, and distributors.
Originally from the UK, Millson began his pro audio career over 15 years ago with Adam Hall. He has since taken key appointments with brands including AVSL Group, Studiomaster, Cadac, and most recently, d&b audiotechnik.
Milson comments: “Adamson’s sales and overall presence have been steadily on the rise in the Asia-Pacific region thanks to a company-wide focus and the strengths of our distribution partners. We’re now in a position to greatly expand our profile in the territory with a dedicated home base to better support these efforts going forward, and I look forward to leading our team and guiding our network as we continue and expedite our growth.”
UK - PSAV has appointed Nik Rudge as the company’s first managing director, international. Rudge will build upon the international business strategy to “best align teams in the UK, Europe and the Middle East to continue to improve on ways the company serves customers globally”.
Rudge most recently served as CEO of GovNet Communications, a public-sector business that operates training, forum, conference and expo events. He has also led multi-country divisions for ITE Group and UBM, two market-leading tradeshow and exhibition companies.
“Nik has vast international business experience in the events industry having led teams in fast-moving, complex and multicultural environments,” comments Ben Erwin, president of PSAV. “His general approach and business insight aligns very well with our purpose, mission and customer-centric culture at PSAV. We are eager to leverage Nik’s experience working with shared customers on important events in key meeting and event destinations.”
UK - Broadcast and event lighting specialists Version 2 has appointed Graham Baskeyfield as its new finance director.
Working closely with Version 2’s MD Nick Edwards, Baskeyfield will play a key role in the company’s expansion over the next five years, as they realise their 2022 vision.
He joins from Aurora, where he’d previously collaborated with Edwards, their then incumbent MD. During their tenure the company went on to exceed plan year on year delivering significant growth to its shareholders. The success of Aurora was crystallised in 2015 with its acquisition by VER (PRG).
Edwards comments: “We are delighted to be welcoming Graham to his new role at Version 2. His experience is second to none, and is well in-tune with the challenges of our ever-changing fast-paced industry. Graham is already well respected by both our team, and external stakeholders it’s the perfect appointment.”
Australia - LSC Lighting Systems has appointed Jeff Morgan as its new regional sales manager for Australia. Morgan has over 25 years’ experience in the lighting and entertainment industry, having worked as a lighting systems technician, electrician and technical support officer as well as in sales and installation roles. In the past decade, he managed Lots of Watts Central Coast in New South Wales, specialising in lighting and audio sales and developing bespoke projects for local schools and churches.
In his role at LSC, Morgan will provide technical sales, training and dealer support in Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales.
“I am delighted to have Jeff join LSC,” says Gary Pritchard, managing director at LSC. “His experience and knowledge of the industry and the fact that he has specified, installed and used LSC products for many years will not only make him an outstanding addition to our team, but our customers will also benefit greatly from his experience.”
UK - Martin Audio has announce the promotion of Bradley Watson to the new position of international sales director.
One of the company’s longest serving executives, Watson was instrumental in building domestic sales during the first decade of the millennium before leaving in 2010, but maintaining a close relationship in his capacity as an installer.
Presented with the opportunity to re-join the company in September 2016, and assume the new role as sales manager EMEA he described the opportunity as “a perfect scenario”.
Speaking of the latest promotion, Watson said, “Since my return to Martin Audio I have been proud to be part of a team that’s been instrumental in bringing over 30 new products to market in just over 24 months.
“As EMEA sales manager, I inherited many long-standing relationships and distribution partnerships that my predecessor and good friend Martin Kelly worked hard to forge prior to his retirement, and I have greatly enjoyed the role to date.”
Dom Harter, managing director, added, “Brad has been instrumental in driving sales growth in EMEA and fostering strong relationships throughout the territory. As Martin Audio has grown around the world, the need to introduce an international sales director role is prudent to help plan and execute our next wave of commercial success, and Brad is perfect to take on that responsibility.”
The Netherlands - ROE Visual has appointed Emmanuel Pezant to the role of technical sales support.
An experienced LED technician, Pezant has worked as a video technician for over 15 years. Pezant has worked as LED and video technician for notable partners in the French market.
“Combining his practical skills with a commercial flair, Pezant will support our French speaking clientele in both their commercial needs as well as the occasional technical support. We are very pleased to have him joining our team,” states Auke Meijer, operations & sales director for ROE Visual Europe.
USA - Brian Dowd has joined GLP US as sales director. Dowd has previously served as vice-president of sales at ACT Lighting for over 12 years and has also been a regional sales manager at TMB. Throughout his career, he’s worked as an electrician, rigger, designer and production manager.
GLP US president Mark Ravenhill comments: “It is fantastic to have Brian join us at GLP. Having known him for many years, his knowledge of the industry and his ability to consistently grow markets will be a great asset to the company as we move forward.”
Dowd adds: “I was attracted to GLP because they do not follow the pack. My role at GLP in the America’s is to create growth in the marketplace. There are some very exciting opportunities out there, and I am looking forward to them all.”