Europe - Elation Professional’s European headquarters has appointed Alistair Smyth, a 24-year industry veteran who joins the growing office’s technical sales department. Smyth comes to Elation with background in customer, technical, sales and project support and will provide technical advice, assistance and training for Elation’s extensive product line.
Originally from Northern Ireland, Smyth lived in England for many years before recently relocating to Kerkrade, The Netherlands, home of the Elation Europe headquarter office, where he has already started in the new position. ”I have moved from England to the Netherlands to join Elation and I am excited and happy to join the team here,” he says. “The Elation brand has been known to me for many years and I jumped at the chance to be a member of the technical and sales force. I hope to provide a valued contribution to both customers and staff.”
Prior to Elation, Smyth worked as a technical sales coordinator at Flashlight Ltd., a distributor of entertainment industry technology near Manchester. He has previously worked in the video department of A.C. Entertainment Technologies (Leeds) and in Canada for Christie Lites, where he was head of service in the rental company’s Toronto office. He also has experience from High End/Flying Pig Systems and Vari*lite Production Services (PRG).
“Alistair’s many years of industry experience are invaluable and we are delighted that he has joined our team here in Kerkrade,” comments Elation’s European sales and marketing manager Marc Librecht.<
UK - Brompton Technology has announced the expansion of its customer facing team with the additions of Dries Vermeulen as business development manager (Europe), and Chris Grandin as technical support manager.
Vermeulen, a familiar face in the LED industry from his days at Barco, VER and ROE Visual, brings a wealth of experience in a technical and commercial capacity. He will be based in Belgium, positioning him to be in close contact with Brompton customers throughout Europe.
Grandin, who has relocated from South Africa, has most recently held the positions of group technical advisor for the Gearhouse Group of companies and technical services supervisor at Christie Digital Systems. He brings over two decades of expertise in the field of live entertainment and events, providing technical solutions and backup for creative staging ideas at events reaching audiences from under a hundred to a few million, across South Africa and internationally.
Vermeulen and Grandin join the customer facing team alongside Rob Fowler, now in the role of senior business development manager, and US-based Sean Sheridan, regional technical manager - Americas. Adam Callaway, who recently celebrated five years with the company, moves to the newly created position of technical project manager, and Luke Hurford, who continues to be based in China, moves to the role of regional technical manager - APAC.
UK - Audio Evolution has announced the appointment of Peter Russell to the position of audio project manager. The recently launched sister-company to global video specialists pixl evolution will benefit from Russell’s experience of the corporate and theatre markets. During a 20-year career with another major supplier, he has worked on a host of high-profile musical theatre tours, as well project managing major events across the UK, European and the US.
Company director Guy Vellacott comments: “Peter is exactly the right person to take on the project management role at audio evolution. We’ve made significant investments in high quality hardware, including d&b, Shure, Denon, Yamaha and Clear-Com and we couldn’t be placing it in safer hands. Peter has an impressive track record managing all aspects of audio in high-profile, high pressure environments and his skills and experience will be invaluable in meeting the demands of an already busy schedule.”
UK - Independent rigging specialist Rigging Team has announced the appointment of Matthew Millward to the role of technical manager at its Stevenage headquarters.
Working with some of the industry’s leading rental providers and as key crew on a host of major international tours, Millward’s experience encompasses a diverse variety of roles from in-house technician through to touring production manager on large scale arena shows.
Adam Searle, Rigging Team director, says: “Matt brings with him over two decades of real-world experience in rigging, technical theatre and technical management. This wide-ranging understanding of our business will ensure he remains an enduring member of our team.”
Switzerland - Indoor drone systems specialist Verity Studios has announced that head of sales Fabrice Couadou is the latest addition to its senior management team.
With more than 20 years of sales, business development, and marketing experience at Intel, Couadou will focus on scaling Verity’s live events business.
“Verity has brought leading-edge technology to the live events industry and at the same time made it reliable, safe, and easy to operate,” comments Couadou. “With its innovation roadmap, Verity is already several steps ahead of the market and its competition and has established a successful recurring business model. Verity’s work with entertainment providers like Cirque du Soleil and MSG, and artists like Drake and Metallica is further proof that they’re the clear leaders in this field, and I’m excited to join the team.”
Europe - Medialon, specialist provider of show control solutions, has hired Robert Chong as product specialist to service customers and installation sites across the EMEA region.
Chong brings more than 27 years of experience working with the Medialon brand and product range as engineer, consultant and integrator. His career includes sales and technical leadership roles for a range of AV companies across Europe and Australasia including Barco, Gibson International, Atea and ZKM.
Eric Cantrell, VP of business operations for Medialon, comments: “At Medialon, we are committed to ongoing to the support of customers and installations - both existing and new. Robert has worked closely with our team, customers and product line for many years and in his new role, will allow us to carefully consider the needs of all projects - developing and delivering the very best show control solutions for entertainment and attractions markets that consistently exceed expectations.”
In July, the team behind media serving company 7thSense Design led the acquisition of the Medialon brand and ShowControl activities from Barco to form a new company, Medialon. The new company joined the 7thSense Design family and operates from Orlando, FL., with satellite offices across the United States, United Kingdom and Canada.
Russia - d&b audiotechnik has appointed Anna Kovyza as country manager for Russia, as the German pro audio manufacturer prepares to open a new office in the country this year.
Kovyza is a former head of sales and marketing for A&T Trade’s professional audio and lighting division. She will be based in Moscow and will focus on developing d&b sales in Russia and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) whilst also working closely with Aris Pro, d&b’s Russian distributor.
Amnon Harman, d&b Group CEO, comments: “The Eastern European region and in particular Russia are important markets for d&b audiotechnik. With Anna Kovyza, we are preparing for the next phase of growth in these markets. Anna’s appointment is part of our strategic growth plan to build strong teams across the globe and being close to our partners and customers with sales and service expertise by d&b.”
Australia - Stampede has announced the appointment of former Hills Limited AV national sales manager Nick Cocks, to serve as general manager of Exertis Australia ProAV, the new name of Stampede Australia that is making its debut at Integrate 2019 (27-29 August).
“Integrate 2019 marks the start of the next great chapter in the history of our company in Australia and southeast Asia with the rebranding of Stampede as Exertis, the global AV and IT distribution company that Stampede joined last year when it was acquired by DCC,” says Stampede president and CEO Kevin Kelly.
“With this rebranding, we send a clear message to the Australian and southeast Asian region that the combined resources, and commitment, of DCC and Exertis are now being put to work on behalf of our resellers and end user customers throughout the region. Under the leadership of Nick Cocks, our customers will now benefit from a loyal, strategic and focused sales leader who knows how to create solutions that meet every user need.”
According to Kelly, in addition to driving sales throughout the region, Cocks will lead the company’s expansion into “everything that is AV related.” As part of this initiative, Kelly announced that Exertis will be looking for new partners at Integrate 2019 from its show stand. “We’re looking for partners who share our vision of the future of a connected, experiential commercial AV industry,” he says.
USA - The ADJ Group of Companies has announced the appointment of Robert ‘Bob’ Mentele in the new position of vertical market manager with a particular focus on the worship, theatre, TV/broadcast and education markets.
Already a familiar face in the industry, Bob served as the lighting category manager at Full Compass Systems for the past six years. Previously, he was the rentals supervisor at Full Compass and technical director and lighting designer for The Armory Theatre in Janesville, Wisconsin.
“As we continue to grow within the theatrical, worship, broadcast and educational markets, we’re pleased to be welcoming Bob Mentele into our tightknit team in the new role of vertical market manager concentrating on these areas,” comments Toby Velazquez, president of the ADJ Group of Companies.
Following an initial period of induction, which is already underway at the company’s global headquarters in Los Angeles, Bob will work remotely from his home-based office in Madison, WI.
UK - Ambersphere Solutions has announced that Rob Beamer has joined the company as key account manager. Based in Liverpool, he will be representing the Ambersphere portfolio in the North of England.
Beamer has worked in theatre for 14 years before moving into sales 11 years ago, working for Stage Electrics and Sound Technology. He will make his Ambersphere exhibition debut at the upcoming PLASA Show (15-17 September, London Olympia).
“This is a new role created for Rob and will allow us to offer our northern clients a more attentive and personalised service,” says sales director Philip Norfolk. “Rob is professional, knowledgeable, calm and friendly, precisely what our clients appreciate. The whole Ambersphere team is delighted to have someone as exceptionally capable and good fun to join us”.
“I am really excited to have joined Ambersphere. It’s such a perfect fit for me,” Beamer comments. “Ambersphere is a service orientated lighting company who only offer the best products.”
UK - Kent-based stage engineering company Triple E has named Lucy Edelstein as deputy director and appointed Tokyo Velludo Co as its distributor for Japan.
This expansion of Triple E’s international distributor network ties in with the longer term aim to increase worldwide representation across key territories, as well as expanding the company’s sub-contract precision engineering services, an aspect of the business which has been reinforced with the acquisition of Thorley Engineering.
“Lucy has been brought in to carry Triple E forward as myself and Brenda begin to step back from the business,” explains Tripple E’s David Edelstein. “After spending three years working in many different parts of the company Lucy has taken on the role of director, deputising for Brenda and myself when we are not in the office. We are delighted as Lucy has already made significant changes and improvements to our overall infrastructure. Together, we have taken steps to future-proof the business and develop some big ideas for Triple E’s future.”
“A major part of my new role as deputy director is to address business development and the organic growth of our current business whilst also exploring new avenues and potential distributors in new markets, as well as streamlining the business and the way we do things,” says Lucy.
Lucy has also been instrumental in the recent appointment of Tokyo Velludo Co. as Japanese distributor for Triple E. Established over 70 years ago, this Japanese theatre and performing arts supplier has been an end user of Tri
UK - A.C. Special Projects (AC-SP) has expanded its team with the appointment Muraly Kuhan in the role of business development manager.
Kuhan will work closely with AC-SP’s project managers and architectural lighting brand partners - including Traxon/e:cue, CLS, Acclaim and Chroma-Q - to develop and implement new business.
He has extensive architectural lighting sales experience on both the product manufacturer and project specifier sides, encompassing supply through to specification, design and installation.
AC-SP’s managing director Lance Bromhead comments: "I'm delighted to welcome Muraly to our team. With his wealth of architectural lighting product, project management and commercial experience, he will be invaluable in helping A.C. Special Projects to achieve its future growth plans.”
UK - Following the announcement of their partnership with DTS earlier this year, GDS has appointed Hallam Smith as a product manager for the Italian brand.
Hallam will be working exclusively on promoting DTS products to the UK market. With almost a decade of lighting experience behind him, he started out helping with concerts and shows at university, leveraging that into freelance work and eventually a role at Cambridge-based lighting company Pulsar, where he worked in product management and technical sales support, while also gaining valuable experience in lighting design and programming installations.
Smith says: “DTS are already well recognised in Europe and they have some fantastic products. What we want to do is get the word out and to really make DTS products a key part of the lighting industry in the UK. I’m excited to be meeting with lighting designers, architects and hire companies to show them all the incredible products that DTS have to offer.”
DTS new Alchemy 5 LED Fresnel light is up for the PLASA Innovation Award, and as their UK partners, GDS will be showing and demonstrating this product at PLASA 2019 this September.
GDS head of sales James Hall comments: “We have been blown away with the quality of DTS products and have already seen fantastic installations at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest and the Leeds Trinity Shopping Centre in the UK. The innovation at DTS aligns perfectly with our core philosophies to pioneer LED
USA - Elation sale representative companies RL Wilson & Associates and JLH Marketing have hired Grant Geiselman as a product specialist. He will assist both firms with product demos and overall knowledge of all Elation Professional product lines.
Geiselman, who has been involved in the entertainment technology industry since the age of 13, has developed a comprehensive technical skill set that includes lighting design, programming, networking, software development and more. Most recently working as a freelance designer and programmer, he has extensive experience working on lighting and video design projects across Southern California.
USA - Bandit Lites has announced three staff promotions at its Knoxville headquarters.
General manager Giff Swart has been named client representative and production manager. Swart, who has spent over 15 years at the company, will oversee local work at Knoxville, including numerous University of Tennessee events, more than 100 annual philanthropic endeavours and all events at the high-end resort Blackberry Farm.
Brad Hylton has been promoted to facilities manager where he supervises the Knoxville facility and staff. With the Knoxville location recently being transformed into a sales and installation-focused facility, Hylton will be responsible for all aspects of freight, sales inventory, coordination of project preps and the upkeep and organisation of the building.
Also receiving a promotion is lighting technician Alex Becker, who becomes a sales and production assistant. He will coordinate and prep gear for Bandit’s sales projects, ensuring everything that leaves the shop is configured for the most efficient and organised install experience.
These are the latest of a string of appointments and staff changes at Bandit’s Knoxville HQ, which has also welcomed Sharon Draper (controller), Chris Barbee (vice-president of sales) and Roth E
USA - Bandit Lites has announced the appointment of long-time Bandit Roth Edwards to the new position of director of operations. Roth has been at Bandit for 20 years and was most recently director of special operations.
Edwards came to Bandit from Grand Island, Nebraska with a keen understanding of the lighting business, a desire to learn more, and a passion second to none. From that point, Edwards quickly ascended the management ladder at Bandit and now sits in a lead role.
“You could never find a smarter, more dedicated person to have on your team or in the trench with you,” said Bandit chair Michael T. Strickland. “Roth has a relentless quest for knowledge and wants to get it right every time. There is no task he will not tackle, and he will always succeed. To add to that, his vast understanding of lighting technology and computer technology is simply stunning. Roth is a world class person as well, and I am proud to call him a friend.”
As director of operations, Edwards is responsible for all things operationally from a system point of view, in every Bandit facility, including phone systems, VPN, utilities tracking, intercompany communication, freight rates, telecom deals, inventory control and everything in between. The list of operations that a company relies on daily is staggering, and Edwards now oversees all of those for Bandit globally.
Germany - Lawo has announced the expansion of its executive management board. Effective since 15 July 2019, Jamie Dunn serves as Lawo’s chief commercial officer. Phil Myers is appointed chief technology officer. Both are joining CFO and director of the executive board Claudia Nowak, COO Ulrich Schnabl, CSCO Christian Lukic and CEO Philipp Lawo, who is still on medical leave.
“This development reflects the continuous execution of our growth strategy and is a natural step in the evolution of our company’s structure. Building strong partnerships based on staying close and accessible has been a core value of the company since its foundation. My new role recognizes the importance to maintain our customer focus as we continue to grow”, says Jamie Dunn who until recently was serving as global head of sales, a responsibility he still maintains.
“Lawo has continually developed pioneering solutions that create competitive advantages for our customers world-wide. I look forward to driving the company’s technology strategy at board level, and ensuring that our heritage of engineering and manufacturing excellence continues”, says Phil Myers.
Lawo continues to deploy multiple IP-based video and audio infrastructure projects worldwide, with recent enterprise-scale installations at SIC in Portugal, NEP in the United States, CBC in Canada as well as further 4k expansions at NEP Australia’s Andrews Hub.
“We further focus on the execution of our successful business strategy as an independent, 100% privately owned company,” says Claudia Nowak
USA - Bandit Lites, has named long time team member Chris Barbee as vice-president of sales and integration. Barbee started at Bandit nearly 20 years ago and quickly ascended to the leadership team as the national director of sales and installations. Since then, Barbee has led the team for many years.
“Chris is simply one of the most knowledgeable, hardest working people in the industry, period,” says Bandit chair Michael T. Strickland. “There is no way to measure what Chris brings to the table every day, and his leadership is world class. Chris is above all a great person and a lot of fun to work with. The entire sales division is loaded with high quality individuals and Chris has led the development of that team. My hat is off to Chris for his many accomplishments.
“Chris has been operating as the vice president of sales for ages; it is simply time we recognised him for his performance and dedication.”
As the second half of 2019 unfolds, the Bandit Sales team will continue to grow. The Knoxville facility has been revamped to focus solely on sales, and many new hires are in process. A new facility in Charlotte is in process and new hires were made there last month. Chris Barbee will lead the team on the expansion as Bandit moves forward.
USA - Gary Simon is City Theatrical’s new sales specialist focusing on the tristate area. He has 25 years of experience working as a theatre electrician, stagehand, and supervisor with demonstrated success in leading crews and meeting production schedules.
Simon will play a pivotal role in supplying lighting professionals with the electrical and electronic, beam control, hardware, and software solutions that best meet and exceed their needs. He has installed, operated, and maintained lighting, video and audio systems for Jazz at Lincoln Centre and Lincoln Centre Theatre as well as many Broadway productions, concerts, and corporate events.
UK - Audio-Technica has appointed Richard Leadbitter to the role of project specification manager, a newly-created role, to which he moves from the company’s application, training and support department.
The new position reflects the significant growth of Audio-Technica and its distributed brands (Allen & Heath, Apart Audio and Artnovion) in the UK installation market over the last three years. Based at Audio-Technica Ltd’s Leeds office, Leadbitter will be offering site visits, project specification, sales and training to customers in the sector.
Logan Helps, Audio-Technica distributed brands manager, comments: “I’m very pleased to welcome Richard to the new role in the business. He brings to it many years of experience, both in our ATS department and previously on the “other side” of the counter at Pro Audio Centre, so is well-placed to deliver end-to-end solutions - from microphone to speakers and acoustic treatment - to our installation customers across the UK.”
Germany - Sebastian Hayer has joined the dBTechnologies Deutschland team in Cologne as sales and brand manager for RCF. In this role, he will actively support sales, generate leads and expand sales activities together with the marketing and product management departments.
In recent years, Hayer has been employed by Cologne-based provider of musical instruments and equipment Music Store Professional, where he was most recently a product & purchase manager.
“With his many years of experience in purchasing and sales, Sebastian is the perfect choice for the sales & brand manager RCF,” says Arne Deterts, managing director of dBTechnologies Deutschland. “He knows the customers and their needs as good as the sales business, and I am sure that the team will benefit from his experience.”
“I am very pleased that I can contribute my know-how in direct contact with customers at dbTechnologies Germany,” adds Sebastian Hayer. “RCF is both a traditional and innovation-driven company and to take responsibility for their products is a great challenge that is very motivating.”
Germany - Wolfgang Fraissinet, the Neumann president of marketing and finance, will leave the organisation "to pursue new career opportunities in the audio and music industry," Sennheiser has announced.
Fraissinet has been at Neumann since 1990 and has been instrumental in growing the microphone brand's influence in the professional studio market. Until the position has been filled, the Neumann management team will report directly to Sennheiser COO Peter Claussen, who is also president of R&D at Neumann.
“On behalf of the entire executive management board of Sennheiser, I would like to thank Wolfgang for his immense contribution to the company’s success,” comments Claussen. “With his determination and commitment, his wealth of expertise and close ties within the audio industry, Wolfgang has played a vital role in driving the Neumann business forward for almost three decades. His accomplishments include enlarging the studio specialist’s product portfolio and making Neumann a highly desirable brand not only in the studio field. We thank him and wish him all the best in his new endeavors.”
With a solid background in premium brand marketing and an education in classical piano at Berlin Conservatory, business graduate Fraissinet started his career with Neumann in 1990, shortly before the company was acquired by Sennheiser in 1991. During this transitional period, Fraissinet was part of the team that helped to successfully integrate the Neumann business into that of the parent company, with a clear focus on the microphone portfolio.
USA - Michael T. Strickland, Bandit Lites founder and chair, will be the 2020 winner of the Parnelli Visionary Award.
Strickland has now led Bandit for 51 years, having founded the company in 1968 when he was just 12 years old. The award will be presented at the 19th Parnelli Awards on 17 January 2020 at the Anaheim Hilton in California.
“You must remember that in 1968 no one had stage lighting,” Strickland commented, “they all played with the ceiling lights on in a high school gym or National Guard Armory. When we showed up with ‘borrowed’ lekos and Fresnel’s, this was all new to the acts. At the same time, others in New York and LA were also experimenting and doing very psychedelic stuff, but they were adults, and I was a 12-year-old kid.”
Because of his appearance, Strickland notes he was able to bluff his way into situations that a 12-year-old should not have been in. Hiring someone with a driver’s licence was job one, and after that, the rest is history. The original Bandits took off and began illuminating rock shows in a 300- mile radius of Kingsport. On any given weekend, Bandit had borrowed all the lighting equipment from the high school, two junior highs and a theatre or two - hence the name Bandit.
Strickland graduated high school and then took the show on the road to the University of Tennessee where the merry band of pioneers continued lighting shows throughout college. After a degree in business, Strickland went onto UT Law School while simultaneously working as the production manager for the biggest act in the w
UK - ROE Visual Europe has appointed David Morris to lead business development in the UK and Ireland region.
“Having worked in the AV market for several years and with a broad experience in the live events market, Morris is the perfect candidate to support our current client base on the one hand and open up different market segments on the other,” comments ROE’s operations and sales director, Auke Meijer. “For ROE Visual Europe Morris is a good addition to the sales team, which is now covering key countries in the European and Middle East region. We’re happy to have him joining our team.
“Following our continued growth, recently spiked with the introduction of our LED line for fixed installation and AV integrators, an expansion of our sales team was high on the wish list. We like to keep our customer support at 200% and with David located in the UK, we’re able to address client queries directly.”
Morris has worked in the field of major live events throughout the UK and Europe for the past five years, delivering large-scale projects from concept to completion. Prior to entering into the events industry, he spent 10 years in the Royal Air Force as an IT specialist working on a wide array of IT and telecommunication systems.