UK - Well-known industry figure, Matt Lloyd, is to leave his role at Bristol-based technology company GDS after 14 years’ service. Following a restructuring of the company, the co-founder and former managing director had been working in a consultancy role but a change in direction, following the sale of key brands including ArcSystem to ETC, led GDS to terminate the arrangement.
Having gained a wealth of experience and know-how during his time at GDS and Stage Electrics, Matt, vice-chairman of PLASA, will continue to advance the gb4u consultancy he launched in September 2018. gb4u works with a range of businesses, from start-ups to established operations, to advise on and assist with the promotion of strategies for growth and development. Matt is also discussing a number of other opportunities with businesses keen to take advantage of his wide-ranging skills and industry experience.
Lloyd comments, “I’ve had 14 amazing years at GDS, a company which began for me as an idea in the middle of The Panama Canal, during a round the world yacht race! My experiences have been entirely positive and being immersed in helping to create, develop and deliver cutting-edge products as part of such a fantastic team has been a joy.
“I will take forward so many invaluable lessons into the next chapter of my career. The freedom to operate across different sectors of industry is something I’m relishing and I’m very much up for the challenge. I’m confident that gb4u will continue to grow as a productive source of support for a wide range of businesses, fos
Europe - Audio-Technica Europe has appointed Sarah Yule to the position of sales director EMEA. Yule joins the company from VC-backed music creation start-up ROLI, where she was director of sales.
Starting out as an audio engineer in her teens, Yule obtained a degree in Sound Technology from LIPA before moving into the commercial side of the industry. She has spent the last 15 years in both international and senior sales roles at the likes of TL Audio and InMusic and at ROLI was involved in bringing the brand’s products to market around the world.
Yule comments: “I am delighted to be joining such a respected company dedicated to creating products that are both premium quality and best-in-class. Audio-Technica is a brand with a respect for the art of sound, great history and strong heritage.”
Robert Morgan-Males, CEO of Audio-Technica Europe adds: “Sarah is joining Audio-Technica at a fascinating time, as we’re continuing to see the lines between professional and consumer products blurred; we believe that Sarah’s experience and achievements can help drive growth across the business.”
UK - Callum Wachowski has joined Fiend Productions to provide a primary point of contact for rental enquires. Callum, who is also principal at Rugby-based dry hire and event production company Genius Bros, will bring his knowledge of lighting, rigging and video equipment and projects to the Fiend Productions team.
Jess Mathews, Fiend’s MD comments: “Callum has joined us at a time of investment and growth for the business. We are building on our stock of MA and Avolites control equipment, wide range of intelligent lighting fixtures and LED screen this year and Callum’s arrival will help us provide a knowledgeable and consistent contact for our customers.”
USA - Aaron Chisena has joined Apart Audio as director business development for North America.
Chisena brings more than 20 years of experience in product, sales and marketing management and has a vast knowledge of the consumer and commercial electronics, technology and the music industry. Based in Stamford, Connecticut, he will further develop and grow the Apart business together with distribution partners TMP Pro in the US and Trends in the Canadian market.
Apart Audio CEO Kris Vermuyten comments: “We are very happy to welcome Aaron to our team. With his strong and impressive background in the audio industry, he is extremely qualified and the perfect individual for our specialised fixed installation market. His proven track record of brand building and sales team building can only support our distribution partners in the further growth of the APART brand of quality loudspeakers and electronics in this strategic important market / region.”
Chisena adds: “I am very excited and honoured to join the Apart Audio team. They provide exceptional products built for installers combined with first-rate performance, design, and value. We are looking forward to continuing growth in North America as we expose this region of the world to the great culture and capability of Apart Audio.”
Italy - Music & Lights has welcomed Paolo Albani as international sales manager.
He brings 20 years of experience gained from working for reputable companies throughout the lighting industry and will “play an important role in the commercial developmental strategy of Music & Lights”.
Fabio Sorabella, MD for M&L comments: “Paolo has both commercial professionalism and technical expertise. We are glad to have him on our team and I am sure that his experience in the field will help our commercial development projects and will help to strengthen the Music & Lights brands around the globe”
On his new role, Albani explains: "Wherever I turn in this industry I keep meeting more and more people who have been very happy with their dealings with Music & Lights - nationally and internationally, as customer or distributor. It was enough to see the dedication of the people working in the new HQ and talk with the management to understand the reasons for this. Inside Music & Lights you can observe first-hand the innovation, quality and outstanding customer-oriented service. I believe in the world we live in and the market we find ourselves in, it is not enough to simply have good and reliable products. In order to stand out, a company has to be innovative in its offerings and service, and Music & Lights has really got a lot to say about that. I am confident in the team and the M&L vision and am sure that we will be making some waves in the near future."
UK - Grant Smith has joined Robe UK as sales manager for the northeast of England.
Based in Leeds, Smith will be complementing the already very proactive work of Robe’s Ian Brown, Bill Jones and Ashley Lewis, and Robe UK MD Mick Hannaford is “delighted” to have him onboard.
Smith studied English Literature at Liverpool University and enjoyed several summers of work experience rigging stages and roofs at festivals and events all around the UK. He has previously worked at Summit Steel, Neg Earth and AC Lighting, where he remained for nearly 17 years.
USA - Lumileds has appointed Dr Jonathan Rich as chief executive officer. Rich most recently served as chairman and CEO of Berry Global, a Fortune 500 specialty materials and consumer packaging company.
Rich succeeds Mark Adams, who is stepping down as CEO and from the board of directors but will remain in an advisory role to the company. “I am very pleased to be joining Lumileds and am looking forward to building on the company’s differentiated lighting technology foundation to increase the value we can deliver to customers across a broad set of industries,” said Dr. Rich.
“Mark Adams has made significant contributions to Lumileds during his tenure, leading the transition to an independent company and cultivating a culture of innovation and customer focus,” said Rob Seminara, a senior partner at Apollo and chairman of the board of Lumileds. “On behalf of the Board of Directors of Lumileds, we would like to thank him for his service to the company and wish him the very best in his future endeavors. We are very excited Jon will be joining Lumileds to drive the next phase of innovation and growth.”
UK - Green Hippo has announced the appointment of David March as head of sales and marketing. March will report directly to Green Hippo’s business unit director, Emma Marlow. He will take responsibility for Green Hippo’s sales and marketing strategy in EMEA and Asia.
March comes to Green Hippo from VER where he most recently served as head of VER Lighting Europe & Aurora Lighting. He began his career as a rental assistant at Vari-Lite Europe ultimately becoming general manager at Vari-Lite Production Services. Since then he has held a number of leadership positions in the lighting and live events sector, including roles at Philips Entertainment, PRG Distribution and AED Distribution UK Limited.
"I am thrilled to be joining the most exciting and innovative brand in its sector. Hippotizer continues to go from strength to strength, and I look forward to helping the company grow further and faster," says March.
Emma Marlow adds, "We are delighted to welcome David to Green Hippo. He brings thorough knowledge of our sector and I am confident that he will be a great asset in helping deliver our commercial goals."
USA - As it continues to sustain growth in the pro lighting, video, audio and effects markets, the ADJ Group has announced the creation of two key positions at its LA-based headquarters.
Shenor Sakadjian joins the group in the new role of sales coordinator, while Jake Rhodes takes on additional responsibility within the company as product specialist.
Shenor Sakadjian comes with over 20 years of retail and corporate experience as a buyer and customer service agent in the fashion, entertainment and hospitality industries. She will assist the ADJ sales staff as well as the ADJ dealer network with support in all aspects of the sales process from purchasing to fulfilment.
Jake Rhodes, who has been with the ADJ Group for almost a year as ADJ showroom manager, has now taken on added responsibilities as ADJ Group product specialist. Rhodes is a recent graduate of California State University Long Beach, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Technical Theatre with an emphasis in lighting.
“I am very excited to be welcoming Shenor to the ADJ Group team and also to see Jake take the next step in his promising career,” comments ADJ USA’s national sales manager, Alfred Gonzales. “They both bring energy, knowledge and experience that will help us to continue to drive the business forward.”
UK - Stuart Moots has been promoted to associate director, pro audio at Shure UK. He began his career at Shure in 2013 as the southern regional sales manager during a period of substantial growth at Shure and was responsible for some of the UK's largest accounts, while also playing a pivotal role in developing critical relationships and identifying new business opportunities in his region.
Shure's senior director for Western Europe, Tuomo Tolonen, commented: "Stuart has been a valuable member of the UK pro team for many years. His work ethic is superb and he is well respected by our customers."
Meanwhile Moots has named Jack Drury as the new market development specialist for pro audio, also based at the Waltham Abbey office. Drury brings with him a wealth of experience, including from his time at Sennheiser and Stage Electrics. "With the addition of Jack to the Shure UK Pro Group, we have strengthened the team to cover what our customers and future Shure users expect," says Moots.
UK - Sound Technology, distributor of Martin by Harman in the UK, has further expanded its professional lighting division with the appointment of Darren Jackson as head of lighting sales and Ferenc Vacha as architectural lighting application engineer.
Jackson has over 20 years’ experience in the lighting industry, with positions at Global Design Solutions and Chauvet.
“I am very excited to be working with the team at Sound Technology and to be representing such a world famous and high-profile brand as Martin is a really honour. Martin has been a market leading and innovative lighting manufacturer for many years, having massively changed the lighting industry with what have become industry standard lighting,” says Jackson. “With more in the pipeline, it’s a very exciting period and I am very much looking forward to the challenges ahead.”
Vacha joins from Lightworks Architectural where he worked on office, retail, art & culture, and leisure lighting projects as a technical design engineer. He will be providing pre-sales advice and application support for Martin's architectural lighting product range.
"I'm very pleased to have joined the amazing team at Sound Technology and to have the opportunity to support clients hands-on with the Martin Professional dynamic architectural lighting solutions," says Vacha.
Italy - K-array has appointed Pablo Manoukian as area sales manager for the Latin America region, effective from 1 February.
No stranger to the K-family, Pablo has been working with the Italian manufacturer as account executive - LATAM and the Caribbean since 2015, where he has accumulated several years of field experience overseeing important K-array projects such as the Kayros Temple in Spain, the Gran Teatro del Habana in Cuba and the Gran Carpa Cathedral in Puerto Rico. Pablo has also expanded K-array’s reach in the region by determining new distribution channels in Uruguay, Bolivia and Ecuador.
“Given his previous success with us, his extensive work experience in event productions and profound studies in the technical aspects of pro audio, we were confident that Pablo would excel even more as area sales manager," says Alessandro Tatini, president of K-array. "His appointment compliments our great global sales force and we expect him to elevate K-array in LATAM even further and look for new impressive initiatives to come out of the region.”
UK - GDS has given new roles to two members of staff as the company prepares to launch new product ranges in the coming months.
James Hall will head up sales in entertainment and architecture, whilst Scott Kerslake will act as key accounts executive for entertainment products. Hall worked in the entertainment lighting side of GDS’s business before leaving for a brief period to develop his knowledge of the architectural sector. He will work closely with MD Richard Cuthbert to introduce customers to the company’s new Reality Series and Prodigy Series lighting and control products. Kerslake meanwhile is a highly-skilled former production technician.
Managing director Richard Cuthbert states that the appointments are part of the new long-term development plan for GDS: “Both James and Scott are dedicated to GDS and are proven, highly-committed specialists. With the departure of former director Matt Lloyd, it was essential to place strong candidates in these important, customer-facing roles. I am fully confident that James and Scott have all the required qualities to help develop further significant growth for GDS.”
USA - Business development specialist Jeff Meyer has joined AV solutions integrator OSA International (OSA). An industry veteran, Meyer has 35 years of experience in live sound and video for corporate events. Based at OSA’s Las Vegas office, he will be responsible for developing new business relationships and expanding sales of LED technology.
Meyer joins from Video Equipment Rentals (VER), where he worked business development and account management since 2010. Prior to that, he spent over 23 years at Creative Technology (formerly Media Control). Meyer joined Media Control as a sound engineer and warehouse technician in 1987. He then became a project manager in 1990 and went on to take up the roles of operations manager and subsequently, general manager.
USA - AVIXA, the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association, has promoted Dan Goldstein to chief marketing officer. In this role, Goldstein will lead the strategy for AVIXA's marketing, communications, market intelligence, content creation and delivery, strategic alliances, and new product innovation.
Goldstein joined the association in 2015 as senior VP of marketing and communications. He led the rebranding initiative from InfoComm International to the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association - AVIXA - and has built an all-new market intelligence team focused on providing the AV community with industry analytics and insights that were previously unobtainable from any source.
Prior to joining AVIXA, he served as a senior marketing and communications professional at the ISE trade show for seven years.
"Dan has been a major driver in AVIXA's evolution in recent years - leading our brand transformation, market intelligence, and much more," says David Labuskes, CEO of AVIXA. "Since joining the association four years ago, he has made a huge impact, and we're excited for him to take on a bigger leadership role.”
UK - During his four years in the company, Martin Audio’s Richard Van Nairn has steadily broadened his remit, and with the recent restructure of Martin Audio’s sales force, it has opened the door further for Van Nairn to bring even more territories under his management.
The restructure, which has seen Bradley Watson promoted to the new role of international sales director, meant many of the countries under his management has moved to Van Nairn.
Already in charge of Cyprus, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Slovenia, Estonia and the PALOPS block, Van Nairn now has responsibility for a further swathe of territories across Central and Eastern Europe, as well as the Middle East (including Israel and Jordan). He also has responsibility for the whole of Africa (apart from South Africa), including Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco.
“I feel privileged to be entrusted with so much responsibility at a time when Martin Audio’s sales are at a record high,” Van Nairn says, “and the opportunity to expand the brand’s visibility in some of the lesser known parts of the world remains of paramount importance.”
UK - TechPro, a lighting, video and sound services provider for live events, has given new responsibilities to its event services director, Mike Foyle. Foyle, who joined TechPro in 2012 as a project manager, had previously covered all aspects of marketing and communication, but with a focus on video production and live events. He will now solely focus on improving the company’s communication and collaboration with its clients. Foyle comments: “This is a new role designed to help us engage better with our clients and understand more fully what they hope to achieve from their events, which will determine how best TechPro supports each production.”
TechPro managing director, Mark Stokes, adds: “The significant growth we have achieved in recent years has been driven in large part by our commitment to the flawless delivery of live events, regardless of size or complexity.”
UK - Event production specialists Light Fantastic Production Services has introduced four new members to the team at its Borehamwood offices. Working across a number of different areas, the addition of Gareth Shippen, Angela DiTomaso, Leo Neilson and Svetoslav ‘Slavi’ Nikolov strengthens the range of creative production and technical support services provided by the company.
Taking the role of scenic project manager, Gareth is a scenic arts graduate with extensive experience in all aspects of the creative set building and prop making process.
Angela joins the production engineering department as video engineer, providing technical support to the diverse range of projects serviced by LFPS. A keen follower of new technology, Angela is highly experienced in both creative video design and systems engineering.
Strengthening the operations team, Slavi and Leo join as warehouse technicians responsible for the preparation, maintenance and deployment of equipment.
Commenting on the appointments, LFPS’ Rob Myer says: “People are the most important ingredient in everything we do. We are absolutely delighted to welcome these talented individuals to our team. Each of them brings a level of technical ability and aptitude that complements perfectly the range of production services that we offer.”
UK - Television lighting rental specialists Version 2 has appointed Laura Byrne to its account management team. She brings considerable experience from the film, TV drama, commercial and music video genres to the company.
Starting her career with rental giants Panalux, Laura was part of the rental desk team at the company’s’ busy Waxlow Road operation. A move to global lighting company Cinelease subsequently followed. Most recently, Byrne worked with equipment supplier LCA.
As account manager at Version 2, Byrne will be liaising with DoPs, LDs, gaffers and production managers to offer support and advise on all aspects of the production process.
Managing director Nick Edwards comments: "I’m excited to be welcoming Laura to our management team, I see many similarities between our career paths, her enthusiasm for the industry is clear. Laura has not only a proven in-depth equipment knowledge but she also understands the importance of strong customer support.”
UK - inspHire has announced the appointment of Martin Bestwick as sales director. Martin’s promotion from general manager coincides with the rental software providers recent acquisition by Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) and is geared towards inspHire further strengthening its position in the UK and globally.
When asked about his appointment, Martin says, “I’m incredibly excited and very much looking forward to the challenge. I’ve worked in the rental industry and have helped deliver value for inspHire’s customers for some time now. Whether that be through implementing solutions which introduce operational efficiencies, or helping prospects and customers discover the true value in any potential investment.”
Graham Dobbs, inspHire managing director adds, “Understanding the wants and needs of rental businesses, being empathetic to the challenges they face and taking a collaborative approach to developing solutions to address these challenges is what we’re all about. The depth in Martins knowledge and experience across all of these areas enables us to continue to progress and enhance the services as well as products we offer.”
UK - Sparq, part of Saville Group, the technical event production specialist which underwent a brand transformation six months ago, is strengthening its senior leadership team with the appointment of John Moore as head of national operations.
Moore has been brought on board to spearhead Sparq’s ambitious growth strategy and oversee the operational direction of the brand, as it continues to develop its 360 technical event production offering. Moore’s remit will focus on improving efficiency across the division, developing and implementing strategic change, together with growing the specialisms and expertise within the national operations team.
Colin Nixey, managing director of Sparq, comments, “Following our rebrand in September, the last six months have been really momentous for us as a company. Our brand transformation formed part of a wider strategy to ensure we remain competitive and innovative, while continuing to deliver an exceptional service to our clients. This also included reviewing our operations and ensuring we have the very best people in place to achieve our strategy for success.
“John’s appointment is central to this strategy, and with his wealth of experience across the industry, there is no doubt that he will play a key role in driving forward the brand. John is a fantastic asset to our expanding leadership team and after an impressive career ‘sabbatical’ we’re delighted to be welcoming him back to the Sparq team.”
USA - Rocky Paulson will become the third recipient of the ESTA Lifetime Technical Achievement Award.
The award, which recognises individuals with ‘significant and sustained’ technical contributions to the entertainment industry over at least 25 years, will be presented at the conclusion of the New World Rigging Symposium at the Hyatt Regency Louisville at 5:15pm on 20 March.
After being discharged from the Navy and while in college, Paulson worked for the stagehands' union, rigging at the Cow Palace arena in San Francisco and other locations. In 1973, Rocky took a job with the NBC network as a production rigger for Peter Pan and toured the world with them for several years.
After returning to the Bay Area, he founded Stage Rigging in 1977. The company went on to become one of the preeminent rigging companies in the world, providing services to such shows and events as the Super Bowl, the RNC Convention, Pink Floyd, and The Who, among many others. Paulson has also been described as an ‘an extraordinarily generous teacher’ for his commitment to training and standardisation.
Paulson was one of the co-chairs of the original ETCP Rigging Certification Subject Matter Experts. In addition, he was a founding member of ESTA’s Technical Standards Programme and authored its first ANSI Standard, E1.1, on the construction and use of wire rope ladders in the industry.
In 2000, Paulson sold Stage Rigging to Freeman Decorating staying on to help run the company until he retired from full-time work as a rigger. He continued to teach an
USA - Atlona has appointed Craig Childs as regional sales manager, TOLA, for the residential and commercial markets.
A certified technology specialist in professional AV technology, Childs will also manage relationships with regional partners that sell and install Atlona solutions. He will be based in Dallas and report to Bruce Moses, director of sales, western region.
“I look forward to capitalising on the success that Atlona has had in the TOLA region by developing new residential and commercial accounts, and providing excellent customer service to established customers,” says Childs. “I will leverage my extensive commercial AV sales experience to drive my ambitious sales goals, as well as the strong relationships I have built with corporations, universities, systems integrators, consultants, and others throughout the region. The common denominator is that these organisations all require reliable AV solutions that enhance collaboration and communications.”
Childs brings nearly 25 years of industry experience to this new role, and has held positions of increasing responsibilities with some of the industry’s most recognised brands.
France - Robert Juliat has reported the passing of Jean-Charles Juliat, aged 76. Joining Robert Juliat in the 1960s, Jean-Charles became company manager in 1972 and was a driving force behind RJ’s move into theatrical and entertainment lighting.
“This is a very sad news for all Robert Juliat family and friends,” says a joint statement from François and Frédéric Juliat. “We cannot find the words to express the deep sadness that overwhelms us as we pay tribute to our father, Jean-Charles, who passed away today at the age of 76.
“Blessed with a curious spirit, a passion for the entertainment world and its lighting, and a strong personality, Jean-Charles raised us with the same spirit and made Robert Juliat into an enduring family business of which he can be proud. The flame of his presence will continue to shine in our hearts forever.”