UK - Ron Bonner, who has worked for PLASA for over 17 years, has announced that he will be retiring at the end of February.
Bonner has been an integral part of PLASA’s technical standards and resources department since early 2001, and has made a huge contribution to standards writing for the entertainment industry, both in the UK and internationally.
Under Bonner’s leadership, PLASA has instigated a wide range of standards which have contributed hugely to the safety of the industry.
Notable projects include the development of the European voluntary agreement for stage engineering that will shortly be converted to the first ever European stage engineering standard. He also led the way in guiding PLASA members on administrative compliance requirements for newly introduced European environmental legislation.
Bonner was instrumental in the creation of the electrical safety chapter of the Event Safety Guide and in creating new laser safety guidance for the industry when HSG95 was withdrawn by the Health and Safety Executive. He was also the sole driving force for a European engineering standard which ultimately led to the creation of a new Technical Standards Committee for the EU entertainment industry at CEN in Brussels.
Bonner has represented PLASA on a number of committees and was a founding member of the British Entertainment Industry Radio Group (BEIRG). Additionally, he worked closely with PLASA’s Skills department and assisted in the development of the National Rigging Certificate.
PLASA will continue to invest in
Germany - Absen Europe has announced the appointment of Thomas Klukas to the position of business development manager for Germany, Switzerland and Austria (DACH).
Thomas joined Absen in January 2018 and is based at Absen Europe HQ in Rüsselsheim, Germany, travelling to spend time with customers and prospects in the DACH region
In his role as business development manager, he will oversee the development of the retail, corporate and DOOH sectors across the three markets, plus sports and rental in Austria and Switzerland – building the Absen brand to increase specification of its innovative and award-winning LED display products in the region.
Prior to joining Absen, Thomas held a director position with audio solutions specifier and supplier Shure Distribution Gmbh, where he oversaw strategy development and partnerships with manufacturers in the AV industry. Other previous roles include business development for Crestron and AMX in Germany, and a strong technical background, Thomas having trained as a radio and TV engineer.
USA - Adamson Systems Engineering has appointed audio industry veteran Lin Buck to the position of director of sales for the United States, working as an integral part of the team led by Marc Bertrand, managing director of Adamson Americas.
In his new role, Buck will collaborate closely with Adamson’s Partner Network and manufacturer’s rep firms to continue driving sales and growing the brand’s profile in the ever-important U.S. touring and integration markets.
“Our comprehensive strategy for building a long-term, sustainable sales structure in the Americas fits very well with Lin’s experience, as well as his philosophies with respect to customer relations and the Adamson brand,” comments Bertrand. “We’re very pleased to have him aboard, and we expect great results.”
Buck served as senior manager of live entertainment sales for Harman Professional, developing a strong reputation among professionals in the North American and international touring communities. That followed successful stints with Bosch Security Systems’ Communications Division and Kansas City, MO-based manufacturer’s rep firm Tremain Marketing Group.
“I’m very pleased to be joining the Adamson Americas team and helping to continue the brand’s years of impressive growth in both the US and international pro audio markets,” says Buck. “Through decades of selling, managing, and teaching, I’ve successfully relied on a customer-centric sales philosophy and strategic development based on analysis, communication, and empowerment. The synergy with Adam
Italy - Outline has announced the appointment of Leonardo Dani to the post of deputy general manager of sales.
Leonardo joins the company during a period of strong growth and expansion, driven mainly by the success of Outline’s GTO loudspeaker family in global touring and by the growing number of high-profile installations of the Stadia Series, including those for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
His professional background includes many years of road experience in FOH, monitor and system technician roles in addition to a decade working in international pro-audio sales.
Leonardo commented, “I am confident that I can contribute to the continued success of Outline, especially as I am joining them at such an exciting time. Their systems are absolutely competitive with anything else currently available and brand new designs such as the extraordinary Newton processor will allow us to demonstrate clear operational advantages to our clients everywhere.”
UK - Creative Technology’s London operation has recently recruited Richard Rogers and Chris Jordan to work as senior project managers in their audio team. Richard and Chris have long careers stretching back to the early 80s, spending most of that time working together on a wide range of audio projects in corporate events and theatre.
“Having worked with Richard and Chris many years ago I am really excited to be working with them both again, bringing with them yet more experience and knowledge to an ever-growing audio team,” says Mark Boden, director of audio.
Richard comments: “It’s great for Chris and I to be joining Creative Technology and becoming part of the team. CT has a fantastic inventory, backed up by a team of experts with a real passion for delivering high quality audio for all kinds of events.”
UK - One of SSE Audio Group’s original team members - Carl Reavey - died suddenly aged 61 on 8 January, the company reported.
Reavey was the fourth member of the original SSE Hire team, joining the fledgling rental company in 1977. There he met his wife-to-be, Jan (who was SSE’s second staff member). His enthusiasm for everything he did always shone through, approaching every task with vigour and humour.
Reavey was crucially important to SSE Hire during these formative years, working the all-nighters, doing mad gigs and moving on to become FOH engineer for the Yachts and later the Undertones.
In 1979, after working around the clock for over a week, he went to Glastonbury with the, just finished, Turbosound festival system and ran the front of house with the legendary John Newsham. They were two very different engineers, but afterwards both said how much they had learned from each other across the three days.
Although Reavey left the sound business in 1995, he was an important figure in the audio industry, first as a sound engineer and later as the first product manager for mixing console company Total Audio Concepts (TAC). In 1991, he was appointed General Manager of Amek’s US Operations, based in Burbank LA.
His passion for live sound and expert knowledge of mixing consoles won him friends the world over.
He left the industry to run a hotel on the island of Islay, off the west coast of Scotland with his wife Jan. He reasoned that having spent so much time staying in hotels, he was well placed to know what guests were looking
USA - Lawo continues to add to its US operations by hiring Mike Franklin as senior sales manager.
US broadcasters are familiar with Franklin in his former role as senior sales manager for Studer in America, and his extended tenure with Euphonix.
“I’ve always admired Lawo, and I’m very proud to be a part of what they’re doing,” says Franklin. “Not only are they the most innovative company in broadcasting, they have amazing commitment to their customers. I think that’s why Lawo is the fastest growing broadcast company in the world.”
Franklin’s appointment is part of Lawo’s continued growth in the US TV and Radio markets, underscored by the recent commissioning of a new support and logistics hub in Elmsford, New York, and the addition of Hans Juergens and David Antoine as broadcast engineers for pre- and post-sales technical support.
“Our organization in America has been growing at an amazing rate, and I’m glad to have top talent like Mike joining the team,” says Jeffrey Stroessner, Lawo’s head of sales, Americas. “Everyone who’s worked with Mike is a fan. Not only is he a great guy, he is absolutely committed to making sure his clients are happy. We couldn’t have asked for a better fit.”
France - L-Acoustics has named a dedicated support team for the strategic and growing sports and cruise ship sectors, hiring Tom Williams to the role of applications engineer and appointing Scott Wakelin, who joined L-Acoustics in 2015 as regional sales manager, to the position of sales manager, sports facilities & cruise ships.
Working with the install applications team, headed by director of application Cedric Montrézor, Tom will represent the L‑Acoustics brand to consultants, architects and venue managers. He’ll also provide technical support to L-Acoustics partners for major sports venue and cruise ship projects around the globe.
Scott Wakelin has over 20 years’ experience in the professional audio industry, developing key partner strategy and focusing on large scale projects for stadia, casinos and railway, among others. His privileged relationships with consultants and key stakeholders in the AV market will be crucial to building the L-Acoustics brand in the sports facilities and cruise ships markets.
“Scott has built up a strong presence for L-Acoustics in Central Europe,” explains Jochen Frohn, director of business development at L-Acoustics. “He has demonstrated product and project excellence as well as technical expertise and I know he’ll be a strong advocate for our clients and partners in a key market.”
With over a decade of experience designing and deploying large-scale audio systems for both live events and fixed installations, Tom Williams has travelled the globe to oversee the sound system installations of
UK - A.C. Entertainment Technologies (AC-ET) Ltd. has announced that Chris Millard has joined the company's Board of Directors in the new role of technical director, with immediate effect.
Chris is a well-known face in the industry, with over 35 years of technical experience gained in the film, television, and entertainment lighting markets. Chris joins AC-ET from his role as technical director at Panalux, where he spent 22 years working for the company - also previously known as AFM Lighting.
Chris will oversee the further development and growth of the company's Technical Services department and in-house Tourflex Cabling bespoke cable assembly service. This includes focusing on the continual improvement of AC-ET's technical procedures, and ensuring their compliance with the very latest, highest industry standards.
Chris comments: "I am excited to be joining the team at AC-ET. As a long-term customer of theirs before joining the company, I have experienced their exceptional technical service and support, which in my experience is second to none in the industry. I am looking forward to playing my part in building on this already high level of expertise and professionalism, as AC-ET continues to keep pace with customers' constantly changing technical needs."
AC-ET’s managing director, Phill Capstick states: "I’m delighted to welcome Chris to the company’s Board of Directors. As the technologies adopted by our industry become ever more sophisticated, this is matched by their increasing technical complexity."
Europe - GearSource has added Jeroen Knol to its business development team. Jeroen is based in Europe and well networked in the European markets, having worked the last 12 years with two of the world’s largest industry-related companies. He will bring his network and relationship management skills to GearSource Europe.
Along with Jeroen in Europe, the company’s US-based business development and operations teams will support everything from listings to orders, logistics and more.
GearSourceEurope.com now operates as a fully integrated and secure e-commerce platform, built on the company’s redeveloped engine, G-Suite offering users even more power than ever before.
“In developing G-Suite, our technology team has once again raised the bar. G-Suite will help us remain the largest name in used gear – globally,” says Marcel Fairbairn, CEO of GearSource.
USA - Lumileds has announced the appointment of Jeff Henderson as senior vice president of corporate development, effective 8 January. Henderson has over 25 years of experience in numerous executive roles, most recently at Keysight Technologies.
“As our business continues to scale, Jeff will be critical to our long-term development as he will be responsible for facilitating the process of defining, supporting and executing upon our corporate growth strategy,” said Mark Adams, CEO of Lumileds.
Prior to joining Lumileds, Henderson was at Keysight Technologies, where he was responsible for leading corporate development for the $4B electronic equipment, software and services business, which spun out of Agilent Technologies in 2014.
“My passion is helping businesses grow and maintain relationships that are vital to our company’s success. I look forward to working with the Lumileds team to generate ideas and opportunities to help accelerate growth,” added Henderson.
South Africa - DWR Distribution has announced the appointment of Shannon Fagan as accounts manager.
Born in Zimbabwe before moving to South Africa, Shannon studied accounting and has had four years’ experience in the workplace. “I am very excited to be here,” said Shannon. “It’s definitely an opportunity to grow.”
As DWR has expanded over the past 11 years, it has become necessary to ease the load of the accounts department. “We are delighted to welcome Shannon to the team and know she will fit perfectly into this family,” said Duncan Riley of DWR. “Shannon has a wealth of knowledge and skill, and more importantly, a great attitude. We hope that she will spend many happy years with us.”
UK - Lesley Harmer, a well-known face in the world of entertainment technology PR, has taken a step back from the industry to embrace retirement this year. The move sees the business change to the new name of Sprand Communications, under the management of Lesley’s colleague Sarah Thomas, and the closure of Harmer PR, the business which Lesley started almost 40 years ago.
Sarah says: “Harmer PR gave me my first job in the industry in 2002, where I stayed for three years, leaving to gain experience in the world of consumer PR. Lesley and I got back together in early 2012, when she closed the London office and I began to work for her again, this time on a freelance basis.”
Lesley comments: “Over the past six years, Sarah and I have known the end goal was my retirement. When I moved to the country a few years back, we began a gradual handover, so there has been no impact on our clients or the quality of our service.”
Sprand’s clients include Doughty Engineering and Unusual Rigging.
The handover will continue smoothly, as Lesley will be supporting Sarah on a consultancy basis. “It’s the perfect balance,” said Lesley. “The time is right to hand over the baton, but equally I’m not sure I could ever tear myself away from this wonderful industry completely.”
Italy - K-array has announced that effective 1 January 2018, Stefano Zaccaria has moved to the position of VP of sales and marketing, to work closely with president and co-founder, Alessandro Tatini.
Zaccaria arrived at the company in October 2016 as a temporary manager, but since January 2017 he has been a full-time insider, tasked with reaching long-term goals as strategic sales and business development manager. He has significant experience, consolidated into a long career path, working with small- to medium-sized companies particularly specialisng in luxury design brands and high-end product markets.
K-array also reports the promotion of Daniel Strasserra to sales engineer in the sales department at the company’s headquarters. Strasserra joined the company eight years ago and has progressively advanced through positions in both the service and sales departments’
Also confirmed is Daniele Mochi’s new position as project manager. During his four years at K-array, Mochi has assisted with the system design for applications such as Teatro di Habana in Cuba, Vodafone Arena in Turkey and White Nightclub in Dubai. He has also been responsible for hosting product workshops, seminars and presentations which, along with his background as a physicist, provides him with the passion and knowledge to now run the newly-launched K-academy.
"Stefano, Daniel, and Daniele have been important fixtures in the K-family for a while now and I look forward to seeing what their new roles will bring to the company," concludes Tatini.
Germany - It was at Showtech in Berlin that Michael Feldmann and GLP founder and CEO Udo Künzler met for the first time. GLP had previously caused a stir in the industry with the Patendlight and YPOC series and as a student Michael was looking for an internship as part of his lighting technology studies. "Here, the door to the event industry opened up for me and fulfilled a long-awaited dream to work for a renowned moving head manufacturer,” he said. “Udo then offered me the opportunity to take care of production as a German engineer in China, which I gratefully accepted.”
The paths of Feldmann and GLP were soon to part again. For four years he worked as a project manager and planning engineer in the field of architainment. But the passion that had originally sparked GLP duly led him back into the event industry for a number of years. Michael Feldman gained extensive experience in project and product management at one of the largest manufacturers in the industry, and built up extensive contacts with investors, designers and technicians.
"After a good 12 years, I am now very happy to be back at GLP. Of course, over the years I have never lost sight of the company and have always been able to follow how GLP has developed into an internationally renowned manufacturer in our industry. I have watched in admiration as the GLP brand established itself in the professional sector, and today their products are indispensable in almost all segments of the industry,” he states as the basis of his decision to rejoin GLP.
Michael Feldmann started working a
USA - Margie Kirby has joined husband Rik Kirby at the helm of Allied Professional Technologies where she will be extending the company’s services further into the marketing realm.
With over 28 years of experience in the professional audio industry Kirby most recently held the post of director of marketing at Renkus-Heinz, prior to which she held marketing and trade show management roles with TEAC’s Tascam division.
"At Allied Professional Technologies we provide a flexible approach to US distribution which we feel reflects the way the industry and supply chain have changed over the last 10 years or so,” explains Rik Kirby. "For Linea Research we operate as a full-service distributor while for Luminex we work as an extension of their existing North American operation. Now with Margie joining us, we’ll be able to offer our partners increased marketing services both in the USA and in support of their global businesses.”
“I’m excited to ring in the new year with this next chapter in my career,” concludes Margie Kirby, "working with long-time industry friends and colleagues, and of course making new partnerships along the way. Catch up with us at NAMM where we’re exhibiting with both Linea Research and Luminex in the new pro-audio hall on booth #18105."
UK - Pharos Architectural Controls has made a series of internal promotions and role changes across all its teams.
Thomas Ladd has been promoted to the role of international sales director. He is now directly managing the sales team worldwide and developing commercial strategies in Pharos’ key territories. Ladd has been with Pharos since 2010, and has been instrumental in growing its business with key customers in North America during that time.
Pharos managing director Chris Hunt comments: “Tom’s promotion is a great fit for his experience and skills, and it comes at a very exciting time for Pharos to help progress our presence in the fixed installation market.”
Bas Hoksbergen is now architectural market manager, with a broad remit to develop strategies that take Pharos into new markets in the wider world of architectural lighting. He will also be taking the lead in managing Pharos’ relationships with its larger corporate customers and OEM partners across all the regions, as well as coordinating Pharos’ work on special projects.
Richard Leivers has been hired as Pharos product manager. Leivers has been with the Carallon group for seven years, having previously worked as a developer in the Carallon FPGA team and then most recently as the technical product manager for Brompton Technology, playing a key role in the development and growth of the Tessera product line since its inception.
Pharos director Richard Mead says, “Richard brings a lot of valuable skills and a fresh perspective to Pharos, which we believe will be very h
USA - ESTA has named Erin Grabe to succeed executive director Lori Rubinstein in what is expected to be a year-long transition. Erin is currently ESTA’s assistant technical standards manager and part of the transition involves replacing her in that role.
Erin has been working in technical production in live events since the age of 15, including nine years working for Grand Stage Company as a sales associate, purchasing agent, and project manager. Following that, Erin worked as a freelance lighting technician and board operator for corporate and private events while pursuing a Bachelor of Technology degree in Entertainment Technology at New York City College of Technology.
Erin began as an intern with ESTA's Technical Standards Program in October of 2012, working as a scribe for some of the task groups writing American National Standards. In early 2013, Erin joined the staff as assistant technical standards manager, working very closely with manager Karl Ruling. Shortly thereafter, she incorporated administration of ESTA’s association management database into her daily responsibilities. Through these duties she has interfaced with ESTA’s staff on all of the association's key programmes and initiatives.
ESTA president, Jules Lauve, states, “Erin has the full support of ESTA’s Board of Directors. We have total faith and confidence in Erin and her capacity to shoulder these new responsibilities.”
Lori Rubinstein reflects, “Thirty years after helping to found the organisation and 28 years after becoming the first employee, it’s tim
UAE - ETC has announced the latest addition to its expanding sales team, with the appointment of Mark Larcombe as regional sales manager for the Middle East and India. He takes over from Darren Beckley, who was recently promoted to the position of sales manager for ETC Ltd.
In his new position, Larcombe will be responsible for the sales territory that includes the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq and India. He will be based out of ETC's London office, with much of his time spent in the field, working in cooperation with ETC's distributors, dealers and integrators in his territory.
Larcombe joins ETC from the UK-based systems integration, sales and rental company Stage Electrics, where he most recently served as an international sales manager. During his eight-year tenure with the company, he was involved in many prestigious global projects. Most notably, in the Middle East, he played an instrumental role in installation projects for the PAAET Theatre, Shuwaikh Campus, in Kuwait City; the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre; and the Royal Opera House Muscat.
“I have known Mark for many years and I am delighted to pass the mantle to him,” says Beckley. “With his enthusiasm, persona and market knowledge, Mark will be a valuable addition to our international sales team. I have every confidence he will continue to drive the business forward and maintain our high levels of service in his region.”
Germany - Jens Nilsson was appointed chief financial officer and managing director at d&b audiotechnik on 1 December.
He will work alongside CEO Amnon Harman and COO Markus Strohmeier and be responsible for finance, sales finance, IT and facility management.
Nilsson is replacing CFO Kay Lange, who will leave the post after 31 years with d&b. Lange will assist with the handover and has a commitment with the company until the end of 2018.
Harman comments: “We look forward to working with Jens Nilsson as new CFO at d&b audiotechnik. He has the right experience to strengthen the management team on its way from a loudspeaker systems manufacturer to become an audio technology and solution company.”
He adds: “Kay Lange’s contribution to the growth, successes and spirit of d&b audiotechnik can’t be valued highly enough. We plan a secure handover for the next months.”
Lange first announced his decision to leave in 2016, “to spend more time with family and pursue life-long dreams”. He joined d&b in 1986 when the company and its then 10 staff had just moved from a garage into a former furniture shop. With a diploma in technically-oriented business administration from the University of Stuttgart, he became instrumental for the start-up. In 1989, when the number of staff had increased to over 20, Lange had three months to find a new location, choosing the Backnang premises, the site of a former spinning company. This decision still pays off today as d&b continues to expand its 25,000 sq.m. headquarters, with
UK - The Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT) awarded Dr David Wilmore an ABTT fellowship at an event backed by ETC and Really Useful Theatres Group and held at the New London Theatre on 8 December.
ABTT fellow Iain Mackintosh paid tribute to Wilmore, who is a leading consultant for historic theatres and the only person in the UK to hold a PhD in 18th & 19th century Stage Machinery.
On receiving his fellowship, Wilmore said: “This is fantastic. It’s been an extraordinary journey from geology to being here today, being involved and meeting so many fantastic people in theatre. Words fail me and I’m really moved to have this honour - and thank you, ABTT.”
The other ABTT fellows are David Adams, Ian Albery, Peter Angier, Jason Barnes, David Blyth, Tony Bond, William Dudley, John Faulkner, Tim Foster, Roger Fox, Chris Higgs, Geoffrey Joyce, Iain Mackintosh, Richard Pilbrow, Peter Roberts, Paul Sadler, John Simpson, David Spink and Mark White.
Originally educated as a geologist at Newcastle University, Wilmore was involved in the restoration of the 19th century stage machinery at the Tyne Theatre & Opera House, which fuelled his fascination for old theatres. The three-year project also provided research material used towards his PhD at Hull University.
Completion of his thesis was marred by the news on Christmas Day 1985 that a fire at the venue had resulted in severe damage to the fly tower and the historic stage machinery. Wilmore later formed consultancy practice Theatresearch and its first project was to once
UK - Audiologic has appointed Ben Spurgeon as application support engineer. Ben, who holds a first-class BSc (Hons) degree in Audio Recording and Production from the University of Hertfordshire, joins the company from Sound Technology and will be working alongside engineer Yavor 'Max' Yanakiev to strengthen the team in response to rising demand for in-house and on-site support from its growing customer base.
Ben has varied experience in all aspects of AV system design and installation in a wide variety of settings and is familiar with the major professional audio brands.
Andy Lewis, sales and marketing director at Audiologic comments: “Ben possesses precisely the kind of expertise essential to support our customers in the often complex and challenging world of contemporary AV installation.”
Denmark - SGM has announced Frank Hoehn as its new vice-president of global sales.
Frank has most recently worked as director of business development and has who has held international management positions in Australia, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland.
He comments: “SGM is structured in a very professional way, with all the right elements to continue to develop further to be a really important player, and I am excited to be able to use my experience to help SGM grow and EMEA hospitality for Martin / Harman International.”
“Denmark has always been strong in going out in the world and selling what Denmark has to offer. For such a small country to have so many world-renowned and iconic brands and companies is quite amazing, and is only possible if you are open to learn about other cultures, without moving away from own principles. Everyone here is so nice and open-minded, and SGM is no exception,” concludes Frank.
UK - Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance has announced the appointment of Clarie Middleton, currently chief executive of the Hackney Empire, as its new principal and chief executive officer.
The appointment of the eighth principal of the college was made by the governing body of the College. Clarie Middleton will take up her new post in February 2018. She is the first woman since Rose Bruford to be appointed to the role.
Clarie has over 25 years’ experience as an arts and cultural leader. She began her career working for Welsh National Opera before joining the Arts Council’s Touring Department. This was followed by the formation of Clear Day Productions which commissioned and staged co-productions with Bristol Old Vic and Plymouth Theatre Royal. She went on to work with Thelma Holt Ltd for five years, touring large scale theatre productions and working with major international artists including Yukio Ninagawa, Vanessa Redgrave and Alan Rickman.
Since 2009 Clarie has been chief executive of Hackney Empire. Under her leadership the Empire has grown audiences, achieved a firmer financial footing and enhanced resilience (including the establishment of diverse income streams and Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation status through to 2022), and developed an inspirational artistic vision with diversity and inclusion at its heart.
When accepting the role of Principal of Rose Bruford College, Clarie Middleton said; “Rose Bruford College is a truly distinctive specialist Higher Education institution and a creative community wit