USA - API has added Steven G. Christensen as the newest member of its engineering department. He will specialise in digital technology.
Christensen has been in the audio industry for 30 years, beginning as a high-capacity telecom chip designer. He was also part of the original Pro Tools development team, inventing and implementing the TDM system architecture. Christensen then went on to work for Telex and designed their ADAM digital matrix intercom system, before starting his own companies focusing on digital audio.
"Working at API is a breath of fresh air," says Christensen. "Larry Droppa [API president] does a great job leading the company and everybody is following in his footsteps. I love it here and have a lot to learn."
UK - ER Productions has announced the appointment of Jean Pierre Jammaers to the role of project manager. He joins ER with over 10 years of experience in the lighting and production industry and was the lead in lighting the Sydney Harbour Bridge for the Chinese New Year Celebrations in 2016 and 2017. He has also produced various installations for light festival Vivid Sydney.
Alongside Jammaers, George Baker has been appointed as special effects project manager for the organisation. Baker has over eight years of experience within the live events sector and has delivered special effects for international stars, including Robbie Williams, and for a number of popular festivals.
Based in the London office, the duo will be responsible for managing the communication for worldwide client projects, ensuring lasers and special effects have been successfully delivered for the show or event.
Marc Webber, co-founder of ER Productions, comments: “Both Jean Pierre and George have joined ER at an exciting time of growth for the business. We are delighted to have them on board, to continue producing stunning work across the globe.”
USA - Sensaphonics has promoted Claudia Pyne to the position of artist relations / sales specialist. The company has also hired Richard Sandrok as an independent outside sales and marketing consultant.
Pyne has been with Sensaphonics for 15 years, developing first-hand knowledge of every aspect of the business, starting as receptionist, then spending several years as a lab tech before moving back to “front of house” duties as primary client liaison and support. An accomplished visual artist, she helped develop silicone earpieces with handcrafted multi-colour swirls preferred by artists like Chance The Rapper. Previously, Pyne worked as a multidisciplinary theatre tech in northern California and the Chicago theatre community, doing everything from scenic and properties design to sound and lights.
Sandrok comes to Sensaphonics with a wealth of pro audio experience, including 10 years of artist relations experience at Shure, working with many of the leading artists and sound engineers in touring sound.
Sensaphonics president and founder, Dr. Michael Santucci, comments: “We’re constantly working to extend our reach while providing top-notch service and support to our clients. Claudia Pyne is steeped in every aspect of our business and already has great support relationships with most of our clients. I’m also thrilled to add Richard Sandrok to our team. As a musician and industry professional, he shares our passion for helping people make smart choices with their hearing and monitoring, both on stage and off.”
USA - Shure Incorporated has promoted Brian Woodland to vice-president of business development, and Patricia Knoll to associate vice-president of global facilities.
Woodland joined Shure in 2002 and has held positions of increasing responsibility in strategic planning and in global business development. He was responsible for several of the company’s acquisitions and manages Shure’s partnerships in joint business ventures. Woodland has a BA in Engineering from the University of Illinois and an MBA in Marketing from the Kelly School of Business at Indiana University.
Knoll joined Shure in 2005 and leads an international team responsible for all acquisition, leasing, construction, maintenance, disposition, and activities associated with company offices, manufacturing plants, warehouses, and other facilities worldwide. Additionally, she has led other major undertakings, including the design and construction of the S.N. Shure Theatre and the Great Hall history exhibit in Shure’s corporate headquarters.
Chris Schyvinck, Shure president and CEO, comments: “I want to express my congratulations to Brian and Pat on these well-deserved promotions. Brian’s expertise in developing strategic relationships with outside companies is invaluable to Shure, and Pat has been instrumental in helping guide major facilities projects in support of our growing global business. We are fortunate to have these two leaders on the executive team, as they both will continue to be an integral part of our company’s long-term success.”
Canada - Solotech has announced David Brazeau’s appointment as director, research and development (R&D).
In this role, Brazeau will lead a team of audio, lighting and video technology solution consultants and specialists. This team will support other Solotech professionals, contribute to the delivery of various complex projects and help select equipment from suppliers, in keeping with the company’s overall technology strategy.
During more than 21 years as a Solotech employee, David has developed a diversified expertise, first, as a shop technician, then as a production technician on international stages while touring with André Rieu and Céline Dion. He went on to make a name for himself as an audio project manager for various Solotech clients, including Britney Spears and Michael Bublé. Until recently, he was a technical advisor in the audio department.
USA - Community Professional Loudspeakers has announced the appointment of Francesca Lynch to the position of a marketing associate.
She will report directly to Community’s director of marketing and sales operations, Julia Lee. Community says that in previous roles Lynch “had demonstrated herself to be an experienced content marketing specialist, using her skills in advertising, integrated marketing, event planning, public relations and social media management to enjoy eight successful years in the food and beverages industry”.
Lynch comments: “I’m thrilled to join Community, an outstanding brand that continues to innovate and transform in this exciting industry.”
UK - Ambersphere Solutions has announced that David Martin and Ian Green have joined the company as key account managers.
David Martin joins with almost 30 years of industry experience, having worked as an electrician at London Studios and as a key account manager at Martin Professional and most recently at Elation Professional. He will focus on the UK Film & Broadcast markets providing a knowledgeable contact for the gaffers, designers and rental partners for the Ambersphere range of products.
Ian Green spent 10 years in theatre, first qualifying as an electrician and then progressing to chief technician, before he made his move into business development. During the next 11 years Ian used his experience at Stage Electrics in a regional role and more recently in a national role at GDS. Green will be based in Glasgow and will focus on the northern UK region.
Ambersphere MD Glyn O’Donoghue comments: “Our business is only as strong as the team behind it and I am so pleased that David and Ian join us at this exciting time for Ambersphere. We recently started to work with two new supply partners; Astera and Zactrack, and David and Ian are going to help us ensure that we can continue to deliver on our commitment to quality service and support.”
Europe - Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association (AVIXA) has appointed Peter Schädel as European marketing manager.
Peter Schädel is a marketing and industry expert, having previously worked for Meyer Sound Germany for over 10 years as marketing manager. With his sound expertise, he will be in charge of establishing and expanding the marketing activities of AVIXA in Europe.
"I am very happy about my new challenge. While AVIXA has been a fixture in the US for decades, there is still a great potential for growth in Europe. It is therefore important to further raise awareness and communicate the benefits of membership." said Schädel.
USA - Signify Entertainment Lighting has announced the return of Philips Vari-Lite veteran George Masek. Based at the company's Dallas office, Masek will look after business development for the Philips Vari-Lite, Philips Strand Lighting, Philips Selecon and Showline brands.
A well-known figure in the international show lighting business, Masek has specialised in automated lighting for almost 30 years. Beginning his career in 1990 as a Vari-Lite road technician, he toured the world with leading artists, providing on-site support for Vari-Lite products from the renowned VL1 onwards. He later moved into technical support and sales, becoming Vari-Lite product manager in 2002.
In 2012, Masek left Philips Vari-Lite to take the role of VP of automated lighting at ACT Lighting. In this position, he represented a range of leading manufacturers to the US market, gaining further invaluable experience with a broad variety of new customers and product lines.
Masek comments: "I'm thrilled to be able to return to a company where I've had so much history. Working with all the talented people there over 22 years to create, sell, and support cutting edge, industry changing luminaires, was a great pleasure. Since the first time I saw Vari-Lites on their early tours in the 1980s, it was my dream to work for this amazing company. I'm honoured to be able to come back and see that dream continue to the next stage."
Welcoming the appointment, Brian Friborg, business leader at Signify Entertainment Lighting, adds: "We could not be more delighted to welcome George back
USA - DPA Microphones has announced that Paul Andrews and Chris Brunhaver have joined the company as the new global sales support & business development manager and regional sales manager, Pacific Northwest, respectively.
"With the addition of Paul and Chris, we are adding over 23 years of industry experience and expertise to the DPA team in the U.S.," says Christopher Spahr, VP of marketing and sales, DPA Microphones, Inc. "We are excited to welcome these two highly qualified individuals and look forward to their many contributions as we continue to grow our market share and reinforce our commitment to the industry."
In his new role, Andrews will be responsible for brand development and support through technical and application driven informational presentations. Andrews began his musical career as a student at the University of Denver, studying classical guitar under Ricardo Iznaola. He made the transition into audio recording at A&M Records, and currently acts as the owner/engineer of Bridge Recording Studios. Andrews has recorded artists such as Sheryl Crow, Aerosmith, Boyz II Men, Dennis Chambers, Bill Evans and the CSU Symphony Orchestra and Big Band.
Brunhaver brings over 15 years of experience in the A/V industry including design, project management, systems integration and sales with successful stints at Sony and Digital Projection where he covered a similar sales territory. Brunhaver's nine state territory in the Pacific Northwest is comprised of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota and Alas
UK - Pinewood MBS Lighting (PMBS) has announced Billy Smith as the first team member to complete its apprentice programme. The PMBS Apprentice Programme was introduced to provide in-depth, hands-on instruction and tuition covering all aspects of working within the electrical department.
Smith joined PMBS as an apprentice lighting technician in June 2015 and has undergone training throughout each department within the warehouse, gaining working knowledge of the company’s specialist lighting equipment.
Along with in-house experience, Smith also completed the necessary electrical qualifications at Uxbridge College whilst adding some additional practical proficiency via secondment with a contracting electrician.
Toby Dare, PMBS operations director, says: “Billy has built up a solid working knowledge of all aspects of the lighting department. From stands to distribution, from textiles to automated fixtures, we have been able to augment Billy’s education with in-depth training on the proper, safe operation of a broad variety equipment.”
As part of the scheme, PMBS apprentices also benefit from experience working within Pinewood Studios, often including assisting in rigging stages or lighting short films. During his time with the company, Billy was able to act as part of the crew on a recent commercial filmed at the studio and, having completed the PMBS Apprentice Programme, is now embarking on a freelance career working with a group of well-established commercials gaffers.
Dare concludes: “We’re extremely proud of our apprentices.
Canada - Solotech’s Toronto-based Integration Division has announced the appointment of Keith Danby as senior business developer.
Danby will be in charge of growing Solotech’s integration business and market share in Southern Ontario and the Greater Toronto Area, developing new and existing business accounts in the corporate, government and institutional segments.
Regional sales manager Rob Poretti comments: "Keith brings many years of lighting industry, sales and marketing experience to our group of professionals. We welcome him on board and look forward to expanding our industry-recognised level of service even further.”
USA - Professional Wireless Systems has announced the appointment of David Belawski to the role of technical project manager. Belawski will be responsible for coordinating all aspects of client projects including managing communications between clients and Professional Wireless Systems team members to ensure a successful event or installation.
Prior to joining Professional Wireless Systems, Belawski spent 11 years working for the University of Central Florida (UCF) Athletics department, first as assistant director of video production and for the last six years as the director of production services. In that role, he managed four full-time staff members and more than 30 freelancers and student interns while being responsible for the maintenance of all hardware assets, including sound systems, the centralised video control room, and LED video boards.
“The experience David brings to our customers is invaluable,” explains Jim Van Winkle, general manager for Professional Wireless Systems. “His knowledge of production and the gear used is very impressive and he understands the importance of communication and organisation.”
UK - Lighting and rigging specialist TSL has announced that Jonathan 'Jonny' Tingle, has joined the team as a senior project manager. In his new role, he will focus on expanding and developing the company's work in the corporate and special events sector.
Following the recent acquisition of Blinding Light by TSL, Tingle will be based at the Blinding Light office in Basingstoke, where his role will be to support existing business and grow the company's client base.
Tingle comments: "I'm delighted to have joined TSL and I anticipate being here for many years to come. I will certainly enjoy working with the fantastic team of experienced, dedicated and skilled professionals, in a relaxed and friendly environment. I'm looking forward to building productive relationships with my new colleagues and with TSL's clients, both existing and new."
Prior to joining TSL, Tingle was a senior account manager at PRG / XL Video, and before that held positions at both Eclipse Presentations and Spirit Design.
USA - Lawo has continued its expansion in the Americas with the appointment of Jeff Smith to the post of vice-president of sales, Americas. Smith’s career in broadcast began in 2006 at Canadian broadcast equipment and solutions manufacturer Evertz, where he first worked as regional sales manager before becoming director of sales (sports and entertainment) this year.
Jamie Dunn, Lawo’s head of global sales, comments: “We are seeing rapid growth in the Americas based on our ability to deliver full IP broadcast infrastructures. This region has become our fastest-growing global territory. Jeff’s experience and background with these technologies makes him a natural choice to lead our sales organization there. I am delighted to welcome him to our team.”
Smith adds: “I have always had a deep passion for technology and science and what Lawo is doing with IP technologies for television and radio contains equal parts of both. This orientation toward innovation and the future is what attracted me, and it’s why I’m so glad to be joining the Lawo team.”
Lawo recently added a new logistics hub in Elmsford, New York to support its US headquarters in New York City, West Coast sales and support offices in Los Angeles, and Canadian headquarters in Toronto.
UK - Technical production supplier Blitz has announced the appointment of Martyn Hunt as theatre and sound project development manager.
Hunt will work towards growing the company’s portfolio within the theatre sector. He will also act as technical support on a daily basis for all theatre productions.
Hunt has worked worldwide designing and engineering sound in theatre, live events and broadcast. He started out in in regional theatre 30 years ago and quickly moved to the West End. Hunt has since held the role of head of sound on a number of long-running productions.
Aron Ross, sound director of Blitz, comments: “It is a real pleasure to have Martyn as part of the team here at Blitz. His wealth of industry experience and technical expertise will prove invaluable as we grow our client base. He also brings a fantastic work ethic and sense of humour to everything he does.”
Blitz, a GES company, has supplied the theatre industry for over 30 years and currently provides sound and technical support to high profile productions including The Phantom of the Opera and the UK tours of Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em and Trainspotting.
South Africa - DWR Distribution’s SOS Charity Fund has helped finance the hand surgery of Vibe Audio & Backline owner Vincent Joubert, with further financial backing promised by DWR.
Joubert, who has worked at festivals and alongside South African artists Jo Black, Ray Dylan, Liezel Pieterse and Deon Groot, developed septic arthritis in a joint of a finger he injured a decade ago.
“Ten years ago, I hurt my finger and the joint was damaged,” Joubert explains. “Initially, the doctor was going to amputate, and I was actually relieved as I was in such immense pain. It was difficult to function.”
The surgery, which could not have taken place in a government hospital, was enabled by an SOS Charity Fund donation of R7,000 (£400).
Joubert adds: “People in the industry, including artists I work with, and DWR Distribution’s SOS Charity Fund have been wonderful and assisted me with the initial operation costs. They have all been amazing - thank you very much!” As a single dad, kind gestures have gone a long way.”
UK - Corporate and event audio professional Dave Woodman of DWA has agreed to act as a senior project manager on a wide range of live events for London audio rental company RSH Audio.
Woodman has over 20 years in the live audio industry and is responsible for audio design and engineering on a series of high-profile events and productions. DWA’s rental equipment tailored to the corporate events market is now integrated within the RSH hire fleet.
Joe Haycocks, RSH managing director, comments: “Dave brings his knowledge and experience to our team at a time of rapid growth for our business. Combining his equipment, projects and skill with ours provides a broader resource for the benefit of all of our customers.”
RSH recently made a series of significant investments in d&b audiotechnik audio equipment to grow and diversify its rental stock. The business is focused on provid-ing audio services and equipment rental for the corporate event and live music markets.
USA - Signify (formerly Philips Lighting) has announced the appointment of entertainment lighting executive Brian Friborg as head of its Entertainment Lighting Group. The appointment of Brian, an experienced leader with a deep understanding of the unique requirements of the entertainment lighting business, is a clear signal of the company's commitment to this specialist sector, says the company.
Danish by birth and a United States resident, Friborg has over 25 years of business experience, including 14 years at Martin Professional in North America where, as president and CEO, he had an outstanding track record in developing sales performance. After the company's acquisition by Harman, he played a key management role in the integration and in establishing the Martin by Harman brand.
"I am excited to join Signify and to help fulfil its enormous potential in our wonderful industry," says Friborg. "The entertainment production business is a tight-knit, highly-skilled and creative community of amazing people. It thrives on great relationships and Signify's brands and our team have a great heritage within it."
He adds, "My focus is on building our role in that community by doing what we know works in our business: listening carefully to our customers, end users and designers, and understanding exactly what they need. We'll be making sure that we are customer-centric in everything we do, and that for our partners and our customers worldwide, working with us is a great experience - positive, easy and fun."
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UK - J&C Joel has announced the appointment of Alan Jackson as UK sales manager.
Jackson has more than 35 years’ experience in the industry including working for Hawthorn for 14 years, most recently as their installations director. He will work closely with the UK sales team to develop inclusive relationships with customers, drive a focussed approach to the UK market and raise awareness about the broad range of products J&C Joel provide.
Jackson comments: “As a Yorkshireman, it’s great to go back to my roots and work with a fantastic Yorkshire based company. I’ve had a long connection with J&C Joel and I’m really looking forward to developing the UK sales team, meeting customers and raising the profile of the team and the company’s products and services.”
J&C Joel CEO James Wheelwright adds: “Alan is a great addition to our senior management team. He brings many years of experience, has extensive knowledge of our products and services and is a well-known industry face. He was the ideal choice to head up our sales operation in the domestic market.”
Europe - Didier Streel has been appointed vice-president of business development, for Solotech’s Rental Division, Europe, as the Montreal-based company continues to expand its international reach.
Didier has more than 30 years’ experience in the entertainment technology industry, which has earned him a solid reputation in the European market. He will be instrumental in implementing Solotech's expansion strategy in the European market, overseeing the setting up of service points to support Solotech's commercial activities in Europe, as well as ensure the development of new European client bases in the tour, corporate and special events market segments. He will be based in Brussels.
USA - L-Acoustics has appointed Jeff Rocha, formerly head of market development for North America, to the newly created position of director of product management.
As a member of the L-Acoustics board of directors, Jeff accompanies the product development lifecycle end to end, liaising with key stakeholders across geographies and functions to recommend and implement processes and systems that allow L-Acoustics to identify and address new business opportunities effectively and deftly.
This role encompasses market intelligence and identification of key opportunities; crafting product portfolio and technology roadmaps cross-functionally in collaboration with R&D, applications, sales and marketing teams; development of marketing and sales collateral and training; and coordination of communication around products and services.
“Since joining L-Acoustics, Jeff has proven adept at forging relationships throughout the company and with external partners while leading business development in North America where we have experienced accelerated growth,” explains Anne Hamlett, director of HR & Legal. “Bringing more than two decades of experience in touring and installation markets, Jeff is a trusted and highly regarded audio expert.”
Rocha notes, “It’s exciting for me to be able to help guide L-Acoustics into new markets via a systematic approach to product management.”
Joining Jeff’s team as product manager is L-Acoustics application engineer Germain Simon. “Germain’s passion for sound and expertise in international ins
UK - Wirral-based Lift Turn Move (LTM) has reported two of its apprentices have now joined the company as full-time staff members. Jonathan Street also joined as an apprentice on an engineering apprenticeship.
Charmaine Pude came to LTM in 2016 to gain office experience and work towards her NVQ Level 3 in Business Administration. She has recently passed her NVQ and subsequently been given a full-time job at LTM as a sales and purchasing assistant.
Joshua Field-Baines approached LTM in 2015 wanting to work in engineering. He has since completed his apprenticeship and is working towards his advanced apprenticeship qualification in BTEC HNC in Engineering which includes an NVQ Level 4 and he is also doing his LEEA foundation training.
John Jones, MD of LTM, comments: “We are very lucky to have gained two valuable team members at LTM. We know how important it is to give the younger generation a chance - the lifting industry suffers from an aging workforce, something has to be done about this.
The company also welcomed Jonathan Street as an apprentice on an engineering apprenticeship in Electrical and Mechanical Maintenance. His apprenticeship involves one day of tuition at a local college to learn essential theory and four days a week working in the hoist assembly area. He will spend time in the warehouse receiving product training, dispatching goods and working with the other engineers.
UK - The International Theatre Engineering and Architecture Conference has confirmed its final keynote speakers.
Joining the array of confirmed speakers from around the world is founding partner of Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R), Elizabeth Diller, whose New York-based design studio practice spans the fields of architecture, urban design, installation art, multi-media performance, digital media, and print.
Her appearance on Monday, 4 June 2018 will be complemented by co-founder of the Bridge Theatre and former National Theatre executive director, Nick Starr CBE, on Tuesday, 5 June 2018.