PLASA Publishing has learned of the death from cancer of Playlight founder, Mike McMullan, who died peacefully at home on Tuesday 3rd January, surrounded by his family. A statement from the directors and staff of the Playlight Group said: "Mike was one of life's great characters, and will be greatly missed by all who knew him."
The funeral will take place next Wednesday 10 January at 1.00pm at the Altrincham Crematorium, Whitehouse Lane, Dunham Massey, Altrincham, Cheshire. The family has requested that instead of flowers being sent, donations be made to the following charities: St Ann's Hospice, St Ann's Road North, Heald Green, Cheshire; the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, 11 London Road, Bromley, Kent; or the Lymphoma Association, PO Box 386 Aylesbury.
High End Systems has announced that Bob Schacherl, one of the founding partners of High End, has resigned from his role as president of the company in order to spend time with his family and pursue personal interests. Schacherl, who was instrumental in establishing the initial worldwide sales distribution network during the early years of the company, commented: "It’s been a privilege working with so many great people here at High End and throughout the lighting community." Schacherl will continue as a shareholder in High End Systems. Sean Hoey, sales manager for North America will assume responsibility for Latin America, supported by Tony Magana. John Wiseman, vice-president of special projects will continue management of European Sales and will assume responsibility for the Asian, Middle Eastern and African territories supported by JR Chai and LeighAnne Aiken.
Michael Northen, Life President of the Association of Lighting Designers (ALD) has been awarded the MBE in the Queen’s New Years Honours list, for services to Theatre. Michael was the first professional Lighting Designer and has been in the industry for many years, designing for over 300 productions at venues including the Royal Opera House, the Royal Ballet, Glyndebourne Opera House and RSC Stratford.
Tom Scharff has been appointed the new general manager for the United States Institute for Theatre Technology. Scharff joins USITT from Cornell University where he was general manager of the Cornell Center for Theatre Arts. His career as a theatre administrator includes work as managing director of the new Repertory Theatre in Boston and business manager for Theatre and Dance at the University of New Hampshire.
Bandit Lites Inc has appointed Bryan Dihigo to join its Nashville sales team. Dihigo, who previously worked for the Shop At Home Television Network as a floor director and as an independent representative of Excel Communications, is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University with a BS in Mass Media Communications. Bryan will be heading up the local sales efforts as well as being responsible for inventory management.
Telestage Associates and it parent Waagner Biro Stage Technology has announced the retirement of Qahtan Hardy as managing director of Telestage Associates. Hardy will officially step down at the end of the year but will retain his links with the company and will continue to be involved as an advisor. He has a long involvement in stage engineering and audio-visual which incorporated the purchase of Telestage in 1988. In 1997 the company was purchased by Waagner Biro and Hardy was retained as the sole executive director. A successor is expected to be appointed in 2001. In the meantime Mike Bacon has been appointed operations manager and forms part of the senior management team at Telestage.
QSC Audio has appointed Roger Maycock to the position of product application specialist. Maycock brings a wealth of industry experience to QSC Audio, having served many years as a product trainer, clinician, documentation specialist and journalist. In this newly-created position, he will function as a technical trainer - spearheading QSC’s education programmes while also serving as a spokesperson on technical issues with the press.
Maycock was, until recently, technical consultant to Mix magazine where, he contributed product reviews, applications articles, and feature stories. His work has been published in Electronic Musician, NetMedia, EQ, Pro Sound News, Down Beat, and Music Inc. magazines. He served several years as TASCAM’s marketing support manager and has also served as a product specialist with Fostex and Roland.
Further to our news story of 27 October, Group One of Farmingdale, New York has officially announced the appointment of Keith Dale as International sales and marketing manager for its Elektralite, the company’s lighting control division. Dale, the founder of lighting control manufacturer Celco, has worked with Group One in a manufacturer/distributor capacity for some 15 years. He told us: “It’s great to be working with the Elektralite team, they’re a great group with an expanding range of control products that deserves a wider international audience. My mission is to increase brand awareness on a global basis and introduce the many advantages of the product line to international distributors and end-users alike.”Dale will be based in London, and can be contacted on: Tel: +44 (0)20 8467 5421, or via the e-mail address below.
PLASA has announced that Neil Darracott (pictured right), design engineer at Total Fabrications Ltd, has been elected to the Executive Committee of the Association following the elections which closed on 1 st December. The elections attracted 123 membership votes in total, compared with 104 last year. Mick Hannaford (Light Processor), the serving PLASA chairman, has been re-elected for his second three-year term, while PLASA Treasurer Sammy DeHavilland of Dare Pro Audio/Deco Leisure, has been re-elected for a three-year term. Newcomer Neil Darracott fills the other three-year term, while Paul Hinkly of LMC Audio, who was co-opted onto the PLASA committee last year, was elected for a further one-year term.Peter Walker of NSR, who was not re-elected, has served on the PLASA Committee for the past six years, and was for much of that time involved with membership issues, particularly related to new applications to the Association. At the December meeting of the executive committee, chairman Mick Hannaford thanked Peter for his time and hard work over the years he has served with PLASA.The remaining members of the committee are Paul Adams (PAI Group), Paul De Ville (Lightfactor Sales), Nikki Scott (Stage Technologies), David Hopkins OBE (Audio Design Services) and Diane Grant (DHA Lighting).
Mackie Designs has announced that its chief operating officer, Jamie Engen, has been appointed chief executive officer and president by the company’s board of directors. Engen has also been appointed to the company’s board of directors. Greg Mackie, the company’s founder and chairman commented: "The Mackie board of directors strongly supports the effort and progress that Jamie has made on behalf of our company as our chief operating officer over the last year. As COO, Jamie has proved himself capable of managing the day to day activities of the growing Mackie organization, at the same time proving himself capable of providing the leadership and strategic guidance that we require of a CEO." Mackie has also appointed Ivan Schwartz as director of corporate communications for all of the Mackie companies. Schwartz comes to Mackie from his previous position as director of marketing at Eastern Acoustic Works (EAW), which was acquired by Mackie Designs in April 2000. Prior to EAW, Schwartz was with Mark IV Audio for nine years, where as general manager, he oversaw the US sales, service, marketing and distribution for Midas, Klark Teknik and DDA products, and the sales and marketing of Electro-Voice concert sound products to the touring industry.
Martin Professional has appointed Claus Rothmann as director of logistics, with effect from the start of the new year. Rothmann holds a degree in Manufacturing & Systems Engineering, as well as Business Administration & Organization. He comes to Martin from a position as vice-president of Dandy Company's corporate supply chain development. Rothmann will form part of Martin's management team alongside sales and marketing director Pio Nahum and R&D director Stig Poulsen. The management board remains unchanged and consists of CEO and president Kristian Kolding, who relinquishes the logistics responsibility, Lars Dige (finance) and Torben Johansen (production).
Stagetec has appointed Chris Campbell as project engineer to assist with its rapidly expanding projects department. Campbell, originally from Toronto, Canada, has extensive experience of sound and lighting installations, most recently on cruise ships with Celebrity Cruises.
Park Avenue, one of the world's leading brand communications companies, has announced the appointment of its new managing director, Hugh Carswell. He has been at Park Avenue for the last four years during which time he has managed a huge variety of communications projects including the launch of British Airways' new corporate identity - which involved the largest global satellite link-up ever at the time, the British Airways London Eye launch on Millennium Eve, and the Euro-American announcement of the merger of Deutsche Bank and Bankers' Trust. Carswell takes over from Tony Cadman who is leaving to start his own venture consultancy after six successful years at Park Avenue.
Bill Hewlett, the originator of the Icon-M, has left Light & Sound Design. According to MD Dave Keighley, Hewlett has departed to pursue other design ideas, having taken the Icon-M project as far as he could. Hewlett joined the company as a director at the time of the management buy-out from Christian Salveson. Although he is no longer a director, he will continue to work with LSD as a consultant. The Icon-M, meanwhile, is now scheduled for release next summer.
Panel, power distribution and lighting bar manufacturer Andolite has appointed Mick Staplehurst as marketing executive. His role will be to develop and market an extended range of products for touring, events and conferences, an area in which he has had many years experience with SSE, Britannia Row and others.
PLASA Publishing has learnt of the death of Peter Barnett at the age of 56. Peter, who had a heart problem and had undergone a major bypass operation some 10 years ago, had a heart attack yesterday whilst at the wheel of his car. Peter was a partner in the firm AMS Acoustics, having practised as a consultant for over 30 years. He was involved in most aspects of acoustics, electroacoustics and PA design. During his career he had been involved in some major installations and was respected throughout the industry for his audio consultancy work. He has published over 100 papers and articles on many aspects of acoustics and has been an active member of various professional associations.
Ken Berreen has recently joined Fisher Productions as a lighting project manager/Health & Safety Officer. He previously worked at the Dome as technical manager for Pro-Design Ltd, where he was responsible for assisting the NMEC Lighting Dept in ensuring that all stage lighting was in place and working in time for the Dome's launch on New Year's Eve 1999. Prior to this he was the lighting designer for the 1998 production of John Godber’s ‘Bouncers’ at the Mercury Theatre, Colchester, and also spent four years as pantomime lighting designer for the Harlequin Theatre. During this time he was also responsible for the electrical and sound layout specification of the Harlequin Cinema which opened in September 1997.
Autograph Sound Recording is playing host to Jeffrey Yue from 'Esplanade - Theatre on the Bay' Singapore, while he completes a four-year educational exploration of the UK. During his stay at Autograph, he will learn the intricacies and technicalities of theatrical sound design, equipment rental and installation. Yue has so far completed three years at the Guildhall School of Music attaining a Degree in Technical Theatre Studies. He is now finishing off his final year in the UK, by gaining essential work experience with Autograph, before joining the sound department of a UK arts venue. He returns to Singapore's 'Esplanade - Theatre on the Bay' next summer, to take up his post as one of three technical officers.
QSC Audio has appointed Jim (Ski) Skiathitis to the position of Systems Specialist for the QSC Pro Touring division. Skiathitis’ responsibilities include product training and demonstration, along with technical support. He will also be actively involved in the design and integration aspects of professional touring systems. An industry veteran with over 20 years of experience in the touring sound and recording industries, Ski has worked as a sound engineer for a variety of acts from Smokey Robinson to Joe Cocker as well as a freelance recording engineer. Prior to joining QSC, Ski served as manager for Sonics Pro Audio and as technical supervisor with Foxwoods Resort Casino in their entertainment division.
FX Group has appointed Pascale Giovetto, who has joined the FX Copyroom as an engineer. Formerly with Heathman’s Mastering (Tape to Tape), where she was responsible for the company’s copying facilities, Giovetto has extensive experience of the pro audio business and will work alongside FX Copyroom’s manager, Kevin Vanbergen, handling format transfers.
Further to our news on Friday of Rowland Hughes’ heroic achievement of the £64,000 question on ITV’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, we can now report that the ShowCAD man still has £64,000. When faced with the question ‘What official post was held by Earl Grey, after whom the variety of tea was named?’, Hughes decided discretion was the better part of valour, and chose not to take the chance, although he later said he knew the answer, referring to himself as ‘a pratt’. That’s easy to say in hindsight, but being on the spot is a different pot of tea altogether . . . well done, Rowland.
Tannoy has promoted Richard Gainsborough to the position of Director of Business Development, where he will be responsible for the expansion of products to provide complete system solutions, incorporating new technologies into the company’s product ranges and establishing and integrating the company’s strategies of vertical market development within existing and new distribution. Gainsborough joined Tannoy in 1990 as export sales manager and was appointed business development manager two years ago, successfully pioneering the concept of focussed business development within the company.
Some of our UK visitors from the lighting industry may have spotted a familiar face last night on ITV’s 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire?' for the third contestant to take to the hotseat on the hour-long show was none other than ShowCAD’s Rowland Hughes. Asked by Chris Tarrant what he did for a living, Hughes replied: 'Make lighting control systems for the kind of lighting you’ve got in here. It goes mostly into nightclubs, theatres, theme parks.' Tarrant then asked him what he thought of the studio lighting, to which he replied: 'I couldn’t possibly comment.'Persuaded by his family to enter for the show because he could 'win them a fortune', Hughes certainly didn’t let them down, coolly making it up to £64,000 before the show’s end. He returns on Saturday’s programme to go for the £125,000 question . . . and he can still phone a friend. Best of luck, Rowland.
Telex Communications Inc has announced several new personnel appointments within the speaker and microphone division of its Telex Pro Audio Group. Mike O’Neill has been named vice-president and general manager for speakers worldwide and for amplifiers in the US, with responsibility for all sales, marketing and development of these products. Previously vice-president of research and development, O’Neill brings more than 25 years of experience to the role of shaping the company’s future market strategies.Joel Johnson, previously product category manager for Telex and EV wireless microphones, now fills the role of general manager for wired and wireless microphones worldwide. Representing another growing area for Telex, Ralph Strader moves up to the position of vice-president and general manager, worldwide, for intercoms. In sales, Tom has been promoted to vice-president of sales for installed sound in the Pro Audio Group.The company has also hired a new director of marketing communications, Kent Rahn. With more than 20 years’ experience in marketing, Rahn will be responsible for all aspects of the company’s marketing communications strategies.Telex Communications is also creating several new positions, including business manager positions, which will be responsible for worldwide product development and strategy. Also, the position of vice-president of professional development will be created in order to focus specifically on pro audio operations and training.