Leigh Anne Aiken has been promoted to account manager for High End Systems Inc. In her new position, she will support the Middle East, Africa, the Pacific Rim and Southeast Asia. Since joining High End in May 1993, she has worked in administration, human resources and in various sales support functions. She will now report directly to John Wiseman, VP of Worldwide Sales, but will continue to be based in the Austin, Texas headquarters.
Andrew Williams has been appointed NXT's new group marketing director, reporting to CEO David Pearson. His prime responsibility will be co-ordinating the global marketing strategy of NXT's SurfaceSound, SoundVu, TouchSound and 20/20 Speech technologies. He replaces Jon Vizor, who will now concentrate full time on his business development role as head of venture sales and also leading the commercial audio sales teams. Williams joins NXT from iXL, the internet and business consultancy based in San Francisco. Prior to iXL, he was director of marketing at Chiltern Group plc, the London-based financial and business consultancy.
Celestion has appointed a new South of England sales executive. John Nightingale has joined the loudspeaker manufacturer after nearly three years with Batmink, the West country wholesale and distribution company. In addition to having a solid background of over seven years in installation contracting and a further two in project management, he is also in demand as a DJ, travelling all over Southern England under his alias ‘Tin Tin’.
Vari-Lite has welcomed Alan Boyd to its London team, as a product trainer. Boyd has several years’ experience in the lighting industry, including a two-year spell as permanent associate lighting designer to Chris Ellis, with largely theatre-based work ranging from operas and musicals to dramas. He has also worked as a theatre lighting freelancer, and spent one year as deputy chief electrician on Disney’s The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre in London’s West End, and as lighting designer for the Batignano Opera Festival last year in Tuscany, Italy. Boyd brings to the company his experience of a wide range of fixtures and control desks - including Vari*Lite automated lighting products.
AC Lighting Ltd has announced a number of major staff appointments. Mark Tonks joined AC Lighting in 1993 and became a key player in export sales whilst developing his interest in IT. In his new role as IT & Logistics Director, Mark will play a major role in the organisational side of the business. "In the future we believe companies will sink or swim on their ability to exceed customer expectations. As we continue to grow, it is my challenge to establish that infrastructure," says Tonks. Secondly, Peter Searles has been appointed company secretary. Searles joined AC Lighting on the completion of the sale of his successful plastic-moulding company in 1990, and has since held many and varied senior roles within the company, many related to special projects. Finally, a new face in the company’s technical sales department is Martin Savage. Formally assistant head of lighting at the Millennium Dome, Martin comes with a wealth of experience from his days on cruise ships with Royal Caribbean International and touring with, amongst others, the 1998 production of Boogie Nights. His primary role will be demonstrating products to AC Lighting's customers at a technical level and offering training and assistance as required. He will also become a familiar face on the international industry trade show circuit.
BBM Electronics, the London-based manufacturer of Trantec Wireless Systems, has announced major changes to its senior management. David Binks, one of the co-founders of the company, has decided to step down as managing director, say the company. Another of the original co-founders, Steve Baker, is also resigning his post as R&D director, though he will continue with BBM as a consultant. Also departing is Chris Gilbert, who has spent many successful years as sales director and was the public face of Trantec to much of the industry. Parent company TOA Corporation of Japan, which purchased BBM Electronics in 1998, has named Gordon Gillett (pictured) as managing director. Gillett has previously been a director of several engineering companies and a business consultant. Sho Kubo, currently managing director of TOA Electronics Europe GmbH, will take over as sales director. Kubo will continue to be based in Germany at TOA Europe, and will be responsible for overseeing the setting up of Trantec’s European and worldwide distribution network. Finally, Richard Ganley has been appointed R&D manager. The company says that these strategic changes are designed to safeguard Trantec’s development during the coming year.
Yet more significant news from the Martin Professional camp. Torben Johansen, the company’s production director, has left the company. A brief statement posted on the company’s website says that Johansen has resigned and that until a successor is appointed his role will be taken on by CEO Kristain Kolding. The management thus consists of CEO Kristian Kolding and group director Lars Dige.
Stage Two Ltd, the Watford-based audio-visual, sound and lighting company, has announced that David Reeves has returned to the company as business development manager to consolidate the company's position in the conference equipment hire and presentation field.
Following the opening of Lighting Technology's new sales office and showroom at The Business Design Centre in Islington, London, the company has appointed Graham White as sales manager. He joins Lighting Technology Projects after working extensively in the commercial lighting projects market with Parkersell, Barrel Lighting and, most recently, Absolute Action. Joining Graham at the Islington Showroom from the Park Royal office will be Clive Tallent and Sarah Davis. Jonathan Hilton will also be part of the new sales team but will remain based at Lighting Technology's office in Manchester.
High End Systems has appointed John Wiseman as vice-president of worldwide sales. Wiseman recently served as vice-president of special projects with specific responsibility for sales efforts in Europe and Asia. The promotion gives Wiseman total sales responsibility worldwide. Wiseman, an industry veteran, has served High End Systems in several capacities since joining the company five years ago. He was also instrumental in establishing the company's West Coast sales and demo facility in Van Nuys, California. Reporting to Wiseman are Sean Hoey, America's sales manager; David Catterall, European sales manager; JR Chai, Pacific Rim account manager; and Karen Bowler, worldwide sales operations manager. Wiseman will continue to operate out of Van Nuys, supported by Reina Evans.
Janet Garner, managing director of Wembley (London) Ltd, was appointed Executive Secretary of the European Arenas Association (EAA) at its recent meeting in Barcelona. The EAA is the largest European co-operative association of arenas with 13 members spread across 12 countries and further expansion is expected. From a new base in a majestic canal-side house in Amsterdam in the Netherlands, the EAA aims to help the arenas to think and act as a group and to exchange information with each other. 2001 will be the EAA’s tenth anniversary.
Following the recent appointment of Nick Hughes as technical manager, Dobson Sound has appointed Tone Ferne, who has been brought in to join Bill Woods and David Lewis in managing and co-ordinating projects. The appointment as a permanent member of staff is a natural progression, say the company, as Ferne was already doing a great deal of work for the company on a freelance basis. Bill Woods commented: "Tone’s background as a sound engineer of considerable experience gives him an extremely strong edge in all the work that we do that has a music element to it. We tend to be involved more in the entertainment side of the corporate world anyway, so Tone’s skills and experience suit us perfectly."
Set designer John Napier, whose credits include Cats, Les Miserables, Starlight Express and Miss Saigon, has been named by Oxford University as the Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre for 2001. Napier, who has recently returned from Broadway, where his design for Jane Eyre has been acclaimed by audiences and critics alike, is the first set designer to hold the chair in its 12-year history. Previous incumbents include Stephen Sondheim, Alan Ayckbourn, Richard Eyre and Diana Rigg.Using examples from his own productions, which have included Peter Shaffer’s Equus for the Royal National Theatre, Jesus Christ Superstar at the Lyceum, Lohengrin for the Royal Opera House and Steven Spielberg’s film Hook, Napier will describe how a designer turns initial inspiration into theatrical reality.
Robert Bell has joined Rosco/ET as Horizon product manager. Bell is best known as a founder of CAST Lighting Limited, and was instrumental in the development of WYSIWYG software. While at CAST Lighting, Bell worked closely with ROSCO/ET’s Horizon product development team. This joint effort won Software Product of the Year award at Lighting Dimensions International 1999. Bell is also an accomplished board operator and lighting designer; recent credits include support for the opening ceremonies of the Sydney Olympics, U2’s Pop Mart Tour and Ricky Martin's Liv'n La Vida Loca. More recently, he founded Shock Lighting, a company that handles board operation and lighting design projects.
Bill Campbell, managing director for Strand Europe, has appointed Ian Roberts to the position of managing director, Strand Italy. He will take up his new position on February 1. Roberts, who has been with the Rome-based company as sales director since 1997, will remain very active in his sales role. The outgoing managing director, Ing. (Engineer) Giuseppe Toia, has made a substantial contribution to Strand taking the company through the development and launch of a complete new range of studio and daylight luminaires, bringing to fruition 23 new products in the record time of two years. Having successfully completed that task he now moves back to his native Milan for professional and personal reasons.
Steve Howard has relocated from the Martin Manufacturing plant in Louth, Lincolnshire to its UK headquarters in Maidstone. He made the move in mid-December and becomes the senior engineer responsible for Jem smoke machines. He will be responsible for the service of Jem smoke machines and providing training and technical support for Jem products.
After six years handling technical sales and support on the company’s exclusively-distributed products, Mike Falconer is leaving AC Lighting Ltd and heading off to its US operation at AC Lighting Inc in Los Angeles.
Tony Hall, the BBC's head of news, has been appointed the new executive director of the Royal Opera House. Speculation has been rife as to who will succeed to what is fast becoming one of the most challenging roles in the arts world. His appointment is almost certain to generate controversy, as he seems to have had little or no experience in running a venue of this profile and complexity, although his time at the BBC, which saw him graduate from the corporation's newsroom in Belfast in the 1970s to editing the Nine O'Clock News and subsequently heading the news and current affairs side, will no doubt serve him well. Michael Kaiser, former executive director, left in December to return to the United States.
Klark Teknik has recently appointed Simon Harrison as director of signal processing. Simon comes from a strong background of research and development, having been a key member of the design team responsible for the Sony OXF-R3 ‘Oxford’ digital recording console andgenerally involved in the development of digital audio for Sony Broadcast and Professional since the console project began as Oxford Digital Ltd in 1989. He joins the Klark Teknik Group to assume responsibility for research and development of the KT brand.
Helmut Brähler, founder of Brähler ICS Konferenztechnik AG in Königswinter, died aged 67 last Monday, following a long and serious illness. Brähler laid the foundations for the company in 1958 in Bonn, when, as a chemistry student, he repaired electronic equipment for the University of Bonn. In 1960 he built the first simultaneous translation facility for the University, and then went on to establish his own company. Since 1972, Brähler has serviced every Olympic Games, numerous World Bank conferences, the Environment Summit in Rio and more than half of all World Economic Summits. It has also equipped more than 90,000 conferences with professional technology. In 1994, Brähler entered a new area of business and developed ‘Digivote’, a voting and consultation system. Helmut officially handed over to his son, Michael, in 1998, but still remained, advising and supporting from the sidelines. The company currently employs over 100 at its Königswinter base and has 14 staff in the UK at its Cambridge and Edinburgh offices. The funeral took place on Saturday 13 January.
Harman International has announced the appointment of Mark Terry to the position of president of the Harman Pro Group Worldwide. Previously serving as president of Harman Pro Group North America, responsible for the US distribution of Allen & Heath, Crown, dbx, Digitech, DOD, Johnson and JBL Professional, Terry now also assumes the responsibilities previously held by Philip Hart, who has served as president of Harman Pro Group International. Hart, who retired at the end of last year, will remain with Harman as president of Studer until a suitable replacement has been named. At the same time, AKG Acoustics, under the leadership of Hugo Lenhard-Backhaus, will now report directly to Greg Stapleton, Harman International's president and chief operating officer.
Fuzion has welcomed a new pair of hands to the sales team in the shape of Graham Pope, formerly of Panasonic and HHB. Pope, whose main responsibility will be for accounts in the south of England, joins Mick Butler who looks after Scotland and the north, and sales director Paul Ward who oversees the sales operation as a whole. He will now concentrate on marketing and issues such as customer training and product awareness, running seminars and training days for clients. The company plans to introduce a number of new brands to the market this year.
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.
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.