USA - Apollo Design Technology has announced the appointment of Nick Picciuto as chief financial officer. In this role, Picciuto will direct the financial activities of the company including strategic planning, profit improvement initiatives, financial reporting, budgeting, forecasting, and banking/debt management.

Prior to joining Apollo Design Technology, Picciuto worked as a CFO at InterStar Fleet Services and Duro Designer Company. His career spans over 30 years in the finance field.

"Nick is a great fit. He is able to jump between the details and the big picture. Nick brings a wealth of experience to the table with a side of Italian attitude thrown in." Mr. Joel Nichols said.

"I am very excited to join Apollo Design and support its growth and innovation initiatives. This company has an impressive track record and is positioned to continue that success wel

Switzerland - Navori has announced the opening of a new office in Germany to support growing interest in its digital signage solutions across the German-speaking DACH countries of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The company, which will soon unveil new branding, organizational strategy and products, has appointed Thomas Pollum to lead sales and business development from the new office, located in the City of Elmshorn.

Thomas comes to Navori with a history of success in director-level and management roles at BIS Germany (A Mood Media Company) and Samsung, among others. The Elmshorn office location will allow Thomas to drive closer customer intimacy, and develop deeper relationships with existing partners.

"The DACH region is one of the most important markets for Navori, and the establishment of a local office will increase our presence and brand awareness across German-sp

UK - Cinelease has appointed Steve Smith as its Managing Director for the UK. Smith brings 30 years' of industry experience with him having formerly been the Group Managing Director of AFM Lighting and more recently Worldwide Managing Director of Panalux.

Steven M Ortiz (Cinelease global VP) comments: "We are delighted to welcome someone of Steve's calibre and proven track record to Cinelease. We view his appointment as a sign of our commitment to being the leading company in the UK. Steve Smith has a proven track record over many years that clearly identified him as being the perfect choice for this important position and we are proud that he has agreed to join Cinelease".

Steve Smith said: "I am very proud to start this new challenge with Cinelease. This has been a very important decision for me and I have been very impressed with the Cinelease team and their

EMEA - Scala has appointed Mike Gopal as area sales consultant for the Middle East and Turkey. Reporting to Damon Crowhurst, VP, EMEA, Gopal started in January, 2015. He will be responsible for building on and further expanding Scala's digital signage position in this expanding market.

With deep experience in the AV sector through his years at AMX, and more recently working with ESCO Singapore, Mike joins Scala from WOW Vision where he served as the regional sales manager - GCC & Africa.

"I am very pleased that I was able to convince Mike to join us, and lead our growth in this strategic market," said Damon Crowhurst, VP EMEA. "His extensive local knowledge, complemented by his in-depth knowledge of all things AV and digital signage will ensure our local customers are able to have the highest quality of service and sales support.

"Scala has a great reputa

UK - With Colette Carter having recently joined Stage Electrics as sales manager with responsibility for developing growth in hire, Colette has been swift to act by restructuring the customer facing hire team.

Based at the company's headquarters, Colette brings a wealth of experience to the Stage Electrics London and Bristol operations, having worked for more than 20 years within the engineering and distribution industries.

Previously, Colette was branch manager at Buck and Hickman, one of the UK's leading distributors of tools, maintenance and health and safety equipment. Prior to that she had moved up 'through the ranks', holding a number of key management positions.

On joining Stage Electrics she was tasked by Adrian Searle, head of technical & hire operations to re-focus the company's hire sales team.

"My background is predominantly in people management and develo

UK - The Theatres Trust has welcomed Tim Eyles as its new chair, appointed by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP.

Responding to the announcement, Tim Eyles said, "I'm genuinely thrilled to take on this role. It is a great privilege and a real honour. I'm also energised about working with such an excellent group of trustees who serve the Trust with such dedication and creativity. The Theatres Trust fulfils an important national purpose and I will give my best efforts to lead the Trust through the next exciting chapter of its evolution."

Tim Eyles is managing partner UK and international board member of leading international law firm Taylor Wessing, chair of The Jerwood Charitable Foundation, one of the UK's leading arts charities, and a director of the Jerwood Space. Taylor Wessing has strong cultural connections with the arts w

USA - Audinate has announced that John Rechsteiner has joined the company as vice president of global sales and support. Rechsteiner brings over two decades of sales, marketing and customer support experience in the pro audio, broadcast and post production industries. John most recently served as vice president of sales, Asia Pacific for Avid based in Tokyo, Japan.

Rechsteiner will lead the worldwide sales and customer support teams as Audinate scales these teams in response to the growing number of manufacturers who have adopted Dante. Earlier in his career, Rechsteiner led the expansion of DigiDesign (now Avid) in the Asia Pacific region.

"We're excited to have John join our team as we expand rapidly throughout the world. John is the right person to further build, develop and inspire our talented sales and support team," said Lee Ellison, CEO of Audinate. "Joh

UK - Stage Electrics has been delivering audio and lighting solutions for over three decades. But the company continually aims to improve and expand its service; to this end it has appointed Rob Collett to the position of audio hire manager. Rob's all round knowledge of audio and his attention to detail adds a further dimension to the hire division's offering.

Rob's background spans concert touring and corporate events, having started as a system tech with bands such as Boyzone, Westlife, Busted, McFly, and Coldplay. His career progressed into the role of monitor engineer for a number of artists including The Australian Pink Floyd Show, Emilie Sande, Matt Redman and The White Lies. He has worked with companies such as MCM Productions and First Network in corporate events and was a regular face on the Top Gear Live and Gadget Show Live Shows.

"Like most people that visit t

USA - Syncrolite has announced the appointment of Paul Rabinovitz of PMRi LLC as its director of product sales and marketing. In his new position, Rabinovitz is responsible for managing Syncrolite's new product sales and marketing on a worldwide basis. Using a combination of public relations, the web, traditional and social media outlets he will oversee marketing efforts in addition to being the main contact for the sale of new and used products.

"I feel like I am coming home," remarked Rabinovitz. "After spending so many years, first at Xenotech and then at Strong Entertainment lighting working with high-intensity Xenon lighting products I could not be more excited to join Syncrolite and continue that tradition. Clearly, Syncrolite is without a peer in this field and if you will pardon the pun the future looks bright."

"Paul brings with him a wealth o

USA - Lighting designer Betsy Adams, and her husband, theatre consultant Bob Murphy, are the newest members of the Ghostlight Society, the Behind the Scenes charity's legacy giving program. Betsy and Bob have made provisions to remember Behind the Scenes in their wills, thus ensuring their colleagues and the next generation of entertainment technology professionals will receive assistance if they become ill or injured.

Betsy and Bob commented on their reasons for joining the Ghostlight society: "We really believe in Behind the Scenes and wanted to do what we could to make sure the program thrives long into the future."

All members of the Ghostlight Society receive a beautiful sterling silver pin designed and handcrafted by award-winning, New York jewellery designer Susan Barth. Each pin is individually numbered.

There are several ways you may become a member of the

UK - Lizzie Richmond has joined the Unusual Rigging team as operations manager, bringing with her a wealth of industry experience. Lizzie takes over the role from Denis Bramhall, who becomes the company's general manager, overseeing Unusual's expansion with the opening of a new 1200 sq m facility scheduled for early 2015.

Previously operations manager with Cemex Materials UK, Lizzie was responsible for managing the daily operations of up to 17 Readymix plants, contractor engagement and management, planning of plant maintenance, management of independent haulage contractors and quality compliance of the product produced and delivered.

Speaking of her role at Unusual, Lizzie explained, "My background is in theatre, having worked for nearly a decade as a scenic artist both freelance and at the Watford Palace Theatre. The opportunity to re-join an industry that I'm passionate

UK - Avolites has appointed London-based Annalisa Terranova as its new Ai support engineer and trainer and Pratheepan Vigneswaran moves to Ai Sales as Ai launches its revolutionary V8 software.

Terranova has been freelancing with Avolites Ai as a programmer, operator and beta tester, before a permanent position arose. She has a degree in Stage Design and a Masters in Performance Design and Practice from Central St. Martins, where she also works as a guest lecturer. In the past two years, she has experimented with various programmes for live video manipulation, such as Isadora, Quartz Composer and Processing, and also the Kinect infrared sensor for motion tracking.

Terranova has worked with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Festival Hall, the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Science Museum, designing interactive installations and sound reactive visuals.

"I saw the ama

UK - Audiologic has further strengthened its team with the appointment of technical support specialist Yavor 'Max' Yanakiev. Max joins Audiologic from the Shoreditch Bars Group where he was tasked with designing, installing and commissioning audio and AV systems for the group's various premises, as well as supervising, training and offering technical support to in-house and freelance engineers.

Having gained qualifications in electronics and broadcast engineering during an already impressive career, in 2010 Max obtained a 1st Class Honours BSc in Audio Video Systems from London Metropolitan University, leaving Audiologic's sales and marketing manager Andy Lewis to reflect on an appointment of the highest calibre:

"Max will work with our in-house team in relation to all our brands as well as, where necessary, visiting customer sites to offer support. His wide-ranging techn

UK - Top promoter Harvey Goldsmith will join world-renowned designer Wayne Hemingway MBE at the Event Production Show's Access Sessions.

Also joining Goldsmith and Hemingway for the session entitled The gentrification of festivals: good or bad for the industry? is Justin Clarke, CEO of Taste Festivals and Dan Walsh, managing director of Full Fat. The panel discussion takes place at 11am-12 noon on 19 February at the Event Production Show (Olympia, 18-19 February).

Harvey Goldsmith's accomplishments include producing Live Aid in 1985 and producing and promoting shows with most of the world's major artists, including The Rolling Stones, The Who, Bruce Springsteen, The Eagles, Sheryl Crow, Shania Twain, Bee Gees, Jools Holland and Sting.

Last year, Harvey co-founded On Blackheath festival in partnership with John Lewis, which featured headliners including Massive Attack,

UK - Greg Wood has been appointed to the Group Executive Board in the position of chief operating officer, further strengthening the senior management team.

Greg, a CIMA qualified accountant, joins the business from the Avesco Group, where he held senior positions including group finance and operations director for Presteigne Broadcast Hire.

"I have worked in finance for many years, predominantly with entrepreneur-led businesses such as Regus, Holiday Autos and, all of which were in particularly high growth or restructuring situations," Greg explains. "More recently, I joined the Avesco Group, which includes Creative Technology, mclcreate and Presteigne Broadcast Hire.

"Stage Electrics has a fantastic history and was a founder-managed business for many years," Greg adds. "It has gone through a successful management buyout and sign

UK - It is with great sadness that the family of Muriel 'Mu' Wiltshire has announced the news of her passing on 5 February. Mu was the mother of HHB Communications MD Ian Jones and a founding member of the successful professional audio technology supplier. A shareholder since the company was started in 1976, Mu served numerous roles at HHB and was a company director for many years. She was also HHB's first accountant/bookkeeper and retained this role until her retirement from day-to-day activities in 1989.

During her years with HHB, Mu was very active in attending shows and other industry events. She will be remembered as a gracious woman who welcomed friends and customers with a cup of tea and was known for making late-night meals for crew members after a gig. It is her kindness and friendly demeanour that will be remembered most by the many people in the industry who made her

USA - PRG has announced the passing of Board Member and award-winning theatrical producer, Joseph P. Harris. As a producer and general manager, Mr. Harris had been associated with over 200 Broadway productions. He died peacefully at home in Greenwich, CT on Wednesday 11 February at the age of 87.

Mr. Harris was born in Manhattan on July 2, 1927 and moved to Queens during his childhood. He graduated from Forest Hills High School and was drafted into the Army. After returning home from serving as part of the occupation forces under General MacArthur in Japan, he started his theatrical career as the assistant general manager on Finian's Rainbow, in 1948, working alongside his father, the general manager, Charles Harris.

During his 54-year Broadway career, Mr. Harris crossed paths with many artists, including the legendary Bob Fosse, producing Fosse's Chicago and the

UK - Presteigne Broadcast Hire has appointed Neil Coles as its sales manager. A sales professional, he has a solid history in the studios and post production industries, so clearly understands the challenges and opportunities facing Presteigne's clients today.

Working for the past three years as a business development consultant, largely with clients in the broadcast and media sector, he has also driven sales at post house Prime Focus in London, fixed-rig specialist Roll to Record, and Pinewood Studios Group where he was primarily responsible for the light entertainment television studios at Teddington.

"Production companies and their facilities are under tremendous pressure at the moment," said Coles. "On one side they need to produce more content on ever-tighter budgets and with ever-increasing audience expectations. And on the other, there is a continuous str

UK - TSL Lighting is pleased to welcome Andrew Cheshire to its team as Head of Projects. Andrew has over 19 years' of experience in the rental and installation markets. Andrew was most recently technical manager at West End Studios and has also previously worked at Hawthorns. Andrew heads up the project management team at TSL and brings a wide range of expertise and experience to the role and the company.

UK - PAI Group has appointed Martin Draisey as its new business development manager. Martin is an experienced sales professional with a wealth of industry knowledge. He will be responsible for the delivery of specialist integrated audio-visual, sound, lighting and control solutions, working directly with clients and design teams across various sectors.

After receiving a diploma in Multi-track Recording from the Gateway School of Recording & Music Technology at Kingston Polytechnic, Martin started his career as a recording engineer at Harp Recordings Ltd before becoming a Sound Engineer for independent local radio station Swansea Sound.

He joined PA Installations Ltd in 1993 as a field engineer, working his way up to customer support manager and then Technical Sales Manager during an 11-year spell with the company.

In 2004 Martin took up the role of regional sales manager at

Europe - GDS has announced that Fernando Freitas has been appointed as its new European account manager.

Fernando will be responsible for the European territory working with GDS's dealer network in Europe and end users in both, the entertainment industry and development of new opportunities in other industries.

Moving from marketing manager to European account manager he changes his role at GDS as part of the ongoing strategy to increase GDS participation in the European market.

Fernando brings almost two years of experience within GDS and a good understanding of the entertainment and event industry.

Fernando comments, "Having settled into the marketing department I am now thrilled to work with our European partners directly in this amazing industry. I am looking forward to this new exciting role and providing the best solutions to current and future customers."<

UK - Flashlight Ltd has announced the appointment of industry veteran Gordon Smith, who joins the company's UK sales department as a Film and TV sales executive. Gordon will provide field based sales and support for the company's expanding range of leading lighting brands.

A well-known face in the industry, Gordon brings over 40 years' specialist knowledge and commercial experience to the new role, having previously worked in a variety of TV, film, theatre and entertainment lighting hire and sales roles. Gordon says: "I'm looking forward to the exciting challenges ahead within an established, vibrant company. I can't wait to get started!"

Flashlight directors Andy Dodd and Rob Williamson commented: "We're delighted to welcome Gordon to the company. His extensive experience and knowledge of the Film/ TV lighting market further strengthens our high level of produc

USA - Entertainment lighting manufacturer High End Systems has announced that industry sales veteran Sean Hoey has returned to the Austin-based company as Eastern US sales manager. After working at High End Systems throughout the 1990s-2000s, Hoey enjoyed a successful tenure as a territory sales manager at Christie Digital Systems.

Hoey comments, "I am excited to be back at the company that was so instrumental in my career development in this industry. High End Systems is now in its third decade of creating cutting-edge products for lighting professionals, and I look forward to working with our client base - a mix of old friends and new faces - and introducing them to our latest technological innovations."

In other HES news, the company announced they have restructured their US sales team and efforts. Adam Camp will continue as Western US sales manager, while Hoey wi

Finland - Genelec has announced the promotion of Sami Mäkinen to the role of business manager - AV install. This key segment of the Genelec business will benefit from Sami's previous experience within the company which has given him a comprehensive knowledge of the Genelec product portfolio across the company's various business segments.

Sami joined Genelec in 2007 as domestic sales manager (Finland) and later moved to international sales manager, home audio. His new role will see him use his many years' experience in the company to develop existing customer relationships within the AV market and explore new opportunities. Sami will also be responsible for co-ordinating sales and marketing activities for the AV Install business segment.

"I'm taking up this role at an exciting time," says Sami. "The AV Install business is booming as is demonstrated by the hu

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