Singapore - Ayrton has announced the further expansion of its international team with the appointment of Vijay Thaygarajoo as regional sales manager for Asia Pacific. The appointment takes effect from 1 February 2022.
Vijay brings over 10 years of industry experience in the region, working with Ayrton’s local distributor and as regional sales manager for a number of industry manufacturers.
“I am very excited to be joining the amazing team at Ayrton,” says Vijay. “As the RSM of Ayrton, I will be responsible for maintaining and building relationships with current distributors as well as appointing new distributors around the APAC region, with the aim of progressing and further strengthening the Ayrton brand and image in this part of the world.
“I’ve seen the quality of Ayrton lighting over the years and am very impressed with the full range of lighting fixtures they have. When the opportunity came along, I didn't think twice about joining them as I believe in the brand and couldn't wait to join the team. Ayrton is the future!”
“Vijay’s experience makes him extremely well placed in his new role as our APAC regional sales manager and a valuable addition to the team,” says Ayrton’s global sales director, Michael Althaus. “To have our own regional representative working in tandem with our excellent local distributors is a great combination which will strengthen Ayrton’s presence across the region and reinforce the level of service we are able to give our customers. We are very happy to have Vijay on the team.”
Singapore - Pixotope has announced two new hires in their Asia Pacific leadership team.
Matthew Ma, former employee of Amazon Web Services and Avid, joins the company as general manager for North Asia. Matthew will be directly responsible for driving regional sales and advising on the regional functions of marketing operations, including developing distribution channels and building strategic relationships. The key locations for North Asia include China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan.
Matthew states, “I am delighted to start a new chapter with Pixotope in this exciting period for Virtual Production. Having worked with the North Asia market for media and web technologies for many years, a key focus for this role will be building relationships with partners and ensuring consistent growth as Pixotope expands further across the region.”
With more than 20 years of industry experience, Andrew Tan joins Pixotope as their new vice president, APAC. Based out of Singapore, Andrew’s most recent role was at Shutterstock. Prior to that, he worked at Ross Video, Kramer Electronics and Avid. In his role at Pixotope, Andrew will spearhead the development and growth of the APAC team and strengthen the brand in the region.
Europe - K-array has announced the promotion of Francesco Maffei to area sales manager for EMEA. In his new position, Francesco will oversee the company’s sales and marketing activities and initiatives throughout Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Francesco Maffei has been a long standing member of the K-array family with an extensive knowledge of the products, brand and has been an integral part of the growth of K-array over the last 20 years.
President of K-array Alessandro Tatini says: “We’re delighted that Francesco is taking the reins on EMEA. His deep understanding of the brand which he has helped to build over the years, our products, business know-how and leadership skills, will further strengthen K-array in EMEA with our story of passion, innovation and performance, in the exciting era ahead.”
Francesco Maffei comments: “I am really excited to take this important next step in my career, my priority will be to ensure that K-array continues to build on its position as an innovative pro audio manufacturer with unique audio and now lighting solutions. We have some incredible partners in the region and I am looking forward to working with them.”
The Netherlands - Follow-Me has announced two new members of its team - Victor Petitjean and Sander van der Meij.
Victor Petitjean is a French software developer, living in the Netherlands for five years. “I’m excited to finally discover the secrets behind the scene and to do my best to make show lighting even better,” he says.
Follow-Me founder and lead product developer, Erik Berends states: “Victor’s strong background in computer graphics matches perfectly with Follow-Me's ambition for upcoming product releases, we are excited to have him onboard.”
Based in the Netherlands, Sander van der Meij has been in the entertainment industry for almost 20 years as a lighting technician, rigger, dimmer tech, system tech and more recently as crew chief and project manager.
Product manager Tim van Dijk, who will be working closely with Sander in the Follow-Me team, states: “Sander has a lot of hands-on experience in the entertainment industry, working as project manager for a large variety of shows and events. Due to this we believe he will be of great value to our team, he will take the lead on Follow-Me integration for projects all around the world.”
USA - Fulcrum Acoustic has announced Scott Pizzo will join as the U.S national sales manager. In this role, Pizzo will be responsible for overseeing the US sales rep network and coordinating the activities of Fulcrum’s rep force.
“Scott and I first worked together at EAW back in the early 2000s,” says Fulcrum Acoustic director of sales Todd Foster. “When we decided we were ready to expand the team, Scott was the first call that I made. He brings an impressive knowledge of the industry with him, and we are excited for his expertise as we look ahead.”
Scott is joining us at the perfect time,” says Fulcrum Acoustic president Stephen Siegel. “Todd Foster has done a tremendous job single-handedly managing our North American sales effort since 2013. Now, the growing interest in our products presents us with more opportunities than he can manage alone. Todd and Scott have substantial combined experience that will allow us to respond to the operational needs of our rep force without sacrificing the focus required to properly handle longer-term strategic projects.”
In addition to his time at Eastern Acoustic Works, Pizzo’s resume includes L-Acoustics, Renkus-Heinz, and Harman Professional Solutions. Prior to joining Fulcrum Acoustic, Pizzo was the vice president of sales - professional audio for the North American subsidiary of the Spanish manufacturer DAS Audio.
Austria - AV Stumpfl has announced the creation of a new management position inside their screens sales department. On 1 January, Jan Walter joined the team as global business development manager, screens.
Walter began his AV industry career as a field application engineer and recently worked as a senior regional sales manager for an internationally known technology manufacturer. The focus of his new role will be expanding AV Stumpfl‘s international projection screens distribution network.
Walter comments: "Ever since I started working in the wider area of projection technology, AV Stumpfl screens have been a household name. I always associated their products with the highest quality possible and a great drive towards innovation. I see great potential for expanding the existing distribution network further and am looking forward to tackling this exciting challenge."
Stefanie Niederwimmer, AV Stumpfl's executive director, screens, adds: "In addition to technological innovation, we as a family company attach great importance to the interpersonal market presence as well. In order to strengthen this key factor even more, we decided to add the new global business development manager position to our screens department. Jan Walter is perfectly suited for taking on this new role and to support our screens team."
UK - Production services company Full Production has appointed a new director of live events and touring. Marc Thornton steps into the role after several years as lighting director and programmer for artists including Foals, Charli XCX and Goldfrapp. He will be overseeing the live events and music arm of the business.
Marc is a BRIT school graduate who began working alongside Full Production MD Steve Richardson early on in his career, whilst they were both working at White Light. Marc worked with Full Production as part of a successful freelance career for the past eight years, before joining the company on a temporary contract in February 2021. He played an integral part in some of Full Production’s biggest projects of 2021, including the Warwick Castle Sundown Spectacular.
“I’m delighted to be coming on board full time with the team at Full Production,” adds Thornton. “Steve has played a big part in my career from the moment I started in the industry, so to find myself with the opportunity of joining the team on a permanent basis is really fantastic. I have always enjoyed seeing what projects Steve and Full Production have been doing and I think together, we are going to create some really interesting and exciting pieces of work.”
Steve Richardson comments: “2021 was a fantastic year for us, which saw us return to the exponential growth we were seeing pre-COVID, and with 90% new business. As a result of this continued success, we’re delighted to be in a position where we can continue with our planned expansion of the Full Product
UK - Solotech has announced two significant appointments to its UK management team. Ryan Thomas and Phil Goldsworthy have taken over UK sales and systems integration leadership for SSE Audio, Wigwam Acoustics, Capital Sound and BCS Audio.
Both will report to Solotech UK MD Bryce Jewell and work in close collaboration with Solotech Live Productions leaders as well as overseeing corporate functions. They take over after the departure of Alex Penn, who served as sales and systems integration managing director at SSE Audio before leaving to pursue other professional interests.
Goldsworthy brings over 17 years of experience at Wigwam Acoustics and two years as the UK Group’s systems integration manager to his new role as head of systems integration.
Thomas will serve as head of sales for Solotech’s UK companies. With over 20 years of experience in various pro audio sales functions, he was previously SSE Group sales manager.
Bryce Jewell comments: “Thomas and Phil bring experience and enthusiasm to these critical new roles in our UK sales and integration business. They have both been instrumental in helping us maintain our position as the UK’s leading supplier of AV technology. We are in a great position with Ryan and Phil as leaders of talented and crucial teams that contribute to our continued growth in the UK market.”
Europe - zactrack International has welcomed Alistair Smyth, a long-time veteran of the industry, as the company’s new brand manager.
After earning a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering from Kingston University London, he has worked for Vari-Lite, High End Systems, Christie Lites, A.C. Entertainment Technologies and Flashlight. Most recently, he was a technical sales advisor at Elation, where he was responsible for product demonstrations, sales support and technical communication.
Reflecting on his new role, Smyth says: “I am proud to join the Lightpower family of companies and be a member of the zactrack International team. I look forward to meeting our valued distributors, customers and users. The zactrack products are amazing and we believe they will revolutionize tracking in many areas of our industry. As part of the team here, we can work together to help promote this intuitive technology and bring it to a wider audience.”
Stephan Saremba, MD of zactrack International, adds: “We are very happy to have Alistair on board now. Since zactrack International was established just last year, zactrack has been chosen for projects like the ongoing Alanis Morissette 2021-2022 world tour or MJ the Musical on Broadway. We have also signed on several new distributors in key markets around the world, expanding our global service and support offering. With Alistair’s industry experience and enthusiasm for the brand he will help put zactrack on many more stages around the world.”
Germany - HOF is expanding its company management team with immediate effect. Dennis Klostermann and Isabel Inclan, two experienced employees are joining the management. Together with Björn Heinzmann, managing director and shareholder at HOF since 2003, they will lead the company as a trio.
Björn Heinzmann will continue to manage the areas of technology and finance. Dennis Klostermann, who has been with HOF since 2006 and was previously key account manager, will be responsible for sales and product development. Isabel Inclan was previously in charge of marketing and will now represent the marketing and human resources departments.
Hans-Wilhelm Flegel, who founded HOF 25 years ago, is retiring from management and operations, but will remain with the company in an advisory role. "I am pleased that a new generation is now taking over the company management at HOF. I am even more pleased that we have been able to develop the two new leaders within the company and that they are now ready for their new tasks," he says.
UK - Tributes have been pouring in after the death of TMB’s Nuri Waheishi, who passed away unexpectedly after a short illness in December. An enduringly popular figure amongst the global entertainment technology community, Waheishi started out as dimmer technician at Avolites in the 1990s, progressing to production director before joining TMB. He spent the remainder of his career at the lighting specialist, first as an inside sales account executive and later transitioning to his most recent role in customer development.
In a Facebook post from 23 December, TMB said: “Our hearts are heavy and full of sadness . . . our dear, dear friend, and colleague for over 20 years, Nuri Waheishi, has passed away after a short illness. It was unexpected. The TMB family is shocked and we are still processing the terrible news. Our thoughts and prayers are with Nuri’s wife, children and family. Nuri’s huge beautiful smile and gentle kindness will be forever missed. We will share more information as we have it, meanwhile, we know Nuri would want everyone to raise a glass to Life this holiday season, as he was full of the best of life’s spirit.”
Sweden - Power distribution specialists StageSmarts has added Pierre Nyström and Jakob Aronson to the team at their manufacturing facility in Arboga.
Nyström has extensive manufacturing and testing experience from the electrical power industry, most recently from Alstom. Aronson is an experienced field service engineer who joins the company from Kone lifts.
“Guys of this calibre are very hard to find, and we’re super excited to have them join our growing team of craftsmen. Their extensive expertise will strengthen our company and help us innovate and build even better products,” says Mats Karlsson, CEO of StageSmarts. “We’ve seen steady growth over the past nine months, and with Pierre and Jakob onboard, we can increase our capacity while at the same time maintaining the highest build quality.”
USA - Bluesound Professional has appointed Craig Cooper as its North American sales manager.
Reporting to Graeme Harrison, vice president and general manager of Bluesound Professional, Cooper’s primary responsibility will be to facilitate sales growth in the North American market, working with reps, system integrators, consultants and end customers.
Cooper previously held executive positions at companies like Analog Way (AV manufacturer), Bormann Marketing (pro audio manufacturer) and Pinnacle Entertainment (end user). During his most recent role as regional sales manager for Analog Way, Cooper established a strong presence for the AV manufacturing company in the Midwest Region through initiating and expanding relationships with key stakeholders and influencers.
Graeme Harrison comments: “I’m very pleased to welcome Cooper to our Bluesound Professional team. His appointment will allow us to focus more attention on our North American customers. Our sales have been increasing steadily throughout 2021 in North America and we are optimistic that having Craig on our team will further increase this trend in 2022 and beyond. Cooper has experience as an end user, a rep and working for a manufacturer, and therefore uniquely equipped to understand the needs of our customers.”
USA - Area Four Industries has announced Will Todd as the new president and CEO of Tomcat US and Area Four Industries America. Todd has been with the Tomcat brand for more than 20 years, working through various departments. He began in sales covering the central region of the US, then moved to project manager, followed by product support supervisor, then design manager, then COO and now president/CEO.
“The best part about Tomcat is the relationships we forge in the industry and within our own building,” says Todd. “We strive to create relationships that are more than partnerships with our customers. If our customers are successful, then we are in turn. Within our building, we all work together towards our goals. The goals for the company are shared within the building, everyone provides ideas and input to help us all reach those goals.”
He adds: “The wide variety of products under the Area Four umbrella really puts Area Four in a great position to give customers the most options when it comes to covering their needs. Continued growth of the brands is the main goal.”
UK - Audiologic has announced that after over 20 years at Polar, Matt Nettlefold has joined Audiologic as a business manager. Nettlefold joins the existing team of five other business managers and will be responsible for the management and growth of existing business, as well as the acquisition of new customers and will be involved in field-based sales activity, including account management & product demonstrations.
He has over 21 years’ experience in the AV industry, beginning in plastics and laminates sales then moving into the audio industry in 1999 when he joined Polar Audio (or Beyerdynamic GB as they were known then) as technical support manager.
“My key interests lie within the audio field and I am extremely excited to be joining Audiologic,” says Nettlefold. “I have known many of the team for some years and I look forward to bringing my experience to such a professional, driven and respected company to drive business forward into the future.”
Stuart Leader, senior sales manager, adds: “Matt was such an obvious choice for us for this role, a very knowledgeable and familiar face within the industry, he has a long-standing history with many of our customers. At an exciting period of growth for Audiologic, the external business manager role allows us to split account responsibility across the southern regions of the team to give us as a team more focus, to better serve our ever-increasing customer base.”
UK - Independent rigging specialists Rigging Team has appointed Adrian Skelton to the role of project manager at the company’s Stevenage headquarters.
With an extensive career spanning over 25 years working within the live events industry, Skelton brings with him considerable expertise. Beginning his career in the world of touring theatre before gravitating toward the area of specialist rigging projects, he has more than 3,000 events under his belt, including numerous high profile engagements such as the G20 Summit and 2012 Summer Olympics.
Working previously as head of rigging at ExCel London, Skelton has built a comprehensive understanding of all areas of the project management remit.
Rigging Team director Adam Searle says: “Ade has amassed a wealth of specialist knowledge, working at the highest level. His management capabilities, hands-on style and thorough technical understanding will be an enormous asset to our team.”
Skelton adds: “I’m absolutely delighted to be joining Rigging Team. Their service and support is renowned within our industry - it’s a pleasure to be bringing my own experience to the mix of skills they offer. As we make the careful transition back to normality, I am looking forward to working with friends and colleagues as part of Rigging Team. I’m particularly interested in the technical training which the company provides, something that will help create a more secure future for our industry.”
UK - Solotech has announced the appointment of Bryce Jewell as managing director for the UK. He will drive the overall business strategy for Solotech and its two divisions, Live Productions and Sales and Systems Integration.
Jewell has over 20 years of experience within the technology sector spanning the UK, US, Norway, and Australia. He has led the turnaround of the UK and US enterprise businesses as MD at Global Cloud Xchange, which operates the world’s largest privately-owned subsea cable system. Prior to Global Cloud Xchange, Jewell served as director, sales Europe at Pacnet.
“This appointment is the symbol of a new major milestone for Solotech’s expansion in the UK and Europe, and a true testimonial of our intention to continue investing in our people, our technology, our operational structure and our brand,” comments Martin Tremblay, president and CEO of Group Solotech. “We are in it for the long run, and are definitely looking to build a strong, UK-based operation with - in addition to the audio heritage from SSE Audio, Wigwam Acoustics, Capital Sound and BCS Audio -other key services and technology that set Solotech apart and make it absolutely unique on the global market.”
“We are absolutely thrilled and proud to welcome Bryce as part of our leadership team. His knowledge of business management and technology background will be a major game changer for the diversification of our business activities in the UK and in all of Europe for the years to come,” adds Tremblay.
USA - Main Light, LLC has hired Patrick Bellino as an inside sales representative. His responsibilities will include working with both rental and sales clients as well as interfacing with the shop to ensure the smooth fulfilment of client’s orders. Bellino will work from Main Light East in Wilmington, DE and will report directly to Main Light rental manager Rick McKinney.
Bellino previously worked as a rental representative with the Christie Lites office in New York where he focused on the Broadway theatre market and as an account executive with 4Wall Entertainment.
Main Light’s business model as the leading industry source for dry hire equipment is something that is excited to be part of, as he explains. “Dry hire is a really great model,” says Bellino. “It lets us help everyone. We're not directly competing on jobs against other companies instead we get to be helpful to everyone so they can handle the work they have and provide the gear they need to do that work.”
Randy Mullican, general manager of Main Light, notes, “Patrick is a great fit with Main Light and will be a strong addition to our team. He has a real knowledge of the industry, a strong background, and solid experience to draw upon, plus he is committed to getting customers what they need when they need it.”
China - Powersoft has appointed Abby Hu to the newly-created role of chief representative officer in China, where her main responsibilities will be supporting and growing brand awareness throughout the Chinese market.
Hu brings over 10 years of experience in the AV industry to the role, having previously worked for a systems integration company specialising in conference, broadcasting and theatre.
Hu is no stranger to Powersoft, as she previously worked alongside Ezpro, Powersoft’s Chinese distributor, in conjunction with a project for Universal Studios. Hu states: “At its very foundation, Powersoft is a great brand. I believe my participation can really enhance the influence of Powersoft and its potential to flourish in new markets.”
"We are very excited to welcome Abby to our team at Powersoft,” comments Luca Giorgi at Powersoft. “Her regional expertise in business development will be invaluable for this position. We look forward to working alongside Abby to further our growing commitment in China.”
Hu’s first responsibilities will be to concentrate on vertical markets such as theatre performance, broadcasting and entertainment. “There is also great potential in Powersoft’s OEM strategy in this market,” she adds.
Genelec has further expanded its Nordic sales operation with the recent appointments of Mirko Ekberg and Fredrik Setterberg, both of whom bring with them a considerable professional audio experience.
Ekberg joins Genelec’s Finnish team as pro audio sales manager, with responsibility for developing both studio and MI dealer networks and building closer relationships with key studio customers. With a combined 20-year track record of sales management with both Fender and the Luthman distribution group, Ekberg steadily progressed to the role of chief sales officer for Finland and the Baltics for Luthman Nordic.
With over two decades of industry experience in both sales and technical solutions, Setterberg joins Genelec’s own Swedish distribution team as sales engineer, focussing on pre-sales and sales support across the studio, AV and home audio segments
“We’re extremely happy to add two such experienced, skilled and respected professionals to our Nordic sales team,” concludes Mikko Tuomi, Genelec’s Nordic sales director. “In their individual roles they will strengthen our already robust team, bring us closer to our key business partners, and provide even higher levels of customer satisfaction.”
UK - Audiologic has welcomed Jessica Raraty as internal business manager. Her role has a strong focus on relationship-building with Audiologic’s widening direct customer base. The company has also promoted Vicky Clayden to sales support supervisor, overseeing the structuring of the internal sales team.
The growth of Audiologic and its customers also sees a continued focus on procurement and processes. Anne Broadley, senior operations manager, continues to make sure the business has the support structure, processes, and best practises in place. To support this, Nicola Boyle takes on the role of procurement administrator.
Stuart Leader, senior sales manager, comments: “As a business and an industry, we have all had challenges to face and to overcome in the past year. Since joining Audiologic, we have been working hard on a strategy to help drive the company forward. I am proud that as we enter 2022, we have developed new roles and a sales structure that will allow us to focus on our business and more importantly, forecast where it is coming from. We are excited for the new year ahead and look forward to entering the next chapter of growth for Audiologic.”
Europe - Lighting designer, director and programmer Marc Lorenz has joined Ayrton’s international team as designer relationship manager with a focus on Europe.
Lorenz brings to his new role over 30 years of experience as a freelance operator, programmer, lighting director and designer on many well-known festivals, arena shows, tours, television and corporate events, as well as being a respected trainer for lighting consoles and media servers.
His past festival credits include Paleo Festival Nyon, Out in the green Frauenfeld and the Open Air St. Gallen while his touring career has encompassed groundbreaking tours for artists - many with leading lighting designer Gunther Hecker - like Die Fantastischen Vier, David Garrett and Herbert Grönemeyer, amongst many others. Lorenz is also co-author with Roland Greil of Showlicht, vom Scribble zum fertigen Design.
“I am very excited to be joining Ayrton,” says Lorenz. “I know some of the team already, and I know and like how Chris (Ferrante, Ayrton’s CEO) is driving the brand forward.
“As a designer and programmer, I have worked with Ayrton products before, firstly with the Creative Solutions products like MagicPanel and CosmoPix, and latterly with Khamsin and other of their Classic fixtures. So I already know about the quality of the products, and this is what I want to bring to people’s attention. In my new role, my experience and knowledge will be a touchpoint for the designers and operators. We talk the same language because I have been in their shoes for a long time, so I know about
UK - Ross Robertson has joined Arena UK MEA as managing director of the structures division, based in Arena’s St Ives headquarters.
Arena chief operating officer EMEA Tom Evans comments: “Arena Group is taking on a new look as we bounce back from the pandemic, and I am sure that Ross is the right person to steer the structures division, bringing great experience to achieve ambitious expansion beyond our core events sector.
“Arena’s structures division is gearing up for an incredibly busy 2022 across a wide range of events, and we are investing in our team to support our project directors, managers and site crews’ delivery of amazing events on behalf of clients.”
Arena’s structures team is already well underway with the build for Europe’s largest temporary triple-decker hospitality structure for the 2022 Cheltenham Festival and next year will also provide temporary infrastructure to many projects including The Randox Grand National, Wimbledon Championships, The Open, and The Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
Ross states: “It is fabulous that my career pinnacle sees me return to Arena, where my temporary structures journey began. Arena is an amazingly well-respected brand with a fantastic team of event professionals who I’m looking forward to working alongside.
“Paul Berger (Arena EMEA CEO) and Tom Evans have shared their exciting vision for Arena, presenting a great opportunity to stretch myself and take on new challenges to develop and deliver their business strategy into the demountable industrial structures sector.
Germany - The Riedel Group has announced an expanded management structure. Starting 1 January 2022, the Wuppertal-based company will be organised into three main divisions: The product division and managed technology business units will have Rik Hoerée and Lutz Rathmann as their respective new CEOs, with Riedel Networks and its managing director and CEO, Michael Martens, forming the group's third division.
This move allows Riedel Group CEO Thomas Riedel to devote his attention to driving business development and expanding global partnerships and networks. Together with group chief financial officer Frank Eischet, who is responsible for finance, HR and IT, Thomas will form the spearhead of the Riedel Group.
"The last year has given us time to take a deep breath and reflect on our setup. We realised that we would have to change some things to sustain the rapid expansion of our business," says Riedel. "These past few years, our company has seen tremendous growth, and 2021 is no exception. Now is the right time to broaden the management team to support this dynamic upswing. This reorganisation is the foundation to master current and future challenges to our business and to continue our strong organic growth."
Riedel chief sales officer (CSO) Martin Berger who has been driving this evolutionary step forward will withdraw from the Riedel management board.
"I take great pride in the fact that we have developed first-class leaders within our own ranks, who are now ready to take on greater responsibility for our next growth phase," said Berger. "It wa