APAC - B-Tech AV Mounts, a designer, manufacturer and distributor of AV mounting solutions, has appointed Jenny Li as its new director of operations for APAC with immediate effect.
Based in B-Tech’s office in Ningbo, China, Li first joined the business in 2013 as a salesperson, whilst also providing valuable input into the manufacturing, supply chain and logistical procedures of the business. Excelling in her role, she went on to become sales manager for APAC, working closely with B-Tech teams and customers across East and Southeast Asia, playing a crucial role in establishing the company as a leading brand in the region.
In her new role as director of operations (APAC), Li will be responsible for all operational procedures across B-Tech’s existing China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Vietnam facilities as well as continuing to oversee sales throughout the region.
Matthew Bennett, CEO of the B-Tech International Group, comments: “We are thrilled to make this announcement and be able to again reward the exceptional work and loyalty shown by our employees. Jenny has done an incredible job since joining the company, playing a vital role in transforming B-Tech’s APAC operations from being solely production and logistical facilities, into full scale APAC sales offices. Her understanding and knowledge of the AV market, coupled with her exceptional leadership skills make her a perfect fit for such an important position within the company as we look to continue our growth story.”
In other news, B-Tech recently increased its global foot
UK - It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Alistair Grant, the much-loved UK lighting designer and production electrician, who died peacefully at home on 4 November 2019 after a battle with motor neurone disease.
Born in Dublin and raised in Belfast, Alistair came to London to join the National Youth Theatre, then trained at LAMDA and took his first professional role with Theatre Projects. This marked the start of a remarkable career which involved him in over 200 UK and international productions.
Known to all as Ali Barrel, his inate skill and professionalism was matched by his warmth and generosity. Don Holder remembers him as “a great and immensely loyal friend, a brilliant colleague and sensitive collaborator,” and Jeanne Koenig as “an inspired person, an inspiring person, an artist, a person of brilliance, a humourist, a kind and good man.”
His long-term colleague, Andrew Bridge, describes him as “a colleague who was calm, dedicated, knowledgeable, optimistic and persistent, who had a talent for getting the best out of designers and crews.” Meanwhile, Ken Posner remembers him “as one of the most caring, generous, and thoughtful human beings and theatre professionals I have ever known.”
As production electrician, Alistair Grant was at the heart of many iconic musical productions and tours of the ‘80s, ‘90s and naughties, including Time, Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables and Miss Saigon, test
USA - 7thSense Design has promoted Eric Lehman to the position of global sales and marketing manager.
He joined 7thSense as business development manager in 2017 and has since been instrumental in establishing the company’s Orlando office, securing high profile theme park and attraction projects internationally, and playing an active role in developing new media serving and control solutions, as well as strategic partnerships for new products. Lehman’s career has seen him work with and contribute to the commercial success of respected companies including Universal, Electrosonic, Solid Control Inc., and Mad Systems, in addition to his own consultancy business Lehman AV Consultants.
“I am very pleased that Eric will be leading our global sales and marketing strategy and activities.” says Matt Barton, CEO of 7thSense Design. “He knows the industry exceptionally well with more than thirty years’ experience under his belt and brings so much energy to the team. We look forward to this next chapter with him as we continue to grow.”
USA/UK - Ayrton has appointed Chris Lose as designer relations manager and Jonas Stenvinkel as director of strategic development.
Chris Lose, an international touring lighting director, programmer and columnist, will be based in North America. His most recent clients include Hall and Oates, Nicki Minaj, Fleetwood Mac, Don Henley, Calvin Harris and corporate events around the globe. At Ayrton, Lose’s role will be to develop successful relationships with the predominant designers and specifiers in the industry.
Jonas Stenvinkel will be based in London. Originally from Sweden, he has spent the last years in a senior EMEA role at Martin/Harman after many years heading up Martin/Harman APAC out of Singapore. With his international experience he will develop mid- and long-term relationships on the distributor and customer side.
“We are delighted and excited to welcome Chris and Jonas to the Ayrton team,” says Ayrton global sales director, Michael Althaus. “Ayrton is expanding at a phenomenal rate and the addition of the rich industry experience proffered by our two latest team members will progress this development still further whilst ensuring we maintain our high standards of customer relations that have become the hallmarks of Ayrton.” Both Chris and Jonas will be at the LDI show in Las Vegas this month.
UK - Prolight Concepts Group has appointed Ollie Wilkinson, who will represent the company as in-house technical sales manager. Wilkinson has been working in the lighting and entertainment industry for over 12 years and was previously employed as head of lighting for ArranPaul. He brings a broad working knowledge from his experience of planning and organising equipment and staff for nationwide touring shows and lighting large scale events.
“I am looking forward to stepping into the role of technical sales manager here at Prolight,” says Wilkinson. “I feel my wealth of experience and knowledge of working hands on in this industry will benefit the company in many ways. It’s a fantastic team and I am excited to be part of the journey.”
UK - Funktion-One founder Tony Andrews has been recognised by Wrexham Glyndŵr University for his work in professional audio.
Andrews was presented with an Honorary Fellowship in a ceremony that also saw graduates being awarded their degrees in Art and Design, Media and Communications Technology, Humanities and Computing.
The university confers Honorary Fellowships upon people in recognition of their significant commitment to the university and the wider community and is the highest honour that the university can bestow.
In his acceptance speech, Andrews said: “I consider myself fortunate that I have been able to make a living pursuing what intrigues and stimulates me. This is a driving force that, much to my amazement, has persisted for over 50 years now.
“Amongst the qualities essential for progress and achievement are application and perseverance, which today’s graduating students have amply demonstrated by successfully completing their studies.
“Keep in mind that there is great soul expression in going after the things you are passionate about. Most of the interesting stuff in life happens at frontiers and boundaries, and the status quo is merely a temporary condition on the way to truth - thank you very much.”
Colin Heron, Faculty of Arts, Science and Technology associate dean for student engagement, said: “Our Honorary Fellowships are for people who have made a significant difference in a particular field, and Tony’s work in sound system design and development very much matches that description. Fellows are a
Benelux - Chauvet has named lighting specialist Gerrit Schottert as its senior business development manager for the Netherlands. Operating out of the company’s office in Belgium, Schottert will be responsible for the Chauvet Professional line.
Schottert will report to Steven Batslé, sales manager Benelux for Chauvet, who said, “Gerrit is a tremendous addition to our team. He has a well-deserved reputation as a professional who knows products and is determined to get the job done right for his customers. We are looking forward to working with him.”
In fulfilling his responsibilities at Chauvet, Schottert will be drawing on over 25 years experience in the entertainment lighting industry. He comes to his new position from Livingprojects, VAP for Signify, Vari-Lite and Strand Lighting, where he served as sales manager of the entertainment distribution division.
“Gerrit has compiled an impressive track record, not just for his keen knowledge of lighting, but also as a result of his dedication to customer service,” comments Stéphane Gressier, Chauvet’s international sales director. “Rental houses, designers and others in the Netherlands market are very familiar with Gerrit’s commitment to making his customers happy. We are excited to have him on our team and are confident he will make valuable contributions to our continued growth.”
Italy - Shure Incorporated has strengthened its marketing and sales operations in Europe with the appointment of Emanuele Luongo, a new integrated systems market development manager for Italy.
Luongo will assume the position on 1 December. He will be based in Milan and will concentrate on the Italian integrated systems market, working closely with Shure distributor Prase Media Technologies.
Luongo’s background is in sound engineering, acoustics and wireless audio. He has held sales and product management positions at Shure’s Italian distribution partners as well as live sound engineering positions for notable artists.
“We are pleased to appoint Emanuele to this key position, supporting our market development activities in Italy,” comments Rob Smith, senior director, integrated systems sales Western Europe at Shure. “As Shure continues to expand globally, adding Emanuele will be essential in building customer relationships and providing solutions to meet the needs of this important market.”
"Our collaboration with Emanuele will maintain focus on the Shure brand and on the Integrated Systems market, where Shure has a strong presence and is continually growing," comments Ennio Prase, managing director of Prase. “We wish Emanuele all the best in his important position at Shure.”
Denmark - Pascal has announced two executive appointments to its management team, positioning the company for a new phase of strategic expansion.
Gorm Eichenberger has been appointed as CFO, following the retirement of Henrik Gunst Smith, the company’s director of finance since 2013. Also joining the company is Gustaf Høskuldsson, taking up the newly created position of COO. Both come to Pascal with extensive experience with audiology market leader Widex, where Eichenberger held the position of head of operation finance and Høskuldsson vice-president, global supply chain.
The appointments follow a year of sustained investment by the company, during which personnel, and R&D and operations facilities at its Copenhagen HQ have expanded by more than 30%.
“In continuing to manage the growth process and maintain an exceptional rate of expansion, we are seeking to become ever more outside-in customer centric,” says CEO Lars Rosenkvist Fenger. “Customer centricity has always been a core value for Pascal; offering our clients what they actually want, rather than what they have come to expect. This new phase of our growth strategy is centred on the expansion of our existing customer specific offerings and on developing new customer interfacing capabilities for the pro audio industry."
India - Martin Audio’s APAC representative Generation AV has appointed Sanak Pandit as applications engineer.
Based in Bangalore, Pandit has been working in audio since the age of 14, having completed his studies in the Bangalore School of Audio under the training of Vishnu Pandit, one of the most respected technical experts in the touring & rental market in India. In addition to working with his family companies of V&P Sound and SD Audio, the new recruit also served as a freelance sound engineer for a number of Indian artists.
Generation AV founder David McKinney, comments: “I am very excited to have Sanak in the team; he has the technical abilities to support all the brands in Generation AV and I believe will be a great asset to our business in Asia. With his strong background in the touring market he is able to hit the ground running.”
Martin Audio MD, Dom Harter, adds: “Following the appointment of Generation AV, it is reassuring to know that Martin Audio sales support in the APAC territories is in such safe hands with the appointment of Sanak. This is a developing region for us and it is vital that our customers know they have such an advanced level of on-the-ground backup.”
Israel - Kramer Electronics has announced the appointment of Itzhak Bambagi as chief executive officer, effective immediately.
Bambagi has held key executive roles at IBM and Digital/Compaq over the past 18 years. Among the various projects and technologies on which he worked, he also led IBM’s IT transformational experience using cloud technologies and various digital workplace initiatives across EMEA.
“I am both proud and honoured to be joining Kramer as their CEO,” declared Bambagi. “For the past four decades, Kramer has led the way with advanced AV solutions and the Kramer brand is known and respected worldwide. I have been a long-term admirer of Dr. Joseph Kramer’s dedication, work and vision and look forward to working with the global Kramer teams to further enhance the company’s evolution and making Kramer even greater.”
Dr. Joseph Kramer said: “We are incredibly excited to share this fantastic appointment. Itzhak’s decades of experience in sales, service and operational management paired with his deep understanding of advanced networking and cloud technology will be invaluable assets as Kramer meets the continuing challenges of the converging pro AV and IT industries.”
USA - Atlona has announced the appointment of four new members to its sales team. Three new regional sales managers and a new inside sales representative have joined the company.
Robb O’Brien has been named as regional sales manager, commercial, for the Southwestern United States, while Patrick Smith takes on a similar position for the North Central United States region.
O’Brien brings with him 15 years of experience in professional AV sales, most recently as a regional sales manager for Kramer Electronics. Smith is also an AV industry veteran, with 30 years of background in sales engineering and management including roles at Visitec and Crestron.
The new commercial RSMs will represent Atlona’s portfolio of innovative solutions including the Velocity AV control and OmniStream networked AV platforms. The duo joins six other nationally-placed sales team members in assisting Atlona’s dealers and integrators to drive opportunities for growth in environments ranging from classrooms, conference rooms and huddle spaces to large-scale AV distribution.
On the residential AV side of the business, Steve Neylon has joined the company as regional sales manager for the Eastern United States.
Atlona has also further strengthened its growing inside sales team with the addition of Joseph Sebek as the company’s newest inside sales representative. Sebek has previously held similar positions in the AV industry, most notably focusing on the digital signage market for display manufacturer Planar Systems.
“One of the more visible ways in whic
USA - Newly-elected ESTA board members are Todd Spencer, PSAV, for president; Alan M. Rowe, IATSE Local 728, returns for his second term as organisational director, and Joe Aldridge as individual director. These terms of office begin on 1 January 2020 and run through 31 December 2022.
ESTA and its members wish to thank outgoing board members Jules Lauve of Theatre Projects Consultants and Dana Taylor for their dedicated service.
South Africa - DWR Distribution has announced the appointment of Nicole Barnes to the marketing team. Barnes was previously employed as the editor at etech magazine.
“We are very pleased to welcome Nicole on board,” said Duncan Riley of DWR. “Being a vibrant people’s person, we know that she will fit right in. Our brands have grown over the years, and with her help, we look forward to being able to offer an additional service to our clients and suppliers in terms of press releases and marketing ideas.”
Italy - Giovanni Barbieri has taken on the role of general manager of Italian pro audio manufacturer dBTechnologies, part of the RCF Group.
Barbieri joined dBTechnologies' sales force as export sales manager in 2009. In 2011, he became business development manager and since 2012 has served as sales and marketing director.
The new appointment was announced by the CEO of dBTechnologies and RCF Group, Arturo Vicari, who commented: "The group is expanding, we have several interesting projects to carry out and it is natural to consolidate the organisation of a company that in recent years has shown not only to create quality products, but also to be able to propose and distribute them to an increasing number of users. Over the years, Giovanni Barbieri has demonstrated many qualities, first of all the ability to transmit to the market who we are and what we can do. This makes him the most suitable person to represent dBTechnologies, taking on the role of general manager.”
Barbieri added: "I was welcomed into this family in 2009. At the time, dBTechnologies was a smaller company, both in terms of turnover and workforce. Over the years I have had the opportunity to meet and grow together with people who represent excellence, both from a professional and personal point of view. And this is true for every single department of the company.”
UK - Industry veteran Andrew Smith has joined CUK Audio in the newly-created role of director of business development. Smith, who spent the last 11 years at Kramer Electronics UK in a number of roles including chief operating officer, will be championing CUK Audio’s growing portfolio of video and control products.
Commenting on his career move, Smith says: “I've known Stuart and the team at CUK Audio for many years and am delighted to be joining them at such an important point in the company’s development.”
Managing director Stuart Thomson adds: “Andrew will be a huge asset to our company. With his extensive industry knowledge, technical skills and sales ability, I know Andrew will help us deliver our ambitious growth plans over the coming years.”
UK - The Autograph Group has announced the departure of long-serving Financial Director, Duncan Bell.
Bell joined the company straight from school aged 18 and worked his way up to the position of Group Financial Director. He had established himself during the ‘80s and ‘90s as a respected Production Sound Engineer working on many high-profile theatre productions in the UK and abroad. His slavish attention to engineering and economic detail was what set him apart and marked him out for his future role within the companies.
Bell went from coiling microphone cables to running the financial fortunes of a group of companies that have a combined annual turnover of over £10M.
“A month’s work experience in 1984 has led to a 35-year journey as part of an incredible company and family” says Bell, “but I have decided that the time is right to find a new challenge for the next chapter of my life. Whatever that turns out to be, it will be defined in no small way by the experience gained as part of Autograph.”
“Looking back on it, having industry pioneers such as Andrew Bruce, Julian Beech, Jonathan Deans, Bobby Aitken, Tony Robinson and Terry Jardine as your collective mentors, teachers and friends must surely be the holy grail… and that was just within the company. It will be strange to move on, but I know that Autograph is in good hands and will continue to flourish for years to come.”
The departure of Autograph’s previous financial and business director Julian Beech, in 1999 due to ill-health, led to Bell’s promotion to Gr
UK - Green Hippo has strengthened its product development and logistics teams with the appointment of three new members of staff at its London HQ.
Joining as supply chain manager is Tosan Kogoro (pictured, left), who brings a wealth of experience in supply chain and distribution processes. Kogoro, who is fluent in English and German, arrives from DHL Global Forwarding where she was responsible for major clients including WH Smith and Argos.
Specialist media server and control systems engineer Leon Dickens (centre) joins as product support technician. Leon has three years’ direct experience of Green Hippo’s range of media servers in training, operations and troubleshooting. He was most recently employed as an event services technician at PRG.
Joining the R&D team is Pratik Mankawde (right). An experienced software developer, Pratik joins Green Hippo from DNeg VFX Studio in London, before which he was employed by Qualcomm and DreamWorks in Bangalore, India.
“We’re thrilled that Tosan, Leon and Pratik have joined Green Hippo - this is an exciting time for the company as we expand our London operations in line with our strategy for growth in the coming twelve months,” says CEO Emma Marlow. “We are increasing production, distribution and support services and investments in our team reflect our commitment to that. We look forward to working with them all.”
The appointments come at a time of expansion for the media server company, which recently launched V4.5 of its Hippotizer software.
UK - Audiologic has promoted David Smith to the position of senior business manager, completing a management restructure recently instigated by MD, Andy Lewis.
Smith, who previously served as business development manager, will now take responsibility for the day-to-day management of the company’s external sales team, providing “a clearly defined link to the directors, whilst retaining some hands-on sales accounts”.
Lewis comments: “In the time Dave has been with us he’s clearly demonstrated what an excellent operator he is. His knowledge of the industry is second to none and his management experience in previous roles has equipped him with all the skills necessary to run a cohesive and effective team. We’ve enjoyed significant growth in recent years and it’s vital that we establish a robust and dynamic management structure to meet the challenges ahead. Dave, along with head of operations Anne Broadley and senior application engineer Ben Spurgeon, completes a very strong team who are well-equipped to take responsibility for every aspect of our business.”
Smith adds: “We go from strength to strength at Audiologic and I’m very pleased to be taking up this important new role within the company.”
Europe - Nexo’s Celso Papadopulos has moved into the role of European sales manager. Papadopulos has been part of Nexo’s sales team since 2003 as LATAM sales manager, tasked with building the company’s export network and sales in Mexico, Central and Latin America. His first task as Europe sales manager will be the development of Nexo’s European commercial department following the departure of Alain Boone.
Papadopulos comments: “It’s a new challenge, and challenge renews life,” says Celso. “In South America, I was working in many different countries with different cultures, so I recognise that every place offers new opportunity. he skills of distributors are critical to our success, and I hope to boost our outstanding network to achieve great things, drawing on my own wide-ranging background in both of NEXO’s main markets, touring and fixed installation.”
Meanwhile, Bertrand Billon has joined Nexo’s engineering support division. He will assume special responsibility for the company’s top-of-the-range modular line array systems, including the STM Series. He started his engineering career working on tours and events as a PA technician and engineer for the French production services company Dispatch (later known as Dushow) and then joined the newly-created Stage Entertainment France as head of sound.
“Coming to Nexo gives me the opportunity to focus once more on PA systems, which was my first occupation and passion,” says Billon. “I am excited to be doing this job on behalf of a manufacturer, which will raise my skill
Asia - To better serve its expanding market in the continent, Chauvet has appointed industry figure Desmond Kwan as its Asia business development specialist.
Kwan brings extensive experience in entertainment lighting to his new position, having served in various sales and management positions at Harman Professional for 15 years. During that time he acquired a reputation for his product knowledge and commitment to customer service.
“Desmond’s track record is extremely impressive,” said Stéphane Gressier, international sales director at Chauvet. “In addition to possessing an extraordinary level of expertise, he also has a genuine dedication to putting the customer first. This has earned him an excellent reputation throughout the markets he serves. It is also very much in keeping with our own philosophy at Chauvet, so he will fit in very nicely with our corporate culture and make valuable contributions to our continued growth in Asia.”
Kwan, who will be responsible for Chauvet Professional and Chauvet DJ products, shares this enthusiasm about his new position. “Becoming part of the Chauvet team is a wonderful opportunity,” he said. “Not only is this a company with tremendous growth potential in Asia, it’s also one that shares my values about being committed to excellence and customer service. I am very excited.”
UAE - Creative Technology Middle East has appointed Lee Forde as the new general manager of its Dubai branch. Lee is an industry veteran with over 33 years’ experience and has a strong technical and managerial background. Lee will play a crucial role in overseeing the day to day operations while further assisting Andy Reardon implement strategies to enhance and expand CT Middle East.
Andy Comments “It is an exciting time for the Middle East as we continue to grow and expand our team of professionals. I am looking forward to working closely with Lee and wish him all the best going forward.”
Rob Turner has joined as the integrated networks technical manager. Rob has joined CTME to develop the newly established communications and networking division, with over 24 years experience in the AV industry, 10 of which he spent at Delta Sound.
Europe - Radio Active Designs CTO James Stoffo has announced the appointment of Jim Bakker to the position of EMEA sales and technical support director.
Bakker is based in France and will manage the sales and distribution of Radio Active Designs products throughout Europe as well as the Middle East and Africa. Well known for his sales representation and strategic consulting capabilities, Bakker will spearhead efforts to increase sales and distribution for Radio Active Designs UV-1G wireless, analogue intercom systems as well as the company’s catalogue of wireless intercom accessories.
"Radio Active Designs is fortunate to have someone with Jim's experience championing our products in the region," explains Stoffo. “We are excited to have him on our team and are confident he will contribute greatly to the company's growth world-wide."
Bakker, who is also the sales and technical support director for Lectrosonics, started his wireless sales career as the north and western Europe sales manager for AKG in the early 2000s and has been a strong supporter of Lectrosonics since 2009.
"Radio Active Designs wireless intercom represents a terrific sales opportunity for our organisation," Bakker adds.
Spain - Chauvet has announced that Jose ‘Alberto’ Barja has been appointed as its business development market specialist for Spain.
Barja brings extensive experience in many facets of the entertainment lighting industry to his new position, having worked for 20 years in executive positions at manufacturers Traxon, Osram and Siemens, as well as at the distributor Stonex, Bofill & Asociados.
At Chauvet, he will be working closely with the company’s Spanish distributor ACSON and Jon Petts, the company’s brand development manager for Western Europe.
“The addition of Alberto to a team that already includes Jon Petts and Goran Doncic, business development manager for Western and Eastern Europe, greatly strengthens our position in this market,” said Stéphane Gressier, Chauvet’s international sales director. “Alberto brings a depth of knowledge about lighting to this position, and I’m confident our customers in Spain will find him to be a valuable resource.”
Barja adds, “Like many people, I have been impressed not only by Chauvet’s rapid growth, but with how it has managed this growth so it continues to maintain the highest quality standards. I share the same values and commitment to customer service as Chauvet, so I am very excited to grow with the company.”