USA - Bandit Lites has announced the promotions of several major leaders with Brent Barrett as vice president of business development, Roth Edwards as vice president of operations and Jake Tickle as vice president of business and innovation.
“Every great firm is defined by their great people,” says Bandit chair, Michael T. Strickland. “Bandit Lites is no exception. Brent Barrett, Roth Edwards, and Jake Tickle exemplify that dynamic. Each a long time Bandit, they have from day one contributed at a level far beyond what was asked of them.”
Barrett now takes the helm of VP of business development. “Bandit has been a part of me most of my life,” Barrett reflected. “For me, Bandit started with a friendship with Michael during our elementary school that continues today.
Roth Edwards entered Bandit as an assistant warehouse manager and appeared on the cover of a major industry publication his first month at work.
“Roth is simply amazing” says Strickland. “There is nothing Roth will not do, not take on or not learn. His thirst for knowledge along with his desire to make himself and Bandit better is second to none.”
As Bandit moves into the very bright future, Jake Tickle sits at the forefront of leading the firm on all subjects technology related. “There is simply no title large enough to cover Jakes phenomenal contributions at Bandit Lites,” says Strickland.
USA - Calibre has appointed Mike Novak as sales director for North America. Novak hits the ground running with the Calibre New Product Preview Showcase event in Las Vegas revealing a One Canvas Solution incorporating the Calibre LEDFusion Pro with splicing features across multiple screens.
Novak is based in Buffalo, New York. He has taken up the position at Calibre from Daktronics, where he managed various verticals including airport and transit, out-of-home advertising, spectaculars and reseller/AV groups, and developed new markets and revenue streams.
“The Americas is the single largest market for growth in high-performance LED systems and solutions,” says Steve Su at Calibre. “I’m delighted to welcome Mike Novak to the Calibre team during our rapid growth phase. His leadership, collaborative style and experience in setting up sales strategy and channel development will be leveraged to establish Calibre as a preferred supplier of LED video displays.”
Mike Novak adds: “Joining Calibre at this stage of their evolutionary growth is an exciting prospect. Calibre is already well known for their reliable processing technology and customer service and we will build on that foundation with localized support for our growing customer base, expanding into new markets and applications.”
South Africa - Stuart Andrews will take on the position of projects and operations manager at DWR Distribution.
“I’m so positive and happy to be back in South Africa and at DWR,” said Stuart, who has lived in Rwanda and Dubai for well over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic. “I think this move had been on the cards for some time, to be honest. I had wanted to change out of the rental and production side of the industry for some time now, and I’ve always been close to the people at DWR; a company respected within the industry and one with extremely high standards in terms of service delivery and client focus.”
Andrews has enjoyed a vibrant career in the live events industry for the past 30 years. He started working as a sound technician in 1992 while completing a bachelor of commerce degree at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, juggling between his student commitments and his involvement in the student radio station.
Once he had graduated, Andrews freelanced as a sound technician in Durban for smaller companies until he took on a permanent position at the Wild Coast Sun, taking care of the theatre, show bar and conference centre’s audio requirements. There, he met his wife Debbie. The couple then moved up to Johannesburg when Andrews joined Caesars Palace, today known as Emperors Palace, before relocating to Dubai in 2000 for three years, where Andrews headed up the AV department at the Jumeirah International Hotel Group and worked as a project manager at Protec (Production Technology).
Upon returning to South Africa in 200
UK - North Star Engineers has appointed Jonathan Barker as creative director. Barker joins the North Star Engineers leadership team and will focus on the creative direction of the company, client liaison, and promotional content strategy and new business development.
Barker brings with him more than 30 years’ experience working in the cruise ship entertainment industry, with notable projects on board the QM2 and with Carnival UK, P&O and Cunard. HIs varied career has also seen him write two musical theatrical productions and multiple music productions for television and film.
“After more than thirty years working in the entertainment world, with a particular focus on the cruise ship industry, I’m thrilled to be working with North Star Engineers,” says Barker. “The team is highly ambitious and innovative with an excellent work ethic - I'm delighted to be on board and look forward to being a part of the next chapter of their journey.”
Sir Edgar Andrews, North Star Engineers’ CEO, adds: “We are excited to have Jonathan join our team as we scale up our business operations and strategically develop the future direction of North Star Engineers. The meeting of entertainment with technology is a very exciting time right now, and Jonathan’s creative expertise is really adding an invaluable skill set to our customer offering.”
USA - Bandit Lites has announced key promotions within the firm with Sharon Draper as the chief financial officer, Dizzy Gosnell as vice president of production and John Jenkinson as director of integration.
Draper oversees all aspects of the financial side of Bandit Lites and leads a large team on a daily basis.
"I am exceedingly thankful for Michael Strickland's leadership and strength, especially over these last few years,” said Draper. “As I come into this new position, I look forward to the continued success of Bandit."
“Bandit would simply not be where we are without Sharon,” said Bandit Lites chair and founder, Michael T. Strickland. “She held many roles before joining Bandit, including at Whittle Communications and Venture Alliance. Sharon has long served in the role of CFO and now she carries the title she much more than earned.”
Dizzy Gosnell has been a part of the Bandit family since 1993, but he first met Michael 40 years ago when Strickland was the production manager for Blackfoot and he was on the lighting crew with Meteorlites for Iron Maiden.
“We have been great friends ever since,” said Strickland. “No one in the entire industry is more knowledgeable, dedicated, and driven than Dizzy. His new position of VP of Production is well deserved and really not big enough. Life without Diz is hard to imagine.”
Another long-time Bandit is John Jenkinson. “John is an absolute rock star,” says Strickland. “There is not person better at their job than him. His tireless focus and dedication to getti
USA - Fulcrum Acoustic has announced that Angela Ciociolo has joined the company as director of marketing. Ciociolo will be responsible for guiding the strategic marketing direction for the company and overseeing the daily marketing tasks.
“As Fulcrum Acoustic continues to grow, we are adding talented professionals to the team so that we can better serve the markets and our customers," says Fulcrum Acoustic president Stephen Siegel. "Angela brings experience from within and outside our industry as well as a creativity and drive that will help us evolve."
“When Stephen contacted me about the opportunity to join Fulcrum Acoustic, I was immediately interested," says Ciociolo. "Fulcrum Acoustic is an energetic, growing company with products, technology, and a culture unique in the industry. I truly enjoyed the time I spent previously in Pro Audio and am thrilled to be back."
World - Women In Lighting (WIL) has recently released two new Ayrton-sponsored interviews with female lighting designers: Nashville-based Sooner Routhier, an award-winning designer, producer and director, who has worked with an impressive list of headline artists including KISS, The Weeknd, Motley Crüe, Muse, Rhianna and, currently, Coldplay; and LA-based Emmanuelle ‘Gigi’ Pėdron, a French-born lighting designer who has worked with the likes of Queens of the Stone Age, My Chemical Romance, Garbage and Prince.
WIL is a global project co-founded by Sharon Stammers and Martin Lupton of Light Collective to promote the work of women lighting designers across the entertainment industry. There are more than 160 interviews with respected female lighting practitioners on the WIL website at www.womeninlighting.com, and sharing these is a key way of raising awareness of the project.
Sooner Routhier is a creative powerhouse in the live music industry and, through Sooner Rae Creative, has redefined entertainment lighting and production, whilst also mentoring bright new talent. In her interview with WIL co-founder, Sharon Stammers, Routhier talks about her initiation and pathway into lighting, her inspirations, collaborations and creative processes. She also speaks of the challenges of turning ideas into reality and the logistical challenges that are the legacy of the pandemic, touches on the issue of sustainability and keeping up with technology, and gives some advice to women starting out in entertainment lighting. The full WIL interview is available he
UK - Collaborative Creations has announced three new appointments in key positions.
Nic Farman has joined the CC team as its new lighting designer & business development specialist. Farman was previously a freelance lighting designer and will now be continuing his lighting design work in theatres internationally, but under the CC banner.
Farman has more than 10 years of experience lighting musicals, theatre and opera. He has worked extensively in the UK’s West End, as well as on shows in Lebanon, Dubai, and Kuwait.
The appointment comes following two further additions to the team at Collaborative Creations in recent months. Chris West joined as training and education director in February, offering a wide range of in-person and e-learning training courses.
West’s previous role was Global Training Manager for disguise. He has also worked in training roles for MA Lighting, White Light, Martin and Avolites.
In December 2021, Collaborative Creations also appointed Tyler Holpin as business development specialist. Holpin’s previous role was sales manager at console manufacturer Zero 88
Collaborative Creations managing director Tom Wilkes comments, “We continue to add more strings to our bow with these three appointments. Nic, Chris and Tyler are all well-known faces in the industry who are at the very top of their game. They bring a huge amount of experience, a deep roster of contacts and a powerful set of skills to our clients and the industry at large.”
UK - Polar has announced the expansion of its team with the appointment of two new members of staff. Mark Bracken has joined Polar’s integrated solutions team as a business development manager, whilst Joe Glading has been recruited as a marketing assistant.
Bracken is an experienced AV industry professional who has enjoyed sales, marketing and business development roles with Cloud Electronics, Imagesound, Rolec Music and Hayden Laboratories, before broadening his scope as a freelance consultant in the video sector.
“As the world began to emerge from the worst effects of the pandemic, I was looking for a new challenge within which I could bring together the skills and experience I’ve gained across different areas of the AV industry,” says Bracken. “When the opportunity with the Polar integrated solutions team arose, it aligned perfectly with that ambition, and I had no hesitation in joining what is clearly a successful and customer-focused team.”
Joe Glading joins Polar from outside the technology industry, having previously worked in the commercial design sector as a graphic designer. “I’m very excited to be joining Polar and moving into the world of AV,” he says. “Whilst there is much to learn and absorb, I’m confident that my previous experience will transfer effectively to my new position and can add value to the business.”
Polar managing director John Midgley comments: “We have emerged from recent market turbulence in a strong position, and these two appointments are a response to steadily increasing demand acr
UK - Le Mark’s head of export Karolina Wlodarczyk has been invited to be an ‘export champion’ for the UK’s Department of International Trade.
Karolina is a Polish citizen originally from the town of Raciborz, who studied (2004-2009) and graduated from Opole University with a master’s degree in English Language and Cultural Studies.
She is currently undertaking additional formal business training and education with an ambition to see a future graduation with ARU Peterborough.
Since joining Cambridgeshire based Le Mark Group, her career has grown from strength to strength. Karolina has built a reputation internationally, leading from the front at trade shows around the world. Since joining Le Mark she has represented the company at LDI Las Vegas, Prolight+Sound Frankfurt and Light + Audio Tec (formerly Prolight+Sound NAMM Russia). Karolina is now responsible for over 70 international Le Mark distributors, either directly, or overseeing via her export department team.
“Karolina has worked with me on several DIT initiatives, both regionally, internationally, and more recently in London at the DIT headquarters in Old Admiralty Building,” says Le Mark managing director Stuart Gibbons. “She is respected by many. I believe her skills were recognised at high level where she was formally invited to take on the position of ‘export champion’ by DIT.
“She will now represent both her company and the UK, encouraging and developing companies to export and develop their overseas trade skills. It’s a pleasure to share this story of
Italy - Outline has extended its organisation with appointment of Daniele Tebaldi as CTO (chief technology officer). Daniele will liaise with the company's R&D team, sales and tech support crew and board of directors.
After embarking in the mid-80's on a successful career in Italy and Germany as a concert sound engineer with a keen ear for jazz, classical and contemporary music, 10 years later Daniele conceived and directed Live Sound Education, one of the earliest and longest-running audio courses in Italy, hosted by the City of Modena – while continuing to work as a freelance copywriter, publicist and translator for the pro audio industry. This landed him a key role in the incorporation of a (now well-known) German professional loudspeaker manufacturer's Italian subsidiary, which he subsequently directed for 25 years.
"In 1997 I attended Daniele's education program in Modena, on the advice of my late father Guido Noselli, founder and technical guru of Outline," says Outline's marketing and communication manager Michele Noselli. "Even 25 years later, I can still clearly see the reasons for which my father had vouched so strongly for Daniele's teaching in my education - back then he had indeed found common ground to his vision there."
"Outline is a stronghold of solid audio engineering, sparked by a degree of passion that is often lost in the big corporate world," says Daniele Tebaldi of his new appointment. "I've found a most talented crew in each of Outline's units and departments, members of which may have been with the Company for well ove
UK - Avolites has announced new appointments to strengthen its operations in North and South America.
Returning to Avolites, Francisco Yañez Valdivia has been appointed as territory manager for LATAM. Based in Santiago de Chile, Francisco’s role will focus on driving a new phase for Avolites in the region, following the recent launch of the Diamond 9, along with the company’s continuous development of its software platforms Ai, Titan and Synergy.
Francisco has over 10 years’ experience using Avolites products across different positions, including lighting technician and operator, product manager and sales engineer. Avolites’ presence in South America is already very notable, with a substantial userbase of Avolites products.
Stephen Baird-Smith will assume the role of special projects and territory manager for North America. Having worked at Avolites for the past 14 years, Stephen is an Avolites product expert that has a full understanding of customer’s needs and how Avolites products can address these needs.
The new structure will also see the promotion of Ronald Carrington as territory manager for the UK and Ireland. During his more than five years at the company, Ron has seen the introduction of new Avolites products including the Diamond 9.
“In line with our global expansion ambition, the Americas region is very important to Avolites,” says Paul Wong, managing director at Avolites. “Francisco’s appointment will play a significant role in advancing our presence across the LATAM region. Together with Stephen’s and
UK - 5 Star Cases has announced the appointment of Allen Smith as quality assurance manager, to set product and process quality standards across its range of products and provide quality related guidance to 5 Star’s staff and management.
5 Star Cases services multiple industries from entertainment, medical, telecoms and robotics, to motorsport. Longstanding clients include Terry Tew Sound & Light, Universal Studios, Allen & Heath, Power Maxed racing, DiGiCo and Arden Motorsport. The company’s ambitious growth strategy and ever-increasing product portfolio, including a new range of wooden packing crates, prompted the search for a quality assurance manager.
“As part our long-term strategy, we have been investing in state-of-the-art equipment to ensure we can serve our customers with products that are manufactured to the highest quality standards,” says Ingus Lasinskis, operations director at 5 Star Cases. “The investment in technology goes hand in hand with the investment in our team, which is the backbone of 5 Star’s philosophy. With the growing demand for flight cases and our latest addition - wooden packing crates - we felt that quality assurance manager position was necessary to maintain the high product standards our customers expect from us.”
“Allan has over 30 years of experience in the manufacturing industry. He has sound commercial awareness and a proven track record in multi-site, people, performance and project management,” shares 5 Star’s accounts & HR manager Kirsty Locks.
USA - Celestion has appointed Josh Martin as business development executive. Martin will work together with Celestion’s sales and distribution partners in the US and Canada to expand their offerings to new markets, as well as servicing their current clientele, further strengthening the Celestion brand in North America.
Josh Martin joins Celestion, having had an extensive career in the audio and MI industries. He has considerable experience in the loudspeaker industry, having previously worked in a number of technology, sales management and artist relations roles at a variety of companies such as Eminence. Martin is an owner of Green Light Consulting, which does sales and marketing consulting in the audio industry as well as Commuter Studios, where he does recording and production, mastering and performing.
“We really are excited to welcome Josh to our team. He brings his extensive knowledge and experience in both the MI and PA marketplaces,” says Ralph Nichols, vice-president of business development North America at Celestion. “In his role as BDE, Josh's passion, skill and experience will be major assets to our team at Celestion.”
“Celestion has a long and rich history and a well-known reputation for being a legendary brand that sets the highest standards in audio,” adds Martin. “I am very excited to get to be part of this team and work with some of the best people to work with in our industry. I look forward to being part of the company’s rich history.”
USA - Pixotope Technologies has announced the appointment of Brian Olson as the new vice president of sales, covering North America.
Olson joins Pixotope following an extensive background in media and broadcast production and is highly skilled in strategic business development, technical execution, and troubleshooting for an international client base.
In his new role, Olson will focus on driving brand awareness and nurturing existing customer relationships on a global scale, helping to bring the next generation of visual storytelling tools to media professionals.
Olson comments, “I had the opportunity to work with Pixotope as a technology partner in the past and was blown away by what they were able to accomplish with Unreal Engine in virtual production 7-8 years ago. This solid foundation in both software and experience has led to the creation of a truly great product. I’m grateful to be a part of the team. Let the adventure begin.”
UK - Area Four Industries UK continues to expand its operations with the appointment of Matthew Millward as head of automation to manage its EXE Technology brands.
Millward comments: “To be finally working with the world’s largest manufacturer of truss, staging and automation products has a great sense of achievement and pride. It is an extremely exciting phase for EXE Technology with the introduction of the All In One / One for All smart solutions.”
Sales & marketing director Glen Brown adds: “I am delighted with Matt joining the A4i UK team at this time. He is the perfect plug & play solution for this new role and joins with a vast knowledge and practical experience of entertainment / theatrical environments. Our customers and users will feel the benefits immediately with his level of professionalism and empathy.”
USA- Chauvet Professional has appointed Brian Craft as content marketing manager. Craft recently served as director of marketing & outreach at Manatee Performing Arts Centre, director of marketing & communications at Realize Bradenton, and in public relations with IHPR in New York City. Craft serves as creative director on the Board of Florida Public Relations Association, and as a founding board member of Project Pride SRQ.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work alongside such a driven and dedicated team,” says Craft. “I have followed Chauvet for as long as I can remember, and I look forward to continuing the standard of excellence the team has achieved and amplify the impact and messaging of the house of brands.”
USA - Bandit Lites has promoted Scott Wesson to facility foreman where he will oversee integral day to day functions including de-prep of all incoming equipment as well as maintaining the organisation of hardware, cable, truss, and road cases. He will also coordinate with Bandit’s project managers to assist with preps, hardware and truss needs.
Wesson came aboard at Bandit in 2014 where he toured as a lighting tech with artists including Rascal Flatts and Jason Aldean. He also provided extensive support for multiple festivals ranging from Bonnaroo, Firefly, and Electric Forest to Lollapalooza.
“Having been a touring technician for many years, Scott has a detailed understanding of how the Bandit machine works as well as ideas on how to be even more efficient,” reflects Bandit Lites’ director of technical services, Jake Tickle.
France - Nexo has appointed Delphine Hannotin as manager of its engineering support team. Based at the company’s Plailly campus northeast of Paris, the Nexo engineering support team supports production services providers, integrators and consultants with system designs and commissioning for live events and fixed installations. Hannotin will focus on delivering similar technical support for the group's AFC immersive sound solutions, from project design through to system calibration.
Drawing on 20 years of experience as a trainer at France’s Institut national de l'audiovisuel (INA), Hannotin will also bring her commitment and know-how to the partnerships implemented by Nexo and its parent company, Yamaha Corporation, with leading universities and to the group’s Audioversity training programme.
Nexo director of engineering support François Deffarges comments: “In 2022, we are strengthening our team again. Our occasional collaborations with Delphine on festivals and other projects over the years have recently become much more frequent with many projects undertaken jointly with Yamaha, so her appointment at Nexo is a natural evolution. Delphine's skills, energy and personality will be important assets for our user clients, and her arrival in our division will further strengthen the ties with Yamaha Corporation.”
USA - Eastern Acoustic Works (EAW) has announced the addition of Richard Muggle to the position of service and support manager. In his new role, Muggle will oversee and manage the department to ensure customer satisfaction.
“As EAW continues to enhance its customers’ experiences, we are pleased to welcome Richard into the EAW family,” says T.J. Smith, president of EAW. “We look to Richard’s knowledge and his vast industry experience to help expand EAW’s world class service and support centre, located in our Whitinsville headquarters.”
With over 20 years of experience in the audio industry, Muggle comes to EAW from Numark Industries where he served as project manager of Alesis Drums. During that time Muggle oversaw all aspects of construction from concept to mass production. He also worked with various teams to maintain schedules and meet deadlines.
“I am excited for this incredible opportunity not only because of EAW’s stellar reputation and innovative product inventory, but also because of its team atmosphere,” comments Muggle.
USA - Powersoft has welcomed three new employees to its US office in Flanders, New Jersey.
Peter Robinson – whose industry experience includes more than 25 years as a system integrator and speaker designer – joins Powersoft as consultant liaison with immediate effect. Providing oversight and management for large scale projects, Robinson will also assist consultants, architects, engineers and end-users, coordinating the efforts of Powersoft’s solutions engineering team.
Evelyn Caruso joins as inside sales coordinator in the United States, bringing over 20 years of experience in industrial sales support, distribution and manufacturing to the newly created position. Caruso will be responsible for the coordination and execution of sales and customer support, as well as assisting the US sales team with forecasting reports.
Powersoft’s third US appointment is recently graduated, Zach Wenzler who has been appointed to the role of solutions engineer. With a particular flare for circuits design and structural analysis, Wenzler hopes to bring new ideas and innovations to further improve Powersoft’s approach to technical support.
Powersoft’s growing presence in the US recently led to an office relocation to more sizable space in Flanders, New Jersey. The office expansion not only benefits the current customer base, but facilitates overall growth of the team and of the company. Caruso, Wenzler and Robinson will be based in the new office, reporting to Tom Knesel, Powersoft’s US general manager.
“We are delighted to welcome the th
Germany - LED specialists, Absen has appointed Jaswinder Guleria as industry development director for the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region. Bringing two decades of experience within the AV industry, Guleria will expand and strengthen the company’s business alliances throughout the MEA region, to bolster Absen’s global network.
Reporting to Ruben Rengel, senior vice president, global business development at Absen, Guleria’s primary objectives will be identifying and introducing Absen to potential clients, consultants, and distributors in the region, to forge new business associates and partners in Absen’s global network.
Guleria - whose industry experience includes more than 19+ years in the visual display market - joins the global LED display manufacturer, having previously worked alongside brands such as Philips, Samsung, LG, and Epson.
Ruben Rengel notes: “We are thrilled to welcome Jaswinder to the team, his wealth of industry knowledge will be an invaluable asset in growing our network further as well as strengthening the relationships Absen already has in this region.”
USA - Christie Lites has welcomed Chris Patton as its VP rentals. Patton’s new role comes as part of a wider expansion of the Christie Lites management team, bringing increased focus to both client and rep support. To that end Patton will join Ken Alexander, senior VP rentals, to lead, develop and support the Christie Lites rental rep team.
Huntly Christie, CEO of Christie Lites, says: “As the company expands into new countries and market segments, the additional management capacity that Chris brings will ensure continued focus and consistency in our customer experience. Chris will concentrate on expanding our relationship capabilities and developing sustainable business opportunities across the Christie Lites global network.”
A UK native, Patton has 20 years of professional experience, embracing roles including business and team development manager for a large rental operation in the UK and as senior product manager for several key professional lighting manufacturers in the USA.
Patton states: “I am inspired to be joining Christie Lites. This is a company that has a proven track record in providing outstanding lighting solutions to a vast array of entertainment and corporate projects. My appointment comes at a significant time in the industry, with the reopening and reimagining of many sectors of live entertainment and I am delighted to be part of that.”
UK - Television lighting specialist Version 2 has appointed Kelly Cornfield to the position of sales director at their Reading operation.
Graduating with a degree in Live Event Technology, Cornfield began her career at the Vari-Lite warehouse in 2002 (later VLPS). After a year out travelling in New Zealand, she returned to the warehouse, since acquired by PRG, and moved to an office role, working under project manager Mick Healey on major events including the Robbie Williams’ 2006 World Tour to the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow.
Cornfield went on to focus on the TV market covering numerous shows including the Brit & MTV Music Awards, X Factor, Britain’s got Talent and more recently The Masked Singer.
Over the last 20 years she worked her way up the ranks to become head of TV and film at PRG.
Version 2, MD Nick Edwards comments: “We are delighted that Kelly has chosen to join the board of directors. For me, without doubt Kelly is the leading account manager in the light entertainment television sector.”