UK - AV and technical production company Blitz has announced the promotion of Jason Sorabji to the newly created role of group production director.
Jason’s new remit includes directing the company’s overall production and project management strategy, engaging directly with key clients and prospects to drive innovation. The position sees Jason join the Blitz senior management team and report directly into managing director, Mike Phillipson.
Jason has been with Blitz for over three years and was previously group account director at ExCeL London, where Blitz is the official in-house supplier delivering AV solutions and production for the venue.
New hire Paul Stuart will be joining Blitz to take over Jason’s position at ExCeL London. Paul brings extensive experience in the industry, joining from White Light where he oversaw the AV technical delivery for customers such as The Science Museum & Wembley Stadium.
Jason said: “It’s such an important time for Blitz; the business is growing and we are developing our production strategy to meet the increasingly exciting expectations of our clients.”
UK - London and Dubai based event design and technical production company Maestra Group has added several new staff to the London team.
The company has also doubled the size of its premises in east London by acquiring the warehouse space next door, creating a brand-new environment from which to service and administer a diversity of shows and events.
The new staff joining the team include two project managers, two production designers and another technical manager.
Maestra London’s managing director Justin Hammond comments: “I’m always very energised to see new talent coming onboard and am really looking forward to working with all our new colleagues, offering them opportunities to flourish as individuals and to excel at their work in a friendly and inclusive atmosphere”.
Michaela Welford (senior project manager) worked in Dubai’s vibrant and a high-pressure events bubble for five years.
Matt Appleby (senior project manager) used to work as a sound engineer. He’s worked in most sectors of the events industry in recent years.
Technical manager Alex Hardie brings the lighting element of technical design to the fore with a career that started as a theatre ASM working his way up through being a technician, an operator and then an LD.
Production designer Adrian Powell’s previous employment was in exhibition design, and he engages in a lot of videography and photography skills which are definitely transferable to his work at Maestra London
Assistant production designer Kat Fung is an interior architecture grad
USA - Prolyte Group continues expansion in the North American market with the announcement of Keith Bohn as general sales manager North America.
Keith Bohn is a seasoned veteran in the entertainment industry with over 25 years in design, manufacturing, and use of structural rigging solutions ranging from simple span truss applications to complex permanently installed structures worldwide.
Keith has served as a principal voting member in the Rigging Working Group of the ESTA Technical Standards Programme since 1998 and has chaired the task groups creating and revising ANSI E1.2 (aluminium truss and towers) and ANSI E1.21 (temporary outdoor structures). Keith is also a founding contributor of the Event Safety Alliance and a co-chair of the rigging task group within the Event Safety Working Group. Keith’s experience includes instructing courses on the safe use of truss and outdoor structures worldwide and has authored multiple articles on safe rigging practices. He is also an ETCP Certified Rigger and ETCP Recognized Trainer.
“I am very excited about joining the Prolyte team,” states Keith, “The attention given to user training and safety is impressive, not to mention the breadth of the product line covering very light applications to clear truss spans over 180' in length. I am eager to introduce more of the US market to Prolyte's solutions, especially the innovative tool-free Verto line of truss.”
UK - Film, TV and theatre lighting supplier Flashlight has appointed Elaine Frost as its business development manager. Frost, who recently left Le Maitre after 16 years at the pyrotechnics company, will provide field-based sales and support for Flashlight’s expanding range of lighting brands.
On her new role, Frost says: "I'm looking forward to the exciting challenges and having a new range of products to get my teeth into."
Flashlight director, David Manister, adds: "We're delighted to welcome Elaine to the company. Her enthusiasm and hunger to succeed allows us to continue to be in front of end users and support new business with a strong presence."
UK - LSi is sad to report the passing of lighting designer, Bryan Leitch at the age of 69. During his celebrated career, Leitch lit many of the world’s biggest artists, festivals and events, including tours by Britney Spears, Coldplay, Kanye West, Kylie Minogue, Justin Timberlake and many more.
Having been diagnosed with a form of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2009 and undergoing a successful bone marrow transplant the following year, Leitch embarked on the Cancer Bonus Tour in his trusty 1963 Vauxhall Victor, visiting 332 venues throughout the UK that he’d previously visited during his 30+ year career. The tour benefitted two charities close to Leitch’s heart - Bloodwise and Sussex Cancer Fund - and promoted a positive message about public health care in the UK.
In 2012, Leitch was awarded the Knight of Illumination Award’s Enrico Caironi Award for Lifetime Achievement. The award was presented by fellow lighting designer (and Leitch protégé) Cate Carter, who said at the time: "Bryan has been an inspiration to so many lighting designers. He is an incredible talent and his ability to come up with some of the most stunning concepts has never ceased to amaze me. Furthermore, he has taken the time to give so many people the opportunity of a career in lighting; taking them under his wing and giving them the support and advice to go out there and do it for themselves."
A statement from design collective MIRRAD reads: "It is with unbelievable sadness that t
UK - Stage Electrics has appointed a new technical sales consultant for the north west.
Jayney Bell is returning to Stage Electrics after some years as a freelance lighting technician, predominantly for touring theatre. Bell was previously the London branch manager.
Anna Western, Stage Electrics sales director, comments: “Jayney is a hugely experienced production electrician and combined with her historical knowledge of how we work, she has already hit the ground running. I am excited to have someone as knowledgeable and who knows the industry as well as she does to represent us in the north west.”
UK - Hawthorn has announced the appointment of Alex Bingham who has joined the business as technical production director.
Before joining Hawthorn, Bingham held the position of production director at Vibration Group where he was most recently responsible for assisting with the growth and delivery of production at Printworks London.
With over 20 years’ experience in the industry, this isn’t the first time that Bingham has been a member of the Hawthorn team, having been employed as their head of London projects from 2005 to 2011.
Simon Wood, group director of projects at Hawthorn, says: “We’re delighted to welcome Alex back to the team. He brings a wealth of knowledge to the new position and I believe that he will be a great asset to Hawthorn. With his in-depth experience of the industry, Alex knows how to create truly memorable experiences for his clients and shares Hawthorn’s commitment to working collaboratively every step of the way to deliver amazing results.”
Bingham adds: “I’m thrilled to be re-joining the Hawthorn team at such an exciting time for the company, which has seen exceptional growth over recent years. Hawthorn is renowned for delivering award-winning technical production for a wide range of events and venues across the UK and Europe. I’m very much looking forward to working with the hugely talented team here to deliver incredible events.”
UK - Stage Electrics has appointed a new technical sales consultant for rigging, trussing and staging solutions. Nick Key joins the sales team with over 30 years’ experience working hands-on as a rigger, and being NRC-qualified for nine of those years.
Keys new role will focus on promoting the Prolyte brand and rigging accessories. “Having someone to concentrate purely on rigging sales is a new role,” comments national sales manager, Paul Roughton. “Nick’s experience in the field will allow us to offer rigging solutions to customers and benefit them enormously as they will be able to tap into his knowledge.”
Canada - PK Sound has named industry veteran Paul Freudenberg as its new vice president of global business development. He will be responsible for managing global sales and marketing as a key part of PK's executive management team, providing insight and experience to guide future growth, products and expansion.
PK Sound CEO Jeremy Bridge cites Freudenberg's experience in helping to grow the brand footprint of other speaker manufacturers globally, as well as his in-depth familiarity with the latest technologies, as key reasons for bringing Freudenberg on board.
"Paul was instrumental in growing L-Acoustics in the Americas and continued that success at Rat Sound," Bridge said. "Having helped grow one of our industry's premier loudspeaker companies, it’s a natural fit. The fact that PK has a truly differentiating new technology has a number of parallels with Paul's previous success stories. Paul is also extremely well-respected in the field and he exemplifies the type of professional and personal culture we have at PK."
"Music, sound and technology have always been at the core of my professional and personal pursuits," Freudenberg said. "So, for me, a passion for music, a pursuit for sonic accuracy, and the application of engineering and technology-based solutions in a creative and collaborative environment is what my 'must have' list looks like. PK Sound ticked all of those boxes.”
USA - Danley Sound Labs is creating new positions and expanding existing roles. Having served as master distributor for Danley in Southeast Asia for the past four years, Nicholas Loe has been hired to Danley’s newly-created position of country manager – PacRim/Asia.
“This new position will allow us to better serve and grow our business partnerships in the Pacific Rim/Asia Region,” explained JP Parker, director of sales with Danley. “Nick comes to us with a lot of management experience in Pro A/V contracting and distribution, and he is an incredibly energetic and positive person who has a deep understanding of what it takes to sell and support the Danley product line.”
As Danley continues its growth into new market segments, Skip Welch, Danley’s eastern regional sales manager has, has been promoted to the newly created position of national accounts manager. Welch will handle both positions and will work to expand relationships with national entities in diverse markets. “For example, we are very excited to be launching a dedicated Danley Cinema Systems product line after years of being involved with numerous one-off projects within that industry,” said Welch.
Welch, who joined Danley in 2013, will also continue to work with Danley’s network of reps. "We have very committed networks of independent manufacturer representatives and dealers, and I will continue to support them,” he said. “These rearrangements are just a natural extension of Danley’s continued growth as a brand.”
In addition, Danley has announced the app
UK - Provider of professional audio-visual equipment, Audiologic has announced the appointment of Andy Lewis to the position of managing director. Lewis joined the company as part of its sales team in 2013 and has since progressed through its ranks, first as sales and marketing manager, then as director and now MD.
Co-founder Simon Stoll, who steps down from the role to make way for Lewis, says, “Audiologic has enjoyed significant growth since Andy joined the company and in my view his rightful progression to MD reflects both his tireless work ethic and his commitment to personal development.
“As one of the founders of the business, I will be concentrating on helping to develop our supply chain - seeking complementary brands and products and assisting Andy with overall strategy and process development.
New MD Andy Lewis, adds: “I’m naturally very excited to be taking on the role of MD at this very special company. The work we’ve done growing the business has its roots firmly in the dedication and attitude of the staff in every area of Audiologic. I’m stepping into my new role alongside a highly talented team supporting a growing portfolio of excellent brands and looking forward to driving Audiologic toward further significant expansion.”
UK - Nexo has announced that Andy Simmons is joining its UK sales team, bringing with him a wealth of market knowledge acquired over 25 years in the industry
Simmons comes to Nexo after nearly five years with London-based Orbital Sound, where he was director of sales. Orbital has built a strong dealership with Nexo sound reinforcement products, achieving the highest turnover in the UK, and will continue working with Simmons to represent the brand.
A well-known figure in the UK entertainment technology business, Simmons has worked for Crest Audio, XTA and KV2. Starting out in an audio rental company, he has since held key roles in distribution, national and international sales. He will be working closely with Nexo UK sales manager Gareth Collyer, effectively but not exclusively covering London and the eastern half of the UK, while Gareth goes west and focusses on Nexo’s successful support of the fixed installation sector.
“Nexo is a powerful brand,” comments Simmons, “and I’m looking forward to getting out there, spreading the word and raising the profile of this truly distinctive manufacturer, which has created so many benchmark products over the last 30 years. Gareth has done a great job in the UK, my mission now is to broaden Nexo’s appeal across the wider British market.”
UK - EM Acoustics has announced the appointment of British sound designer Greg Clarke to its team. He will be responsible for system design and client liaison on behalf of EM Acoustics, a position he will fulfil alongside his career as sound designer. Clarke regularly designs Broadway and West End shows in addition to his work with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre and many others.
“I’ve been an advocate of EM Acoustics for years; I believe fundamentally in their products, their attitude and their philosophy,” comments Clarke. “As we continue to expand, I’m thrilled to be able to put my relationship with the company on a formal basis and share my experience of this exceptional equipment. I’m also really looking forwards to getting to know EM’s broad and diverse customer base.”
EM Acoustics operations director Mike Wheeler adds: “Having Greg on board is a huge asset for us. As both a highly respected sound designer and a key user of our systems in the theatre market, it’s an incalculable benefit for us to be able to make his expertise available to our customers. In addition to offering help and advice on system design, Greg will also be taking on the role of client liaison and after-sales service.”
UK - Leading international theatre consultancy Theatreplan has strengthened its team with three appointments. Architect and theatre planner, Anniek Wasser, broadcast and AV consultant, Joel Hauxwell, and architect and BIM expert Carlos González Martín, all joined the team within the last few months.
Anniek Wasser is an experienced architect and theatre planner and arrives at Theatreplan after ten years at AEDAS Arts Team (formerly RHWL Arts Team). She has a broad range of experience working on performance spaces including, the Victoria Palace Theatre; Watford Colosseum; Queens Theatre, London and the Music Hall at Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Joel Hauxwell has a comprehensive background in broadcasting studios and systems installations. Whilst working as installation design manager for audio visual contractor, Hawthorn, Hauxwell worked alongside Theatreplan on the delivery of the theatre at London’s Channing School, and the refurbishment of the Grand Hall at Battersea Arts Centre.
Carlos Gonzalez Martin is a qualified architect, with a wide range of experience in Spain. González Martín completed his MSc in BIM Management, at the University Pablo de Olavide in Seville at the end of 2018, joining Theatreplan, immediately afterwards.
Director Roger Fox says: “These recent appointments add significantly to Theatreplan’s knowledge base allowing us offer an even more comprehensive service to our worldwide clients.”
UK - Paul Roughton has been appointed as national sales manager for Stage Electrics. Previously regional sales manager for London and the South East, Roughton has been with Stage Electrics for 13 years.
Working for Stage Electrics’ sales director Anna Western, he is responsible for communicating new product developments with prospective clients, whilst offering one to one sales advice and product demos to both existing and potential customers and line managing technical sales consultants.
“Due to increasing demand nationally, we are expanding the sales team, and as a result we needed a manager who could oversee the process,” comments Anna “Paul, with his extensive experience and thorough understanding of our operation, was the perfect candidate for the role.”
She adds: “this is an exciting time for Stage Electrics, we are seeing opportunities to expand our offering and enter new markets. Paul will be pivotal in helping me make this happen.”
UK - At last week’s AGM of the Institute of Sound and Communications Engineers (ISCE) Helen Goddard, managing director for AMS Acoustics, was appointed as the new president, for a term of three years, taking over from Phil Price, while Gareth Collyer was appointed vice president.
In her inaugural speech at the AGM, Helen Goddard thanked the outgoing president for his hard work and commitment to the Institute during his term. Phil Price remains as a director of the institute and chairman of the ISCEx committee.
Goddard comments: “I aim to continue the great success Phil has achieved in his term as president for the ISCE, whose membership has evolved enormously to appeal to a younger, wider and more diverse demographic, whilst continuing to support existing members.
“The institute has modernised its infrastructure and now offers more benefits to individual members including training, health and safety assessment testing and ECS Card application processing, allowing members to apply for an ECS Sound Engineer Card.”
Goddard adds: “The Institute is for its members and so we are keen to know about any issues that council may help with. This will help us devise strategies to fully engage our newest members, such that the institute can dynamically thrive for future generations.”
Spain - Christian Orcin has joined d&b as managing director of d&b audiotechnik Spain.
Headquartered in Barcelona, d&b Spain is one of nine d&b subsidiaries around the globe. Orcin’s responsibilities include sales and marketing and overseeing service and support for regional customers and sales partners.
Orcin comments: “My role will be to maintain the leadership d&b has established in the Spanish mobile/rental market. The brand’s potential for growth in the fixed installation market is huge so developing our install partner network will also be a major focus. I’m inspired by the opportunity to implement this ambitious growth strategy and I’m eager to work with the team in Spain and around the world.
“With key audio technology innovations like the d&b Soundscape, and products like the SL-Series family of line arrays, the engineers in Germany are setting the global brand apart in the market,” adds Orcin. “As custodians of the d&b brand in Spain we are responsible for delivering sales, service and support to match that international promise.”
An electroacoustic engineer, Orcin has spent the last 20 years in the pro audio and AV industries, acquiring a strong track record in customer support and an extensive knowledge of the Spanish AV market. Orcin joins d&b from his most recent roles as vice president of sales and product marketing EMEA for Leyard Optoelectronic, having held former positions in visual media at EARPRO and Panasonic.
Phill Coe, d&b EMEA territory manager says: “Spai
USA - Meyer Sound has announced four new hires and a key promotion.
Rob Cowles has been appointed to the newly created position of director, product marketing. Reporting directly to senior vice president of marketing John McMahon, Cowles will take on leadership and responsibilities in the areas of competitive marketing, vertical market strategies, digital initiatives, and customer relations management. Cowles previously held marketing positions at THX Ltd., LucasArts, CNET and AOL Time Warner.
Daniel Rivera, with Meyer Sound since 2016, has been promoted to business development specialist. Based in Southern California, he will assume a broad strategic role in connecting Meyer Sound to new and existing customers by working closely with architects, consultants and end users across multiple vertical markets.
Taking Rivera’s prior position as business development House of Worship (HOW) specialist is Chris Gille who has held technical management positions at Willow Creek Community Church in Illinois and at Eastside Christian Church in Anaheim, among others.
Kayla Knoll returns to Meyer Sound as sales support engineer, Midwest. Knoll served at Meyer Sound from 2006 – 2012 in the Design Services and Marketing departments before accepting a position in A/V Project Management in the Midwest. In her new role, Knoll will work with Meyer Sound’s regional sales managers to reinforce a broad range of sales support activities while maintaining relationships with dealers, integrators and end users. She is based in St. Louis, MO.
Filling a similar
UK - Allen & Heath has announced the appointment of Jamie Ward as sales director APAC.
Reporting to the company’s recently appointed sales director, Markus Sinsel, Ward will be travelling extensively to support and develop Allen & Heath’s APAC distribution partners, working closely with them to grow sales opportunities across multiple vertical markets, from touring sound to installed audio solutions.
Having held international sales positions with The Stanton Group, Harman and most recently, Community Professional, Ward also has extensive history with Allen & Heath, having previously been with the company from 2000-2007.
“I cut my teeth at Allen & Heath, so in many ways this feels like returning home,” says Ward. “Over recent years, I’ve watched the brand growing and growing and feel incredibly excited to be able to bring my experience back to the fold to help it reach new heights in the dynamic, fast-evolving APAC market.”
Markus Sinsel, sales director at Allen & Heath, comments, “As our APAC business continues to grow, finding the right person for this role was critical. With his extensive international experience and solid history with Allen & Heath, Jamie proved to be the perfect fit.”
Europe - The ADJ Group of Companies has announced the recruitment of Laurent Paulussen as the new director of finance for the company’s European division. With a strong background in both finance and strategic leadership, Paulussen will become an integral part of ADJ Europe’s management team and help the business to continue its growth in this important region.
An experienced finance professional and qualified CPA, Paulussen spent the early part of his career working for PwC and KPMG in the Netherlands. Progressing to the position of senior audit manager. Since 2002 he has been an independent financial consultant, based in the Netherlands.
“The new director of finance role at ADJ Europe is significant as we continue to develop our brands and extend our market share in this key territory,” commented Toby Velazquez, president of the ADJ Group of Companies. “Having met Laurent, I am confident that he is the right person for the job and will very quickly become an important part of the ADJ team.”
Paulussen begins his new role this week. He will operate out of ADJ’s European headquarters in Kerkrade, the Netherlands, and will assume overall financial control over the company’s European division as well as working alongside the existing management team on future strategic development.
Europe - ROE Visual Europe has appointed Erik Baum to lead business development in the DACH region.
“Having worked in the AV market for several notable partners in various sales roles, Baum is the perfect candidate to further grow our brand in the German speaking region” comments Roelof Bouwman, “We’re delighted to have him joining our team.”
Operating from the Munich area, Baum is close to the market and able to react swift whenever product or sales support is needed.
“Combining his likeable personality with great commercial skills, Baum offers the perfect support for our German speaking clientele, catering for their commercial needs as well as growing our business in the region,” continues Bouwman.
“Working with ROE Visual products for a long time, I have experienced what a great product it is. I’m very pleased to join the professional team at ROE Visual Europe and I’m happy to lend my market knowledge and expertise. ROE Visual is a well-recognized brand and has an excellent potential to sustain and grow the DACH market region with superior products,” comments Baum.
UK - Well-known industry figure, Matt Lloyd, is to leave his role at Bristol-based technology company GDS after 14 years’ service. Following a restructuring of the company, the co-founder and former managing director had been working in a consultancy role but a change in direction, following the sale of key brands including ArcSystem to ETC, led GDS to terminate the arrangement.
Having gained a wealth of experience and know-how during his time at GDS and Stage Electrics, Matt, vice-chairman of PLASA, will continue to advance the gb4u consultancy he launched in September 2018. gb4u works with a range of businesses, from start-ups to established operations, to advise on and assist with the promotion of strategies for growth and development. Matt is also discussing a number of other opportunities with businesses keen to take advantage of his wide-ranging skills and industry experience.
Lloyd comments, “I’ve had 14 amazing years at GDS, a company which began for me as an idea in the middle of The Panama Canal, during a round the world yacht race! My experiences have been entirely positive and being immersed in helping to create, develop and deliver cutting-edge products as part of such a fantastic team has been a joy.
“I will take forward so many invaluable lessons into the next chapter of my career. The freedom to operate across different sectors of industry is something I’m relishing and I’m very much up for the challenge. I’m confident that gb4u will continue to grow as a productive source of support for a wide range of businesses, fos
Europe - Audio-Technica Europe has appointed Sarah Yule to the position of sales director EMEA. Yule joins the company from VC-backed music creation start-up ROLI, where she was director of sales.
Starting out as an audio engineer in her teens, Yule obtained a degree in Sound Technology from LIPA before moving into the commercial side of the industry. She has spent the last 15 years in both international and senior sales roles at the likes of TL Audio and InMusic and at ROLI was involved in bringing the brand’s products to market around the world.
Yule comments: “I am delighted to be joining such a respected company dedicated to creating products that are both premium quality and best-in-class. Audio-Technica is a brand with a respect for the art of sound, great history and strong heritage.”
Robert Morgan-Males, CEO of Audio-Technica Europe adds: “Sarah is joining Audio-Technica at a fascinating time, as we’re continuing to see the lines between professional and consumer products blurred; we believe that Sarah’s experience and achievements can help drive growth across the business.”
UK - Callum Wachowski has joined Fiend Productions to provide a primary point of contact for rental enquires. Callum, who is also principal at Rugby-based dry hire and event production company Genius Bros, will bring his knowledge of lighting, rigging and video equipment and projects to the Fiend Productions team.
Jess Mathews, Fiend’s MD comments: “Callum has joined us at a time of investment and growth for the business. We are building on our stock of MA and Avolites control equipment, wide range of intelligent lighting fixtures and LED screen this year and Callum’s arrival will help us provide a knowledgeable and consistent contact for our customers.”