People News


Valère Huart-Gyors, 1979-2017

Thursday, 23 February 2017

France – Leading entertainment lighting manufacturer Ayrton has announced the tragic death of its export manager, Valère Huart-Gyors. The company’s statement said:
“It is with a heavy heart that we report the heart of Valère stopped beating last Sunday. He was 37 years old.
“Valère Huart-Gyors, our collaborator and dear colleague, was responsible for exporting Ayrton throughout the world. Since 2011, from Las Vegas to Sydney, he has spread our values with a rare commitment because Valère was an authentic fan of Ayrton.
“Methodical, organised and precise, he advanced quickly and well, exercising a detailed knowledge of his market. Societies and their politics, people and their past, excited him in addition to his many interests such as history, politics, music . . . Valère was both brilliant and cultivated. His humour, sharp and often caustic, made us laugh. He was also a rascal, and Norman . . .
“It was with the enthusiasm of a young graduate of higher education that he arrived in Paris at the age of 22, first as a salesman at AVLS, then as purchasing manager for La BS, before joining Ayrton to develop international sales. “It’s Ayrton’s second life,” he said humorously when he arrived in 2011, and success, which first struck in the US, spread throughout the globe.
“Now, sadly, Valère will no longer get angry at h


Tommy Stephenson, 1963-2017

Thursday, 23 February 2017

USA - TMB has issued the following tribute to its first employee Tommy Stephenson who sadly passed away this week . . .
“TMB fondly remembers our first employee, Tommy Stephenson, the loudest man in show business.
“After a record breaking stint as PA for Greg Lake (of ELP fame) Tommy joined TMB around 1984 (who kept track in those days?). He transformed the fledgling organization from Two Men in a Bedroom to Three Men and a Dog. Tommy’s primary role then was, and always remained, Confusion Analyst, but his early duties also included cable coiler, driver, shipping/receiving expert, and ace booth builder (specializing in the afternoon shift). Later, in the spare time between his ongoing confusion analysis, he grew to become TMB’s Sales Manager. His heavy focus on confusion was the origin of TMB’s famous Rule Three: “Do Not Believe A Word Tommy Tells You.” In 2013 Tommy sadly retired from TMB for health reasons.
Tommy was infamous for not listening – ever! Known far and wide as “Large and Loud,” his blustery voice carried like a foghorn, irrespective of the environment or situation, or the choice language he was also known for. A demure patron in a London Indian restaurant put it succinctly: “I want to thank you for sharing your entire evening with the entire restaurant. You sir, are an a***hole.” Once, during one of many long fligh


Susan McGuirl joins BTS Foundation Board

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

USA - Susan McGuirl, the Head of North America Entertainment, Entertainment Division, Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, has accepted an invitation to join the Behind the Scenes Foundation Board of Directors.
Susan has been in the insurance industry for over 25 years holding various leadership positions in both claims and underwriting. Allianz Entertainment is the largest entertainment insurance writer in the U.S. focusing on providing specialized insurance solutions for the entertainment industry
Upon accepting the appointment, Susan commented, "I am honoured to serve on the Behind the Scenes Board of Directors. BTS’ dedication to the entertainment industry is important and necessary in serving those who need our help and support."
Rick Rudolph, the chair of the Behind the Scenes Foundation, welcomed Susan to the Board saying, “We are extremely honoured to have Susan join us in our work. Her desire to support entertainment technology professionals in need is a natural extension of her longstanding commitment to making our industry a safer place. We look forward to breadth of experience and new ideas she will bring to the Board.”
The Behind the Scenes charity provides entertainment technology professionals who are seriously ill or injured with grants that may be used for basic living and medical expenses. For more information about Be


Lorraine Nugent joins GDS architectural lighting team

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

UK - GDS has announced the appointment of Lorraine Nugent as business development manager for its architectural lighting team. Lorraine is a highly qualified and widely respected architectural interior designer, who has worked with a host of high profile companies including Concord Lighting and Jaguar Cars. Her role will comprise a whole-project approach which will see her involved on both the sales and design side of the team.
Matt Lloyd, managing director, GDS, comments, "As we expand the scope of applications for GDS products, it's essential that we bring on board team members with both technical expertise and specific market experience. Lorraine is exactly the person to take GDS's products further and deeper into the architectural lighting sector.”
Lorraine Nugent looks forward to her role, "GDS's status in the theatre-lighting world is of the highest order and the products are superb - a fact reinforced by their many awards. The potential for their placement within the architectural lighting field is huge and I believe that my know-how and understanding of this sector can really take GDS forward. I'm full of enthusiasm for the task and really pleased to be joining what is clearly an excellent team."
(Jim Evans)


New general manager at Nashville’s Gear Park

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

USA - Gear Park, Nashville’s full-service facility that specializes in storage of musical and stage equipment for artists, has announced Steve Powell as the new general manager.
Steve joins the team following 18 years of working at Bandit Lites. “I have always enjoyed new challenges and have been given many rewarding opportunities at Bandit Lites,” he says. “I am excited to be part of Gear Park and am looking forward to growing this business.”
Gear Park's goal is to provide clients with a safe, protected, and comfortable space, to not just store equipment, but to work on the gear all while in a user friendly environment.
“Our location is quiet and secure, away from the traffic of metro Nashville but with easy access to I-24,” says Powell. “There is a large amount of space to pull gear out of a locker and work on it. We have secure lockers, climate controlled suites, and open floor space for large sets and other gear.”
(Jim Evans)


Dylan Jones joins DWR Distribution

Monday, 13 February 2017

South Africa - Dylan Jones has joined DWR Distribution as both draftsman and IT support, and in time will also assist in media server development.
“I love drawing,” said Dylan, “It’s taking nothing and making it into something. Drawings help you set up everything before you do a project or event, and saves so much time.
“Over the last year, Dylan had attended Vectorworks training sessions at DWR and on all occasions, was one of the top students. When our previous draftsman at DWR, Callie du Preez, let us know that he wanted to further his studies in a different direction, Dylan immediately came to mind. He fits in like one of the family. We will all miss Callie but know that he is a talented individual who will hopefully always be in our lives and we wish him well.”
(Jim Evans)


Lee Baird joins DWR Distribution team

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

South Africa - DWR Distribution has appointed Lee Baird as marketing coordinator. No stranger to the industry, Lee worked alongside her partner, Rob Young, at Theatre and Studio for six years, during which time she visited various theatres in the country and maintained the day-to-day running of the office. “Working with Rob was the best part of the job,” smiles Lee. “And it’s great to work alongside him once again at DWR.”
Lee will be positioned in the marketing department and she will also be instrumental in helping to arrange projects like DWR’s Mediatech exhibit (Johannesburg, 19-21 July 2017), fundraisers for the SOS Charity fund and ensuring the industry has t-shirts to wear!
“It’s really an honour to welcome Lee to our team,” said Duncan Riley of DWR. “She is an organised and diligent person whom we have known for a few years now, and I know she will be a tremendous help in the marketing department. We hope that Lee will be very happy here.”
(Jim Evans)


Mojo Barriers’ appoints US manager

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

USA - Mojo Barriers US has appointed Jordi van Berkum as the company’s new US manager, 6th Feb 2017.
Since the acquisition of Mojo Barriers by EVAGO Group on 18 January 2017, CEO Alex Borger has been taking on board the ambitions of the new owners and visiting the global network of offices with them. A trip to the USA in January with EVAGO CFO Lorenz Schmid resulted in the appointment of Jordi van Berkum.
Alex comments, “Jordi’s experience working for Mojo Barriers gives us confidence that his understanding of our high quality delivery and service values will be at the core of his management strategy. He’s a fantastic addition to our management team who will help to shape the US company to make the best of new opportunities that arise as part of EVAGO Group in a dynamic market sector.”
Mojo is currently supplying crowd barriers/barricades to 2017 US tours by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and 21 Pilots.
In addition to working with Mojo Barriers, Jordi has also worked in the production teams at events including Corona Sunsets, Mysteryland USA, TomorrowWorld, Life in Color Miami and the United States Grand Prix Formula 1 concerts at Circuit of the Americas featuring Taylor Swift & The Roots ft Usher.
(Jim Evans)


Ben Noble and Jonny Jull join PTB

Monday, 6 February 2017

UK - Following a significant period of growth, Push the Button (PTB) has added two new faces to its team ahead of what promises to be a busy 2017.
Jonny Jull joins from trade distributors Batmink and previously worked at Solutions AV, he understands the demands and pace of the industry and will be a welcome addition to the team. Jonny says, “I hope to use the experience from both companies in my new role at PTB. I am looking forward to it and the challenges ahead.”
Ben Noble is a well-recognised figure within the entertainment industry. He started work in the West End before working at Stage Electrics for the best part of a decade and joins PTB from GDS, where he was sales manager for UK & Europe. Ben says, “I look forward to bringing my experience, commitment and energy to this role. PTB are renowned for a customer orientated approach to the delivery of exceptional quality projects. I am delighted to be joining a team as dedicated to providing excellent service as I am.”
Both Ben and Jonny join PTB at an exciting time for the business. PTB’s managing director, Nick Ewins, comments, “PTB was founded under the philosophy of bringing a friendly, expert approach to the demands of entertainment installation projects. We bring an intelligent, client focussed approach to our projects and this has provided the company with interesting continuo


Hawthorn strengthens sales team

Friday, 3 February 2017

UK - Following a period of substantial growth, creative technical event production expert Hawthorn has strengthened its sales team with a series of new appointments.
Claire Ledward and Eliot Sargeant have joined the company as business development managers with Ieva Gudaite being welcomed as sales executive. Based in London and the Midlands, the trio bring more than 18 years of sales experience to the business.
Claire brings 12 years of sales experience to the team, spanning a variety of sectors including media, IT, telecoms and the events industry. Prior to joining Hawthorn, Claire worked at a global conference and exhibition company for six years, based out of the Dubai office where she was responsible for launching b2b events in challenging markets around the Middle East and North Africa.
Eliot joins the company from Chillisauce Events where he worked as senior events account manager, working closely with clients from initial enquiry and point of sale through to the event delivery. His love affair with events has led to a business development manager role at Hawthorn, where he’ll be focusing on supporting Hawthorn’s relationships with venues.
Having joined the company in October, Ieva has now firmly settled into her new role as sales executive. Having completed a degree in events management and public relations, Ieva went on to gain three y


Melbourne-based design agency launched

Friday, 3 February 2017

Australia - Launched this week is Additive, a new design collaboration that offers “a fresh take on creative direction and production design”.
Based in Melbourne, Additive consists of Ben “Bosco” Shaw, Paul Lim and Tom Wright who between them offer a wide range of skill sets. After years of working on productions and festivals around the world, these three experienced professionals, and close friends, have joined forces to harness their collective industry experience and technical knowledge.
"Whether it’s an innovative design, a complex activation or an expansive festival, concert, theatre production or event, we offer experience, knowledge and creativity to deliver an elegant solution tailored to any budget or timeline,” commented Tom Wright. “Additive is a design and technical production house made up of good guys who want to see your project evolve and succeed."
Bosco is a lighting and set/space designer and builder. His interest is in work that involves bodies and movement, how light feeds across, and can influence, a space. Predominantly he sees his role within the development of works to propose and facilitate alternate lighting sources and means, so that an idea can evolve spatially and have subtle resonance.
Training as a theatre stage manager in the UK gave Tom the grounding to understand how each department and individual


Lumileds appoints Chief Executive Officer

Friday, 3 February 2017

USA - Lumileds has announced the appointment of Mark Adams as chief executive officer. Adams most recently served as president of Micron Technology, Inc. a Fortune 200 global manufacturer of advanced memory solutions, from 2012 to 2016.
“I am very excited to join the team at Lumileds and have the support of Philips and Apollo to execute the company’s vision” said Mark Adams. “We will build upon Lumileds’ robust innovation pipeline, technology leadership and strong customer base to drive Lumileds’ future growth.”
Between 2008 and 2012, Adams held the position of vice president, worldwide sales at Micron. He also served in executive roles at Lexar Media, Inc., Creative Labs, Inc. and NCR Corporation.
Lumileds is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Royal Philips. Philips announced in December 2016 that it signed an agreement to sell a majority interest in Lumileds to certain funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of 2017, subject to customary closing conditions. As required under the signed agreement, Apollo has been appropriately briefed on the appointment of Mark Adams as CEO.
(Jim Evans)


Maestra London grows the team

Friday, 3 February 2017

UK - London and Dubai based creative and technical event production and management specialist Maestra has announced more new staff having completed a successful first year of business which exceeded all expectations!
The London operation starts 2017 with four new individuals joining Justin Hammond, Emma Perrin and the team based in their newly expanded premises in Woolwich, east London.
Emma Perrin, Maestra London’s general manager comments, “It’s really exciting to welcome new faces to the company and each was picked for their skill sets, lively personalities and ability to think ‘out-of-the-box’ – all the attributes needed to deliver the specific Maestra event management and production experience that is at the core of our values".
Kate Jarvis joins as a senior project manager who will be exploring and pitching ideas as well as managing and co-ordinating projects, ensuring that Maestra’s diverse client base enjoys the service and standards of excellence that everyone expects.
For the last five years she’s worked as a senior project manager and event consultant for a leading UK event company where she ran high profile private events, themed parties, exhibitions, brand activations and product launches.
Project manager Henrietta Appiah was a communications & media studies student at Brunel University and has always been in


Tony Griffiths joins Adlib

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

UK - Adlib has appointed Tony Griffiths as head of special projects. Tony is a popular and well known industry figure with extensive knowledge in the field of theatrical mechanical engineering.
He brings a focus on this specific area, plus a diverse knowledge in acoustic treatments and solutions with the additional experience in unique fabrics for performance, production and installations to the Liverpool based company. All further enhancing the dynamics and portfolio of this busy sector of Adlib’s business.
“Tony is a perfect complement to the team,” says Adlib director John Hughes, “bringing expertise, experience and an impressive array of contacts in these multiple dedicated fields which will sit in parallel with the audio, lighting and visual elements of our work”.
He adds that Tony, as a universally well-liked and respected individual, has “the right personality and sense of humour” to flourish in the dynamic Adlib environment.
With an industry career dating back 27 years, Tony has worked with some well-known names in the UK, including AS Green, Harkness Hall (now Harkness Screens and Hall Stage), PCM and most recently fabric specialist J&C Joel where he was a director for eight of his 12 years there.
His range of experience encompasses the hardcore engineering technologies like counterweights, pilewind winches, stag


Genelec founder Ilpo Martikainen dies

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Finland - Ilpo Martikainen, the founder of Genelec and a pioneer in active audio monitoring has passed away on Monday, at the age of 69 after struggling with a long-term illness.
The company has issued the following statement, “During recent years, Ilpo focused on involving the next generation. His children Juho Martikainen, Mikko Martikainen and Maria Martikainen have grown up as part of the Genelec family. They have been closely involved in developing the company into the leading global brand in active audio monitoring as members of the Genelec Board since 2001. The children will continue in ownership of Genelec together with the other board members Topi Partanen and Ritva Leinonen who have made their lifework with Genelec. Ritva Leinonen continues as the Chairperson of Genelec Board.
“We warmly thank Ilpo’s family for supporting him in being an essential part of our lives and journey too. We hope the whole audio and music industry will join us in extending thoughts and prayers to his family.
“Even if we greatly miss Ilpo we are privileged and grateful to share in the wonderful memories, passion, humanistic values, love and evolution of the Genelec story that we have experienced with Ilpo. This keeps his memory living in our hearts and deeds. He will continue to live on, through us.”
(Jim Evans)


Dataton appoints marketing manager

Friday, 27 January 2017

Sweden - Dataton has announced the appointment of David Aleksandersen as marketing manager. Aleksandersen will be responsible for the alignment of marketing activities to "further strengthen Dataton's leading position in the visitor experience market".

"I'm thrilled to join such an exciting company as Dataton. It is an innovative company with great products, traditions and ambitions for the future. I am looking forward to contributing to Dataton's vision and global growth," comments Aleksandersen.

David Aleksandersen has a strong track record in the AV and visualization industry, with experience from roles in sales, marketing and executive management at companies such as projectiondesign, Barco and Smart Simulation. Aleksandersen's most recent position before joining Dataton was as CEO of Smart Simulation, Norway.

Lars Sandlund, CEO, Dataton, says, "We're delighted to welcome such an energetic and competent co-worker to Dataton. David has a deep understanding of the industry and the experience we need to continue our expansion and growth. He will be a great asset to the team."

(Jim Evans)

Digital Projection appoints UK sales manager

Digital Projection appoints UK sales manager

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

UK - Digital Projection has announced the appointment of Simon Hutchinson to the position of sales manager, UK & Ireland. Based primarily at the company's Manchester headquarters, Simon's appointment is effective immediately. A seasoned industry professional of 20 years, he brings a wealth of AV industry experience alongside intimate knowledge of the channel from end user right up to vendor verticals to this key position.

Simon joined Digital Projection from SCC, where he was AV sales specialist manager. Prior to that, he occupied a number of account manager roles with both manufacturers and integrators - ranging from Epson, to some major AV integrators in the UK such as AVMI, GV Multimedia and Roche Audio Visual.

At Digital Projection, Simon will assume responsibility for overseeing and developing the business in the UK & Ireland. With the company firmly established in the UK as its home market and charting exceptional growth in recent years, the role is a key strategic position. His appointment is central to the company's plans to further build the channel, as well as relationships with distributors and system integrators - and drive forward its future success.

Chris Axford, international sales and marketing manager at Digital Projection comments, "Simon brings a wealth of experience to the team, and his knowledge and understanding of the UK & Ireland AV ma

EAW appoints marketing manager

EAW appoints marketing manager

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

USA - EAW has named Louie King marketing & communications manager. King is tasked with managing EAW's worldwide marketing initiatives including advertising, branding, communications and digital marketing.

The announcement was made by Adam Shulman, director of marketing and applications engineering. Shulman explains, "Louie brings a wealth of experience to this position with his diverse background in marketing. I know he will use his more than 20 years of experience to expand EAW's brand and visibility worldwide."

Prior to joining EAW, King served as director of marketing at the Brain Injury Association of MA and was project manager for Metropolitan Life Insurance company. King received his MBA from the University of Phoenix and completed his undergraduate work at Atlantic Union College.

"I am very excited to join the incredibly talented group of individuals that make up the marketing department," adds King. "I have been a fan of EAW products for longer than I can remember and have been passionate about audio technology and music since I was young. This new jobs meshes my long-time interests with my experience."

(Jim Evans)

Symphotech grows with four appointments

Symphotech grows with four appointments

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

UK - Marking the company's ongoing growth, Symphotech has welcomed four event safety and fire safety professionals as the company looks forward to a busy year.

Chartered safety and health practitioner, Eddy Grant, joins the North West office as a legal and safety consultant. With over 30 years of industry experience, Eddy has worked with the Event Industry Forum and HSE to produce the new Purple Guide and has overseen health and safety on a variety of events including The London 2012 Summer Olympics, the Tour de France 2014, and was employed by Liverpool City Council to deliver the city's 2008 Capital of Culture programme.

Also joining the North West office is Graham Picken as safety consultant. A former member of Merseyside Police, Graham was part of the major events planning team and became lead logistics officer for Aintree Grand National Planning Teams and the lead planner on over 50 events per year.

Joining the team, and heading up the South West office, is Duncan White as lead consultant for event fire and crowd safety. Duncan brings over 30 years of experience as a former fire officer with Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service where he was responsible for the event safety management team.

Peter Golding also joins the South West office as fire and event safety consultant. Peter's background is also from Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service where

Powersoft revs up Deva division

Powersoft revs up Deva division

Monday, 23 January 2017

Italy - Powersoft has announced escalated efforts for the division responsible for the Deva family of products. With immediate effect, Karl Kahlau, one of the company's most senior and experienced managers, relinquishes his post as regional sales account manager (EMEA and India) to head the new initiative as executive director, Deva.

The heavy focus on Deva has been brought about to maximise the potential of an industry-unique IoT product, encapsulating a wide array of technical and functional features. The core of the system is a fully captive self-powered audio system, a high-definition video camera, a motion-sensor for triggering various functions and a high-powered LED light for night surveillance.

Kahlau, along with the Powersoft Deva team, will set out to reform the global sales and support organisation for the product. Preparations for the next step in Deva's evolution began in late December in preparation for its worldwide launch at February's Integrated Systems Europe in Amsterdam at the dedicated Deva booth (Hall #7-V200).

Karl Kahlau, himself, brings over two decades of experience within the export industry where, before joining Powersoft in 2013, for more than 12 years was responsible for sales and marketing, as export sales manager EMEA at Renkus-Heinz Inc.

Powersoft director of sales and marketing, Luca Giorgi comments, "Karl was the obvious


Jim Mack appointed Ashly Audio CEO

Thursday, 19 January 2017

USA - Jim Mack (Teac America, PreSonus, SaneWave, Tascam, Alesis) has joined the Ashly Audio team in Webster, New York as CEO. He will report directly to Marty Szpiro, president & CEO of Jam Industries, Ashly's parent company.

"On top of being a great person to work with, Jim has a depth and breadth of experience that makes him a real asset to Ashly, especially at this moment in Ashly's history," explained Szpiro. "He has proven people and recruiting skills, and a tactician's instinct for the right moves at the right times. Ashly is an essential and strategic asset in Jam Industries' portfolio, and we're thrilled to have Jim on the Ashly team."

Mack began his career in the mid-1980s as a sales rep for Sound Marketing, a position he held for a decade before transitioning to management-level positions in Alesis, Tascam, SaneWave and Teac America. In addition, he served as CEO at PreSonus for seven years.

"With the full backing and blessing of Jam Industries, I'm looking forward to growing Ashly by taking it in new directions and by growing its share in existing markets," said Mack. I'm especially excited to work with Mark [Wentling], whom I've known for a while." Wentling will remain as Ashly's president.

(Jim Evans)

MUSIC appoints business development directors

MUSIC appoints business development directors

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

USA - MUSIC has implemented the first of its many plans to win the installed sound market. The company has appointed Jason Bethune as director of business development USA, and Stephan Grawe to the position of director of business development EMEA.

Bethune and Grawe will work directly with Van Williamson, who was most recently appointed as MUSIC's VP of installed sound. Together they will be working with business partners to ensure MUSIC are as customer centric as possible.

"I love MUSIC's obsession for customer experience, innovation and dedication to make a difference! We are laying the foundations for MUSIC to develop the most outstanding product solutions by involving users at every stage of product development, "comments Bethune

Grawe adds: "As well as our focus on customer engagement we will be strengthening MUSIC's market expansion and to do this we will continue working with our business partners to ensure we reach as many customers as possible."

Van Williamson adds, "Our priority is to connect users with MUSIC's world-class 400 people engineering team and to do this, Jason and Stephan will be ensuring that we do more listening, and less telling the market what our products will be. With such input and knowledge, the Installed Sound Division is set for an amazingly exciting future."

(Jim Evans)


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