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POLAR appoints Will Turney as Business Development Manager

POLAR appoints Will Turney as Business Development Manager

UK - POLAR has announced the appointment of Will Turney to the post of business development manager. With seven years experience in the AV industry, Will joins the company from Harman-owned AMX, a manufacturer of control and switching equipment, where he was a channel account manager concentrating on the higher education sector. A marketing and management graduate of Newcastle University, Will's role at POLAR will be to bring his dynamism and expertise to grow sales and revenues in the Integrated Solutions division.

POLAR director, Stuart Leader, who heads up the integrated solutions division, welcomes Will to the team: "Will has a comprehensive understanding of AV technologies and their application, as well as a thorough knowledge of the UK marketplace. He was a standout performer in his previous role, recognised with numerous sales awards and we're really pleased to have recruited a team member with the skills and personality that will help us continue to grow and move forward."

Will Turney looks forward to the challenge: "My main focus at POLAR will be to grow sales and revenues by maximising every opportunity. Whilst I am confident that my career to date has equipped me with a strong set of skills and a high level of technical understanding, I remain aware that success depends on continued learning in an industry that never stands still. POLAR is held in high regard and I'm very much looking forward to bringing my energy to this exciting new challenge."

10th May 2017

New Concert Touring & Events chair announced for the 10th Knight of Illumination Awards

New Concert Touring & Events chair announced for the 10th Knight of Illumination Awards

UK The Knight of Illumination Awards 2017 (KOI), which celebrates the creative talents of international lighting and digital content designers working in the UK, is delighted to announce the appointment of a new chair of the Concert Touring & Events category, Jess Allan (pictured).

Well-known in the industry, Jess has worked in professional show lighting and event production for almost 20 years, gaining extensive experience of both technology and design while working in various roles for companies including Martin Professional and TAIT. In addition, Jess has been a member of the organising committee for Showlight, the prestigious quadrennial lighting conference, for the past eight years. Most recently, Jess has launched Productionomics, a company providing specialist consultancy services to the event production industry, including data research, product launch, strategy planning and project work. In addition, she is currently working on key data research/recording specifically in the field of concert touring.

Jess will chair the panel of judges assessing the Concert Touring & Events category, and KOI is delighted that Jonny Milmer of creative design agency Imagination, lighting designer and video content creator Miguel Ribeiro, Kelly Murray, editor of TPi magazine and Claire Beeson, editor of LSi magazine, return to their roles as judges in this category for 2017.

Jess comments: "I'm very excited to be involved with the Knight of Illumination Awards. I've watched it grow to become a key event in the show lighting calendar. It's special because it focuses solely on design; it highlights the achievements of our hugely talented designers both to our industry and also for the outside world, which is very important. I've worked closely with many LDs over the years, and have always enjoyed the creative side of show production, so I'm delighted to be joining the KOI team this year."

Jess takes over the role of chair of the Concert Touring & Events category from Coral Cooper. Coral, a previous winner of the KOI's Enrico Caironi Lifetime Recognition Award, will remain an integral part of the KOI Awards in 2017 as an ambassador for the unique event.

Lighting designer Durham Marenghi, co-ordinator for KOI, comments: "It's great to hear that Jess will be joining the KOI judging team as chairperson for Concert Touring & Events category. There are not many in our industry who will not know Jess. Indeed, she is so integral in the lighting family that when the Chinese copied the first Mac 2k I saw an e-mail announcing the product still with her name on the press release which they had copied verbatim as well! Welcome Jess."

The headline sponsors of the Knight of Illumination Awards 2017 are Claypaky and OSRAM. The event is also generously supported by Spotlight Sponsors ADB, Avolites, d3 Technologies, ETC, GLP German Light Products, Green Hippo, HSL Group, MA Lighting, PRG XL Video and Robert Juliat, and by technology supplier Hawthorn.

Submissions are currently open for both the Television and Concert Touring & Events categories, with shows performed or broadcast between 1st August 2016 and 30th June 2017 in the UK eligible for entry. As with previous years, the Theatre category can only be nominated by the judging panel. Submissions can be made for TV and Concert Touring & Events by visiting the KOI website. The shortlists will be announced in August.

In addition, The Enrico Caironi Lifetime Recognition Award will be presented to an individual whose contributions to the lighting industry have gone above and beyond the call of duty, in turn benefiting their colleagues, the industry and the wider world.

Originally conceived by Claypaky in 2008, in co-operation with Durham and Jennie Marenghi, the Knight of Illumination Awards is now organised and managed by the prestigious industry organisations STLD (Society of Television Lighting and Design), ALD (Association of Lighting Designers) and The Fifth Estate Ltd. The KOI Awards 2017 is also supported by media partners ETNow, LSi and TPi magazines.

To find out more about the sectors and subcategories, or for more information on how to submit an entry, please visit

5th May 2017


Martin Drumm Joins Penn Elcom

Martin Drumm Joins Penn Elcom

Germany – Designer and product specialist Martin Drumm joins the Penn Elcom team, bringing his vast experience, zest for innovation and imaginative flair to the company’s legendary flightcase and racks hardware division, where he will be designing and develop cool new products and bringing them to the market.

Says Roger Willems, Chairman of Penn Elcom: “It is a fantastic opportunity for Penn Elcom’s global operation to have someone of Martin’s calibre on-board and we are all very excited! He completely understands our industry and will help shape and influence Penn Elcom’s key product strategies in the mid and long term futures. We welcome him enthusiastically.”

Martin, who describes himself as “creative and a little crazy … in a good way”, is based near Frankfurt in Germany.

He’s worked for many high profile industry flightcase manufacturers over the years and his inventions in this area have included – famously – SIP foam inserts for moving lights, together with various ingenious wheel plates, butterfly catches, corner handles, cap locks, rivet protection dishes, etc., all of which are now essential everyday working solutions used universally across the professional entertainment and AV industries.

Martin has also worked as a furniture and interior designer for assorted commercial and domestic projects and his concepts have also been used for exhibition stands, so his knowledge embraces a dynamic mix of environments. The aggregate experience gained from all of these is united in his unique and resourceful approach to design.

Known for lateral and ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking in the quest for neat solutions, he will be travelling to Penn’s manufacturing facilities worldwide, currently the UK, USA, Latin America and Asia, where he will be working with existing staff, training new personnel and co-ordinating a network of design studios.

All of this will add to Penn Elcom’s efficiency and ability to respond quickly to new industry and client demands and trends.

Martin’s initial projects at Penn include the organisation of a whole new production range of flightcase hardware which will benefit customers building their own quality case products who will be able get all the materials needed from a single source – Penn Elcom.

Having the right environment is essential for creative ideas to flourish and Martin is looking forward to a fertile relationship “working with a market leading brand” together with the challenges, opportunities and inspirations on the table at Penn Elcom.

As a team player, he appreciates friendly and inclusive atmospheres, and observes that Penn is a very large operation with a diversity of individuals and personalities embracing many cultures. “Everyone I have met is highly motivated and a nice person! It is a big company that still has the vision and foresight never to underestimate the value of people, and integrate this with international success.”

3rd May 2017

Penn Elcom

Matt Kingslake joins the Theatreplan consultancy team

Matt Kingslake joins the Theatreplan consultancy team

UK – With an expanding portfolio of performing projects across its three offices in London, Hong Kong and Sydney, Theatreplan is pleased to welcome Matt Kingslake to its growing team of consultants.

Matt graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester in 1989 and went on to work for Holiday on Ice, touring the world for eight years within their electrical department rising to the role of chief electrician. After returning to the UK he was technical manager at Grimsby Auditorium before becoming the first technical manager for the Grove Theatre, Dunstable.

Matt is delighted to be part of Theatreplan’s expanding team: “I worked closely with Theatreplan during the construction and commissioning of the Grove Theatre and am delighted to be part of a team I’ve long admired. I look forward to playing a key role in the company’s future development.”

Commenting on the appointment, Theatreplan director, Mathew Smethurst-Evans, said: “With a 25-year career working in a variety of technical theatre roles, Matt is a hugely experienced technical manager with all-round project management skills. He already has a close working relationship with our consultant team and an appreciation of our approach to theatre design.”

Matt is already applying his specialist expertise on some of Theatreplan’s most significant projects including the new Oldham Coliseum Theatre and Heritage Centre, Copenhagen Opera House and the Helsinki City Theatre.

3rd May 2017

Tim Rees Joins LED Creative

Tim Rees Joins LED Creative

UK – Illumination specialist LED Creative welcomes Tim Rees to the role of projects assistant as part of the small but growing team at its Hertfordshire base.

Tim brings with him a wealth of understanding in all aspects of project management, technical support, equipment preparation and installation gained through extensive experience working within the professional event production industry.

The appointment of Tim as projects assistant allows LED Creative to extend a key area of their business, allowing the team to further enhance the levels of client service and support they provide.

Having spent over ten years delivering a broad range of production solutions, with a particular focus on lighting, Tim’s experience encompasses client liaison, budgeting and supplier management and is augmented by in-depth working knowledge of production equipment and IT systems.

Speaking about the new appointment, LED Creative’s Adam Howard says: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Tim to our team. We pride ourselves on being able to offer the very highest levels of support to our clients, Tim’s technical understanding and strong project management skills are a fantastic addition to the LED Creative service.”

Commenting on his new role, Tim adds: “The opportunity to join such a dynamic team is incredibly exciting. LED Creative share my passion for excellence in customer service and I’m looking forward to playing a part in the further development of the company.”

28th April 2017

Audio Visual entrepreneur John Sills to retire

Audio Visual entrepreneur John Sills to retire

UK – One of the AV industry's leading innovators is to step down after almost 50 years of success. Chairman and managing director of Saville Audio Visual, John Sills has announced he is to retire in April after a career spanning 48 years with the company.

Born in Nottingham, he joined the family-owned business in 1968, setting up an AV department at the Saville photographic shop in York, which at that time the company’s only premises. He then built a nationwide sales team and established a unique network of regional centres across the UK.

His ideas and a fierce commitment to quality and innovation saw the company become a major player in the AV sales, systems integration and rental markets, winning more than thirty national awards. His notable initiatives have included pioneering AV control systems, in-house furniture manufacturing plus the first website by an AV reseller.

As MD, John masterminded a management buy-out from the Saville family in 1996. He continued to grow the business, winning many corporate, education and government contracts and taking the company’s turnover past £41m last year.

Sills retirement signals another chapter in the company’s history with an MBO by the remaining directors and key members of the senior management team, most of whom have been with the company for thirty years on average.

Following the handover John commented on the move: “I am confident that I’m leaving the company in excellent hands and would like to take the opportunity to thank the entire Saville team for their loyalty and commitment over many years, as well as the suppliers and manufacturers who have supported the company and continue to do so.”

Sales and marketing director Andy Dyson said: “John has been instrumental in building Saville into a major player in the AV/IT installation and live events sectors and the new management team are determined to build on his legacy.” This is a view shared by finance director Colin Nixey who confirmed: “John is leaving the company in an excellent position following a third successive record year in 2016 and we are planning to continue this growth and expansion over the Company’s next chapter.”

With a lifelong interest in photography, cars and flying model aircraft, John is looking forward to a busy retirement, especially with two new acquisitions of his own – a 1939 MG SA and a classic British racing green 1970 MGB roadster!

In picture: John (centre) with remaining directors Andy Dyson and Colin Nixey and the shareholder team.

27th April 2017

Kevin Thorborn Appointed Mojo Barriers UK Director

Kevin Thorborn Appointed Mojo Barriers UK Director

UK – Kevin Thorborn has been promoted to director of Mojo Barriers UK, following his role as UK manager for the past 17 years.

Having started at Mojo Barriers in 2000 Kevin has managed the provision of stage and crowd safety barriers to over 1,000 festivals, from the local Medway Castle Concerts to Glastonbury Festival. His diverse experience spans venues from student unions to the O2 Arena, supplying concerts and European tours, which this year have included Bruno Mars, film premieres, award shows such as the Brit Awards, major public and sporting events and he has even supplied police forces in riot situations.

Mojo Barriers CEO Alex Borger states: “We are delighted at Kevin’s progression since joining Mojo, particularly over the past two years when he has delivered consistently impressive results and expanded the UK business. I am sure this promotion to UK director is the beginning of a very exciting future as we look to expand our offering to the UK market with Kevin at the helm.

“Kevin has developed an extensive network of clients and he is clearly delivering the high levels of service we aspire to, as shown by the amount of events contracting Mojo Barriers on a regular basis.”

Outside of the companies head office in Netherlands, the UK office sits alongside the USA and Australia offices, with a further 27 distributors providing clients a global network to access Mojo Barriers’ trusted range of crowd safety and stage barriers.

24th April 2017

Scott Rooney-Ashby Joins Hawthorn

Scott Rooney-Ashby Joins Hawthorn

UK – Event professional Scott Rooney-Ashby has joined Hawthorn as account director to support the development of new and existing business for the company’s award-winning live event technical production service.

Formerly head of account management at mclcreate, Scott’s 20-year career has taken him through various roles from a technical project manager through to his current role as account director at Hawthorn.

Scott’s extensive experience includes responsibility for retaining and developing UK, European and International key accounts from all sectors, working with prestigious corporate clients including Royal Mail, JTI (Japan Tobacco International), RBS, Network Rail and the Olympic Delivery Authority. His expertise ranges from delivering conferences and award dinners through to large scale events within the Olympic Stadium, The Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi and the US.

Scott said: “I’m thrilled to have joined the Hawthorn team at such an exciting time for the company, which has seen eye-catching growth over recent years. It’s clear over the short time I’ve been with the business that I’ll be working with a team of talented, experienced and dedicated technical event professionals and I’m very much looking forward to working with them to deliver incredible events for existing and new clients.”

Simon Wood, group director of projects at Hawthorn said: “We’re delighted to welcome Scott to the team. With his in-depth experience of working across delivery, project and creative teams, Scott 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.”

21st April 2017


Creative Technology’s Chris Burke Appointed Managing Director of Asia Pacific Business

Creative Technology’s Chris Burke Appointed Managing Director of Asia Pacific Business

China – Creative Technology (CT) announces that with immediate effect Chris Burke will take on the role of managing director of Creative Technology in Shanghai. Chris will also continue as managing director of CT in Hong Kong and Singapore meaning this appointment now puts all of CT’s Asia Pacific business under his control.

Chris has been with Creative Technology since 2009 and in that time, he has developed the necessary skills to effect the changes that will be needed to further develop the China business and expand CT’s operation in this region.

Chris replaces Simon Tibble who passed away suddenly at his home in Shanghai just over a week ago. A terrible loss for his family and for all at CT, Simon was a key part of the China business and a true industry veteran whose skills helped develop the business into what it is today. He will be missed by all.

Graham Andrews, president of Creative Technology North America and Asia Pacific said: “I am delighted that Chris is taking on this additional responsibility and hope you will join me in congratulating him on his appointment.”

19th April 2017

Creative Technology

Green Hippo Grows International Team

UK – Green Hippo has maked four additions to its UK-based team. Jacqueline Attard is the UK HQ’s new financial controller, while Phil Blue joins as sales manager, expanding the technical sales team. Rob Moss enlists as junior production engineer, and Anastasia Nikolaou is the latest member of the London-based marketing team, securing the role of PR and marketing executive.

Jacqueline Attard’s remit as Green Hippo financial controller sees her help manage the financial complexities of a global business, one with offices in the United States, as well as the United Kingdom. Jacqueline’s previous experience includes senior roles with large European and US companies, including Deloitte, Jones Lang Lasalle and AstraZeneca. Jacqueline says:“I am both delighted and excited to join the Green Hippo team at such an exciting phase in its growth. As a qualified finance professional with over 15 years’ experience working for global multinationals across a variety of industries, I look forward to making a difference to Green Hippo.”

Rob Moss brings significant technical expertise, having previously held the position of broadcasting engineer at the BBC, as well as time with Orange Amplifiers where he was senior technician. Rob comments: “It’s exciting coming to Green Hippo. With a background in various industries and disciplines, I’m looking forward learning new skills and getting hands-on with a group of industry-leading products. The HQ office is buzzing right now and I am excited by the fast-moving pace of the company.”

Anastasia Nikolaou’s passion for media and entertainment has its roots in her five years spent working in the TV industry. This enthusiasm, and urge to expand her knowledge of the video industry, sees her swap Athens for London. Anastasia says: “I am absolutely delighted to become part of the Green Hippo team. This is a great opportunity for me to further explore the AV industry, learn new things and meet with wonderful people. Our plans for the international markets are really exciting and some of the projects we’re now working on are ground-breaking.”

Phil Blue has also now joined the company with a remit covering technical sales in a mix of international territories. Phil is well-known in the industry and his contacts and expertise have already yielded significant gains in what were previously dormant territories. Phil said: “It’s a real pleasure to join what I always felt was the market-leading tech company in this sector. The energy and drive within the business right now is exciting and it’s great to be a part of this sales and marketing team under James Roth’s management. Things are moving really fast and our new activities in the international markets are unique, challenging and fun, all at once!”

18th April 2017

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