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Ken Bennett-Hunter

Ken Bennett-Hunter

It is with great regret that we report the untimely passing of Ken Bennett-Hunter on Monday 20th March after a short stay in hospital.

Ken was known for his background in production management and producing. He was also a writer and a hugely influential commentator and backstage colleague, a true and loyal friend to the world of theatre over very many years. Ken served as President of TMA (now UK Theatre) and was the editor and subsequently the commissioning editor of Sightline, the ABTT’s journal of record. He was a regular and respected contributor to The Stage (particularly the Backstage section which he also edited for many years). His contribution to Skillscene, and to the backstage and UK theatre world in general was seminal, and the loss of his leadership and advice will be felt keenly across the backstage community.

In particular Ken had always been a wise and valued counsellor to ABTT, SMA and TMA staff and members, as well as to many backstage colleagues. He will be sorely missed by many and leaves a huge void in our working lives.

In picture: Ken Bennett-Hunter (right) with ABTT CEO Robin Townley at the New London Theatre during the ABTT’s Christmas party in December.

24th March 2017

L-Acoustics Reinforces Support to Latin American and Caribbean Market, Appointing Alex Soto as Applications Engineer

L-Acoustics Reinforces Support to Latin American and Caribbean Market, Appointing Alex Soto as Applications Engineer

Mexico – L-Acoustics has announced the appointment of Alex Soto as applications engineer, supporting the rental and install markets in Latin America and the Caribbean. Working in close collaboration with regional sales manager Tim McCall, Alex’s expertise will benefit the dynamic and growing network of partners and clients in the LATAM region.

A well-known and well-liked figure in the Latin American professional audio industry, Alex bring to L-Acoustics extensive experience in all areas of sound production and deep knowledge of L-Acoustics systems. Having global experience with high profile touring artists such as The Rolling Stones, Chayanne, Rammstein and Maroon 5, Alex is also renowned for his sound designs for festival stalwarts Hell and Heaven Fest, Electric Daisy Carnival or MTV World Stage. He’s worked for and with the most prominent sound providers throughout the region and honed his L-Acoustics expertise as a consultant and trainer since 2007. Alex is ideally-based in Guadalajara, Mexico, giving him quick and easy access to partners and clients throughout the region.

“The appointment of Alex is the greatest indication of the strength of our commitment to the Latin American and Caribbean markets,” affirmed Tim McCall. “His in-depth knowledge of and experience with L-Acoustics systems, having performed as system tech across the region, will prove invaluable to our growing network of distributors, installers and rental partners in the region.”

“I’m pleased to join a team that is fully focused on offering systems that provide long-term value and cutting-edge innovation to its partners and clients,” added Alex Soto. “I look forward to providing ongoing local support and broadening L-Acoustics training and technical assistance programs in Spanish.” 

23rd March 2017

Tom Van Hemelryck is appointed Chief Executive Officer of PRG Central Europe

Europe – Production Resource Group LLC (PRG) has appointed Tom Van Hemelryck as CEO of PRG Central Europe, the umbrella name for PRG Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Spain.

Van Hemelryck brings more than 20 years of experience in the entertainment industry and has been part of PRG for 13 years, during which he engaged various international positions within the last ten years.

He will mainly focus on harmonising and optimising the internal collaboration within the PRG Group for PRG Central Europe to effectively make use of the strong operational processes and teams of the group.

In his new role, Van Hemelryck will report directly to Stephan Paridaen, president and chief operating officer of the PRG Group.

“I’m delighted to have Tom in this crucial leading position,” explains Paridaen. “He has proven his skills to identify growth opportunities and is able to apply the right commercial strategy in order to achieve those goals. These qualities are certainly beneficial to further support the team in Central Europe.”

“It’s a great honour to support the teams with whom I have been working for the past 13 years in terms of their future development and the optimisation of the Central European organisation.” says Van Hemelryck. “I highly value the cooperation within the group and I am convinced that we can continuously improve and strengthen the services and efficiency we have offered to our clients for more than 20 years.”

“About 20 years ago, I did my first freelance job for EML Productions and ended up working for ETF and PROCON in an international role. Today, working with Central Europe’s highly talented and motivated team feels like coming home. The circle is now complete.”

Tom will lead and work together with PRG’s Central European management team: Jan Van Malder general manager entertainment Belgium, Alex Van Vlierberghe financial director, HR and administration, Walter D’Haese production director entertainment Belgium, Bob Walpot head of assets, Thierry Kra general manager PRG France, Laurent Boillot production director and account manager PRG France and Xavier Thys general manager PRG Spain.

23rd March 2017

ASM Steuerungstechnik Appoints André Bragard-De Naeyer as International Sales Director

ASM Steuerungstechnik Appoints André Bragard-De Naeyer as International Sales Director

Germany – ASM Steuerungstechnik, an innovative producer of lifting equipment, has announced the appointment of André Bragard-De Naeyer as international sales director, a well-known person in the international entertainment industry.

His primary mission is to develop the international presence of ASM in collaboration with distributors, dealers, integrators and to promote the ASM product range with consultants.

“I’m very excited to be joining ASM and this incredibly talented and innovative team” André asserted,” ASM has a reputation of being an innovative manufacturer of hoists and controls for use in performance productions. I have admired their highly engineered selection of steel band and chain driven hoists for some time and it is a pleasure to be their ambassador.”

Maurycy Sowka, CEO of ASM, adds: “I’m very enthusiastic of welcoming André into the ASM family.

With his extensive experience in international sales and market development he will enable ASM to strengthen our position in existing markets and with existing customers, while allowing ASM to expand into new markets and new projects.

The ASM range of hoists includes point-hoists, stage and scenery hoists, chain hoists and control.

In picture: Maurycy Sowka and André Bragard-De Naeyer.

21st March 2017

Ike Zimbel Joins Radio Active Designs as Manufacturer Rep for Canada

Ike Zimbel Joins Radio Active Designs as Manufacturer Rep for Canada

Canada – East Rutherford, NJ (March 2017) –  Radio Active Designs (RAD) has named Zimbel Audio Productions as their manufacturer rep for Canada. The announcement was made by James Stoffo, CTO, Radio Active Designs. Zimbel Audio Productions is based in Toronto, Canada, and headed up by audio professional Ike Zimbel.

“At this stage of RAD's development we need knowledgeable boots on the ground,” explains Stoffo. “The next few years will present greater challenges to the wireless operator than in any three year period in the history of radio on this planet. Ike's tremendous experience as a frequency coordinator and RF system designer will allow Radio Active Designs to be properly represented in Canada. We are honoured to have him on board.”

Zimbel, a 40-year veteran of the audio industry, has worked extensively as a wireless microphone technician and co-ordinator, live sound engineer, recording studio technician, audio supervisor for TV broadcasts and has also managed manufacturing and production companies. Zimbel Audio Productions specialises in wireless frequency coordination and pro audio equipment repair and modifications. Recent jobs include frequency co-ordination for the Air Canada Center and BMO Field in Toronto and sporting events for the NBA, NHL, CFL and MLS.

"I'm excited to be chosen as the new Manufacturer's Rep for RAD in Canada,” adds Zimbel. “I believe that Radio Active Designs offers the best system to replace and update traditional wireless intercom systems. With the conclusion of the recent incentive auctions in the U.S., there's no better time to switch. Available UHF bandwidth is being reduced to just (at most) 150MHz from the current 222MHz, making spectral efficiency of paramount importance. With the very small footprint of the UV-1G UHF transmit frequencies and the fact that the belt packs operate in the relatively open VHF band (also with a very small RF footprint), the UV-1G is the best choice for large intercom intensive events, small "dry hire" rentals and everything in between. I look forward to expanding Radio Active Design’s presence in the Canadian market."

In picture: Professional audio veteran Ike Zimbel named Radio Active Designs manufacturer rep for Canada.

14th March 2017

Allen & Heath Strengthens Apac Team

Allen & Heath Strengthens Apac Team

Asia – Allen & Heath has strengthened its team in the Asia Pacific region with the appointment of technical marketing director, Chris Pyne.

Born in Australia, Pyne has three decades of experience in the pro touring and event industry as sound engineer for artists including Kylie Minogue, Jennifer Lopez, IL Divo, Sir Andrew Lloyd-Webber, Westlife, and the Asian artists Jacky Chueng and Chueng Hui-Mei. Pyne also has extensive live and studio recording experience. Most recently, Pyne has worked in a technical training and support role at Martin Audio.

Pyne will be providing technical expertise and training via Allen & Heath’s partner network, as well as supporting the growing community of touring engineers and rental companies in the region who have adopted Allen & Heath digital systems.

“With our digital mixing systems gaining great momentum in Asia and the Pacific region, this is the perfect time to strengthen our presence in this key market,” explains Allen & Heath’s sales and marketing director, Christian Luecke. “With his experience and knowledge, Chris will make a dynamic contribution and deliver world class support to our customers and partners.”

10th March 2017

Audiologic Appoints Diogo Scutti as Technical Support Engineer

Audiologic Appoints Diogo Scutti as Technical Support Engineer

UK – Audiologic has announced the appointment of Diogo Scutti to the position of technical support engineer. Diogo will be working alongside existing engineer Yavor 'Max' Yanakiev to strengthen the team in response to rising demand for in-house and on-site support from its growing customer base. He trained at Brazil's top institute of Audio and Video (IAV) and joins Audiologic having gained wide experience in every aspect of project management, co-ordinating AV system installations in a wide variety of settings. Familiar with all the major professional audio brands, Diogo is a specialist in digital processing systems, with an extensive knowledge of audio over IP, including the development of projects with multiple digital audio protocols. In his 13 years as a professional, Diogo has worked on the front line of AV support from large fixed installations to events such as The Olympic opening ceremony and stadium gigs featuring iconic artists like Sir Paul McCartney.

Andy Lewis, marketing manager at Audiologic offers a very upbeat assessment: "Diogo brings a wealth of knowledge and finely developed skills to Audiologic. He is accustomed to working on projects of all scales and is comfortable with all the attendant pressures of the industry; in fact, he positively relishes any and every technical challenge. It was clear from our first meeting that Diogo is a meticulous professional and that he will perfectly complement the excellent work already being carried out by Max. Our capacity to provide our customers with the high level of expertise offered by our technical team gives us an ever sharper competitive edge."

Diogo Scutti looks forward to the challenge: "I am really pleased to have joined such a fast-growing, forward thinking company. Audiologic is clearly focused on giving its customers the best possible solutions and I'm confident that my knowledge and experience will enable me to meet the wide variety of challenges I will face. The AV world is a fast-moving place where it is essential to keep up with new developments in technology and my passion for learning and delivering solutions is a strong as ever. I'm looking forward to helping Audiologic maintain its position as a market-leading provider."

8th March 2017

Group One Limited Announces Key Personnel Changes

Group One Limited Announces Key Personnel Changes
Group One Limited Announces Key Personnel Changes

USA – Last year represented numerous significant milestones for Group One Limited, the Farmingdale, New York-based US distributor for DiGiCo, Avolites and several other well-respected audio and lighting manufacturers, Not only was it the company’s 25th anniversary and its best sales year ever with double-digit growth across the board, but 2016 also brought the addition of Calrec, KLANG:technologies and DTS Lighting to the distributor’s line card plus an investment in the company by Audiotonix, the parent company of DiGiCo and Calrec.

In recognition of what brought Group One to this point and, more importantly, to position the company for continued growth, the US distributor has very recently implemented a number of managerial changes. The announcement comes from Group One president Jack Kelly.

DiGiCo national sales manager Matt Larson has been promoted to the position of Group One vice president, professional audio, and is now overseeing all of Group One’s audio brands for the touring, theatre and install markets. “Matt is a great asset to Group One and deserves much of the credit for the growth of DiGiCo here in the US,” says Kelly. “I rely heavily on Matt’s advice, and as we continue to grow and look for new opportunities, it is time to recognise the key role that he continues to play for us as well as to set the stage for Group One’s next growth phase.”

Sales and support associate Ryan Shelton has now been named Group One’s national sales manager for KLANG:technologies. “KLANG needs a dedicated person to keep our focus on growing the brand, and Ryan has quickly become our expert on all things KLANG,” Kelly notes. “He has proven himself to be an indispensable part of our Group One audio sales team, and this promotion is a logical step forward in Ryan’s career path and completely aligns with the Group One vision for the future.”

Taidus Vallandi, one of DiGiCo’s pioneers and responsible for opening the first DiGiCo office in the US, has now been promoted to serve as Group One’s chief technology officer. “Taidus is our ‘go-to’ technology wizard and for years was the number one resource in the US for DiGiCo,” recalls Kelly. “Over the years, as we’ve added more technical support positions and grown with the addition of the Calrec line, Taidus’ experienced grasp of network system technology has seen him much more involved with our broadcast clients. He will continue to advise and support across all of our audio products and will focus in the near term on Calrec and DiGiCo solutions for the broadcast and production industries.”

Chris Fichera, Group One vice president, broadcast and production, is one of the US distributor’s founders and remains a shareholder as he also expands his role. According to Kelly, “Chris has a natural affinity for the broadcast and production markets having been our 'blue sky' manager for the last 15 years, as well as a multiple Grammy Award-winning engineer. He now adds to his responsibilities working with Taidus and the Calrec US team to expand the reach of Calrec products in those markets.”

In picture: Matt Larson and Ryan Shelton.

6th March 2017

Marquee Home Appoints Niall Barker as a Senior Designer

Marquee Home Appoints Niall Barker as a Senior Designer

UK - Marquee Home has announced the appointment of Niall Barker as a senior designer. Mr Barker joins Marquee Home with more than 15 years industry experience in all aspects of specialist custom installation, including super yachts, private residences and city multiple dwellings.

Paul Endersby, managing director of Shepperton-based Marquee Home Limited, commented: “As leaders in the high-end residential market, the calibre of our staff is key to our performance and future success and we are very pleased to welcome Niall Barker to this senior position. His extensive experience in all aspects of the residential sector provides the skill sets required to fit in well with our expanding team. I’m sure he’ll quickly prove a valuable asset for our consultants and new and ongoing projects.”

6th March 2017

d&b audiotechnik announces Stephan Greiner as new Chief Sales Officer

d&b audiotechnik announces Stephan Greiner as new Chief Sales Officer

Germany – d&b audiotechnik is pleased to announce the appointment of Stephan Greiner as chief sales officer. From 1st March Mr Greiner will serve as a member of the managing board, reporting directly to Amnon Harman CEO.

Mr Greiner succeeds Hans-Peter Nüdling, taking responsibility for global sales and sales operations, as well as education, application support, and product services.

With a degree in electrical engineering, Stephan’s professional career spans more than 25 years, having held senior management positions at Siemens, Osram, Everlight, and most recently as Vice President Sales EMEA at the international LED manufacturer, Cree. Working both in Germany and abroad he has a global perspective, and has a proven track record of managing sustainable revenue growth. Commenting on the appointment, Amnon Harman CEO said: “Stephan’s impressive professional background and passion for technology will be a great asset to d&b at a time of significant development and innovation. His dedication to creating and strengthening business partnerships, and his expertise in building global sales structures will be a driving force as we continue to grow and enter new markets.”

“d&b is an outstanding brand and a technology leader in the pro audio industry. The company’s passion to provide the best sound solutions to its customers appealed to me instantly,” says Greiner. “As d&b has successfully done so in the past, we want to continue to innovate and grow. Our goal is to bring d&b to the next level through the development of new market segments and business models, together with our excellent partner network. I am very excited to be part of the d&b family.”

2nd March 2017

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