People News Headlines
HSL Appoints Two New Theatre Specialists
UK – HSL continues to strengthen its dedicated theatre and performing arts division with the appointment of Ben Payne as key account manager (theatre) and Jo Sunners as business development manager (theatre).
Both join HSL after working together for 18 months at another rental and production company. They will be based in London and the scope of their work at HSL will focus on supporting and developing this specialist sector.
HSL MD Simon Stuart commented: “We’re delighted to welcome Ben and Jo who are fantastic people, well respected, highly knowledgeable and have a vast amount of shows under their belt. In addition to sharing HSL’s core values of passion and commitment to outstanding service, their great synergy and colleagueship is ideal for our ever growing family.”
Ben comes to HSL with 15 years theatre touring experience which has included lighting and teching shows worldwide, from small, cool experimental works to substantial local and regional productions, site specific spectaculars and West End blockbusters.
He brings an extensive knowledge and understanding of both the commercial and creative aspects of the theatre industry to the HSL equation, plus a vast practical experience gained over this time and will be heading up HSL’s theatrical-based work in and around London.
Jo graduated from the acclaimed Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance with a degree in lighting design.
Since then she’s cut her industry teeth working for several companies in a number of different roles. For the last 12 months Jo has been concentrating her time on client-focused account management and business development, and will be bringing these skills together with her talent for communication to the new role at HSL.
Ben Payne comments: "I’m really excited to be joining HSL! It’s a dynamic growing company with lots of ambitions and energy, together with a clear brand-building strategy for medium and long term futures.
“It’s a great honour to be asked on-board the team to co-ordinate a constantly increasing volume of theatrical-orientated productions on all levels. With so many excellent projects already in the pipeline, I can’t’ wait to get started."
Jo Sunners adds: "HSL has an excellent reputation industry-wide, I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with such a diverse and vibrant team and looking forward to building lasting and meaningful relationships with new and existing clients."
In picture: Ben Payne, Jo Sunners and Simon Stuart.
5th December 2017
Adamson Appoints Marc Bertrand as Managing Director of Americas
Americas – Adamson Systems Engineering has announced the appointment of audio industry veteran Marc Bertrand (pictured) to the role of managing director for Adamson Americas. In his new role, Bertrand will lead sales growth and network expansion in both the touring and installation markets in North and South America.
“The Adamson brand has delivered exceptionally strong growth in all aspects over recent years. Adamson has always been synonymous with premium quality sound and is already a leading brand in countries like France and the Netherlands. My mandate, in concert with the complete Americas team, is to build on this performance and create the same benchmark sales and brand presence throughout the Americas," comments Bertrand. "I’m also very excited to be able to draw on the support of this dynamic and entrepreneurial management team at headquarters as well as the experience of our European and Asian teams.”
Bertrand is a well-respected veteran of the North American pro audio industry. After over a decade with Tannoy North America, eventually serving as managing director for five years, Bertrand became the CEO of TC Group Americas, overseeing a catalog of brands including Tannoy, TC Electronic, Lab.gruppen, Lake, and others. In this role, he created and led a very successful distribution network targeting the North American installation market and nearly doubled total sales during his stint.
Prior to accepting his new position with Adamson, Bertrand had already advised the company in a consultancy role and contributed to the company’s year-over-year growth as part of CETEC Group, the loudspeaker manufacturer’s representative firm for the Canadian market.
“I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with Marc to establish a Lab.gruppen platform for Adamson when he was CEO of TC Group Americas,” comments James Oliver, director of marketing and sales for Adamson. “His approach to building strong and lasting partnerships was integral to my own personal career growth, so having the opportunity to now work alongside him as a key member of our management team will bring out the best in both of us. We’re both ambitious and aren’t afraid to set lofty goals to establish Adamson as the number one brand in professional audio.”
Further bolstering Adamson’s commitment to the US market, Bertrand has announced the addition of Steve Allen and Chris Weatherford to the Adamson Americas team.
Allen spent nearly 20 years working under Bertrand in various departments at TC Group Americas, most recently as head of its inside sales department. In his new role with Adamson, Allen will lead business development and act as a conduit between the inside and outside sales team in the Americas – a “vital role in a fast-growing company,” says Bertrand.
Weatherford joins Adamson as part of the applications team for the Americas. He boasts years of experience as an in-demand systems tech, working with top international artists including Mumford & Sons and Lionel Richie. Weatherford will be based in Dallas, a key location as Adamson continues its proliferation in house-of-worship and performing arts centre applications.
Both Allen and Weatherford will work in close collaboration with Bertrand and the rest of the Americas team to achieve Adamson’s targets within the North and South American audio markets.
30th November 2017
Martin Fournier Joins Chauvet
France – Chauvet has announced that Martin Fournier has joined the company as its European sales director. Fournier is an experienced lighting industry figure in Europe, having spent the last 22 years serving the professional lighting market in Europe. He comes to Chauvet from Harman International, where he most recently served as that company’s sales director for France and Benelux Professional Solutions. Fournier began his career in 1995 with Martin Professional.
“Martin is a very valuable addition to our team, and we are excited to welcome him,” said Albert Chauvet, CEO of Chauvet. “He shares our passion for excellence and has spent 100 percent of his career focused on lighting.”
Michael Brooksbank, Chauvet’s managing director of Europe, shared Chauvet’s enthusiasm. “Martin brings a diverse range of skills and experiences to the table. He has excelled in many facets of the lighting business, including sales, distribution channel management and brand development. Most importantly, he is committed to providing excellent customer service.”
For his part, Fournier welcomes the opportunity to join a rapidly growing lighting-focused company. “There is a very good fit with Chauvet, as everyone here is dedicated to lighting just as I am,” he said. “As a lighting person, I can readily appreciate the thought and effort that Chauvet has put into developing its products. I look forward helping grow Chauvet’s business throughout Europe.”
Fournier will be based in Paris where he currently resides.
29th November 2017
Airstar European Network Appoints Thierry Beynet as New CEO
France – Airstar, the world leader in lighting balloon technology, has announced the appointment of Thierry Beynet as the new CEO of Airstar European Network. This strategic hire is a major step in Airstar’s plan to strengthen its presence in the European market, as part of the overall business strategy instigated by the company in 2016.
Airstar European Network (AEN), a commercial subsidiary of Airstar, represents 30% of the company’s turnover in lighting balloon solutions. Thierry Beynet recently took on the role, managing and extending the nine subsidiaries which form the European network. Indeed, AEN is responsible for marketing the entire range of Airstar lighting balloons in this region.
Beynet’s relationship with Airstar is a genuine success story which goes back many years. He worked his way up through the company, starting in 1998 as a technician, before taking on a commercial role. He then worked as AEN’s accountant, became manager of the Rhône-Alpes agency and now CEO of the European network.
His career at Airstar was punctuated by other professional experiences: “These allowed me to gain valuable knowledge from other industries and companies. Today, my vision for the company is an informed one, and these experiences will be an invaluable asset to the development of Airstar European Network.”
Based in Airstar’s world headquarters near Grenoble (France), Thierry Beynet is convinced that his place is in the field, assisting his colleagues to promote the many lighting balloon solutions from Airstar: “My mission is first and foremost to be present within the network, to work closely with the subsidiary directors and sales force.”
Thierry Beynet’s vision for the brand is an ambitious one: building on the success of last year’s strategic rebrand, his ambition is to take AEN to the next level: “The reputation of our brand and the quality of our lighting solutions means that we receive a lot of enquiries. My responsibility is to further grow these opportunities and convert them into business with the help of a strong sales strategy, an acute knowledge of our expertise and the markets we cater for. We can’t let the markets decide our future, and my goal is to instil a conquering spirit.”
When asked where he sees AEN in five years’ time, Beynet believes it will have exceeded the €10M milestone and will be actively developing new and existing territories, including regions in Germany, Spain and Portugal. “The brand’s potential is huge, and the demand for reliable, efficient and high quality lighting solutions is ever increasing.”
The relationship between Airstar and Thierry Beynet is an enduring one, which Beynet describes as a love story: “I met Airstar in 1998 and was lucky enough to be there from the early days. Today we are involved in some of the biggest events on the planet, and we have an innovative, audacious and unconventional image.
“It is simply a passion story; we design products that create emotions. The people who make Airstar are passionate about what they do. I feel very lucky to work in such an environment.”
29th November 2017
Jim Fitton Joins Electrosonic as Head of Solutions
UK - Electrosonic Ltd, an international audio-visual solutions company, has appointed Jim Fitton as head of solutions to drive forward their technology design service.
Jim’s 26-year career within the AV industry encompasses AV consultancy, design, technology and project management, and business development. He will lead the pre-sales engineering and solutions architect teams to provide high quality technical design solutions that are both aesthetically pleasing and technically exceptional.
“We are delighted to have such a recognised industry figure join the Electrosonic team. Jim’s appointment is an important step forward for Electrosonic’s AV design offering, and the ability to deliver unified, standardised global solutions.” says Sarah Joyce, managing director, Electrosonic Ltd. She continues: “Jim’s passion for everything audio-visual, and desire to help the AV industry continue to develop, reflects Electrosonic’s culture for continuous improvement, learning and development.”
Jim has an extensive AV background. Before joining Electrosonic, Jim was technology manager at ‘Involve Visual Collaboration’, specialists in visual collaboration and AV design. He has worked in business development and consultancy roles for two major international manufacturers, Crestron International and Extron Electronics. Prior to this, he was a project manager and design consultant for CMS London Ltd. This multiple disciplined expertise will ensure Electrosonic continue to excel in delivering successful projects, supporting clients from initial concept to project delivery and beyond.
“I am looking forward to starting this fantastic new role and using all my knowledge to help Electrosonic further develop their technical design services, says Jim. “Increasing our focus on technical design solutions enables us to have earlier engagement with the client and will ultimately save time and reduce costs during the design phase, as well as simplifying and speeding up the installation.”
Jim adds: “Electrosonic has successfully offered technical design support to both the entertainment and corporate markets for many years. I want to use all my experience to further expand this offering, ensuring the initial design meets the client’s unique objectives, adheres to budgets and time scales, is easy to maintain and support, whilst providing flexibility for future growth.”
Jim is CTS qualified and has many industry specific certifications including Crestron DMC-D, DMC-E-4K and DMC-T, Extron AVA, and XTP certification. He will be reporting directly to Marc Cooke, Electrosonic Ltd operations director, and will work closely with Electrosonic Inc’s design solution team to provide a standardised global offering.
29th November 2017
Maestra London Announces Four New Team Members
UK – Fast growing London and Dubai-based event technical design and production specialist, Maestra, has welcomed four new team members in London, in time for the busy autumn and winter season.
Justin Hammond, managing director of Maestra London, commented: “We are delighted to welcome everyone on board, and have been really impressed with the calibre of people interested in making a commitment to working with Maestra at this very exciting time in our development.”
Lizzie Bishop joins as senior project manager, Alice Dapling comes on board as a senior production designer, Sirajuddin Mohammed is focused on the financials and accounts, while Jenny Bumanglag strengthens the operations division.
Lizzie Bishop was attracted to Maestra and impressed with it being “a young company with lots of bright sparks”.
She graduated from the University of Birmingham with a degree in geography, then started off her career in events as an events co-ordinator for Wise Productions, specialising in delivering technical production in unique London venues such as palaces, art galleries, museums and skyscrapers.
Her role as senior project manager puts her right at the heart of the Maestra action, where she will be managing events from concept and idea through to full completion and delivery, working alongside the innovative technical and design teams. Her work will encompass anything from high profile London-based awards events, through to a diversity of large international conferences.
Lizzie finds the team “exceptionally creative, supportive, kind and fun”. She was also keen to work with a company with a strong international portfolio, which will provide fresh challenges and enable her to learn and expand her horizons.
Lizzie is known for her excellent organisational and communication skills and is ideal for co-ordinating complex production scheduling and logistics in a calm and collected manner.
She loves the people and the dynamics of live events, the vibrancy of the industry in general and the chance to harness new, fresh and interesting ideas and technologies in pursuit of offering a superlative guest experience.
Lizzie spends her spare time socialising, watching theatre and walking through cities at night, imbibing the buzz and the energy of urban life. She also plays the trumpet and enjoys skiing.
Alice Dapling studied interior architecture at Cardiff Metropolitan University (UWIC) and worked in an architectural practice before moving to London in 2012, where she worked at Event Concept for over five years before joining Maestra.
Here, she joins two other experienced and highly imaginative designers and will be producing creative concepts and design proposals including CAD visualisations and renders, 3D modelling, developing pitches, sourcing props and furniture, and creating visual content and graphics. She will also be working on site to co-ordinate the delivery of events and environments.
Alice wanted to work at Maestra after seeing the portfolio of work and realising she would be part of what is clearly a strong and autonomous design team. She really likes the people involved and appreciates the opportunity to travel and work on Maestra’s many international projects.
She has a keen eye for detail and is a perfectionist; by her own declaration: “Sometimes to the point of annoyance!”
The best parts of the job for Alice include seeing all aesthetic elements unite to produce a stimulating live event environment, and she relishes the pace, freneticism and fast-moving world and the challenges of having to quickly transform a room or a place into a transitory space with its own unique atmosphere.
Off site, she loves food (eating more than cooking) anything to do with architecture and design, being out and about in London, the theatre, and also skiing. Together with Lizzie and Justin also being keen skiers, Maestra looks set to soon have its own skiing team!
Jenny Bumanglag has been passionate about live events since she was very young, transfixed by watching them on TV, and visiting the theatre and many music concerts where she loves the drama and vibes!
Always wanting to work in this industry, she chose to study a degree course in live events and TV at the London College of Communication.
A recent graduate, Jenny’s university projects included producing live talk shows, creating set models and hosting fundraisers for awareness campaigns. She also loves being hands-on with arts and crafts.
As operations and admin assistant, she will be working closely with operations manager Juliet Irvine-Fortescue, and ensuring the sometimes mind-boggling logistics of an event run smoothly, which includes the very unglamorous tasks of running spreadsheets, plus organising and booking crews and suppliers. These are all areas where her organisational talents and attention to detail are hugely beneficial!
She wanted to work at Maestra to learn more about the design and production aspects of an event, within the lively and creative working ambience which is helping the company’s success to flourish.
In her own time, Jenny enjoys travelling and participating in adventure activities, and she is also a big foodie.
Having a well-organised accounting department is vital for busy event companies, and Sirajuddin Mohammed was seeking a challenging position in a high pressure, intense – but fun – setting, so Maestra ticked all his boxes!
Before arriving at the Maestra London office and warehouse space in Greenwich, he worked as a volunteer for Buckinghamshire NHS Trust in the accounts department where he cut his teeth in learning everything from bank reconciliation to maintaining ledgers. He also volunteered at the Langdon Foundation which helps enable Jewish people with learning disabilities to lead independent and fulfilling lives, again in the finance department, reporting to the financial controller helping to prepare budgetary reports.
Siraj came to the UK in 2012 to study for his Masters in international finance at the University of Westminster and graduated in 2013. Before then, he studied Mmathematics to undergraduate and graduate levels in India, so he knows a thing or two about numbers!
He didn’t have any previous event industry experience prior to starting at Maestra, but the company vibe really appealed to him as he wanted to collaborate with other young, talented, hard-working individuals all dedicated to delivering outstanding results.
Siraj keeps all the accounts in order at Maestra London and also assists his manager, who works at the Maestra Dubai office, in preparing statistics and performance reports. He really appreciates having major responsibilities in a company culture, allowing him to excel at these tasks without being micro-managed.
Maestra is a fast-growing company, the pace is energetic, positive and invigorating, and Siraj brings the attributes of calm, logic and – literally – calculation to the table. He’s a great fit!
In his spare time, he’s a cricket enthusiast and enjoys watching movies – both Hollywood and Bollywood productions – as well as following what is happening in the stratosphere of global finance.
In picture: Jenny Bumanglag, Lizzie Bishop, Alice Dapling and Sirajuddin Mohammed.
27th November 2017
Picturall strengthens software development team with new appointment
Finnish media server specialist, Picturall, has announced the appointment of Markku Myllymäki to the position of senior software developer. Myllymäki comes to Picturall with over two decades experience in software development in a variety of roles for multinational corporations including Nokia Networks and Elektrobit.
“As a computer graphics enthusiast, I am very interested in several of the technologies currently used in Picturall products,” explained Myllymäki. “It gives me great insight into a very exciting business sector that I’m not very familiar with, so I’m really looking forward to learning new things. Plus, Picturall has a great team; I like the people and I have a huge respect for their technical expertise. It’s great to be part of a small team where you know that everyone’s contribution is really important, and everyone has their role to play in the growth of the company.”
Samuli Valo, Picturall’s CEO and head of R&D, is delighted to welcome Myllymäki to the team. “Markku has solid experience in just about every area we required including project management and product management as well as his considerable technical software development skills. We are all looking forward to working with him on our next generation of media server and playback products.”
24th November 2017
Anthony Van-Sertima Becomes Business Development Manager at SGM UK
UK - SGM has welcomed Anthony Van-Sertima as the new business development manager at the UK branch. Anthony was first introduced to SGM in 2005 and has loved the products ever since. With his knowledge of SGM and a background as both light technician and designer, Anthony is the perfect link between SGM and lighting designers.
“In the UK, the network of lighting people is close and friendly. Having extensive knowledge in lighting and production, I’ll be on hand to provide the link between lighting designers and the brand; a friendly, familiar face,” said Anthony about his new role at SGM.
Anthony foresees a huge growth phase for SGM, and is thrilled to be part of that journey. “It’s not like other manufactures are falling short, but SGM is a few years ahead of competitors, having developed purely LED based technology a few years before the other major manufacturers,” said Anthony. “Also, in terms of the IP-rating, it is an exciting time for SGM as the demand for outside light installations is increasing, particularly here in the UK, but also globally,” said Anthony enthusiastically.
In his early teens, Anthony started working part-time in a lighting warehouse, where he got to learn and play around with lights. He went on to get a degree in lighting design and spent many years as a lighting technician and designer in theatre and the events industry.
“SGM is about to go through an enormous growth phase, bringing top-of-the-line products to the market and broadening its range of products to be able to offer solutions to the theatre industry and other markets. With my theatre and events background, it’s really cool to be a part of that journey,” said Anthony, who is also bringing a far-reaching industry network with him.
Ian Kirby, director at SGM UK, brought Anthony aboard exactly because of Anthony’s background and extensive knowledge. He is likewise extremely positive about Anthony’s influence on SGM’s expansion into the theatre market.
“Anthony brings a wealth of experience in lighting design and production. He is perfectly placed to help SGM develop its marketplace in production and theatre,” said Ian.
22nd November 2017
L-Acoustics Appoints Tony Szabo to Head Touring Applications Team
France – L-Acoustics announces the appointment of industry expert Tony Szabo as head of application, touring. Tony will work directly with Florent Bernard, director of applications, Touring to deploy the application strategy for the touring market and manage the touring applications team. As part of the senior leadership team, he will ensure the continued success and strength of the global network of L-Acoustics partners and will support major projects around the globe.
Tony will be a familiar face to many in the industry, his career spans 25 years, from monitor technician to FoH engineer, show controller, crew chief and senior FoH systems engineer, Tony has worked with the world’s top artists and festivals. Most recently, he served as senior systems engineer at L-Acoustics UK partner Adlib Audio Solutions, designing systems for tours and festivals as well as mentoring the systems engineer team and leading technology acquisition decisions. Tony has lived and worked in Australia, Canada and the UK, touring with artists such as David Bowie, Bryan Adams, Kylie Minogue and large-scale events like the Sydney Olympics Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
“Tony’s extensive experience in key posts in the industry brings a unique and fresh perspective to lead our market development strategy. His combination of technical expertise, industry knowledge, and business acumen will be a great asset for L-Acoustics,” affirmed Florent Bernard. “Counting Tony in this newly created position will allow us to continue to affirm and expand our leadership in the touring market, while supporting our partners to do the same.”
“I’ve worked extensively with all of the top pro audio technologies and I’m proud to join what I consider to be the leading pro audio brand,” added Tony Szabo. “It’s exciting to represent the L-Acoustics in the touring market, ensuring the continued strength of the brand through the excellence of our internal team and our global network of partners.”
22nd November 2017
Derek Black Joins HHB Canada as Broadcast and Systems Sales Manager
Canada – HHB Canada has announced the appointment Derek Black to the new role of broadcast and systems sales manager. This appointment is effective immediately.
In his new position, Black will service HHB’s broadcast and systems clients and dealers, in conjunction with HHB Canada sales manager Norman Verrall. Together they will be responsible for managing the company’s independent broadcast and systems sales reps.
Black brings over 25 years of pro audio experience, including positions at TC Group Americas, Power Group, and QSC.
“I have been an industry friend and associate of Derek’s for many years, and we have worked on a number of projects together,” says HHB Canada president Dave Dysart. “He is a consummate professional with extensive industry contacts. We look forward in particular to strengthening our presence in the systems market and we welcome him to the HHB family.”
“I've known Dave and the HHB crew over many years. I have worked in conjunction with Dave as a distributor, and friend. We have shared many experiences at various industry events over the years,” adds Black. “I'm truly excited to become part of an organization that is so well liked and respected in the field. In addition, the line card is incredibly solid. With strong, solid ownership, and the combined experiences in different market verticals that the team brings, I wanted to be a part of writing a very exciting new chapter in the scope of business for HHB.”