People News Headlines
BackStage Pass: Reflections on Life in the Theatre – A new video programme for the live event entertainment industry
In Memoriam: Jo Mulders, ADJ Group of Companies
The Netherlands – It is with deep sadness that the ADJ Group of Companies has announced the sudden passing of their friend and colleague Jo Mulders on Monday, 17th September, 2018. An esteemed and beloved colleague, Mulders, 61, worked as general manager at the ADJ Group’s European headquarters in Kerkrade and had been with the firm for over 15 years.
“On behalf of everyone at the ADJ Group, we are stunned and deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Jo Mulders and send our sincerest condolences to his family,” said Toby Velazquez, president, ADJ Group of Companies. “Those of us that had the privilege and honour to know and work with Jo have lost an inspiring friend. Jo was a warm, infectiously positive person who really cared for others and his absence will be felt with great sorrow. Jo was always sympathetic and team-oriented, valued for his know-how and drive, and was essential in helping to lift the company over the past 15 years. He will be sorely missed as both a friend and colleague.”
Mulders, who grew up in The Netherlands, called the town of Landgraaf home. He is survived by his wife, two children and grandchildren. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, 22nd September, 2018, at noon at Heilige Jozef parish church in Kerkrade, The Netherlands.
20th September 2018
Arena UK and Europe Appoints Jonathan Hills as Head of Structures
UK – Jonathan Hills has moved to the UK following six successful years with Arena Middle East and Asia to become head of structures and ice, effective 18th September 2018. He has 20 years’ experience in the events and temporary structures sector spanning across four continents delivering prestigious special projects and overlay. Jonathan has been an integral part of the growth of the business both in the Middle East and Asia.
Arena UK and Europe CEO Grahame Muir comments: “We have worked alongside Jonathan on many projects and are very excited to welcome him back to the UK. He has been pivotal in the expansion of our Middle East sister company, which coupled with his operational, design and logistical skills, makes him the ideal person to join us. Particularly at a point when we are undergoing ambitious growth following several acquisitions to expand our offering to clients.”
Jonathan brings a wealth of experience to this important role at Arena UK & Europe having successfully delivered many first class events, including the Dubai World Cup, Abu Dhabi F1 and Le Mans Australia.
20th September 2018
Stage Electrics appoint a new commercial manager
UK – Stage Electrics has appointed Dan Ryan as its new commercial manager. Previously the company's electrical compliance and quality supervisor, Dan is now responsible for ensuring Stage Electrics are delivering an effective service to all clients. This new appointment comes after a re-structure of the company's venue services department, a division of the company that completes compliance inspections for rigging, electrical and theatrical systems.
Having previously completed a BSc in Electrical Engineering and recently being certified as an incorporated engineer by both the engineering council and institute of electrical technology, Dan attains the skills required to maintain the highest of safety standards.
Dan Aldridge, commercial director at Stage Electrics commented: “After a demanding 12 months where levels of business have grown, it became obvious that we needed to appoint a commercial manager to lead this expanding team. Dan has completed a BSc in Electrical Engineering and recently being certified as an incorporated engineer by both the engineering council and institute of electrical technology. Ready for the next challenge in his career, Dan was the ideal choice to lead this division going forwards.”
14th September 2018
POLAR appoints Pete Curtis as Business Development Manager for HE Sector
UK – POLAR, established supplier of key industry brands to the installation, MI and professional audio markets has announced the appointment of Pete Curtis to the post of business development manager for higher education. Pete has worked across the education AV sector for almost 20 years gaining a broad range of experience. Combining a strong and wide-ranging technical skillset acquired in systems integration, with proven sales and marketing expertise developed through his work with TeamMate, Harman and wePresent/Barco, Pete is the perfect fit for POLAR according to director of integrated solutions, Stuart Leader: “Our association with higher education has expanded significantly in recent years and continues to grow. Pete is a well-known figure in this area of business and securing his services is a distinct advantage. He knows the sector inside out, has a sharp technical grasp of cutting edge technologies and has developed an excellent reputation as a specialist in this field. His skills and experience perfectly match POLAR’s offer in this important market.”
Pete Curtis looks forward to his new role: “I’m genuinely excited to be joining the fantastic POLAR team and helping to further develop business within the higher education sector. The company already works closely with a number of universities and I’m confident that I can widen our scope in this area. The level of technical expertise within POLAR Integrated Solutions is of the highest order, enabling us to offer an excellent system design service to end-users and also support integrators throughout a project. I’m sure that the great product portfolio at our disposal will engage many new clients, as well as continuing to be an invaluable resource for our existing partners as they develop their AV capabilities.”
14th September 2018
TSL Announces Appointment of Ali Morris as Rigging Project Manager
UK – Lighting and rigging specialist TSL Lighting has announced the appointment of respected head rigger Ali Morris (pictured) to the team as rigging project manager.
Morris brings a wealth of rigging experience to TSL, having worked in the live events industry since the mid 90s. His work has encompassed many disciplines, from theatre, television and rock & roll to festivals, sports, corporate and political events, both in the UK and abroad.
During the 2012 Olympics, he looked after the rigging of specialist cameras in many of the venues across London including both vertical and horizontal tracks in the iconic Aquatic Centre.
He has also served as head rigger at Glastonbury, Wireless and V Festivals, supervising the main stages. His most recent challenge involved touring a 4.5 tonne custom built gantry crane for Matthew Bourne’s new production of the Red Shoes.
Morris’s appointment coincides with TSL’s investment in a further 36 Litec EXE Rise SF8:1 30m HOL hoists, supplied by Adam Beaumont at Area 4 Industries. This takes stock levels to well over 200 hoists, all rated at D8 or D8+ level.
TSL's managing director Sam Tamplin, says: “Ali is a fantastic rigger and all round great guy. He already shares a close working relationship with so many of our project management team and works on many of our projects in a freelance role. Welcoming him onto the team on a more formal basis is a 'no-brainer'. We’re really looking forward to working more closely with him in the future”.
photo: TSL Lighting
13th September 2018
BackStage Pass: Reflections on Life in the Theatre – A new video programme for the live event entertainment industry
BackStage Pass has announced the release of the latest in the ongoing series of video interviews with people who have helped create the history and shape the future of the live entertainment industry. The interview highlights lighting designer and Tony Award-winning Broadway producer Richard Winkler whose career has exemplified the qualities BackStage Pass wants to honour.
Bill Sapsis, BackStage Pass executive producer, noted: “Richard has given us, through his work as a lighting designer and as a producer, wonderful theatre pieces that entertain us and make us think. His passion for the industry is very evident in his work on shows like A Chorus Line, The Norman Conquests and Come From Away. He puts his heart into every project and we’re all the better for it.”
BackStage Pass videos are available at no charge on YouTube. The videos focus on individuals who have had an impact on the entertainment industry. Previous guests are Jennifer Tipton, Neil Mazzella, Richard Pilbrow, Mark White, Steve Terry and John McGraw and David Hale with David Hearn.
Richard’s interview is available on YouTube at https://youtu.be/tnJ9XAhw8EQ
12th September 2018
Andy Vere Joins Light Fantastic Production Services
UK – Event production and equipment specialist, Light Fantastic Production Services has announced the appointment of Andy Vere to the role of director of production at its Borehamwood headquarters.
A well established member of the Light Fantastic production team, Andy joined the company in 2014 and has been instrumental in building the company’s reputation as a premier provider of technical production equipment and support services.
With a background in theatre lighting design, Andy has a wealth of experience covering a broad range of production disciplines, including theatre, live music and corporate events. Andy’s depth of technical understanding and artistic skills have proven to be invaluable in the successful delivery of a wide range of projects.
Throughout Andy’s time with LFPS, the company has increased in both size and stature to become a sought after production partner with a growing portfolio of prestigious clients. In his newly expanded role Andy assumes responsibility for supervision of the LFPS project management team, overseeing all aspects of project delivery.
Andy says: “Being part of a growing, successful business has been a great journey for me. Our team is committed to providing the highest levels of client support and together we have helped take the company from strength to strength. I’m looking forward to this new chapter, both for myself and the entire Light Fantastic team.”
Speaking about the appointment, LFPS managing director, Rob Myer comments: “Andy has become a key figure within the business. His commitment and enthusiasm for what we do is apparent in every project he tackles. Andy’s appointment continues our ongoing, company-wide policy of investment in both equipment and people; we’re delighted to welcome him to this new role.”
12th September 2018
David Thomson Joins Audiologic
UK – Leading provider of audio-visual solutions, Audiologic, has announced the recruitment of highly experienced AV professional, David Thomson, to the role of business manager with specific responsibility for Scotland. David brings with him more than 30 years of professional audio and AV experience and has been responsible for the design of hundreds of systems across Scotland, the wider UK and The Middle East. He is well known in Scottish AV circles, most recently for his work with Glasgow-based Audio for AV. He will work alongside Simon Jones to help further expand the company’s reach in what is a rapidly growing market-place for the Essex-based distributor.
Andy Lewis, sales and marketing director welcomes David Thomson: “It’s good to have David on board in Scotland. He’s an experienced AV expert with a proven track record in sales and a detailed understanding of the market. During his career, he has forged many important long-term relationships within the industry and I’m sure that working alongside Simon Jones, he will make a valuable contribution to developing Audiologic’s business north of the border.”
David Thomson looks forward to his new role: “I’m delighted to be representing Audiologic’s range of products and expertise in Scotland, a market I’ve been serving for nearly twenty-five years. My experience of the industry has time and again demonstrated the value of developing strong customer relationships; Audiologic’s clear focus on delivering excellent service and ‘best-fit’ solutions is an ethos I heartily endorse.”
6th September 2018
GDS Expands Team
UK - Specialist Bristol-based LED lighting manufacturer, GDS, has announced the recruitment of two new key members of staff. Following a recent management restructure and the ongoing establishment of important new areas of business, the company welcomes Charlotte Fenwick to the position of marketing manager and Katie Dyer to the role of business development executive. Charlotte brings wide experience of growth-marketing from the property development and engineering sector, whilst Katie has a strong sales background, developed across the IT industry.
Managing director Richard Cuthbert is looking forward to working with the new recruits: “These are very exciting times at GDS. We’re moving forward on a number of new fronts, so it’s essential that we keep pace with progress as we continue to expand the business. Charlotte’s appreciation of engineering and technology and her previous work in taking forward projects in the architectural field, makes her a great fit for our principal marketing role. Katie’s proven sales skills will support our recently created on-site service operation, as well as reinforcing the wider GDS team as we open up new channels. Both are very capable, committed and energetic individuals, who will be instrumental in helping to shape our future.”
Charlotte Fenwick comments: “In my career to date, I’ve developed a real passion for the technical side of architecture and engineering. Whilst GDS is more embedded in a specific area of technology, I’m confident that my marketing knowledge and skills will transfer effectively and I’m looking forward to helping the company grow its new products and services. This is a new chapter for GDS and one that I’m delighted to be helping to write.”
Katie Dyer adds: “I’ve worked successfully in both field and tele sales within large organisations in the IT sector for a number of years. The chance to take on the challenge of representing a market-leading technology company, as it embarks on a period of diversification and growth, was too good to miss.”
31st August 2018
“Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women who have her back”
South Africa – In the month of August, we commemorate the women who marched to the union buildings to protest and fight for the rights of women all over South Africa. It is a month where we look to the women in our communities and work places who make a difference, whether big or small, in the lives of those around them. As Gearhouse, we would like to show our gratitude and pay homage to our women of Health and Safety across the Group, Zona de Waal, Riekie Wiehahn, Wilma Vermeulen and Natasha Bezuidenhout.
Having been involved in the events industry for nearly two decades, Zona de Waal began her career by starting her own security company which gave her the opportunity to work on huge productions such as Miss World at Sun City and many others. “I started with Health and Safety in 2009 but decided to re-enter the live events industry in 2010 as a freelancer working for Alliance Safety Management where I had to ensure that all their events were health and safety compliant.”
Joining Gearhouse in 2017, Zona de Waal has put together an all-women team in a predominantly male industry; an industry in which women need to work harder to prove they have what it takes. “My reason for having an all-women team, is that women are natural caretakers, safety is not only physical but also entails an emotional side which, I believe, women possess and can connect with people on a deeper level.”
Zona’s team consists of three other phenomenal women who have paved their way in the industry and have gelled well with the surroundings at Gearhouse SA.
Riekie Wiehahn started at Gearhouse Durban in 2016 after moving on from a mining company. “Ever since I can remember I have always been in a male dominated world – right from growing up in my father’s workshop in my early years where I would spend hours mastering the art of welding and fixing racing cars.” After being involved in a mining accident, Riekie decided to focus on health and safety to prevent others from being injured.
“Riekie was already part of the team when I started at Gearhouse and when I saw all the work that she had done as the Safety Officer in the Durban branch, there was no doubt in my mind that she was perfect for the job. I knew that we already had the foundations of a powerful team” says Zona.
Wilma Vermeulen is the Health and Safety Officer at Gearhouse’s Cape Town Branch. She started her career in logistics where she spent 20 years in the Industry: “I was responsible for ISO compliance, health and safety, maintenance, security, IR and cleaning services,” she explains. When Wilma began at Gearhouse in 2018, she found immense support from her colleagues, especially Zona. “We had an instant connection even without my knowing that she was the director’s first choice among all the short-listed candidates,” says Zona.
Wilma believes that women are just as strong as men and sometimes even stronger but that it’s not a competition: “We are all human, each person created with their own special abilities and the strengths and if everyone works together ,we can achieve greatness.”
Natasha Bezuidenhout began her career in the Events industry by working as a call centre agent at Computicket. After a while of her being there, the call center manager, seeing her potential, promoted her to trainer and supervisor. “It all happened in a very short space of time,” she says, “next thing I knew, I had grown and moved through various departments in Computicket, gaining knowledge along the way.” Having freelanced at Montecasino’s Teatro as an assistant FOH manager and on events, Natasha’s understanding of the industry grew into an interest in health and safety: “I have always had a passion for helping others and making sure that people find themselves in working environments that will not only be beneficial to them but also not hinder their health in any manner,” she adds. Natasha holds down the fort in an administrative role, making sure that all the paperwork is up-to-date and accurate.
This tribe of powerful women is efficient and effective and makes sure that Gearhouse remains at the forefront of event safety across all spheres of eventing.