People News

Absen Hires Philippe Poppe as Business Development Manager for Benelux

Absen Hires Philippe Poppe as Business Development Manager for Benelux

Benelux – Leading global LED display manufacturer, Absen, has hired Philippe Poppe as its new business development manager for the Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg) region.

Poppe has a strong background in the corporate AV market, having worked at Harman, AMX, and Crestron among others, and will primarily be tasked with helping Absen to build its fixed installation business in the area. In addition, he will work closely with Absen’s local distributors and system integrators (VADs/VAPs) and help develop the company’s regional channel strategy.

Poppe started at Crestron in 2007 and was focussed on the Benelux region as a technical sales manager, before moving away from the tech side of things to work as a sales manager. In 2011, Poppe moved to AMX, which was, in turn, acquired by Harman in 2013.

“At Harman in 2018 I worked internationally in the EMEA region, specialising in the corporate, education, and government verticals,” said Poppe. “Despite this relatively narrow focus, Harman’s vast distribution network and presence in the rental market taught me a great deal in terms of end user engagement and business development.”

In this time, Poppe was able to build up a strong base of knowledge in the fixed install market, particularly with reference to meeting room projects. While at Harman, he oversaw prestigious installations at NATO’s Belgian HQ, the European Institute and a number of high-profile corporate clients like Accenture.

In his new role at Absen, Poppe will use his in-depth knowledge of the Benelux region to effectively manage day-to-day activities with local distributor Van Domburg Partners, as well as building strong relationships with key resellers in the region, particularly those in the retail and corporate sectors.

“The Benelux market sees a lot of investment, given its relatively small geographical size,” Poppe said. “It is a very dense market, especially in the Netherlands, where they are keen to adopt new technologies as early as possible. Our next target is the major universities in the area, for whom the capabilities of LED over projection in key auditoriums can really allow them to distance themselves from their competitors.”

He continued: “Another key market for us is control rooms, most of which are now built with video walls that simply cannot afford to fail. LED can offer a better solution than LCD, with better brightness and better reliability from our CR and HC MiniLED products.”

Poppe concluded: “These days, corporate clients are not just looking to add basic LED walls to their facilities; they want a manufacturer to bring new ideas and be creative. They want solutions that will add value with their presence, whether that is as a result of the product’s lifespan, its user interface, or its efficiency. My experience has given me a great insight into these kinds of ‘real world’ concerns coming from end users, and I look forward to using my time at Absen to be as helpful as possible in addressing them.”

31st March 2020

Stage Electrics Appoints New Service Engineer

Stage Electrics Appoints New Service Engineer

UK – Ollie Searle (pictured) has joined Stage Electrics as a service engineer working within its busy service department. As part of a team of five service engineers, Ollie will be responsible for visiting customers across the UK, maintaining and repairing a wide range of production lighting audio and video equipment.

Stage Electrics is an authorised service centre for ETC, Chauvet, ChamSys, Zero 88, Avolites, Martin Professional, Vari*Lite, Strand, Yamaha, DiGiCo RCF, TecPro, Altair and Swisson brands.

“It is something I have always wanted to do. My degree was in music production and I enjoy fixing things. Both of these go hand in hand with this role,” said Ollie.

Rob Ley, service manager said: “Ollie brings with him experience of setting up and operating audio systems in a live sound environment, as well as diagnostic fault-finding and workshop repair skills. He is customer focused and understands the importance of getting systems and equipment repaired with minimal downtime, making him ideally suited to the role.”

27th March 2020

Stage Electrics

Stage Electrics Appoints a Technical Sales Consultant for Trussing and Staging

Stage Electrics Appoints a Technical Sales Consultant for Trussing and Staging

UK – Rob Foster has joined the technical sales team at Stage Electrics. Rob is responsible for developing new business and maintain existing relationship with customers interested in rigging especially Prolyte, MILOS and Admiral.

Rob’s new role will focus on promoting the Prolyte brand of trussing and staging and a range of associated rigging accessories from Admiral Staging. With all of his past experience he is a welcome addition to the Stage Electrics team.

20th March 2020

Stage Electrics

PRG’s Bill Martin won the ILMC Medal of Honour for long-standing service!

PRG’s Bill Martin won the ILMC Medal of Honour for long-standing service!

UK – Project director Bill Martin was awarded ILMC Medal of Honour for long-standing service to the organisation. ILMC head Greg Parmley presented the award ahead of the ILMC Arthur Awards dinner. Bill Martin’s commitment to the ILMC and his role at PRG doesn’t go unrecognised!

“Bill is one in a million!” said Yvonne Donnelly Smith, director of music at PRG. “Bill’s knowledge of touring is second to none. He has brought with him all his years of on site training and experience into his role as project director. His teaching and mentoring of his team at PRG really shines through in every project. Very well-deserved Bill!”

Bill, who heads up the lighting project management team at PRG, has a depth of knowledge which he’s gained from his 40+ years in the live entertainment industry. His support for the industry and its people transcends into everything he does and PRG are proud to see his commitment recognised with this award. He’s the technical backbone of this industry and his dedication is commendable.

Speaking about the award, Bill Martin said: “I’ve worked on the ILMC since ILMC15 back in 2003 and am thrilled and honoured to have been recognised with this award. It’s been an incredible journey and I’m looking forward to what the future will bring.”

18th March 2020

The Point Source Audio Family Continues to Grow

The Point Source Audio Family Continues to Grow

USA — The dedicated team at Point Source Audio has grown once again with three new additions across the education and customer service teams. Joe Cota has joined the manufacturer as customer education specialist while Justin Hall becomes key account manager and Mitchell Ho is named as account manager, Western US.

On top of a warm hug for everyone he meets, Cota brings with him a background as a worship pastor and vocalist. “I’m a professional singer and musician by trade so I can relate to many of the challenges our customers face out in the field,” he explains. “I really enjoy the education component of what I do and the ability I have to help customers solve their audio challenges.”

Self-confessed foodie, Hall, is a seasoned account manager with a real passion for growth. “I have serviced customers, managed projects, and dealt with international distributors for a great deal of my career,” he reflects. “I enjoy helping people, so the best thing about dealing with my customers here is that I get to provide a solution to a problem they may be experiencing or help them with their needs.”

Ho is a self-described sponge for knowledge, immersing himself in everything from sports to cooking and music. While this is Ho’s first step into the business out from minor league baseball, he has been around professional audio his entire life. “I have grown up around Point Source and have seen the work and effort that it takes to make the reputation it has today,” he explains. “I want to continue building that reputation with every customer I meet by always putting the customers’ needs first.”

“We are delighted to welcome all three of these highly talented individuals into our Point Source Audio family,” adds James Lamb, president at Point Source Audio. “When we hire, we look less for their direct industry experience and more to see if they have the right personality to fit with our company’s customer-centric focus. Joe, Justin and Mitchell all have this in abundance and will be a real asset to our customers as well as the company.”

17th March 2020

Adam Hall joins POLAR as MI Business Development Manager

Adam Hall joins POLAR as MI Business Development Manager

UK – POLAR, established supplier of key industry brands to the installation, MI and professional audio markets, has announced the appointment of Adam Hall to the post of business development manager for MI. Having enjoyed a successful career as a touring and recording musician and producer, alongside sales experience at GAK (Guitar, AMP and Keyboard Centre) in Brighton, Adam moved briefly into the motor trade before returning to the MI sector with a role at Native Instruments.

Tim Riley, brand development director at POLAR, welcomes Adam: “Adam has a genuine interest in, and thorough understanding of, the products we distribute. His experience as a musician and producer informs a real passion for the kit, as well as giving him valuable insights into where things fit in the market. We’re confident Adam will be a great asset to the company. His knowledge and dynamism, combined with a ready ability to build strong relationships, marks him out as a great fit for POLAR.”

Adam Hall comments: “I’m really excited to be joining the highly respected POLAR MI team. Our brand portfolio constitutes an excellent range of high quality products, many of which I have first-hand experience of using. There’s a lot of emotional investment in MI products, whether they’re in the hands of seasoned professionals or hobbyists. As a real gear freak, I believe I have a genuine empathy that can play a key part in my new role. The chance to use my knowledge and experience to help further grow POLAR’s business is a fantastic opportunity and one that I’m relishing.”

12th March 2020

Peter Thomas Becomes Managing Director of PMC

Peter Thomas Becomes Managing Director of PMC

UK – It has been announced that PMC owner and chairman, Peter Thomas, will assume the role of manager director, following Tim Ireland departure from the British loudspeaker manufacturing company.

Peter takes on the role with immediate effect, ensuring a seamless transition to deliver PMC's ambitious plans for new product introductions, growth, and continuous improvement to customer service.

Peter says: “We would like to thank Tim for his endeavours and wish him well for the future. During his two years with PMC he has overseen some great changes and steered a steady course, keeping our objectives clearly in focus while upholding the values of our brand.

“I am very pleased to be back at the helm and once again be in closer contact with our business partners around the world. It is an exciting time for PMC with the launch of globally significant professional projects and the 25i series hi-fi speakers, and we have plans for several new initiatives that will guarantee we remain at the forefront of the market for innovation, engineering and superb quality.”

10th March 2020

Area Four Industries’ Rigging Commandos

Area Four Industries’ Rigging Commandos

Introducing the Rigging Commandos, an elite rigging and trussing team that Area Four Industries have put together to achieve one of their core pillars and mission goals, elevate event engineering and safety practices in the entertainment industry through continuous education programmes.

Made up of six team members, the Rigging Commandos bring their extensive knowledge and practical experience directly to your phone or computer screen with a series of interesting and entertaining rigging and trussing videos. The videos are produced throughout the year and released to the public on the world’s first video portal dedicated exclusively to rigging and trussing. With, rigging and trussing knowledge is only moments away from a screen.

Members of the Rigging Commandos team were specifically chosen not only for their knowledge and experience in entertainment production, but also for their ability to communicate directly with riggers and technicians. They live and work in their world.

Here's the team:

Eric Porter, British rigging consultant and head Rigging Commando, leads the charge on the rigging and trussing battlefield with his wealth of practical knowledge and world-wide tour experience that goes back almost fifty years.

Dipl.-Ing Norbert Tripp, German structural engineer and Area Four Industries’ technical director, takes viewers to the front line of static calculations, physical truss characteristics and support structure physics that keep you working smarter and safer.

Adam Beaumont, British EXE TECHNOLOGY brand manager and seasoned entertainment professional, guides viewers on missions high above the entertainment stage to where hoists thrive, exploring their inner workings and providing information on how to use them correctly.

Will Todd, TOMCAT COO and highly experienced 'tough guy' in the rigging and trussing arena, serves as the hard-hitting expert who attacks rigging & trussing practices and products needed for daily entertainment production activities.

Adrian Forbes, TOMCAT/JTE/Area Four Industries America sales and marketing director and double agent, sneaks behind the curtain of the rigging and trussing world to reveal the tips, valuable rigging practices and product knowledge gathered over his decades of experience on both American and British soil.

David Gore, American communications specialist and holder of product facts, features and benefits, introduces the trussing and rigging products that allow viewers to apply knowledge gained from his Commando teammates in their safe and effective use.

Going forward, the Rigging Commandos will continue to carry out the important mission given to them by Area Four Industries: increase the knowledge and safety of entertainment production professionals around the world for the good of all in the industry.

6th March 2020

Area Four Industries

Meet TP's Newest Team Members

Meet TP\'s Newest Team Members

USA – The Theatre Projects team has always been a family, and that family just got a lot bigger!

Theatre Projects has been paying attention to what its clients have been saying, and realised they could be served better by strengthening its core services, while also expanding its work in strategic planning, operations and audiovisual and technology services. So, over the past year, TP has been steadily adding new members to its three US offices.

Four of the new arrivals are additions to the New York office; one of them brings significant expertise in designing entertainment spaces on cruise ships, while another has designed escape game rooms in seven states. One newcomer joins from the live music industry, another has written a thesis about “BIM and the Performing Arts,” one speaks six languages, and another uses her love of science to design immersive audiovisual systems.

To know more about how they enhance TP's work, click here to find out more.





5th March 2020

University of Tennessee System Honours Michael T. Strickland

USA– The University of Tennessee System honoured Haslam College of Business graduate Michael T. Strickland with The Presidents Council Service Award on 31 January, 2020. The Presidents Council Awards Dinner was held at the Discovery Park of America in Union City, Tennessee and was attended by several hundred Tennessee alumni from across the country. The UT System is comprised of multiple campuses and locations across the great state of Tennessee.

The award is presented annually to an alumnus for exceptional service in the advancement of excellence at the University of Tennessee System. Strickland is the founder and chair of leading entertainment lighting company, Bandit Lites. This award ties in with the Bandit Lites mantra for 2020: Experience Excellence.

Strickland was recognized for a lifetime of service and dedication to the entire University of Tennessee System, a university he loves and owes so much to.

“Without the higher education I was afforded in my time at UTK, I would never have been able to achieve at the level that I did,” he said. “It is my mission to enlighten other people, create engagement and involvement with the school, and enable as many other people as possible to have the same education and opportunity that I did. I am truly blessed.”

The award was presented to Strickland by long-time friend and system president, Randy Boyd. Former Tennessee football coach and current athletic director, Phillip Fulmer, and the dean of the Haslam College of Business, Steve Mangum, paid tribute to Michael in a video presentation. Strickland and Fulmer have been friends over 25 years, and Strickland was honoured by both Fulmer and Mangum’s kind words.

This recognition comes on the heels of the entertainment industry giving Strickland the Parnelli Lifetime Visionary Award for his distinguished career in the business. Strickland, a pioneer of entertainment lighting, was fated on 17th January in Anaheim, California in front of 800 entertainment executives. To the surprise of all in attendance, long-time friend and client Garth Brooks appeared unannounced to present the award to Strickland.

Strickland serves on numerous boards and committees within the system, including the Presidents Council and the College of Business Deans Advisory Council. Strickland has previously been honoured with the Development Council Service Award, the Alumni Council Service Award, the Accomplished Alumni Award and the College of Business Distinguished Alumni Award.

“I am truly humbled and honoured that The University of Tennessee System has recognised me in this way,” finished Strickland. “It is an honour I will always cherish. I will endeavour to promote this great school as long as I am alive! Thank you to president Randy Boyd and Chancellor Donde Plowman for this great honour.”


5th March 2020