People News Headlines
New management set-up for Georg Neumann GmbH
Germany – Wolfgang Fraissinet (pictured), president marketing and finance, will leave the studio specialist Georg Neumann GmbH to pursue new career opportunities in the audio and music industry. “We thank Wolfgang for his huge contribution to the success of Georg Neumann GmbH for almost three decades,” said Peter Claussen, COO of Sennheiser.
Until the position has been filled, the Neumann management team will report directly to Claussen, who is also president research and development of Georg Neumann GmbH. “We have a fantastic team at Neumann; together, we will ensure a smooth transition for our customers,” continued Claussen.
With a solid background in premium brand marketing and an education in classical piano at Berlin Conservatory, business graduate Wolfgang Fraissinet started his career with Georg Neumann GmbH in 1990, shortly before the company was acquired by Sennheiser in 1991. During this transitional period, Wolfgang was part of the team that helped to successfully integrate the Neumann business into that of the parent company, with a clear focus on the microphone portfolio.
In May 1992, he was made head of marketing and sales, a position in which he professionalised the company’s international marketing and PR activities, thus raising awareness of the Neumann brand and firmly anchoring it in the premium recording segment.
In 2000, Wolfgang became president, marketing and sales of Georg Neumann GmbH. When Neumann took over the Klein+Hummel monitoring loudspeaker business in 2010, he was instrumental in successfully establishing the new monitor line in the studio market.
Wolfgang successfully introduced a new CI/CD for Neumann.Berlin, culminating in a move to new headquarters in Berlin in 2015. Apart from his business endeavours, Wolfgang has always pursued his musical interests, and has been involved in various international productions of classical, jazz and film music.
Today, more than 80% of the professional recording studios worldwide use mainly Neumann microphones in their work; since 1991, Neumann’s turnover has grown tenfold. Most recently, the Neumann portfolio was successfully extended into studio headphones with the launch of the new NDH 20.
“On behalf of the entire executive management board of Sennheiser, I would like to thank Wolfgang for his immense contribution to the company’s success,” continued Peter Claussen. “With his determination and commitment, his wealth of expertise and close ties within the audio industry, Wolfgang has played a vital role in driving the Neumann business forward for almost three decades. His accomplishments include enlarging the studio specialist’s product portfolio and making Neumann a highly desirable brand not only in the studio field. We thank him and wish him all the best in his new endeavours.”
15th July 2019
Florian Pfeiffer named new Movecat Marketing Manager
Germany - A few weeks ago, Movecat GmbH of Nufringen recruited a new marketing manager in the shape of Florian Pfeiffer (pictured). As well as having studied business administration and leisure economics with the emphasis on marketing at the Ravensburg University of Cooperative Education, Pfeiffer brings with him four years of experience in the events industry, having worked in the sector as part of his vocational training. Most recently, he headed up the internal sales department at a Swabian oven manufacturer, providing an interface between sales and marketing.
At Movecat, his responsibilities are wide ranging and include online marketing and social media as well as PR and branding. "I'm very much enjoying working with the young and dynamic Movecat team and looking forward to the exciting task of combining tried-and-tested methods with new ones in a highly innovative environment."
photo: Susanne Krum
12th July 2019
Bandit Lites Founder, Michael T. Strickland, Awarded Parnelli Visionary Award
USA – The Parnelli Awards, the live entertainment industry’s premier awards show, has announced that Bandit Lites founder and chair, Michael T. Strickland, is the 2020 winner of the Parnelli Visionary Award. Bandit is in its 51st year under Stricklands’s leadership and is in a phenomenal growth phase. This recognition is a testament to the lifetime achievements of Strickland and the phenomenal staff at Bandit Lites.
Strickland began Bandit at age 12 in Kingsport, Tennessee in 1968 with acts such as the Beach Boys, Paul Revere and the Raiders, the Grassroots and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
“You must remember that in 1968 no one had stage lighting,” Strickland stated, “they all played with the ceiling lights on in a high school gym or National Guard Armoury. When we showed up with ‘borrowed’ Lekos and Fresnels, this was all new to the acts. At the same time, others in New York and LA were also experimenting and doing very psychedelic stuff, but they were adults, and I was a 12-year-old kid.”
This kid was already 6’2” tall and looked a bit older. Because of his appearance, Strickland notes he was able to bluff his way into situations that a 12-year-old should not have been in. Hiring someone with a driver’s licence was job one, and after that, the rest is history. The original Bandits took off and began illuminating rock shows in a 300-mile radius of Kingsport. On any given weekend, Bandit had borrowed all the lighting equipment from the high school, two junior highs and a theatre or two, hence the name Bandit.
Strickland graduated high school and then took the show on the road to the University of Tennessee where the merry band of pioneers continued lighting shows throughout college. After a degree in business, Strickland went onto UT Law School while simultaneously working as the production manager for the biggest act in the world: Kenny Rogers. Bandit grew rapidly and acts such as Blackfoot, The Outlaws, Molly Hatchet, Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn, Charlie Rich, The James Gang, Alabama and countless others used Bandit.
From that humble beginning, Bandit grew to have offices in Knoxville, Nashville, Charlotte, San Francisco, London, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Garth Brooks, Queen, Van Halen, Aerosmith, Jason Aldean, Barry Manilow, Carrie Underwood, Alice Cooper, Def Leppard, REM, Widespread Panic, Alabama, The Judds, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Neil Young, Selena Gomez, Hilary Duff, Shinedown, Halestorm, Jimmy Buffett, Lord of The Dance, WWE and countless others have called upon Bandit Lites for their lighting needs.
Along the way, Strickland and the team at Bandit developed a firm that is focused on people first, an act they call Humanomics.
“We make all business decisions based on the welfare of people; our team, our clients and the people we come in contact with,” Strickland simply states. “We strive to make everything a win-win and take the best care possible of the humans. Money comes second or third in every decision. It works best that way; if you take care of the people, everything else good follows!”
The success and this accolade are not lost on Strickland, who quotes Coach Nick Saban: “We earned our way here; we are entitled to nothing going forward.” Strickland is humbled and flattered by the award but points out, “This is an award for the fantastic Bandit family. No one person ever succeeds alone at this level. The great Bandit team has accomplished this, and I am lucky to be the captain.” Fifty years is a long time to succeed at anything, and Bandit Lites is at the top of the industry in year 51.
The award will be presented January 17th, 2020 in Anaheim, California at the Anaheim Hilton at the 19th Annual Parnelli Awards.
11th July 2019
ROE Visual Europe Appoints Development Manager for UK Region
UK – ROE Visual Europe has appointed David Morris to lead business development in the UK and Ireland region. Continuing its expansion and fortifying its sales team with a UK-based team member, ROE Visual Europe further intensifies its sales activities for the UK and Ireland, extending its knowledgeable team of LED display specialists.
“Having worked in the AV market for several years and with a broad experience in the live events market, Morris is the perfect candidate to support our current client base on the one hand and open up different market segments on the other,” comments Auke Meijer. “For ROE Visual Europe Morris is a good addition to the sales team, which is now covering key countries in the European and Middle East region. We’re happy to have him joining our team.”
“Following our continued growth, recently even spiked with the introduction of our LED line for fixed installation and AV integrators, an expansion of our sales team was high on the wish list. We like to keep our customer support at 200% and with David located in the UK, we’re able to address client queries directly,” adds Meijer.
David Morris is not new to the LED business, having worked in the field of major live events throughout the UK and Europe for the last five years. Morris has specialised in delivering large-scale projects from concept to completion. Working with LED applications has enabled him to gain a wealth of knowledge across multiple sectors of the industry, due to his time spent working with major event productions and advertising agencies.
His skills and experiences gained over the years enable him to engage with clients from a sales point of view but also from a project delivery perspective, with a true understanding of the clients’ needs. Morris aims to deliver the highest standard of customer service to the UK and Ireland: “ROE Visual clients just expect nothing less,” Morris adds.
Prior to entering into the events industry David spent ten years in the Royal Air Force as an IT specialist working on a wide array of IT and telecommunication systems.
“Morris offers the perfect support for our UK and Ireland based clientele, catering for both their commercial and technical needs. Apart from that, Morris is fully capable to open up market segments that have not been engaged in by ROE Visual, as such we see him as a welcome addition to contribute to growing our business in this region,” states Roelof Bouwman, general manager for ROE Visual Europe.
11th July 2019
L-Acoustics Expands Commitment to Install Market with Two New Application Hires
USA & France – With over 1,000 L-Acoustics installations annually, and continued expansion in areas such as houses of worship and sports facilities expanding rapidly, L-Acoustics continues to increase its commitment to serving the industry with strong, local application support. The recent addition of experts Greg Kirkland in North America and David Dohrmann in Europe to head the application install teams across multiple geographies reinforces the vital link between L-Acoustics, its global network of certified provider distributors, as well as integrators and end users.
Providing robust, location-based technical support will be central to David Dohrmann’s mission of serving installation markets. Dohrmann holds a Tonmeister sound engineering degree and his experience in the industry spans assignments as sound engineer for artists and performances across all styles, from rock to classical. As technical director for an audio manufacturer, he led a team providing support and training across the APAC region. Based in Hamburg, Germany, Dohrmann will lead application support for all installation projects in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
“It’s thrilling to join a company which is shaping our industry, and which has a unique combination of scientific excellence, entrepreneurial team spirit and passion for the audience experience,” expresses Dohrmann. “I’m honoured to be able to contribute to the success story of the company, and specifically to inspiring the application install team moving forward.”
As the technical reference and ambassador for the fixed installation market in North America, Greg Kirkland will contribute to growing the brand through interaction with key consultants and integrators, in tandem with the certified provider distributor network. With over thirty years of experience in the live and install markets, Kirkland has founded and managed successful consultancies that have completed projects across vertical markets, notably education, hospitality and cruise ships. Based in the L-Acoustics USA & Canada headquarters in Westlake Village, CA, Kirkland will lead application support for installation projects across North America.
“I am very excited to join L-Acoustics and to work with my team to deepen ties with our installation partners,” explains Kirkland. “I look forward to helping strengthen our presence in the North American market through excellent technical support from the design stage through to installation, calibration and beyond.”
Welcoming Dohrmann and Kirkland to the application team, Cédric Montrezor, executive director of application at L-Acoustics comments: “David and Greg both bring unique and strategic experience to our global application install team. Together, their knowledge of L-Acoustics products and services joined with their market experience will help to spearhead our growth in key regions and markets by providing the utmost standard of quality from design to install and through to calibration and training.”
In picture: Greg Kirkland in North America and David Dohrmann.
8th July 2019
Personal contact is vital – dBTechnologies Deutschland expands service team
Germany – dBTechnologies Deutschland GmbH, based in Cologne, is expanding its service team by two additional employees working in the after-sales service department. dBTechnologies Deutschland GmbH supports customers of the RCF and dBTechnologies brands in Germany, Austria and the Benelux countries. Offering qualified service for the complete product portfolio has always been the company’s recipe for success.
Nadine Dohmen and Rene Lohmar join the dBTechnologies Deutschland team as service managers to offer customers even more flexibility and to meet the increased demand for the products. Both have many years of experience in direct customer contact and service and serve now as personal connections to the customers. Direct contact, short communication channels and on-site help are key factors of the service strategy pursued by the company. dBTechnologies Deutschland GmbH is once again investing in its service team to fulfil this promise even better.
Products of dBTechnologies and RCF impress with their outstanding quality and reliability. To offer perfect service for the customers is a further aspect of the companies’ success story. The employees at dBTechnologies Deutschland know how important it is to be able to fall back on a competent and fast acting service team that can be reached directly and without a waiting loop when working in the live business.
dBTechnologies offers just more: direct contact persons in the service department, quick help and a workshop that carries out repairs on site in Cologne. Over the years, dBTechnologies Deutschland is locking back to very high customer satisfaction values. To even improve these, users of RCF and dBTechnologies equipment now have additional service staff at their disposal.
5th July 2019
Announces Dealer Management Changes – New Appointment
Peter Coleshas been appointed business development manager – system solutions.
This new wider role for Peter will cover dealer relationships for the Zero 88 brand in the MENA region complementing existing activities where, for several years, Peter has been supporting the MENA architectural lighting control business, developing DMX based control solutions for a wide range of high profile projects including theme parks and shopping centres.
Tyler Holpin is now the UK and Ireland sales manager for the Zero 88 brand.
His new responsibilities will extend to consolidating the recent UK sales channels and discount structure reorganisation, continuing the rollout of Zero 88 console training nationwide and developing the Zero 88 project sales focus as the company continues to explore and develop larger project opportunities.
Tyler has been an integral part of the Zero 88 team for six years, looking after both international sales and key UK accounts. Most recently, he has been proactively building Zero 88s international sales presence in the Far East and Pan Pacific, landing significant business in both Japan and Australia.
Tyler will also continue his responsibility for Zero 88 in the MENA region, collaborating closely with Peter Coles.
Tyler’s enthusiasm has always been a great fit with the team and he’s the first to admit that he lives to work and loves the job.
He’s been interested in lighting control from a young age and Zero 88 offered him the chance to follow his passion. Seeing the brand go from strength-to-strength, particularly with the launch of the FLX range of lighting consoles which have opened multiple new doors in rental, staging and the installation world has been an “incredible” experience.
Tyler’s co-workers at Zero 88 are not merely his colleagues, they are his friends and inspirators. “We all have the same drive and our goal is to make the Zero 88 brand succeed even further and, in the process, provide the right creative and technical tools for our clients and end-users.”
Tyler’s work schedule is full-on, but when he does get any down time, he loves the adrenalin buzz of Go-Karting, Crazy Golf and other speed-related activities. He’s “massive” about theme parks and is currently training to get his private pilots’ licence.
Edward Smith has recently accepted the position of product specialist.
Edward has been around on trade shows and out in the field during 2017-18 whilst completing his third-year work placement at Zero 88 Cwmbran, part of a BSc (Hons) in Lighting Design & Technology at the University of South Wales’s Treforest campus.
He shares the same zest for work and life as the team he now joins permanently starting 1st July and will be working alongside and reporting to product manager Jon Hole.
His primary tasks will include product training, mainly on ZerOS consoles, especially the FLX series, product support via phone, email, and customer forum, software specification related to the new ZerOS architecture and pre-release testing of the latter.
For Edward, this is the next step in a career journey that started in Year 8 at secondary school when he first used a Zero 88 console to light a school show, an experience that attracted him to entertainment lighting which then prompted his choice of college and university courses.
The college had a Leapfrog 96 console, and by then his heart was set on working with consoles and after software testing with Zero 88 at the end of his first year: “It became very apparent working for them would be a fantastic, rewarding job.” He inquired about the potential for the placement and now he’s an employee!
In addition to Edward’s technical knowledge and energy, he is a good communicator and has always enjoyed doing presentations.
He loves the fact that the industry relies on clever technology, both software and hardware, and smart people to use it, both technically and artistically. “Adding these elements together creates some truly awe-inspiring and dramatic lighting designs that can be enjoyed by audiences worldwide across all genres of entertainment.”
In his spare time, Edward crams in as much industry related work and fun as possible including working on live shows and productions. He still owns some older Zero 88 kit which gets hired out on events, and he’s also a keen drummer and enjoys live sound. He drums, builds sound systems and operates sound and lighting regularly at his local church.
David Catterall, general manager of Zero 88, states: “It’s been a busy and positive year and it’s great to have all this new talent onboard to help us position for a busy period of growth and expansion ahead, both nationally and internationally.”
In picture: Tyler Hopkin and Edward Smith.
4th July 2019
Bandit Lites Hires Sharon Draper as Controller
USA – Bandit Lites has announced that Sharon Draper has joined the corporate team as controller, overseeing all aspect of the accounting systems while developing and maintaining accounting policies and procedures.
Working out of Bandit’s world headquarters in Knoxville, Tennessee, Draper brings more than 40 years of experience in accounting and administration to Bandit’s financial team.
A graduate of the University of Tennessee, Draper has worked as the vice president of finance for Atmospheric Glow Technologies and as the chief financial officer of Container Technologies Industries. She returns to Bandit’s team after an eight-year hiatus, where she had been the financial reporting manager for five years.
“I am so delighted to be back at Bandit Lites,” said Draper. “The energy and enthusiasm around this place is contagious and it’s an exciting time to be back in the entertainment lighting industry.”
“We are all extremely excited to have Sharon rejoin Bandit during such an exciting growth phase,” said Bandit Lites chair, Michael T. Strickland. “Apart from being a world class accountant, Sharon is first and foremost a phenomenal person, a trait very much needed in business. The entire team celebrated upon her return to Bandit. We are in the most capable hands possible as we move forward into our next 50 years!”
28th June 2019
Chauvet Expands Sales Team with Addition of Shaun Robertshaw and Ritchie Reed
UK – To keep pace with the growing demand for its products in the UK, Chauvet has expanded its team by appointing Shaun Robertshaw and Ritchie Reed as business development managers. The two highly-regarded industry professionals will be responsible for the Chauvet Professional, Chauvet DJ and ChamSys lines in the in Midlands and south markets.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Shaun and Ritchie to the team,” said Matt Hallard, Chauvet’s UK Sales Manager. “Both are well known and well respected throughout our industry. Shaun and Ritchie have a wealth of insights and experience that will enable us to better serve our customers during this period of unprecedented growth across the industry by our family of brands.”
Robertshaw has been involved in the entertainment lighting industry for over 25 years, most recently as sales manager at Vari-Lite and Strand Lighting for the UK. Earlier in his career, he was an area sales manager for Chauvet. “I’m very happy to be re-joining the Chauvet team at such an exciting time for the company,” he said. “Chauvet has fast become the go-to source for many in our industry as a result of its leading-edge portfolio of offerings, so this is a wonderful opportunity.”
This enthusiasm is echoed by Reed, a 30-year industry veteran, who comes to Chauvet after successfully filling positions at Selecon Lighting, Martin and most recently Minuit Une. “I’m ecstatic to be joining Chauvet,” he said. "The Chauvet ‘family’ are just fantastic, a really tight-knit team that have welcomed me in. The broad product range has many great fixtures that I am looking forward to representing.”
Although Robertshaw and Reed have been at their positions for only a few weeks, they are already having an impact. “They’ve got off to impressive starts,” said Hallard, “and we’re looking to achieving even greater things in the future.
28th June 2019
Niccolo Cascino Joins Elation as Business Development Manager
Elation Professional has announced that Niccolo Cascino has joined the growing entertainment lighting company as a business development manager. Niccolo joins Elation from 8th Ward Management, a management company for live production creatives that he founded in 2013.
Niccolo’s role at Elation encompasses building collaborative relationships across the industry, including working closely with lighting designers to keep them abreast of Elation’s growing line of innovative lighting products while communicating market insight to the Elation product team to meet their exacting demands.
With a background in sales, as well as entertainment industry experience from the Abrams Artists Agency, it was at 8th Ward Management where Niccolo laid the foundation for his knowledge of live production by working with top lighting and production designers, video content studios and creative directors.
“Working with these individuals gave me the understanding as to what it takes to be successful in live production,” Niccolo commented. “I look forward to applying those skills to my new position to further my already existing connections while building new relationships to help grow the Elation customer base.”
Based at the Elation headquarter office in Los Angeles, Niccolo started in his new role on 15th April.