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ABTT Technician of the Year 2017

ABTT Technician of the Year 2017

UK – The ABTT has presented Charlotte Lockyer with the Technician of the Year Award for 2017, at a ceremony held at the end of the first day of the annual ABTT Theatre Show at Alexandra Palace, north London. In front of a hugely appreciative audience of peers and colleagues from the Theatre Industry, Charlotte received a signed certificate, along with the coveted ABTT Hook-clamp trophy engraved with her name and award title, from ABTT chairwoman Louise Jeffreys, head of arts at London’s Barbican Centre and Robin Townley, ABTT Chief Executive.

Having achieved a BA(Hons) in Media and Cultural Studies at Bristol University, Charlotte graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) in 2007 with a Diploma in Theatre Technical Arts. She immediately joined Stage Technologies working in several departments, including Rentals, gaining a wide range of skills.

From there she went to work on West End and touring shows as an Automation No2, followed by a five-year stint in the National Theatre’s automation department, embracing six different automation systems as both operator and programmer for over 35 productions, including the monumental and prestigious “NT 50 Years on Stage” showcase spectacular.

Having acquired a wealth of experience, she returned to Stage Technologies in 2014, as a rental department automation engineer.

Promoted to a senior level at the beginning of this year, she is now head of controls for rentals. In her current role, she leads the skilled teams that install, commission and program the wide variety of theatre, film and

corporate productions that TAIT Stage Technologies support, both in the UK and overseas.

Charlotte’s fantastic understanding of the theatrical process has quickly gained her the reputation as an outstanding individual who can gain trust and respect from even the most discerning of production and artistic teams and, with a great career still ahead, a new generation of technicians are already benefiting from her skills and knowledge, as she regularly returns to RADA to teach automation to its current students, as well as installing automation equipment for student productions and sitting on the third year technical students’ assessment presentation panel.

The ABTT Technician of the Year Award is one of the most important accolades the Association of British Theatre Technicians bestows, as it recognises the achievement of an individual who is still in the heart of their career but who has consistently delivered technical excellence: recipients will have usually been pursuing full employment in a backstage or production management role for at least ten years, will have predominantly worked on the presentation of live performance in places of entertainment such as theatre, dance or opera productions in theatres and opera houses, or on theatrical experiences in non-conventional spaces, will have achieved a mastery of their chosen discipline or craft, will be recognised as an expert practitioner by their peers and will have achieved and promoted best practice throughout their career making a significant contribution to technical excellence in the delivery of world class performance.

Robin Townley, ABTT chief executive, stated: “The ABTT exists to promote technical excellence in live performance and we believe in acknowledging examples of best practice whenever we can. We seek to

support the technical and production sector by engaging and enabling technical practitioners and product suppliers. We are so pleased when we can recognise individuals who are leading the way with best practice in

any of the backstage disciplines. Charlotte is a fantastic recipient of the Technician of the Year Award who, although still only just into her career, has already established a tremendous reputation among her peers and

delivered at an incredibly high and consistent level. I congratulate her wholeheartedly on her achievement and the greatly deserved recognition that the ABTT Technician of the Year Award acknowledges.”

Charlotte joins an illustrious list of ABTT Technician of the Year winners, including: Steve Huttly (2016), Gavin Pell (2015), Peter Lambert (2014), Ben Sandford (2013), Andy Brown (2012), Alex Hitchcock (2011), David

Draude (2010), John Tapster (2009), Simon Stone (2008), Othman ‘Hoffman’ McGregor-Read (2007), Antony Bridges (2006, awarded posthumously), Stuart Crane (2005), Fraser Hall (2004), Andy Voller (2003) and Nick Ware (2002).

In picture: Robin Townley CEO ABTT, Charlotte Lockyer receiving the ABTT Technician of the Year 2017 Award, and ABTT chairwoman Louise Jeffreys.


23rd June 2017

Paul Young joins J&C Joel as ASEAN Sales Manager

Paul Young joins J&C Joel as ASEAN Sales Manager

Asia – Leading manufacturer of flame retardant fabrics, drapery and stage engineering solutions, J&C Joel has appointed Paul Young as its new ASEAN sales manager.

Paul has 26 years’ experience in the industry having previously worked for AED, MA Lighting and Litec. His impressive background includes working in design, sales, project management and operational management.

His appointment will strengthen the knowledge and skills within the Asia sales team and will ensure there is a key person on the ground based out of Hanoi to help the company keep up with the ever-increasing demand for J&C Joel’s products and services in the region.

Paul said: “I’ve known Joel’s for a long time as we’ve crossed paths in the industry over the years. When I heard about the opportunity with the company it was an irresistible challenge and the role met everything on my wish list.

“I’m really looking forward to working for such a well-respected market leader, being part of a developing market and meeting all the customers. The products, the reputation and history, and of course the personnel that make it all happen, are second to none.”

James Wheelwright, J&C Joel’s CEO, said: “Paul is an extremely welcome addition to the team. He brings a wealth of experience to J&C Joel and his industry knowledge will be a real asset to the business.

“It’s an exciting time for Paul to be joining the company with the opening of our new facility in Vietnam and his impressive and diverse background will complement the Asia sales team. Having him in place will provide our clients with a valuable local connection and ensure we are providing the best customer service across the region.”

22nd June 2017

J&C Joel

PRG XL Video Expands its Music Team with New Capabilities

PRG XL Video Expands its Music Team with New Capabilities
PRG XL Video Expands its Music Team with New Capabilities

UK – PRG XL Video, the UK operation of Production Resource Group (PRG), has announced two new additions to its music team. Robert Watson (pictured top) and Michael George have both joined as account managers and bring a diverse range of talent and experience to PRG.

Michael George has joined the company from Blink TV where he specialised in filming and streaming of live events, which is a service PRG XL has already begun to offer with the live streaming of Stormzy’s recent sold-out Brixton Academy shows.

Michael’s expertise in this field builds on PRG XL’s existing video, broadcast, and live recording capabilities, offering clients new services including social media streaming, and video clip compilations. Michael brings with him an extensive network of contacts in the field of content creation and editing.

Stefaan Michels, director of music, PRG XL Video, comments: “It’s a pleasure to have Michael join the team. He’s great to work with. It is exciting to expand into the live streaming market and with Michael’s expertise and high standard of delivery, it’s sure to be a resounding success.”

Robert Watson brings more than a decade of experience in live production, working as project manager and crew chief on several high-profile music festivals, designing lighting for theatre and concerts, and most recently working as a project manager at Panalux Broadcast & Event.

Robert’s expertise expands PRG XL’s WYSIWIG and design capabilities to the team, along with extensive knowledge of the latest lighting and video technology being used for state-of-the-art music and live event shows.

Yvonne Donnelly Smith, director of music, PRG XL Video, added: “I’m delighted to welcome Rob to the team. His in-depth technical knowledge and on-site experience of delivering shows is a great benefit to us. Additionally, Rob’s personality complements the rest of the team, and he’s already fitted in well!”

Both Michael and Robert are based in PRG XL’s central London office, near Covent Garden.

21st June 2017

PRG XL Video

POLAR appoints Dave Griffiths as Business Development Manager

POLAR appoints Dave Griffiths as Business Development Manager

UK – POLAR has announced the appointment of Dave Griffiths as business development manager for its MI/consumer division. With POLAR's authorised dealership structure now firmly established, it has refreshed its sales operation by giving him responsibility for managing accounts across The Midlands, The North of England, Scotland and Ireland. Dave is a very experienced industry professional, who began his career as a studio engineer at multimedia specialists, The Music Factory, before progressing through the ranks first as a producer and then a production manager. Following this highly productive period, during which he became familiar with every aspect of music production and professional audio, Dave sought new challenges, working first for Yamaha's pro music division before joining Korg. An excellent musician, Dave plays bass in numerous bands, something that sustains a valuable and ever-evolving insight into the MI world.

Tim Riley, director of brand development at POLAR welcomes Dave Griffiths: "We've recently undertaken some significant changes in the operation of our MI/consumer division and the timing of Dave's appointment couldn't have been better. He came highly recommended by several influential clients and it was immediately clear when we spoke, that his experience and broad skill-set dovetailed perfectly with our brands and plans. As a talented musician, his empathy with every aspect of the market adds a real value to the service we aim to deliver at POLAR. We're very pleased to have recruited another high-achiever to help further drive our ambitions."

Dave Griffiths is relishing the role and says: "The restructure at POLAR that presented me with this opportunity came at the perfect time. The brands in our portfolio allow me to re-engage with areas of the market that connect strongly with my background in studio and live sound production. Needless to say that, as a bass player, the chance to work with two of the world's largest and most respected brands, in the shape of Gallien Krueger and Ampeg, was irresistible. Add in key brands like Mackie and Radial Engineering – which includes the Tonebone range of guitar effects – and it's easy to see why this is such an exciting prospect. I'm familiar with the territory to be covered, having worked extensively in the regions and look forward to forging and growing new relationships as well as renewing old acquaintances."

16th June 2017

GDS Appoints Alastair Collier as Business Development Manager for London and The South East

GDS Appoints Alastair Collier as Business Development Manager for London and The South East

UK – GDS has announced the appointment of Alastair (Al) Collier as business development manager for the London and South East of England area. Al brings a rich diversity of experience to the role, having first obtained a degree in mechanical engineering, before taking over as MD of his family's luxury retail jewellery business, where he enjoyed 15 successful years at the helm. A career move into property development followed, during which time Al broadened his skill-set by qualifying as an electrician before seeking a role in the lighting industry, a pursuit inspired by his strong interest and active participation in entertainment promotion and production.

Matt Lloyd, managing director of GDS offers an enthusiastic welcome: "Al brings something special to the GDS team. His experience combines an in-depth understanding of high-end retail with an equally comprehensive technical background, skills that complement each other perfectly in our business. I'm certain that Al's insights will be invaluable in helping us explore new markets as we develop and expand our product ranges. GDS was founded on a passion for theatre solutions and whilst our scope is now considerably wider than the entertainment sector alone, it's great to have another team member on board who shares our love of all things performing arts."

Alastair Collier looks forward to the challenges ahead: "I believe that GDS is a perfect fit for me. My technical experience enables me to fully appreciate the application possibilities of the company's amazing product range, whilst my time in retail has given me the business background essential to developing relationships. I'm looking forward to delivering the GDS message to London and the South East and helping to further grow the potential of this superb cutting edge technology."

As GDS celebrates its 13th year, the award-winning UK manufacturer has become a truly global company, having established an international sales and distribution network in 38 countries. A multiple award winner with six market-leading brands, GDS continues to innovate at the forefront of the entertainment, architectural, television and corporate markets. From ArcSystem, the original wireless Auditorium LED Lighting System to BluesSystem backstage working lights and from CueSystem cue lights to its stage mangers desk, GDS continues to create innovative, flexible solutions that have found their way from Broadway to the Liverpool Everyman and from The Esplanade Singapore to the Savoy Theatre London.

9th June 2017


Atlona Amplifies North America Sales Team

Atlona Amplifies North America Sales Team
Atlona Amplifies North America Sales Team

USA – Atlona continues to broaden its sales reach throughout North America to keep pace with customer growth and a rapidly changing business environment driven by an influx of disruptive technologies. Joining the company effective immediately are Bruce Moses as nnational sales manager western region and Nicki Kupecz as regional sales manager serving Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.

Based in Seattle and reporting to Atlona CEO and Co-Founder Ilya Khayn, Bruce brings nearly 25 years of experience to the company. His experience includes 17 years in AV systems integration as a principal at Wire Ways/Premier Technology Group, and six years at Crestron as a regional sales manager.

“My experience in the systems integration side of the business provides me with an acute understanding of the challenges integrators face in providing complete, interoperable systems for their customers,” said Moses. “These challenges are magnified as the industry transitions to IP and the cloud. Atlona is addressing these with a true solutions-based approach that bring functional products and applications together.”

Based in Austin, Texas and reporting to Atlona national sales manager Amelia Vrabel, Nicki’s 15 years of industry experience also crosses manufacturing and systems integration. She most recently spent seven years at The Whitlock Group as a key account executive, where she routinely surpassed sales goals by as much as 250 percent. Her experience working with enterprise-scale clients in education, corporate and government at Whitlock and manufacturer Spectrum Industries ideally prepares her for success across Atlona’s key business verticals.

“The AV industry is shifting, and conference rooms are less about the 'wow factor' and more focused on simplified solutions and ease of use for end users,” said Kupecz. “Atlona is clearly on the leading edge of this trend, having proven their leadership in HDBaseT solutions and now bringing game-changing solutions like the OmniStream AV over IP family and the Velocity cloud-based control system to market. Atlona was also among the first companies to recognise the value of soft codec conferencing with the rise of huddle spaces, and the AT-UHD-HDVS-300 series offers a perfect solution for customers moving away from more traditional and expensive videoconferencing systems. These are disruptive solutions coming to market at a time when the AV industry is ready for disruption.”

Bruce and Nicki will join Atlona next week at InfoComm 2017 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, where the company will demonstrate OmniStream, Velocity and the AT-UHD-HDVS-300 soft codec conferencing system among several new products at Booth 3961. The show runs Wednesday through Friday.

7th June 2017

Altman Lighting introduces Jaime Friedstadt as International Sales Director

Altman Lighting introduces Jaime Friedstadt as International Sales Director

USA – In a move to expand their International sales division, Altman Lighting has announced the appointment of Jaime Friedstadt as their new international sales director. With a wealth of knowledge in both the architectural and entertainment lighting industries, Friedstadt will now manage the Altman Lighting sales channels in the Caribbean, Latin American, European, Middle Eastern and African markets.

“With the expansion of our product offerings and our growth in a worldwide market, we are very fortunate to have Jaime join us to reinforce our efforts and expand our market presence accordingly,” stated Julie Smith, Altman Lighting general manager.

Friedstadt has over 20 years of experience providing quality sales support and generating client relationships for a number of entertainment and architectural lighting manufacturers. Prior to joining Altman Lighting, Friedstadt worked with Chauvet Lighting, Philips Vari-Lite, Philips Strand Lighting and Hubbell Lighting.

“The global lighting markets are expanding exponentially with the introduction of many ground-breaking and energy-efficient lighting technologies,” said Friedstadt. “When reviewing both the current and upcoming solutions provided by Altman Lighting, I am confident we will be able to expand our multinational client relationships and further strengthen our position as a market leader.”

31st May 2017

Avolites Hires Two New US Support Engineers

Avolites Hires Two New US Support Engineers
Avolites Hires Two New US Support Engineers

USA – Avolites and its US distributor, Group One Ltd., has announced the appointments of two support engineers, Kade Behm and Ruben Laine. Both new hires report directly to Avolites US national sales manager Brad White, while the announcement comes from Group One president Jack Kelly.

Based in Denver, Behm has been an Avolites user for more than two decades with production company Maniac Productions and is currently handling telephone, email and social media support for US users of the manufacturer’s lighting control consoles. Meanwhile, Laine, who is based in Miami, is a long-time user of Avolites’ Ai media servers and now primarily tasked with educating both dealers and clients on the capabilities of Ai.

“Ruben and Kade have each had a tremendous amount of experience with many different types of productions and job roles, and we’re very pleased to have them on the Avolites team,” says Kelly. “They’ve both been fiercely loyal to the brand for many years and they’re both absolutely dedicated to helping our users push the limits of their art to create incredible visual performances for their audiences every time.”

“I’m thrilled to be part of the expansion of the Avolites team and brand here in the States,” Behm shares. “Avolites has certainly been around for quite some time, but this company and its products today are so much more than just the classic consoles it originally became known for. We’re doing some amazingly exciting things right now and I’m looking forward to helping our designers and programmers knock peoples’ socks off!”

Ruben shares Kade’s enthusiasm. “Ai v10 is a fantastic piece of software,” he says. “I remember five years ago playing with Ai for the first time feeling both excited and intimidated. It was a powerful tool with a steep learning curve. I am happy to report that Ai v10 has been simplified and is very approachable. Being able to perform almost entirely out of the Ai interface completely changes the user experience. Ai v10 is full of improvements and new features. I am eagerly anticipating helping our clients dig deep into their creativity and bring their amazing ideas to life.” 

30th May 2017


Jack Wilders Joins Electrosonic Ltd as Business Development Consultant for Digital Communications

Jack Wilders Joins Electrosonic Ltd as Business Development Consultant for Digital Communications

UK - Electrosonic, an international audio-visual systems integration and service solutions company, has announced the appointment of Jack Wilders as business development consultant for Digital Communications.

Based in the EMEA head office, Jack will be responsible for building on the significant growth Electrosonic is currently experiencing in the digital communications market. Jack will use his vast experience of digital signage and communications to provide strategic direction for customers who wish to enhance and deliver their internal communications messages through new and existing technologies.

“We’re extremely delighted to welcome Jack to Electrosonic. With over 15 years’ experience in digital communications and content management, Jack will certainly be an asset to us as well as our new and existing clients,” says Oliver Walter, head of business development and bid management.

Jack brings with him over 15 years’ industry knowledge and experience of IPTV, digital signage, videowall controllers, third-party integrations and many years of working with content management/creation specialists.

“I came to work for Electrosonic looking for a new challenge. I’ve known about their reputation for providing excellent end-to-end service,” says Jack. “As I have a passion for client relationships and audio-visual communications, I have no doubt that Electrosonic will be a great fit for me. I look forward to getting to know our existing customers and developing new relationships whilst providing bespoke solutions that will improve client communications and collaboration.”

24th May 2017

POLAR appoints Will Turney as Business Development Manager

POLAR appoints Will Turney as Business Development Manager

UK - POLAR has announced the appointment of Will Turney to the post of business development manager. With seven years experience in the AV industry, Will joins the company from Harman-owned AMX, a manufacturer of control and switching equipment, where he was a channel account manager concentrating on the higher education sector. A marketing and management graduate of Newcastle University, Will's role at POLAR will be to bring his dynamism and expertise to grow sales and revenues in the Integrated Solutions division.

POLAR director, Stuart Leader, who heads up the integrated solutions division, welcomes Will to the team: "Will has a comprehensive understanding of AV technologies and their application, as well as a thorough knowledge of the UK marketplace. He was a standout performer in his previous role, recognised with numerous sales awards and we're really pleased to have recruited a team member with the skills and personality that will help us continue to grow and move forward."

Will Turney looks forward to the challenge: "My main focus at POLAR will be to grow sales and revenues by maximising every opportunity. Whilst I am confident that my career to date has equipped me with a strong set of skills and a high level of technical understanding, I remain aware that success depends on continued learning in an industry that never stands still. POLAR is held in high regard and I'm very much looking forward to bringing my energy to this exciting new challenge."

10th May 2017

Robe Lighting
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