People News

Astera announces Carl-Johan Sköld as new Group CEO

Astera announces Carl-Johan Sköld as new Group CEO

Hong Kong – Award-winning wireless LED lighting manufacturer Astera announces the creation of a new Group CEO position with the appointment of Carl-Johan Sköld.

Carl-Johan will be based in Hong Kong and collaborating closely with both the German HQ and design centre, and Astera’s Chinese manufacturing teams to shape the company’s medium term and future growth strategies.

With extensive expertise in long-term business development and strategy, Carl-Johan will outline some ambitious goals for Astera’s future, whilst also fortifying the brand’s current standing as a market leading lighting technology brand.

Astera’s sales director Sebastian Buckle commented: “It’s hugely exciting to have someone of Carl-Johan’s calibre on board as our company moves to the next phase of its development. Carl-Johan brings great expertise, a huge enthusiasm for our industry and a brilliant track record of foresight and success, all of which will have positive impact on Astera going forward and we look forward to a long and productive relationship.”

Carl-Johan has already worked as a consultant for Astera for some time and is aware of its many assets.  

He says: “Astera has many strengths and the key to developing any effective future strategies starts with these. The approach to innovation – based on thoughtful design tailored to the specific needs of multiple lighting professionals – makes Astera stand out in the market and provides a great basis for further growth.

“It is clear from the recognition that Astera gets from key practitioners and creatives across the concert touring and live performance sectors that the brand’s reputation is well deserved, and I am both grateful and excited to be embracing this new path together.”

Carl-Johan also appreciates how the innovation of smart technologies coupled with the people-focus of the live performance and production industries has made Astera’s carefully designed and crafted products-based approach so successful in the world of those working with light in new, different and cool ways.

One key area in which Carl-Johan will immediately be concentrating his expertise will be intensifying Astera’s presence in Asian markets, including advising the German R&D and sales management teams on the increasing and ever-evolving user needs serving a diversity of Asian markets. There will also be some exploration into potential new and increasingly sustainable manufacturing territories and processes.

Carl-Johan will also be enhancing general business practices, intelligence and the financial reporting infrastructure and systems to underpin quick and efficient decision-making that boosts productivity across the entire organisation.

All of this and more will define Astera's commercial objectives for the next five to eight years.

4th October 2023

ISE grows Senior Leadership Team

ISE grows Senior Leadership Team
ISE grows Senior Leadership Team

Spain – Integrated Systems Events has announced the expansion of its senior leadership team with key appointments ahead of ISE 2024. Tom Barker-Harrold joins as senior marketing director and Jeroen Perquin as senior finance director.

“At ISE, we have ambitious goals for the future so it’s important that we have the right team in place to get us there. Tom and Jeroen join at an exciting time, as we prepare for our special 20th anniversary edition at ISE 2024, and we’re thrilled to welcome their unique knowledge, insights and experiences to our dynamic and international team,” says Mike Blackman, managing director, Integrated Systems Events.

Jeroen joined as senior finance director at ISE earlier this year and is based in The Netherlands. Jeroen brings extensive international finance experience from the energy, engineering and IT businesses to the company, working for both large multi-nationals as well as start-up companies. Tom, based in the UK, joined in August and will oversee the company’s marketing and content strategy across multiple platforms in the lead up to its flagship event, in his role as senior marketing director. Tom brings over 15 years’ experience within the AV industry and valuable experience as an ISE exhibitor to his new role.

“I’m delighted to be joining the team during such an exciting phase. The 20th anniversary edition of ISE promises to be an unmissable event and I’m looking forward to marking the occasion with our valued participants. The show's evolution since my early visits to the RAI has been impressive and I look forward to building on that into the future, together with our industry partners,” comments Tom.

“Joining just before the 2023 show, and being new to the industry, it was impossible for me not to be hugely impressed by the quality and the size of the ISE show as well as the diversity and quality of the ISE team organising it. I am very happy I can bring my international finance experience into the ISE event and to the ISE team and look forward to the 20th anniversary of ISE and beyond,” comments Jeroen.

To complement the expansion of the senior leadership team, ISE also welcomed Lara Mayer as manager of business development and special projects. Lara brings extensive experience in strategic management to the company. The ISE sales team is completed by Siqi Deng as sales assistant and Antonia Lennon as sponsorship manager. The ISE marketing team welcomed Gordon Wong as marketing executive earlier this year and the ISE operations team expanded with the appointment of Raúl Ruiz and Loan Muñoz as customer success executives.

Registration for ISE 2024 will open on 4 October 2023, visit      

In picture: Tom Barker-Harrold and Jeroen Perquin 

25th September 2023

LTM Names Price Managing Director

LTM Names Price Managing Director

UK – Lift Turn Move Ltd. (LTM) has promoted Robert Price to managing director of the Wirral-based supplier of lifting and rigging equipment to the industrial and entertainment markets, reporting directly to the board of directors.

Price, previously general manager and before that, head of sales, will lead the ongoing growth of the business, following the June 2018 acquisition by GIS AG, the Swiss electric chain hoist and light crane manufacturer, which remains outright owner. LTM distributes the full range of GIS hoists, control systems, material handling equipment and components.

David King, director at LTM, said: “The progression [of Price] from GM to becoming a director was always an aim, mainly to ensure continuity of the company going forward. He has been involved with GIS electric chain hoists since 1998 and this was an important factor in the board’s long-term planning.”

Price said: “I am taking over at the point where the company is in a really good position, which is testament to the exceptional effort the whole team has put in since the acquisition. I am also extremely honoured that the board of directors has this level of confidence in me.”

King added: “It was important that the person who succeeded my role had both the experience and drive to continue to lead the company, as GIS would demand. That is what we have in Rob; someone who is experienced, loyal and determined to succeed and take the business on the next part of its journey. This will benefit both the customers and the employees here at LTM, which again, was important in the decision-making process.”

Since acquisition, King has largely served to provide a connection between LTM and GIS, ensuring that strategic plans remain in alignment. Price is expected to now take a lead on this activity, while King will remain in a supporting capacity as the business retains his near two decades of experience, gathered since LTM inauguration.

In the short-term, Price will continue to oversee the sales department, focusing specifically on complex projects and long-standing, regular customers. However, internal and external development of the team will be a mid-term project. As part of this process, Elise Stuart, sales office co-ordinator, will transition into a managerial sales position.

Price continued: “We already have 12 key employees in place, giving us stability and the foundations for growth. However, we recognise that the business is becoming increasingly global and we must equip ourselves for that journey. Even this year, [GIS] has increased their production capability to ensure that we can deliver against increased demand from the worldwide industrial and entertainment sectors.”

As well as the GIS head office and manufacturing facility in Switzerland, the company owns subsidiaries in Germany, the UK, and now the US, through GIS Corporation. GIS Swiss Lifting Solutions meanwhile, is already renowned globally. Price and King both pointed to hallmarks of the entire operation: healthy stock availability, competence in sales, fast reaction time and longevity.

Price added: “Business in general is good; the focus on GIS equipment means we are committed to delivery of high-quality service for all of our customers, in both of our core markets.”

LTM, located in Bromborough on the banks of the River Mersey, was founded in 2004 and is a full member of the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA).

In picture: Robert Price and David King.

25th September 2023


Marketa Fantova Joins Robe to Expand NRG Initiatives.

Marketa Fantova Joins Robe to Expand NRG Initiatives.

Czech Republic – Marketa Fantova joins the team at ROBE lighting s.r.o. as International education programme co-ordinator and designer, where her role will be co-ordinating ROBE’s existing NRG programme on an international level.

ROBE lighting s.r.o.’s commercial director, Josef Valchar Jr (JJ) says: “We are delighted to have Marketa onboard. We have known each other for some time, she has the right knowledge and extensive connections in the arts and education worlds, great communication and diplomatic skills and we are all looking forward to working alongside her as she develops this important and exciting aspect of ROBE’s future vision.”

Marketa has over ten years of university undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate teaching experience.

She has worked as a cross-cultural project developer, a diversity advocate and an international curator, actively involved in connecting emerging designers with international networks and contemporary theatre industry players.

She has worked in theatres, galleries and at visually inspiring sites and found spaces in both the United States and Europe. For the past seven years, she has been the artistic director of the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space (PQ), one of the most important festivals dedicated to scenography and performance design.

The scope and variety of all these activities has opened direct contact with theatre makers, designers, theorists, and emerging artists from over 100 countries, and enabled valuable experiences in cultural diplomacy, team building and cosmopolitan multi-national collaboration.

Marketa, who is currently based in Prague, is equally as energised about joining Robe: “This is a truly exciting opportunity and will be an excellent and creative use of my skills and experiences. Many of my own past curatorial and teaching efforts and thoughts align perfectly with Robe’s forward-thinking in aiming to integrate breakthrough designers and technicians via arts industry outreach.”

Marketa believes that Robe is a leading performance, entertainment and architectural lighting manufacturer with solid international relationships and comments: “Robe's leadership, the visionaries behind the NRG programme concept and myself see a real potential for the synergies between technology, art, and education.”

She notes that her significant experience of “numerous” university programmes in lighting design and technology all suggest “a strong and supportive industry connection,” and are a great asset for the company going forward.

1st September 2023

Robe Lighting

Paul Fielder appointed GLP UK’s new key account manager

Paul Fielder appointed GLP UK’s new key account manager

Germany – GLP UK has appointed the experienced Paul Fielder as its new key account manager.

Coming from a theatre lighting background, he was previously technical sales consultant at Stage Electrics after leaving the Royal Opera House where he was lighting systems assistant manager. He also worked in a series of London theatres for the Really Useful Group, gaining much experience in various technical lighting roles.

The move to GLP will enable Paul to broaden his scope. “Part of my remit is to expand my reach from London, which was my primary interest at Stage Electrics, to nationwide and also to take me further from technical theatre into the concert touring rental market,” he says.

Paul is already familiar with both GLP’s rapidly expanding product range and the personnel at GLP UK. “I have known Simon, Kerry and Greg for some time as a customer, so although I hadn’t been looking to move, when this offer came up it was too good to turn down,” he explains. “GLP has an excellent product range, and it’s a lovely team to be joining.”

He adds that his main focus will be on supporting the existing customer base: “It’s about making sure they are happy, while at the same time I will be engaging in business development.”

GLP UK general manager Simon Barrett adds his welcome. “We are fortunate to have been able to recruit Paul, whom we already knew well. He will bring valuable experience to the team, adding much needed sales support at a time when the company is growing faster than ever.”

1st September 2023


Pro Audio Systems Appoints Dion Turner

Pro Audio Systems Appoints Dion Turner

UK – Bradford-based Pro Audio Systems (PAS) has announced the appointment of Dion Turner to the role of sales support/administrator. Dion brings a strong background in music and events to his role at PAS, having studied audio engineering and music technology. As well as experience as a front of house engineer working for a variety of bands in Yorkshire, Dion has also worked on a number of festivals as a steward, so is no stranger to the world of events. Joining PAS from a background in CCTV installation, Dion also possesses a level of valuable technical understanding.

Business development director at PAS, Peter Butler, welcomes Dion: “Although Dion’s role is defined as sales admin, at PAS we encourage our team members to help out across the business wherever they are called upon. Dion’s audio and technical background, wider experience and willingness to pitch-in suits this approach, and we’re pleased to have recruited someone with a genuine passion for event technology. Dion brings valuable experience combined with a positive attitude, further strengthening our excellent team.”

Dion Turner adds: “PAS is the perfect environment for someone like me. My audio engineering education and experience has enabled me to hit the ground running but I’m already expanding my understanding of the business and enjoying the chance to take on new challenges every day. Outside PAS, I’m continuing with my freelance engineering work, something that the company actively encourages, so all things considered, I couldn’t really ask for a better career opportunity.”

1st September 2023

Sound Technology Ltd appoints Sadie Naylor as Lighting Division’s Key Account Manager

Sound Technology Ltd appoints Sadie Naylor as Lighting Division’s Key Account Manager

UK – Sound Technology Ltd, UK distributor of Martin Professional, Robert Juliat and Macula Systems, has announced the appointment of Sadie Naylor as key account manager in an expansion of the company’s professional lighting division.

Sadie joins from Encore, where she began her career in 2008, gaining knowledge working in various departments before spending the last eight years in product sales and becoming product sales manager. She has gained vast knowledge in most disciplines across the events industry but always favouring the lighting element.

Sadie will be responsible for the management of key customer accounts within Sound Technology Ltd’s lighting division.

“I am super excited to be part of the team and getting the great lighting brands Sound Technology work with out there in front of more customers,” said Sadie.

Steve Fay, Sound Technology Ltd, managing director commented: “We’re delighted to welcome Sadie to our brilliant lighting team. As we continue to grow our presence in the lighting sector we are pleased to expand the team to provide an exceptional level of service for our customers and the brands we represent.”

Sadie will join the lighting sales team headed by sales manager Joshua Wakley, working alongside Sound Technology’s technical lighting sales team of Chris Walker, Avril Cook and Rob Clews.

Sadie will be on the Sound Technology stand at PLASA, Stand C22.

30th August 2023

HOLOPLOT bolsters US market growth with addition of James Bobel as Sales Manager

HOLOPLOT bolsters US market growth with addition of James Bobel as Sales Manager

USA – HOLOPLOT, the Berlin-based pro audio company and global pioneer in 3D Audio-Beamforming and Wave Field Synthesis, has announced the expansion of its US presence with the appointment of James Bobel as sales manager for North America.

With decades of sales and technical experience and a proven track record of building trusted relationships in the commercial AV integration market, Bobel will be responsible for fostering relationships with US customers across all business sectors and identifying new markets which can benefit from HOLOPLOT’s innovative X1 and X2 Matrix Array product series’, as well as upcoming products in the company’s pipeline.

“I’ve worked in the professional audio industry over the past two decades for integrators, and manufacturers. I have a genuine appreciation and passion for technology, and the opportunity to join HOLOPLOT was impossible to pass up.

"Once I had ventured into the music business, I knew I’d discovered my true calling," shares Bobel. "I’ve been a musician all my life, but I never thought I could build a career out of it. It was serendipitous that I found my way into the industry and it felt like I belonged there. Transitioning into the audio field was a natural progression, aligning perfectly with my passion for music, entertainment and performance.”

Growing up in the 70s, Bobel was eagerly anticipating the possibilities that foretold technology would bring in the 80s and beyond. “I envisioned a life surrounded by robots, computers and laser beams. That didn’t happen, but when I came across HOLOPLOT, I knew I’d finally found the future of audio I’d been yearning for all my life. The company has embarked on a daring mission to revolutionise the audio landscape in a world that often resists rapid change and this challenge truly captivated me,” he adds.

Something Bobel finds particularly inspiring about working at HOLOPLOT is being part of the “you never thought it could happen” team.

“What gets me up in the morning is working with designers, engineers, etc., who are trying to do something that hasn’t been done before,” Bobel concludes. “The audio industry craves innovation but requires extensive education to embrace this new era of technology and sound. HOLOPLOT provides the much-needed inspiration and also serves as an invaluable source of knowledge for the industry's transition into this exciting space. I vividly remember the first time I experienced HOLOPLOT’s X1 Matrix Array and realised that this technology addresses every drawback of any other loudspeaker product. In that moment, I knew it would revolutionise the way sound is controlled and delivered, creating truly immersive audio landscapes. This is precisely what fuels my excitement about joining the company and contributing to its continued growth in the US.”

22nd August 2023

Backup Tech Announces Koy Neminathan as New Trustee

Backup Tech Announces Koy Neminathan as New Trustee

UK – Backup has announced well-known industry figure, Koy Neminathan, as a new trustee of the organisation and head of its Ambassador Programme.

Koy, who is business development director at Elation Professional and PLASA Manufacturer’s representative, is no stranger to the demands and pressures of the live entertainment industry. Following the events of the COVID-19 pandemic, he saw the very real challenges the industry faced and vowed to put the needs of others before himself.

“I felt like helping others was what had to be done, it was such an important thing for me,” says Koy. “You’ve got to help those who can’t always help themselves and, particularly during the pandemic, I felt it was imperative to do what I could to support our industry at a time where people were struggling in so many ways and mental health became a massive issue; people were suffering in silence. That’s what led me to think about joining Backup.”

During the pandemic, Koy worked with the #WeMakeEvents campaign, an initiative that was set up to raise awareness of the lack of support for freelancers and companies within the entertainment industry, by helping co-ordinate the campaign across 40 countries and continues to work for the good of the industry today.

Discussions surrounding his potential involvement with Backup began back in March 2023, when fellow Backup trustee, Paul Robson, approached him looking for a fresh, young mind to join the organisation. “I’ve always respected the charity and the individuals behind it, so I thought, why not? Let’s take a leap and do something different,” says Koy.

Backup warmly welcomes Koy onboard and the team is already benefitting from new ideas and innovations he brings to the organisation. “I wanted to bring a fresh perspective to the table about what we can do to raise more money and help more people,” Koy adds. “It’s not just about adding different events, but about how we get more of the industry understanding what Backup does, how to get more contributions and highlight the good the charity is doing.”

“Koy is a fantastic addition to Backup,” concludes Backup chair, Piers Shepperd. “He’s already adding a new approach and having him dedicated to the Ambassador Programme will help us continue the work we do to help the industry.”

21st August 2023

Clear-Com Accelerates Global Growth with Several Key Appointments

Clear-Com Accelerates Global Growth with Several Key Appointments

USA – As Clear-Com continues to grow worldwide, the company has announced the appointments of several key members to its US team: Jeremy Thelen and Greg Wolf join as applications engineers and JP Torres joins as senior product training specialist. JP assumes the role formerly occupied by Frank Linton, who has accepted a new position within Clear-Com as product manager for military, aerospace and government.

Both Jeremy and Greg join Clear-Com from Game Creek Video, where they were mobile unit engineers and EIC (engineers in charge) and worked on some of the largest sports broadcasts in the country, including “NFL on CBS” and multiple Super Bowl championships, “Final Four,” the Masters golf tournament, the PGA Championships, and more. They bring a wealth of technical expertise, especially in IP networking which has become a growing customer need.

“The systems we are installing are becoming more and more complex, especially in the world of networking,” says applications engineering manager, Justin Emge. “When you consider the requirements for proper networks when transporting AES67 audio, you can never get enough of a brain trust to support those systems and the customer. Jeremy and Greg bring to the table significant knowledge and experience that will take an already successful applications engineering team and elevate it above the rest.”

JP joins the company after 13 years at Sony Electronics, where he worked as a promotional video producer and senior audio content trainer for consumer products in North America. He brings nearly 20 years of experience in video production and audio content management, including design expertise which he will use to develop content for product training.

"JP’s combination of skills in both training delivery and video design made him the perfect candidate for this role,” says Gavin MacDonald, senior director of global service and support. “We put significant energy and time into developing high-value training content for our customers, and I look forward to seeing how much more JP can elevate our video, webinar and in person training content.”

16th August 2023