Lighting industry veteran Todd Hucul has joined the staff at VLPS Los Angeles as shop manager. A native of Winnipeg, Canada, Hucul began working for Westsun 13 years ago. “My background is mostly massive rock-and-roll tours and Broadway-type shows like The Lion King and Show Boat,” explains Hucul. “VLPS works with the biggest and the best, so I'm very excited to be part of the organization.” VLPS is the primary lighting contractor for the upcoming Rolling Stones world tour and has been providing the lighting services for the television show American Idol.

Tom Thorne, one of the original founders of Flying Pig Systems, has left High End Systems/Flying Pig to pursue other opportunities. The move comes on the heels of the recent launch of the Wholehog III console.

In other Flying Pig news, Richard Mead has been named Flying Pig Systems product manager “for all things Pig,” according to John Wiseman, VP of worldwide sales for High End Systems. Mead, who has a physics degree from Oxford University, has been with UK-based Flying Pig Systems for four years. During that time he was instrumental in the design and development of the Wholehog III lighting console, and was a key code writer for the product.

Scharff Weisberg Lighting has hired Jessica Franks as account executive. In this role, she will work as a partner to the company's clients, determining their equipment needs and insuring each order is specified correctly, priced competitively, and delivered as requested. Franks had been with Production Arts Lighting since 1988, working her way up within the shop until assuming the role of assistant foreman, then inventory manager and ultimately rental sales executive. Scharff Weisberg formed Scharff Weisberg Lighting earlier this spring when it hired lighting veterans Ben Saltzman and Ron Brodeur and began offering lighting services and equipment. The company operates as a standalone, full-service lighting rental, sales, and support company and also provides lighting support to Scharff Weisberg's staging and systems integration jobs.

Ballantyne of Omaha has announced the sale of certain assets and business operations of Xenotech Rental Corp., located in North Hollywood, CA, to the former division vice president and general manager of the unit for an undisclosed sum. Ballantyne will continue to manufacture, market, and sell Xenotech products, and will continue to maintain a distribution relationship with the new unit, Arc Light Efx, Inc. Specializing in large-format xenon lighting instruments, Arc Light offers product sales, rental, and service for Lycian and Strong spotlights, Maxa Beam handheld searchlights, Nocturn UV, Pacific Gel, Power Gems, Sky-Tracker, Syncrolite, and the Xenotech Britelight. Arc Light Efx will also offer a selection of xenon bulb products from Superior Quartz Products, Yumex, Osram, Lighting Technologies International, and Ushio.