The Entertainment Services and Technology Association (ESTA) has announced that Clear Channel Entertainment has accepted a seat on ESTA's new Certification Council. The Certification Council is the governing body that will manage the development and implementation of a new industry-wide certification program for entertainment technology technicians. Clear Channel Entertainment has named Steven Ehrenberg, director of technical supervision — theatrical, and Alan DeZon, vice president, operations, CCE Music/Los Angeles, as their representatives to the Council.

“The Certification Council is extremely well represented with members from associations, industry and organized labor,” says Mike Wood, ESTA president. “An obvious empty seat at the table was reserved for a large employer and you couldn't have a better fit for that vacancy than Clear Channel Entertainment. With their broad based involvement in just about every facet of the industry they are a key player and we are delighted to have them on board.”

Clear Channel Entertainment currently owns, operates and/or exclusively books approximately 130 live entertainment venues, including more than 100 in North America. In 2002, more than 65 million people attended approximately 29,000 events promoted and/or produced by the company including live music events, Broadway, touring theatrical shows, family entertainment shows, and specialized sports events.

The ESTA Certification Council will represent the diversity of the industry. Members will include key leaders in entertainment business, labor, facilities, associations, and academia. ESTA is in the process of extending invitations for Certification Council membership. IAAM (International Association of Assembly Managers), IATSE (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees), and USITT (United States Institute for Theatre Technology), have also accepted seats on the Council. The key areas of electrical skills and rigging skills have been identified for initial development in the ESTA Personnel Certification Program.