As part of its new business strategy to develop direct sales of Vari*Lite(R) automated luminaires and consoles, Vari-Lite International has hired Ken Matthews as vice president of sales and marketing for Vari-Lite Inc. One of Matthews' primary responsibilities will be to target markets for permanent installation purchases of Vari*Lite products which were previously available only through renting or leasing.

"We are all very excited about Ken joining Vari-Lite," says Clay Powers, president and COO of Vari-Lite. "He combines a high-energy, charismatic personality with an extensive background in the development and management of sales organizations."

Matthews joins Vari-Lite with 20 years of national sales and marketing experience as both a consultant and sales and marketing executive. Vari-Lite products are expected to be sold next year for permanent lighting installations in entertainment and corporate-event facilities such as community performance centers, theatres, restaurants, and amusement parks.