Jack Schmidt has left Ballantyne/Strong Entertainment Lighting after almost 20 years and has started his own company, Special Lighting Solutions, in Council Bluff, IA.

David Jacobi has joined Kinetic Lighting Inc. as director of production services, replacing founding partner James Schipper who is focusing on new business development. (www.kineticlighting.com)

Theatre sound specialist Orbital hired Jeremy Ellis to its project management team. (www.orbitalsound.co.uk)

Martin Professional A/S announced that Pio Nahum, managing director of Martin's Italian subsidiary, will be leaving the Martin Professional organization by April 2005. (www.martin.com)

Hoffend announced that Damon Atwood, a veteran theatre consultant and rigging engineering specialist, has joined the company as vice president of integration for the Vortek® automated rigging system. (www.hoffend.net)

Showman Fabricators announced that Kai Brothers of Kai Production Strategies (KPS) will join the Showman team as production services manager. (www.showfab.com)

Legend Theatrical Inc. and Innovate Show Controls announced that Legend Theatrical is the first US distributor for Bluelite X1, a hardware and Windows software solution. (www.legendtheatrical.com)

ETC (Electronic Theatre Controls, Inc.) will again take a deserving group of college students to ETS-LDI. Sponsorships are open to undergraduate seniors and graduate students in lighting design, theatre technology, or closely related fields. Download an application from the ETC website at www.etcconnect.com. The application deadline is April 29.

Edward Marks has been appointed senior designer-special projects at Visual Terrain. (www.visualterrain.net)

Lighting manufacturer and distributor Creative Stage Lighting Co., Inc. has promoted Rick Fallon to sales manager. (www.creativestagelighting.com)

Richmond Sound Design Ltd. (RSD) of Vancouver, Canada, and London, England, announced the appointment of Merv Buchanan to the newly created position of market development manager for North America. (www.richmondsounddesign.com)

Anolis Lighting, a new LED manufacturing and sales company, was launched at ARC 05 in London. Anolis is a collaboration between Robe Show Lighting in the Czech Republic and ULA in Australia and was established to design, manufacture, and distribute a high-end range of LED products worldwide. (www.anolis.cz)

MC2 Audio has appointed Match Audio and Vision to distribute its range of amplifiers in The Netherlands. (www.matchav.com, www.mc2-audio.co.uk)

Tim Shaxson joins DiGiCo's sales department as technical sales to work alongside sales director James Gordon. Shaxson joins DiGiCo from HHB Communications where he spent 12 years as senior pro-audio technical salesman. (www.digiconsoles.com)

Pro audio console manufacturer Soundcraft recently established a UK-based team to handle its new range of UREI-branded DJ mixer products. Paul Morrissey joins Soundcraft as product manager for UREI.