Michael Garl, president of James Thomas Engineering, Inc. and current chair of the Rigging Working Group, is assuming the chair of ESTA's Technical Standards Committee and leaving the leadership of the Rigging Working group in the hands of Bill Sapsis, the current co-chair and president of Sapsis Rigging.

The change in leadership is occasioned by Paul Vincent's stepping down after many years of service. "My first involvement with ESTA was as a founding member of the Theatrical Dealers Association," says Vincent. "After serving as vice president, president, chair of the Ethics Committee, member of the BizEd Committee, and chair of the Technical Standards Committee it's time for me to retire from volunteer work and allow other very capable people to serve in a leadership capacity.

"I'm pleased that Mike Garl, who has done an outstanding job serving the ESTA Technical Standards Program as the chair of the Rigging Work Group and as a member of the TSC, will become the new chair of the Technical Standards Committee. I know that the program will be in good hands, not only through Mike's commitment, but also through the continuing hard work of the hundreds of volunteers and financial contributions from our members and related organizations.

"I am honored and anxious," says Garl. "Honored to be considered worthy of the position of guiding such a prominent group of dedicated industry leaders, and anxious about following in the footsteps of those distinguished individuals who have previously held this position. My only regret is leaving the leadership of the Rigging Working Group. In accepting the position of chairman of the ESTA Technical Standards Committee, it is my sincere hope that I can be instrumental in the continuing development of the program."

The Technical Standards Committee will appoint a new co-chair to serve with Sapsis on the Rigging Working Group. Garl's first meeting as TSC Chair will be at the USITT Conference in Toronto on March 16.

For more information, go to www.esta.org.