Vari-Lite has hired Julie Smith to oversee its customer service and technical support departments. As manager of customer service, Smith's primary responsibility is ensuring that all Vari-Lite customers are taken care of and their questions are answered promptly. She will also oversee re-organization of the company's internal and external technical training program. Smith reports directly to Genlyte Controls general manager Steve Carson.

"My main goal is improve customer response time," Smith says. "In the live entertainment industry, end users can't afford to sit around waiting for answers. I also believe that if we strengthen our training program, we will increase the level of support we are able to provide through certified Vari-Lite technicians in the field."

Smith spent four years as business manager of Showco, followed by three years with VLPS and Vari-Lite prior to the acquisition of Vari-Lite by Genlyte Thomas. She was operations manager at Vari-Lite, and had previously served as office manager of the VLPS rental offices in Chicago, Nashville and Orlando. Smith can be reached at 214-647-7987 or