In June, Martin Professional Inc., the US subsidiary of the Denmark-based company, broke ground on a new facility scheduled to open next year. In the Sawgrass International Corporate Park in Sunrise, FL, the new digs will incorporate a 3,106-sq.-m (33,433 sq. ft.) warehouse, a 200-sq.-m (2,153 sq. ft.) showroom, and nearly 900 sq. m (9,688 sq. ft.) of office space and other facilities. Kristian Kolding, CEO of the Martin Group, and Troells Volver, CEO of Martin Professional, presided over the event, which also included local government officials.

Martin also presented a special Automated Lighting Seminar on April 24 at QVC Studio Park in West Chester, PA. Local lighting designers, technical directors, and electricians were treated to informative seminars and demonstrations of many of its latest products. Among them were the MiniMAC automated luminaires, arranged as part of a larger product display within a special meeting/presentation area at QVC. (The MiniMAC, pictured, continued its winning ways, picking up two prizes, the Innovator and the inaugural Roeder Award, at Lightfair in New York in May.)

At QVC, Gerald van Toneren, president of Lighthouse Holland and the developer of Martin Show Designer software, explained, demonstrated, and taught important concepts and techniques useful for creating accurate, descriptive, and visually attractive designs and fast renderings. Jamey Brock, Martin East Coast sales manager, presented an overview of the many new Martin products and explained their features, which can be found on their websites, and Brock also highlighted projects that Martin has illuminated, ranging from AMF bowling centers, to 11 bridges in Chicago, to the Broadway production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Carl Wake, Martin technical manager demonstrated unique features of Martin products, their innovative design, and assembly. Wake is also a lead instructor for Martin University, consisting of numerous courses in programming, automated luminaire maintenance and set-up, and general courses related to the myriad Martin products; these are held frequently in its Hollywood facility. Dave Garman, Martin technical support manager, presented a session on the Case console, including set-up, programming, explanation of terms, and concepts and tips for use in live show applications. The event was hosted by Douglas Rae, QVC lighting engineer, who arranged tours of the studio complex.

In other developments, Martin is opening a Las Vegas office, making it the first manufacturer of intelligent lighting to have an outpost there. Heading up the operation will be Tim Brennan, under the title of regional sales manager. Brennan is a well-known industry figure; his family's firm, Cinema Services, was a Las Vegas mainstay for decades, before being acquired by PRG. Previously, he worked for the Las Vegas office of Matthews Studio Group. Brennan will work with support from Martin's West Coast office to develop a stronger presence for the company in the Vegas market.

Finally, Martin acquired 49% of the share capital in Martin Professional Italy in May; the company is now totally owned by parent company Martin Professional A/S. In connection with the acquisition, Martin Italy's managing director, Mario Radice, has left the company. He has been replaced by Pio Nahum, Martin's group sales and marketing director. Nahum will retain his previous job titles as well.