One of the original entities in the Production Resource Group family of companies is going back to its roots by restoring its original name and management team.
For approximately two years, Harris Production Services and Scenic Technologies, the original founding companies of PRG specializing in scenic fabrication and related services, had been bundled and branded with more recent acquisitions as Entolo, with the intention of promoting PRG's overall capabilities rather than focusing on a group of brands each with its own distinct business.
The New Windsor and New York, NY, Las Vegas, and Orlando locations will be identified by their former brand name, Scenic Technologies. The Minneapolis and Houston locations will retain the Entolo name and continue to develop the retail and trade show exhibit business. While Scenic Technologies will continue to service those markets, its main focus will remain the physical production and support of live entertainment productions and other entertainment-related environments, particularly in Broadway and touring theatre, corporate events and industrial shows, concert touring, and casino and theme park environments.
This effort will be led by original co-founder of Scenic Technologies, Fred Gallo, who has been appointed president. Fellow co-founders Roy Sears and John Wolf will play significant leadership roles, affirming the restoration of the Scenic Technologies brand. With support from Brian Ashmead, now based in New Windsor, the team will focus on developing the corporate event market.
In other PRG news, one month after Production Resource Group purchased his company, Darren DeVerna, former president of Four Star Lighting, has joined PRG as vice president.
In his new role, DeVerna will be supported by the resources of Fourth Phase New Jersey, ProMix Electrotec Mt. Vernon, and Scenic Technologies New York. In addition to the ongoing support of several existing clients, DeVerna will concentrate on cultivating new relationships with clients that have not previously worked with PRG. He will be based out of PRG's Mount Vernon, NY, office and will report to Bill Groener, Northeast regional vice president.
CAST, VARI-LITE WIN EMMYS
Vari-Lite Inc. and Cast Group were among the six winners August 22 at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' 2001 Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Engineering Development. Vari-Lite's Emmy, its third in the last decade, was awarded for the Virtuoso™ lighting control console. Cast Group, the first Canadian company to be accorded the honor, received its Emmy for WYSIWYG software.
Emmys for engineering development are awarded to innovative achievements that “materially affect the transmission, recording, or reception of television.” Since its introduction in 1999, the Virtuoso console has fit the bill by controlling automated lighting for the Academy Awards, the Grammy Awards, the Super Bowl halftime show, and the game show The Weakest Link, helping to further establish Vari*Lites® and other moving lights as fixtures in the TV programming landscape. Vari-Lite Inc.'s previous Emmys were for the Series 200™ automated lighting system and the VL5™ wash luminaire.
WYSIWYG has also been a valuable addition to the TV lighting designer's and director of photography's toolbox, particularly for live event programming. Since the software allows users to design, camera block, pre-cue, and troubleshoot in a 3D virtual format prior to production, the resulting time and cost savings are also very appealing to producers. WYSIWYG, a past Eddy and LDI Award winner, has been utilized on the 2000 Sydney Olympics Opening and Closing Ceremonies, A&E's The Bee Gees: Live by Request, and HBO's Cher: Live in Concert, among other shows.
ETC SIGNS GRIFFITH, DEUTSCH ASSOCIATES
Madison, WI-based lighting manufacturer ETC (Electronic Theatre Controls Inc.) has announced that Mike Griffith is rejoining the company as of September 4, 2001. Griffith had been with sales at ETC originally 1983-1998 and was instrumental in the growth of the company. In 1998 he left to pursue further career interest in sales, serving first as vice president of sales at Wybron Inc. and then moving to his most recent role as national sales director for ETC dealer Barbizon. Griffith will return to ETC as director of entertainment sales, working closely with longtime friend and colleague Mark Vassallo, ETC's vice president of sales.
In other news, ETC also appointed Stan Deutsch Associates its new architectural lighting sales representatives. Based in Long Island City, NY, the firm will handle the New York City, Long Island, and Westchester territories.
Stan Deutsch Associates has extensive experience in the lighting industry, offering specification-grade products and services to architects, electrical engineers, lighting consultants, electrical distributors, and others since 1962. The firm will now offer the full range of ETC products, including Unison™ control systems, Irideon® automated fixtures, Source Four® fixtures, and architectural lighting control systems.
The firm can be reached at 31-30 Hunters Point Avenue, Long Island City, NY 11101, ph: 718-361-9150, fax: 718-482-0581, web: www.sdalighting.com.
STAGING DIMENSIONS OPENS FOR BUSINESS
There's a new player in the staging market: Staging Dimensions Inc., based in Newport News, VA. It's a joint venture of Jim Feneis, vice president of sales and marketing, Jim Humphrey of truss manufacturer Applied Electronics, and his son Scott. “We're a portable staging manufacturer,” says Feneis, “and we've designed a system that's unique.” He stresses his and his colleagues' experience as a key factor: “We all have extensive backgrounds in the staging industry. We've designed a system that incorporates all our ideas — it's simple, strong, lightweight, affordable. All the accessories that go with it are simple, easy-to-use, and easy-to-adapt.”
The company got started in April, and began delivering product in mid-summer. For more information, contact Staging Dimensions at its Newport News office, at 757-591-3471; the toll-free number is 866-591-3471, fax: 757-591-9593. You can reach the company's Midwest sales office at 763-783-7373; toll-free: 866-591-3471, fax: 763-783-7366. You can check out the company's website, which is still a bit of a work in progress, at www.stagingdimensionsinc.com.
Bob Keegan has joined Vari-Lite's rental division as account manager, to increase the company's presence in the exposition, meeting, planning, special events, film, TV, theatre, amusement, and church industries in the Chicago market. Keegan has more than 15 years of experience working in the planning and execution of trade shows and other major events.
The New York-based set and lighting design firm Castrigno + Company has changed the company's name to Design-Contact. According to president Tony Castrigno, the name change symbolizes the firm's commitment to designing with the point of contact or engagement with the audience. It also takes into account the firm's growth; the company's designers will become the “design contacts” for its clients. Castrigno will remain a part of the team of designers that work collaboratively, and in addition, he will become the creative director.
Charlie Jerabek has been named president and a board member of Osram Sylvania. Effective October 1, Jerabek will succeed Dean T. Langford, 62, a former IBM and GTE executive, who will retire in September as the longest-sitting president since the lighting firm adopted Sylvania as its principal name in 1942.
Tomcat has added two to its US sales team. Trent Stoker now handles the Southeast region and Mike Regan handles the Northeast region. Stoker, originally from El Paso, TX, attended the University of Texas in Austin obtaining a BS in Advertising. He previously served as sales representative for a software company. Stoker now lives in Midland. Regan, who resides in Evergreen, CO, has been in the industry for more than 30 years touring with dozens of bands. He also spent time with FM Productions and Feld Entertainment, and worked as a grip on Miami Vice.
Chad Ward has joined Bandit Lites as operations manager for its Bedfordshire-based UK operation. Ward was previously domestic sales representative for Wirral-based Tomcat UK, where he was responsible for Bandit's account. Ward will be responsible for procurement and logistics, and he will act as purchasing manager. The company also recently announced the promotion of Ben Dickman to director of marketing. Dickman joined the company in June 2000 as a marketing associate.
Creative Stage Lighting Co. Inc. has promoted Donna Cleveland to customer service manager. She has been with the firm for seven years. The company also appointed Rob Ludwig to its Midwest sales office in Michigan.
Kurt Kern has joined TMB's sales department, working in the NY office.
Rebecca Lace has joined LeMark Group as sales office manager.
Arri Canada Ltd has appointed Tom Weihmayr its director of lighting sales.
Ruth Moyte has joined Venice, CA-based corporate event and marketing company Bartsch Trotter & Associates as account executive/project manager.
Leprecon LLC, a subsidiary of CAE Inc., has named Ed Cheeseman international sales manager.
Longtime Las Vegas resident Jules Lauve, formerly director of entertainment at Treasure Island Hotel and Casino, will be joining Theatre Projects Consultants in Norwalk, CT, as of September 4, 2001, as senior project manager.
ON THE MOVE
Melanie Freundlich Lighting Design, 307 Seventh Avenue, Suite 603, New York, NY 10001, ph: 212-741-0194, fax: 646-336-5038.
Lighting Design and Production Services is now called LDPS Ltd., and has a new address: Studio Office 11, Fareham House, 26/27 MacCurtain Street, Cork, Ireland, ph: 353-21-450-8162, fax: 353-21-450-8168, web: www.ldps.ie.
Michael Finney has left The Ruzika Company and will be heading out on his own as a freelance lighting designer specializing in large-scale themed projects. He can be reached at 245 Chiquita Street, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, ph: 949-376-4038, fax: 949-376-5438, cell: 949-637-5751, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lite-Puter Enterprise Co. Ltd. has new phone and fax numbers. Phone: 886-2-8647-2828, 886-2-8647-2929, fax: 886-2-8647-2727, 886-2-8647-2626.