Fred Foster, chief executive officer of ETC (Electronic Theatre Controls, Inc.), and one of the best known designers and developers in the industry, was named as the fourth winner of the prestigious Gottelier Award, presented at the PLASA Awards for Innovation at Earls Court on September 13 at PLASA 2010 in London.

Foster started ETC in 1975 with the goal of installing the first memory lighting-control system in the New York Metropolitan Opera House. He has since developed a wide range of innovative products including Mega-Cue, perhaps the first console to utilize digital multiplexed data over two conductors between the desk and dimmers; the Concept console that led to the Expression / Express line of control desks; the Obsession Console and the Sensor Dimming System.

He contributed to the design of the Eos, Congo, and Ion desks and led the commercialization of what became the Source Four family of spotlights. He was also a member of the USITT panel that defined what became the DMX-512 protocol.

The Gottelier Award, named in honor of the late designer, developer, and commentator Tony Gottelier, aims to recognize the product developers who have made a significant and sustained contribution to the development of the equipment and tools that enable our entertainment technology practitioners to continually push the boundaries of event production, presentation, and installation.

This was the fourth year this unique individual accolade has been presented at the PLASA Show. The previous Gottelier Award recipients are Tony Andrews of Funktion One, John Stadius of Soundtracs / DiGiCo and Alex Cooper of Midas Klark Teknik.