To better serve its rapidly increasing customer base, Vari-Lite has added two new regional sales managers and redefined its North American sales territories. Matthew Burstein has been hired to take over the Northeast region, and newly hired Leonard Miller will be responsible for the Central United States.
Charlie Hulme's Western region has been redrawn to include everything west of and including Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Arizona. Thommy Hall maintains his nine-state region in the Southeast, and John Bilyk returns to focus solely on Canada.
"In the past five months, we've introduced two new lines of automated fixtures, the VL3500™ units and the new VL2500™ spot and wash luminaires," said Bob Schacherl, Vari-Lite Vice President of Sales. "The demand for these new units had begun to spread us thin. These additions, along with the restructuring of the territories should allow us to be more accessible to our clients and to respond faster to their requests. With more staff on the street, we can be in more places at one time."
Burstein comes to Vari-Lite from LED-based lighting device manufacturer LIT Design Ltd., where he served as President and CEO. Burstein has also worked previously for VARI*LITE® dealer High Output Inc. and for Martin Professional. Additionally, he has done lighting programming and design for such prestigious clients as the Miss America Pageant, Michael Jackson, James Taylor, the Boston Ballet Arts Gala and for the home of Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler. Burstein will be based out of Boston.
Miller brings with him nearly 20 years of professional experience in operations, technical production, business management and sales for live entertainment and events, including theme parks and attractions, trade shows, museums, sports, television, film and cruise lines. He was most recently sales manager for Barbizon Lighting in Dallas. Miller has worked in various aspects of production and design for Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Walt Disney World, Universal Studios Florida and Busch Garden among others. Miller will be based out of Dallas.
"The addition of these two lighting professionals continues a philosophy we have that Vari-Lite isn't just a company that manufactures lights, Vari-Lite is a lighting company," Schacherl said. "Our staff doesn't just sell automated lighting, they understand the needs of the end user because they were once end users themselves. That knowledge sets us apart and really allows us to connect on a deeper level with our customers."