Harald Thiel Retires from AVW-TELAV

Robert Thiel, Chief Executive Officer, AVW-TELAV Audio Visual Solutions, has announced today the retirement of Harald Thiel, President, Canadian Division, AVW-TELAV effective September 1, 2004.

"As business partners, Harald and I have been able to share a vision and make it a reality. Haralds passion, energy, entrepreneurship and leadership qualities have contributed to building AVW-TELAV into the number one audio visual company in the Canadian Market and a major force in North America" said Robert Thiel. Robert and Harald Thiel started TELAV Audio Visual Services in 1982 with a single branch office in Montreal, Quebec. By 2001, TELAV had 18 offices in Canada and two offices in the U.S. when the Company merged with AVW Audio Visual, Inc. to become AVW-TELAV Audio Visual Solutions. Barry Smith, President/CEO of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and Chair of one of the marketing committees for the Canadian Tourism Commission, commented on Harald and his commitment to the Meeting, Convention and Trade Show industry: "Harald resonates an entrepreneurial spirit and support to the meetings industry that is second to none. He has not only been integral in the growth of AVW-TELAV but he also extended his commitment and support to the growth of the meeting, convention and trade show industry.

AVW-TELAV has added a level of professionalism and service capabilities that is well known and regarded in the marketplace. I am proud to have them as one of our partners at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre," says Smith.
Harald was also very active in the International Communication Industry Association (ICIA), According to Randal Lemke, ICIA Executive Director, "Harald has been one of the most exceptional leaders in ICIA history. In fact he is the only two-time president of the association. What that means is, that for eight years he has served on ICIAs Executive Committee and presided as President and Chairman of the Board during some of the biggest changes in the association and industry. He has earned the respect of his Board peers for his business acumen and for his unflagging commitment to the association. On a personal note, as the chief staff member of ICIA, I have had the privilege to report to him during his presidency and always benefited from his counsel, direction, and support." Harald is leaving behind a successful legacy of a company that will continue to succeed without him. "I am extremely proud of what AVW-TELAV has been able to accomplish over the past 22 years. We have built AVW-TELAV into the number one audio visual company in the Canadian market and this is primarily due to our dedicated team. What I will miss the most are the people who have helped Robert and I build this organization into what it is today. Rest assured I am leaving the Company in good hands under the leadership of my brother Robert as CEO/President and Mr. Claude Savard as COO," said Harald.

Harald will continue to use his business acumen and entrepreneurial talent in his new business venture, developing his vineyard "Hidden Bench" into a world-class winery.

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