Pro AV Newsmakers: Two Acquisitions, 7 People on the Move, and a Plethora of Partnerships

CTI has had a busy June. After announcing its acquisition of Advanced Systems Integration (ASI) on June 5, CTI—the largest privately held AV integration and events provider in the U.S.—acquired Digital Technology Solutions of San Antonio, TX on June 20. You can read more about the acquisition here

Also in the acquisition news, Audio Video Electronics (AVE) was acquired by long-time general manager Josh Lannan. Founded by Stefan Svard in 1992, AVE has been a trusted partner for houses of worship, government and education, and commercial clients in the Twin Cities and throughout the upper Midwest. 

The acquisition by Lannan, a veteran of over a decade with the company, brings fresh insights and new leadership to AVE. Prior to his role as AVE's general manager, Josh accrued over 15 years of experience in AV services for the hospitality industry. Now, as the company's owner, he brings his wealth of leadership experience and customer relationship expertise to revitalize and expand upon AVE's three-decades-long legacy.

People News

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RF Venue Expands Applications Engineering Staff 

Headshot of Richard Stockton (left) and Bob Lee.

Richard Stockton (left) and Bob Lee (Image credit: RF Venue)

RF Venue has appointed audio industry veterans Bob Lee and Richard Stockton to its team of Applications Engineers. In their new roles, Lee and Stockton will develop and present training and tutorial material for webinars, in-person sessions, and online content, covering a wide range of topics. Furthermore, they will expand the capabilities of RF Venue’s Applications Engineering staff to provide timely and efficient technical support and consultations for designers and users of wireless mic and IEM systems worldwide.

Stockton boasts 30 years of professional experience as an audio engineer and RF specialist working in event production, technical sales, customer support and training for a host of venues, production companies and manufacturers. He has a passion for wireless RF audio, and sound and music in general, and he finds endless inspiration in the way these topics reside at the intersection of the creative and the technical.

Lee has worked in pro audio and broadcasting for more than four decades. After starting in live theater sound, in the late 1980s he designed and serviced wireless mic systems of all sizes and wrote the TURBO-RF frequency coordination program for Sennheiser, spent 27 years in various technical marketing and support roles at QSC, and was lead audio engineer at the Ivoryton Playhouse in Essex, Connecticut. He has been an active member of the Audio Engineering Society (AES) for some 35 years and has served in various leadership roles for the organization (he was awarded an AES fellowship in 2014 for his contributions to the Society). He has authored well over one hundred user, application, and service documents, as well as pro audio trade magazine articles.

Donnie Gilliam headshot.

(Image credit: Visilink)

Vislink appointed Donnie Gilliam as VP of Operations. In this role he will focus on driving customer satisfaction, cost reduction and working capital improvements.

Gilliam brings extensive experience in operations and service within high-growth companies. His career includes leading operations at HM Electronics, where he played a pivotal role in the substantial growth the company realized during his tenure. Additionally, he held the position of senior director of supply chain and materials at Clear-Com, an HM Electronics company, and more recently served as the VP of global operations at Spectralink Corporation.

With a strong background in lean manufacturing, quality, and supply chain management, Gilliam has a wealth of experience leading supply chain, manufacturing and service organizations. His expertise will be instrumental in optimizing Vislink’s operational efficiency and supporting the company’s growth objectives. Gilliam is also a member of the Western Regional Board of the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME), contributing to the advancement of best practices in manufacturing and operational excellence.

Sphere Entertainment Names New Head of Sphere Studios and President, Chief Operating Officer

Learn how 7thSense’s 20 years of expertise helped develop the largest video system deployment in the world at Sphere in Las Vegas.

(Image credit: Sphere Entertainment Co.)

Sphere Entertainment welcomed Carolyn Blackwood, who has more than 25 years of experience in the media and entertainment industry, as head of Sphere Studios, the immersive content studio dedicated to developing multi-sensory entertainment experiences exclusively for Sphere.
In this role, Blackwood will lead the day-to-day running of the Burbank-based Sphere Studios, which is home to an interdisciplinary team of creative, production, technology, and software experts who provide full in-house creative and production services, including strategy and concept, capture, post-production and show production. The Studios team is responsible for creating and executing content for a wide variety of events at Sphere, including The Sphere Experience, concerts and residencies, and marquee and corporate events. 

Additionally, Jennifer Koester’s role at the company has been expanded to president and chief operating officer of Sphere. Koester most recently served as president, Sphere business operations, where she has played a critical role in leading the strategy and execution of all business aspects of Sphere.

In this expanded role, Koester will continue working together with executive leadership, and across the broader Sphere team, to grow the business and optimize its operations. Koester will now also provide strategic oversight for Sphere Studios including further developing the Studios’ capabilities as a full-service production studio. She will continue to focus on maximizing venue utilization across a range of categories, such as original programming, attractions, concerts, residencies, and corporate and marquee events; driving strategic partnerships; delivering the best customer experience; and growing Sphere as a premium global brand.

TSL Welcomes Senior Solutions Engineer

Headshot of Jeremy Bourque.

(Image credit: TSL)

TSL has welcomed Jeremy Bourque as senior solutions engineer (Americas). Bourque brings over 15 years of experience in OB trucks, studio facilities, and AV installations. His skillset spans multi-camera operations, hardware switchers, graphic generators, audio consoles, SDI & SMPTE 2110 routers, as well as a variety of production and control software. Previously with Diversified, EVS, and Ross, Bourque has successfully delivered broadcast projects for top-tier clients, including Meta, Verizon Media, NBC, and the White House Communications Agency.

Covering the Americas and based in Ontario, Canada, Bourque will oversee all TSL product lines, enhancing support for pre-sales, implementation, and post-sales for customers across the region. His role will involve both remote and on-site client engagements, further strengthening TSL’s esteemed customer delivery team.

Pebble Boosts Sales Resources with New Leadership 

Headshot of Pebble's SVP sales.

(Image credit: Pebble)

Pebble has welcomed Sally Wallington as SVP sales, assuming overall responsibility for Pebble sales worldwide. Wallington joins Pebble from language and localization services company VSI, where she was sales director. She also had director-level appointments with other major players in the media technology sector, including Grass Valley and Imagine Communications. 

As SVP sales, Wallington will lead Pebble’s global sales organization, working in close collaboration with teams across the world to accelerate market share growth across all of Pebble’s product lines. Her strategic vision and leadership will be crucial in aligning the company’s sales strategies with its core principles of innovation and customer satisfaction. 

Company News

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DPA Microphones and Wisycom Join Forces

Leaders from DPA Microphones and Wisycom gather to celebrate their partnership.

(Image credit: DPA Microphones)

DPA Microphones and Wisycom have formed a strategic alliance in the United States. Building on a history of close collaboration, with successful initiatives in marketing and product technology, both companies are dedicated to delivering high-end microphone and wireless solutions to audio professionals.

Consolidating operations under one roof at DPA Microphones’ existing corporate headquarters in Longmont, CO, enables the companies to efficiently leverage shared resources. The structure currently in place at the DPA facility allows Wisycom to benefit from an expanded service department, augmented customer support team and enhanced logistics infrastructure.

Sales and support efforts will be seamlessly integrated, pooling the expertise of staff from both companies. Area sales managers will assume responsibility for driving sales of DPA and Wisycom products in their respective territories, while a dedicated U.S.-based Global Sales Support team will assist customers with both brands. Additionally, the sales, marketing and support teams will expand to facilitate the tremendous growth trajectory of these leading audio companies. Christopher Spahr continues as the commercial lead in the United States, serving as VP of sales and marketing for both brands.

G&D North America Opens New Office in Houston

G&D North America's new office in Houston.

(Image credit: G&D North America)

G&D North America is establishing a central location in Houston to provide high-quality consultancy and support to customers in North and South America. The modern facilities, spanning an area of more than 12,000 square feet (1,115 square meters), include work areas for sales, engineering, technical support, administration, and warehousing. Training facilities have also been planned for the new headquarters, where customers will receive comprehensive training on KVM solutions. Depending on their level of expertise, the control room expert offers various courses designed to help understand KVM systems, their interaction with other technologies, and essential technical backgrounds from the ground up.

As the centerpiece of the new office, a showroom is being constructed where the manufacturer with German roots aims to offer a 360-degree experience and demonstrate how intelligent KVM systems facilitate the interaction of various applications in modern control room environments. In the ControlCenter-Xperience, the KVM manufacturer plans to conduct on-site demonstrations as well as remote presentations via live video. This will provide customers and partners with a platform for personalized live consultations on real control room applications, regardless of time and location.

To celebrate the grand opening of the ControlCenter-Xperience, G&D North America invites customers, partners, and media representatives to the open house event on September 20, 2024. The opening will feature a true Texan-style celebration with barbecue, cold drinks, music, and entertaining games.

MAXHUB Opens Showroom in London

The new showroom officially opens in London with a ribbon cutting by MAXHUB.

(Image credit: MAXHUB)

The MAXHUB London Customer Experience Centre opened in the heart of Chelsea on June 18, 2024. The new MAXHUB London Customer Experience Centre (CEC) marks another milestone in the company's European expansion strategy. It will be a hub for customers and partners to experience the wide range of UC products and display solutions live and to strengthen personal relationships. It is also ideal for product training to show resellers not only the benefits of MAXHUB products, but also how they work perfectly with technology partners' solutions.

The CEC provides an opportunity to experience first-hand the design, quality and ease of use of MAXHUB solutions. For example, the recently launched 105-inch Ultra-Wide 5K display will be shown in action. With its unique 21:9 aspect ratio, the large screen supports the innovative visual layout of Microsoft Front Row in Signature Teams Rooms, where all videoconference participants are perfectly staged. Or the new MAXHUB XBoard Teams version, a 65-inch 4K touch display with integrated Windows 11 IoT system. It has three built-in cameras with advanced AI capabilities, a 16-array microphone, stereo speakers and accessories such as stands and pens. The XCore Kit Pro+P30, the all-in-one videoconferencing solution designed for Microsoft Teams Rooms of any size and is ideal for transforming BYOD meeting rooms, will also be introduced.

LG and ChargePoint Join Forces to Innovate EV Charging

An EV Charging station.

(Image credit: LG Electronics)

ChargePoint and LG Electronics (LG) have formed a strategic partnership to leverage their respective strengths for future innovations in EV charging. 

The first output of this relationship will be commercial charging solutions that encompass ChargePoint’s industry-leading charger management software and LG’s advanced EV charging hardware, with deliveries expected to begin later this summer.

Future areas of collaboration may include combining ChargePoint EV charging solutions with LG energy storage systems, integration of the LG ThinQ smart home platform with ChargePoint’s award-winning Home Flex residential charger, and chargers that leverage LG’s digital-out-of-home advertising platform, among other areas under evaluation.

Advanced Systems Group and Supersphere Announce Strategic Partnership

The ASG and Supercloud logo after the two partnered to enhance cloud XR and VR production.

(Image credit: ASG)

Advanced Systems Group and Supersphere announced a strategic partnership that will drive innovation in cloud production and XR (extended reality) technology. This collaboration will leverage ASG’s strengths in cloud production technology and integration alongside Supersphere’s expertise in live production involving VR and XR.

As part of this partnership, Supersphere’s ArkRunr platform will be integrated into ASG’s cloud production technology stack. ArkRunr is a Unity-based, real-time, spatial performance platform designed to be a cost-effective, fast, entry point to the world of virtual production. This integration will provide customers with a seamless way to leverage the best of both technologies, enhancing their virtual production capabilities and distribution reach.

This partnership is further strengthened by the real-world experience in software-defined workflows and cloud technology of ASG chief cloud officer Claudia Souza and her team. The addition of Wilson and Supersphere provides the established ASG Cloud team with an innovative approach to live production, including a virtualized performance platform, which will result in faster deployment of software-defined production environments.

MSE Audio Rebrands for Commercial and Residential Products

MSE Audio unveiled its rebranding strategy, elevating two distinct audio brands to cater to the unique needs of its customers. Under this rebranding initiative, commercial and professional audio products will be represented by SoundTube, and residential products will fall under the PhaseTech brand. Each brand comes with its own dedicated sales reps and internal sales team along with its rich history, innovation, and commitment to excellence.

All products will still be designed and engineered by the same teams at our headquarters in Lenexa, KS, and Jacksonville, FL. SoundTube continues to power the commercial Pro AV industry. Its new tagline, Ingenious. By Design., is at the core of everything SoundTube does. In addition to its own branded products, SoundTube serves as a brand umbrella for products sold under Rockustics, SolidDrive and Soundsphere.  

The company's residential audio products, including speakers and electronics, will now be sold under the PhaseTech brand name. The PhaseTech brand includes dARTS Theater speakers, Induction Dynamics and SolidDrive and Rockustics for residential applications.

Origin Acoustics Expands Phoenix Marketing Group's Territory to New York and New Jersey

The Origin Acoustics logo.

(Image credit: Origin Acoustics)

Origin Acoustics added Phoenix Marketing Group (PMG) as its new sales firm in New York and New Jersey.  

Origin Acoustics has been working with PMG since 2016, originating in the Southeast and later expanded into the Middle Atlantic and Florida. PMG will now cover 14 states for Origin Acoustics, with an experienced sales team of more than a dozen meticulously selected people.

PMG embodies a group of highly educated, motivated professionals eager to support our valued dealers. PMG represents the Origin family of brands in these new markets, specializing in lighting design, indoor and outdoor shading, smart automation, audio and video solutions, outdoor living spaces and acoustic room treatments for residential and commercial projects. 

Adaptive Technologies Group Appoints JAM for Distribution in Canada

The Adaptive Technologies Group logo.

(Image credit: Adaptive Technologies Group)

Adaptive Technologies Group appointed JAM, a provider of Pro AV equipment, as its distributor for Adaptive’s AV mounting and rigging solutions in Canada. As a distributor of Harman and other significant audio lines, the company possesses years of expertise assisting customers with commercial acoustic designs and installations. 

John Conard, Adaptive’s Eastern sales director, helped facilitate the distribution agreement and was quoted as saying how excited he is for JAM to make Adaptive’ s off-the-shelf AV install solutions available from stock for their contractors in Canada.

The staff of Systems Contractor News serves the AV integration industry with thorough news analysis, trend reports, and the latest product and technology information—delivered to an audience of decision-makers.