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8 October 2013

2013 Gottlier Award Winner Announced at PLASA London 2013

Prestigious prize recognises contribution to the entertainment technology industry

LONDON, UK - 8 October 2013 - Jim Bornhorst was named last night as the winner of the prestigious Gottelier Award. The ceremony formed a key part of the PLASA Awards for Innovation, held on the evening of Monday 7 October in the AudioLab Arena at PLASA London 2013.

Trained in electrical engineering, Jim Bornhorst started out as an audio specialist. As a touring technician with Dallas-based PA rental company Showco during the 1970s, he toured with artists such as Three Dog Night, Alice Cooper and Jackson Browne. In 1973, he designed the circuitry for Showco's first audio console, and would make various other audio innovations. Gradually his interest in lighting blossomed, and he went on to lead the Showco project development group, including Tom Walsh and John Covington, which created the very first moving light back in 1980-81 - kick-starting a revolution in entertainment lighting that continues to this day.

The very first model, the VL0, was famously demonstrated to the band Genesis in a barn in England. The band was impressed, and agreed to front the money needed for Showco to build 50 first-generation units for the band's forthcoming Abacab tour. A new company, Vari-Lite, was born. The Abacab tour began in Barcelona on 25 September, 1981, with 50 VL1 luminaires wowing the crowds - and the rest is history.

Along with his colleagues at Vari-Lite, Jim went on to take these revolutionary luminaires through many new generations and developments. In 1991, the team received their first EMMY Award for Outstanding Achievement in Engineering. Later still he led the development of the PRG BadBoy luminaire.

Named in memory of Tony Gottelier, the industry innovator and commentator who passed away in 2006, the Gottelier Award aims to recognise product developers who have made significant and sustained contributions to the advancement of entertainment, presentation or installation technology - whether in audio, lighting, rigging, staging, or any other related field. The Gottelier Award is voted for by industry professionals and seeks to recognise and celebrate the people behind the products that make the entertainment and installation industry such a dynamic and vibrant profession.

Along with Jim Bornhorst, this year's other eminently worthy nominees were:

  • Chris Cronin - In almost 35 years in the business, Chris has been at the forefront of the entertainment staging industry, developing flexible, safe trussing structures and has had a hand in pushing forward many of the developments we take for granted.

  • Wayne Howell - Wayne's innovative products such as Micro-Scope DMX tester, the Lamp Tramp, the DMX-Dongle, DMX-Split, Pixi-Web and Visual Patch have won many industry accolades and formed key elements to many notable projects in entertainment and architectural lighting worldwide.

  • Alan Jacobi LVO - Alan has worked rigorously to raise the profile and professionalism of the rigging industry and long recognised the need for training and education, and has been a driving force behind the NRC accreditation scheme since the very beginning in 2005.

  • Frederic Opsomer - Frederic began his career in the mid-80s, utilising video and projectors for marketing purposes. Most recently, he led the team in the design and production of 70,500 pixel tablets for the London 2012 Olympic Games; creating the world's largest landscape video display.

  • Pasquale Quadri - For over 30 years, Italian manufacturer Clay Paky has been a leading force in the manufacture of entertainment lighting fixtures, all the while under the auspices of company founder, Pasquale Quadri (or 'Paky' as he is better known).

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Notes to Editors:

PLASA is the lead professional body for businesses that supply technologies and services to the event, entertainment and installation industries. Operating from offices in Europe and North America, the Association provides business support services to its growing worldwide membership, writes industry standards, leads the development of qualifications and focuses on improving the business practices adopted by the industry. With over 1100 members worldwide, it represents one of the largest member networks in the industry.

PLASA also runs successful media and events divisions and is responsible for the industry-leading magazines Lighting&Sound International, Lighting&Sound America and Protocol and the PLASA Show in London, together with the European and North American regional PLASA Focus events.

www.plasa.org