August 2013

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July 2013

News From

Around the Institute

Studying Theatre in Italy

Members of the Italy group study tour gather outside the Piccolo Teatro in Milan before a private tour.

Photo/Annette Clark

A group of stalwart travelers spent 12 days enjoying theatre techniques both old and new as part of the latest USITT Study Tour in Italy.

Group members were like kids in a candy store as they toured facilities such as the scene and costume shops at Piccolo Teatro, Ansaldo Workshops (associated with La Scala), and Teatro Dell'Opera.

A more serious and complete report will appear in the September issue of Sightlines, but a delightful time was had by all.

Innovator Wins Wisconsin Award

Congratulations to USITT Fellow and ETC CEO Fred Foster on receiving the 10th annual Ken Hendricks Memorial "Seize the Day" Award at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs' Conference, in Middleton, Wisconsin in June.

Fred Foster

The award celebrates entrepreneurial leaders who have been crucial to Wisconsin's economic growth and is named in honor of late entrepreneur Ken Hendricks. The award is not given for technical innovation but for innovative leadership – the ability to transform business opportunities into successes. "Fred Foster epitomizes what it means to literally work out of your garage as a young entrepreneur and to build a successful company," said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. "His persistence and vision has helped put Wisconsin on center stage in the entertainment technology world."

While studying at UW-Madison in the 1970s, Fred Foster and his brother Bill, Gary Bewick, and James Bradley developed and marketed a groundbreaking lighting control system for theatre. Since ETC was founded in 1975, Mr. Foster has performed many roles within the company – from inventor and engineer to industrial designer, tech support, salesman, marketer, president, and CEO. Over time, ETC's products have ranged from lighting consoles to incandescent and LED light fixtures, dimming and power control systems, and stage rigging. Mr. Foster has been ranked among the top 10 "Most Powerful People" in the entertainment-technology industry by Live Design Magazine.

A video of the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs' Conference is available from WisconsinEye.

Board Member Welcomes Family Addition

Congratulations and best wishes go out to Michael Mehler and his wife, Sara, who welcomed the newest addition to their family on July 1. Genevieve Angelino Mehler joins Joshua and Madeline in keeping the Mehler household in Meadville, Pennsylvania very busy. Michael, a member of USITT's Board of Directors, is also chair of USITT's Awards and Resolutions Committee, so he is used to juggling multiple demands on his time.

Fellow 'Retires'

Congratulations also go out to Ken Vannice whose most recent title was "Manager, Codes, Standards and Compliance, Lighting and Energy Solutions" at Leviton. He retired in June.

Ken, a Fellow of the Institute, is well-known for his knowledge of all things electrical. For updated contact information, visit the USITT online member directory.