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Conference & Stage Expo
For the Record


The Entertainment Technician Certification Program Council has appointed Rigging Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). These individuals, all highly respected in their field, have agreed to volunteer considerable time to the development of the industry's first rigging certifications. Selected for their breadth and depth of knowledge, the SMEs will work closely with the Council's selected psychometric services provider, Applied Measurement Professionals (AMP), to develop the examinations.

The SMEs are: Roy Bickel, John Bleich, Eddie Blue, David Boevers, Olan Cottrill, James Doherty, Harry Donovan, Kelly Green, Glenn Hufford, Edward Kish, Stephane Mayrand, Joseph McGeough, Brian Miller, Walter Murphy, Rocky Paulson, G. Anthony Phillips, Eddie Raymond, Michael Reed, Bill Sapsis, Peter Scheu, Karen Seifried, Scott Sloan, Sammy Stokes, and Jack Suesse.

The first task for the SMEs was to develop a job task analysis survey which was sent to over 600 riggers in the US and Canada. The results of this survey are used to determine the content areas of the examination. The next step in the test development process is writing the examination questions, which will take place over a series of meetings to be held through the first half of 2005.

The first ETCP rigging examinations (arena and theatre) will be held in November 2005 in conjunction with ETS-LDI. Candidate information, including eligibility requirements and application forms, will be available on the ETCP website in late March 2005. The first ETCP rigging certifications will be designed for highly experienced riggers (rigging supervisors, high steel riggers, etc).

To have examination information and forms mailed or e-mailed, contact Katie Geraghty, ETCP Certification Director, at 212-244-1505 or

ETCP Council members are key leaders drawn from entertainment business, labor, facilities, associations, and academia representing the diversity of the entertainment industry. Membership includes AMPTP, CITT, CCE, ESTA, IAAM, IATSE, InfoComm/ICIA, The League, PRG, TEA, and USITT.

Garl Named Chair of Tech Standards Committee

Michael Garl, president of James Thomas Engineering, Inc. and chair of Entertainment Services and Technical Association's (ESTA's) Rigging Working Group, take over the chairmanship of ESTA's Technical Standards Committee at its next meeting during the USITT Annual Conference & Stage Expo in Toronto on March 16.

Mr. Garl will succeed Paul Vincent, who is stepping down after many years of service in several of leadership roles with ESTA.

Mr. Garl credits Mr. Vincent with getting him involved in the Technical Standards Program when it was started."While walking through the Knoxville airport 10 years ago," he said, "I received a call from Paul, who at that time was the president of ESTA. He explained that they were creating a Technical Standards program and asked if I would consider being a member of the Technical Standards Committee and chairman of a working group to deal with issues involving rigging. Needless to say, I accepted his invitation."

In Mr. Vincent's years with ESTA, he has served as founding member of the Theatrical Dealers Association; Vice-President, President, and Immediate Past President; Chair of the Ethics Committee; member of the BizEd Committee; and Chair of the Technical Standards Committee.

"I'm grateful to have had an opportunity to serve ESTA members over the past 15 plus years, and I look forward to being a less involved member in the future as I continue to grow Vincent Lighting Systems," Mr. Vincent said.

The Technical Standards Committee will appoint a new Co-Chair to serve with Bill Sapsis, the current Co-Chair and President of Sapsis Rigging on the Rigging Working Group.

ESTA Foundation Formed

ESTA also announced the creation of the ESTA Foundation. For the past few years, members of ESTA have been working on the identified need to provide entry-level entertainment technicians with the essential skills necessary to practice their craft. To further this purpose, the ESTA Board of Directors created the ESTA Foundation, to be established as a 501(c)3 organization. ESTA's Technical Education Committee and its subcommittees - Essential Skills, Publications & Assessments and Seminars & Training - have been moved under the auspices of the Foundation.

Members of the inaugural Board of Directors are: Chair, Bill Price - Director of Systems, Barbizon; Vice-Chair, Rick Rudolph - Executive Vice President, Stage Equipment & Lighting; Secretary/Treasurer, Mark Heiser - Managing Director, New York State Theatre at Lincoln Center; and Directors Gavin Berger - Director of Concert Halls, Lincoln Center Inc.; Bill Groener - Vice President of Sales for North America, Color Kinetics; Michael Peitz - Executive Director, Educational Theatre Association; Lori Rubinstein - Executive Director, ESTA; David Saltiel - Partner, Bell, Boyd & Lloyd; Robert Scales - Professor Emeritus, University of Southern California; Frank Stewart - owner, Specialty TECH Services; and Jim Utterback - Training Director, IATSE Local 22. Serving as special consultant to the board is Andrea Sussman - Vice President, KSA-Plus Communications.

The ESTA Foundation's mission is to develop, publish and market educational programs to establish and provide the knowledge, skills and training necessary to pursue careers in the entertainment technology industry; fund research, publications and education on safety and the advancement of technology within the industry; provide scholarships and grants to individuals or related organizations to further education; and provide financial aid and assistance to members of the entertainment technology community who demonstrate need based on serious illness, accident or death. For information contact Greer Morrison at 212-244-1505 or

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