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Honored for 10 Years with USITT

Monica L. Merritt, left, Barbara E.R. Lucas, and Carol B. Carrigan receive congratulations on 30 years of combined service from Carl Lefko, center, USITT’s President.

As part of the USITT Annual Meeting in Cincinnati, three members of the USITT staff were recognized for 10 years of service to the Institute. Carol B. Carrigan, Administrative & Finance Manager; Barbara E.R. Lucas, Public Relations & Marketing Manager; and Monica L. Merritt, Conference Registration & Database Manager all joined the organization in 1998. Ms. Lucas and Ms. Merritt began their tenure on the same day in July and Ms. Carrigan came on board in October.

In addition to the recognition at the Annual Meeting, the three were presented with plaques “in recognition and gratitude for 10 years of dedicated service and support of USITT” during the Board of Directors meeting held during the Annual Conference.

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Taylor Inducted

Dana Taylor has been named a Distinguished Alumnus of the Singing Hoosiers (Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana). As an undergraduate, he was a singer and guitarist for the ensemble and was assistant director during his graduate studies. Mr. Taylor holds degrees in music education (BME) and choral conducting (MM) from Indiana University. Distinguished alumni are selected based on professional and personal achievements following their tenure at Indiana.

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Normand Bouchard Retires

Former VP and Director at Large Normand Bouchard has retired from the University of Calgary. The change occurred at the end of March, just in time for Mr. Bouchard to enjoy the opening of golf courses in the greater Alberta region. Mr. Bouchard was honored in 2004 with the USITT Joel E. Rubin Founder’s Award. At the presentation, Past President Richard Durst called Mr. Bouchard “one of the Institute’s most tireless workers and insightful, dedicated leaders.” Click here to view a complete profile of Mr. Bouchard.

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Stump the Rigger trophy awarded at USITT

Scott Mollman, Technical Director for the Theatre Department at the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, won the Jack Suesse Memorial Stump the Riggers trophy at the USITT Annual Conference in Cincinnati. The trophy is awarded for the best question or situation that the Stump the Rigger panel cannot correctly answer or identify. This year's winning situation involved the load rating of home made wire rope which had been constructed of baling wire and twisted into shape with a battery operated drill.

Scott Millman, at right, with his trophy.

Photo/Greg Williams

The trophy is named for Jack Suesse, an industry icon who passed away in August of 2007. Bill Sapsis, session moderator, noted: "Jack was one of the good guys. He wasn't flashy. He didn't make a big deal about his work but he was responsible for many of the rigging innovations we've seen over the past 20 years. He was also a mentor to many people coming up in the business. I met him in 1979 and he was instrumental in shaping the way I approached my career."

The Trophy was introduced in 2008 at the USITT conference in Houston and was awarded to Carla Richters of Dartmouth College. The winner is chosen by acclamation and confirmed by the Stump the Riggers panel. The 2009 panel included Don Dimitroff of Columbus McKinnon Corp, Eric McAfee of J. R. Clancy, Inc., and Tray Allen of James Thomas Engineering. The moderator was Bill Sapsis of Sapsis Rigging, Inc.

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Honored by IATSE

Jan Musson, Fellow of the Institute and former Treasurer, was presented with an honorary lifetime membership in I.A.T.S.E. Local #134 in honor of her long career as a lighting technician, designer and entrepreneur.

Jan applied for membership at a time the union was almost 100% male.

Obviously this has changed as she was presented her "tool kit" by Cindy Parker, President, I.A.T.S.E. Local 134. In the photo, Jan is shown with her cake accompanied by Steve Kaplowitz, member, I.A.T.S.E. Local 134 who organized this long overdue recognition of Jan. It should be noted the local celebrated its centennial in the Summer of 2008. Photos were taken by Richard Reizner, member, I.A.T.S.E. Local 134.

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USITT Attendees Support Behind the Scenes

The Long Reach Long Riders and The ESTA Foundation announced the results of their joint raffle to benefit the Behind the Scenes program at the USITT Annual Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. A total of $5,236 was raised from raffle ticket sales during the three days of Stage Expo, more than doubling the $2,500 Challenge Grant issued by Sapsis Rigging. In addition, Jonathan Deull made a $1,500 donation to Behind the Scenes in support of the Long Reach Long Riders 2009 charity ride this summer, bringing the total raised at USITT to $9,236.

Photo/Tom Thatcher

The winners and their prizes are: Fred Allen – Altman Rentals Ghostlight; Shan Ayers – USITT 2010 Conference Registration; Dennis Booth – Nolan Engineering Services’ Structural Master Class; Ed Condit – Martin Light Jockey; Kacey Fisher – Live Design’s Broadway Master Class; Ben Gasper – Utah Shakespearean Festival Ticket Package; David Griffith – Sapsis Rigging’s Safety Seminar with Bill Sapsis; Karl Hoffman – Barbizon Gift Certificate; Randall Presswood – Vectorworks Spotlight with Renderworks; Paul Sanow – Vincent Lighting Systems Gift Certificate; Charles Smith – Le Maitre’s Radiance Hazer; Nathan Szewczyk – Field Template’s SoftSymbols and Field Templates

The traditional pre-raffle kazoo parade kicked off the festivities on Saturday afternoon with stops at specially selected booths for a private serenade. The raffle was emceed by Bill Sapsis, resplendent in a full tuxedo and sporting his just-conferred USITT Fellows medal.

Before the raffle began Bill invited Paul Vincent, Kim Craigie and Walt Weber from Vincent Lighting Systems up to the podium to be acknowledged as VLS enters the fourth year of their Behind the Scenes Workplace Giving Campaign.

All proceeds go to The ESTA Foundation's Behind the Scenes program which provides entertainment technology industry members with grants for emergency situations, such as serious illness, injury, or death.

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