What does your role at Anna Valley involve?
I’ve been appointed as Operations Manager for the integration team and manage the service delivery of our projects from the point of sale through to post-installation service and support. It involves a lot of planning, organising, coordinating, and controlling all the resources needed for our projects.
What attracted you to work with Anna Valley?
I’ve worked in the AV industry for some time, so I knew about Anna Valley and I worked with Nick Shaw (Anna Valley’s Director of Integration) many years ago. We worked together on various projects for CISCO (Oslo and London), Burberry, Sky News, JP Morgan and the Royal Swedish Institute of Engineering.
Over the years I’ve seen the business go from strength to strength, so when this opportunity came up, it was a very easy decision to make.
Tell us a bit more about your experience?
I have more than 28 years’ experience in the fields of electrical and electronic engineering in diverse industries, including 16 years of operational management and consulting.
I have worked on projects in both public and private sectors and gained invaluable experience within the large format video display, corporate audio visual, medical and power system protection industries. These projects have taken me to many parts of the world including; South Africa, USA, Canada, UAE, Russia and all over Europe.
In 2015, I was lucky enough to be part of a multi-million Euro, global migration project for a well-known retail giant, which involved the worldwide roll-out of two types of standardised LCD & LED media player systems (for advertising purposes) across 25 countries. I was the Global Lead Project Manager and had responsibility for overseeing the project from initial concept and design stages to post-installation support services. It took some organising, but I loved every minute of it.
What’s the best AV project you have ever worked on and why?
I delivered post-installation service and support services on ‘Project Lumen’ for four years which, at the time, was billed as the largest LED display in the world.
This project involved four giant LED screens being placed on top (29th floor) of the four sides of the ABSA Towers building in Johannesburg, South Africa. At 38 metres long and 17 metres high, the final digital display footprint on each side of the building was almost twice the size of a basketball court.
Following the installation, I was commissioned by Barco to take sole responsibility for the system’s aftercare, making sure it ran 24/7, 365 days a year. This was always going to be a challenge with the installation located on steel framework, atop a sky scraper, in a place renowned for its’ electrical storms.
Apart from suffering conventional AV system failures, the Project Lumen installation also suffered some ‘not so conventional’ failures such as internal short circuits caused by the ingress of fine gold-dust particulate (JHB is the City of Gold, after all.) It also survived 2 handgun shots, 2 large calibre rifle shots and several direct lightning strikes.
It was probably the most rewarding work I’ve ever done. I was always faced with the unpredictable, but I liked the fact that, if something went wrong, the buck stopped with me. I relished that responsibility. I’m still very much connected to the system and keep regular tabs on its upkeep.
What made you choose AV as a career path and what makes you stay in the industry?
My passion for technology is centred around the electrical, electronic and mechanical engineering disciplines and the world of audio-visual technology encompasses all three very well. I like how technology is evolving, I believe that the AV industry will continue to grow and become more innovative and this excites me.
Not too long ago, AV was just a projector screen that connected to your laptop, now it’s so much more. Virtual messaging is becoming increasingly popular, more and more industries are looking towards augmented reality to convey messaging and the demand for digital displays is increasing.
Tell us a about your first few months at Anna Valley?
I’ve been busy learning about Anna Valley’s processes because to do my job well, I need to know every minute detail – I think (hope) I’m 99.9 % there.
Best thing about your job (at Anna Valley) so far?
I would say the people – they have been very friendly and supportive. I’m also enjoying getting to know the operational challenges of an expanding division. I want to do a fantastic job and to keep improving things, so that Anna Valley can continue to go from strength to strength. I’m happy to be a part of it!
Tell us a bit about yourself? Hobbies?
My out of office antics include off-road motorcycling, mountain biking and open water swimming. I also enjoy surfing, snowboarding and water-skiing when I have the opportunity.
Describe yourself in three words?
Driven, committed and passionate.
Your pet peeve (s)?
Very random – toothpaste running down the arm of my clean shirt and walking on wet floors