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Garl Takes the Helm of the TSC
2005-01-27

Michael Garl, President of James Thomas Engineering, Inc. and current Chair of the Rigging Working Group, is assuming the Chair of the Technical Standards Committee and leaving the leadership of the Rigging Working group in the hands of Bill Sapsis, the current Co-Chair and President of Sapsis Rigging. The Technical Standards Committee will appoint a new Co-Chair to serve with Bill on the Rigging Working Group. Mike's first meeting as TSC Chair will be the meeting at the USITT Conference in Toronto on March 16.

The change in leadership is occasioned by Paul Vincent's stepping down after many years of service. "My first involvement with ESTA was as a founding member of the Theatrical Dealers Association," says Paul. "After serving as Vice-President, President, Immediate Past President, Chair of the Ethics Committee, member of the BizEd Committee and Chair of the Technical Standards Committee it's time for me to retire from volunteer work and allow other very capable people to serve in a leadership capacity.

"I'm pleased that Mike Garl, who has done an outstanding job serving the ESTA Technical Standards Program as the Chair of the Rigging Work Group and as a member of the TSC, will become the new Chair of the Technical Standards Committee. I know that the program will be in good hands, not only through Mike's commitment, but also through the continuing hard work of the hundreds of volunteers and financial contributions from our members and related organizations.

"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," concludes Paul.

Mike Garl credits Paul with getting him involved in the Technical Standards Program when it was started. "While walking through the Knoxville airport 10 years ago," remembers Mike, "I received a call from Paul Vincent, 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.

"Now, as then, I am honored and anxious," says Mike. "Honored to be considered worthy of the position of guiding such a prominent group of dedicated industry leaders, and anxious about following in the footsteps of those distinguished individuals who have previously held this position.

"My only regret is leaving the leadership of the Rigging Working Group, which I am required to do by the P&P [the policies and procedures of the Technical Standards Program]. The Rigging Working Group, like the other working groups, is now made up of many the most highly respected—and sometimes competitive—people in our industry. In accepting the position of chairman of the ESTA Technical Standards Committee, it is my sincere hope that I can be instrumental in the continuing development of the program," says Mike.

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