Meet The Team
Martin Warden - managing director
Martin started the company in 1991 after taking voluntary redundancy from BT. His service at BT spanned some 15 years where he held a variety of positions in various departments including planning, design and engineering. Since founding the company, Martin has been directly involved in all aspects of the business and still enjoys the practical side of events from one day conferences to three week festivals. His skills and experience included rigging, qualified electrician, event planning, lighting design, sound engineering and AV specialist.
Scott joined the company in April 2007 after making a career change from the hospitality industry. His experience of working as a hotel manager spanned 13 years and has seen him work in Newcastle, Darlington, Hertfordshire and New York. Despite working in hotels, Scott has always maintained an interest in technical theatre and gained experience by working part time as a stage technician at Darlington Civic Theatre.
With over 15 years experience in the Conference & Live events industry, Paul joins us as hire and sales manager with the additional responsibility for business development at Hi-Lights. Having spent 14 years at another audio visual production company Paul jumped at the chance to join us here at Hi-Lights saying "Hi-Lights is a company which has managed to weather the current recession and, in fact increase the number of staff and invest in new equipment." Not many companies can say that in the current economic climate! Having worked on a wide variety of events and with various celebrities over the years, Paul lists Elle MacPherson touching his knee at a major event as one of his career highlights (no pun intended).
Sue started working for Hi-Lights in 1999 and takes responsibility for the administration side of the business, ensuring that invoices are sent promptly and, most importantly, that we all get paid on time. She has many other skills that she brings to the team; from her encyclopaedic knowledge of theatrical makeup to her extensive seamstress skills, she is always on hand to offer help and advice to anyone that needs it.
Simon joined the hire and sales team in April 2012. He has a wealth of knowledge relating to audio visual equipment, which he gained from his time working in sales and installations at Richer Sounds. Simon also has plenty of experience in professional audio equipment from working in recording studios and gigging with various bands over the last 13 years. In his spare time he loves writing and playing music and can often be seen dancing around in a life size bear costume.
Tom, who initially came to Hi-Lights in November 2012 as a Hire Technician, became a fully fledged member of the Hi-Lights team in April '13 in his role as Hire & Sales Coordinator. He had recently returned to the North East after 7 years living in Cambridge, where he worked as a sound technician and studied for his BSc in Audio Technology. This experience allows him to apply a working knowledge to the problems of coordinating events, ensuring the right tools are provided for the job and everyone goes home happy. Tom loves film, food and electronic music and will be found at the weekends attempting to combine all three.
Andrew joined us in April 2010. He previously worked in a busy Performing Arts School, helping stage large shows and help kids get excited about technical theatre, as well as maintaining and servicing the equipment. Andrew has also freelanced across the City for various companies and venues and has a good knowledge of sound, AV and moving lights. He brings to the team a passion for the industry and an enthusiastic ‘can-do' attitude.
Aaron joined the team in November 2012 after successfully completing his studies in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. He has a keen interest in electronics and started building and reporting circuits as a hobbyist before seeking formal qualifications. Over the past five years he has engaged in some freelance work, fault finding and reporting consumer electronics, before joining Hi-Lights. In his spare time Arron enjoys watching football and following Newcastle United.
Ahmed Albasri - technician
Ham rejoined the team at Hi-Lights after a two year break working for Scottish and Southern Energy. Originally working for Hi-Lights whilst studying a Music Technology Diploma, he gained the knowledge and experience to work on our hire and sales desk. Currently Ham takes on the role as technician, working in both our hire and events departments and is able to draw on his experiences from Newcastle College, SSE and his previous time at Hi-Lights.
Matthew joined the Hi-Lights team in the summer of 2012 and works as a technician. He graduated in 2011 with a degree in music technology which has provided him with a wealth of knowledge in all aspects of audio. During this time he also worked as both a freelance sound engineer and an in-house sound engineer in several venues. Matthew is looking forward to the challenges offered by the variety of work and services that Hi-Lights provides. In Matthew's spare time he enjoys playing football, creating music and relaxing with a nice pint of ale!
Jason joined us in May 2010 with an established background is in distribution and installation services across the retail and home entertainment industries. Jason has a variety of skills that we put to excellent use here at Hi-Lights, both in our warehouse and when working on site. When he's not dedicating his time to his work he is a keen golfer and all round sports enthusiast.
Jonny joined the Hi-Lights team in November 2011, having previously worked as a freelance technician in Cumbria. He gained practical experience by working on various festivals, putting his knowledge of lighting and sound to great use. Prior to that he studied at the University of Cumbria where he gained a BTEC qualification in Media. Out of work Jonny loves to enjoy a cool bottle of No 015 and has recently taken up running.
Christine joined our team in May 2012, and works part time as an office administrator. She has worked as an administrator for the past 16 years and prides herself on her organisation skills and attention to detail. Christine is new to our industry and is looking forward to the new challenges that it will bring. In her spare time Christine loves spending time with her young family and baking fairy cakes for the Hi-Lights team.
Molly Warden - company cat
An integral part of the business, Molly provides comfort, support and a means of relaxation to our proprietor. Her photograph can regularly be found on Martin's desktop but she always remains at home awaiting the return of her owner.