Midland, TX (January 17, 2012)—Staging and truss manufacturer Tomcat has named Mike Garl as its president and general manager. Garl, who joins Tomcat from James Thomas Engineering, where he was previously the president and managing partner, will be responsible for all day-to-day activities.
“We are very pleased to welcome Mike to our team and confident his far-reaching experience, knowledge and expertise will enable him to lead Tomcat in serving the demanding needs and expectations of our worldwide customers,” stated Stefano Rosellini, managing director of the Vitec Group Staging Systems Business Unit. “Regardless of the project, Tomcat is committed to providing the most innovative products and solutions to serve our customers. To make that happen, we only bring the best people on board.”
Garl studied at the Pasadena Playhouse and Carnegie-Mellon University, where he earned a degree from the School of Drama in 1972. He served as a technical director, lighting designer and sound designer during college. In addition, he spent five years as the lighting designer and technical director for the summer seasons of Opera Barga in Barga (Lucca) Italy.
After graduation, Garl worked at the University of Rochester and joined the faculty in the theatre department at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Prior to helping establish James Thomas Engineering in the U.S., he spent five years with Holiday on Ice as the sound engineer, master electrician and lighting designer/director.
Garl has been a member of the PLASA (formerly ESTA) Technical Standards Council since its inception in 1994, serving as its chairman since 2005. He is the past chairman of the Rigging Working Group and is an active member of the E1.2 and E1.21 Task Groups. As a result of his dedication to the organization, Garl received the ESTA Eva Swan Award in 2001.
“I am very excited about the new professional journey ahead of me and the opportunity to work with a company that has the history and pedigree of Tomcat,” said Garl. “I believe the future is very bright for TOMCAT and the other Vitec Group Staging Systems brands, Litec and Brilliant Stages. I’m delighted to join the exceptional international management team to continue leading the strong brand and dedicated team forward, furthering the tradition of product innovation, quality and customer service.”