SPOTLIGHT: BILL LAWFORD
Bill Lawford is a long term member of the Gearhouse Group team and is involved in the start-up of Gearhouse Ghana, a technical supply company in Accra. Bill brings his extensive experience of Gearhouse’s South African operation to bear on the project, which aims to service the regional staging and events industry through development of local capacity.
Bill hails originally from London where he attended Downside Preparatory School and then Frensham Heights during his formative years. After leaving school to pursue his interest in the performing arts, he travelled extensively working within the theatre scene milieu and in 1976 became actively involved in stage lighting.
Between 1976 and 1994, Bill’s capabilities advanced from Lighting Technician to Technical Director as he worked the global music circuit across more than 60 different countries in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Oceania before settling in South Africa.
Bill joined the Cape Town Branch of what was later to become the Gearhouse Group in 1995, as a Project Manager. The role exposed him to the particular requirements of touring international acts as well as the rigorous demands of the corporate market where he was involved in coordinating the technical aspects for large conferences, award winning exhibition stands and high profile product launches.
He also executed the successful start-up of the Durban Branch of Gearhouse in 1997, recruiting and training a local staff and successfully penetrating the KwaZulu Natal events market. The Durban branch is now a key player in the region and continues to provide unrivalled service as the service provider of choice on events such as the FIFA Preliminary Draw and most recently the 29th World Congress of Public Services International.
After 2 years, Bill was transferred to the Gearhouse Group Head Office in Johannesburg to become more actively involved in the development of new markets for the Group as well as to pass on his experience and finely honed skills to an emerging generation of technicians.
During this time he was also deployed as Technical Coordinator for SEA Games in Brunei, by far the largest event the company had supplied at that stage. The experience gained on this event, left him well positioned to play an integral role in the technical delivery of the massive World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002, The FIFA World Cup Opening /Closing Ceremonies and the FIFA Kick Off Concert
As the demand on Gearhouse to service events across the continent increased, Bill became the designated Project Manager to service events such as the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) and African Union Summit in 2007, where he was able to source and upskill local teams to assist with the delivery to world class standards.
Bill's natural blend of leadership skills and mentorship capabilities have equipped him to investigate the potential of establishing a local company in Ghana. Watch this space!
Nov 24, 2012