People in action

Interviews with 11 Vitec employees

Our people are the key to Vitec’s future. They make the difference not only by what they do, but by how they do it. Their attitude and abilities, talent and commitment create a Vitec culture that naturally supports product excellence, creative solutions and integrity. 

Just click on any of the people below to find out what it's like to be part of Vitec.

Rachael Matzopoulos

Deputy Company Secretary

Who are you?

I am Deputy Company Secretary and work in the Group’s Head Office in Richmond, UK. I have been here for nearly two years and have already seen lots of change including the appointment of a new Chairman, a new Group Finance Director and a different office location. Life doesn’t stand still at Vitec!

What do you do at Vitec?

My primary responsibility is to ensure good governance across the group, through the communication of our policies and procedures and ensuring that all our employees know what their responsibilities are as part of a UK listed company. I also have responsibility for the publication of the Group’s Annual Report, the Annual General Meeting with our shareholders, the governance of our 70 subsidiary companies, share incentives including Sharesave and LTIP, UK pensions, the Group’s website and investor relations.

Why did you join Vitec?

I enjoy the extra challenge of working in a company that is listed on the London Stock Exchange and was attracted to the wide scope of my role here. As a smaller company with a very lean head office, there is a great opportunity to get close to the businesses.

What development have you had at Vitec?

I have been exposed to a wide range of corporate experiences, including acquisitions and disposals, the vesting of share options that have made extremely good profits for our employees, an introduction to the investor relations side of working in a public company and global insurance programmes. I was fortunate to attend the 2012 Management Conference, where I met the senior members of Vitec’s global team. The experience was fantastic in terms of learning about the real business challenges that are faced across Vitec’s diverse companies and developing my relationships with colleagues.

How would you describe the Vitec culture?

In the Group Head Office it is extremely collaborative, and we really do live this aspect of the Vitec Mindset. Globally, there is a great feeling that we are all working towards the same goal of working for a successful Group with strong brands, innovative products and interesting people.

Why Vitec?

The people you work with can make or break your enjoyment of a job. The head office team works well together, sometimes putting in long hours, but always with a smile and upbeat attitude. The global nature and breadth of the business means that you are exposed to business operations in a wide number of countries and markets which continues to provide me with a reason to come to work.

Details

Division: Vitec Group
Location: Richmond, London, UK

Hemal Nayee

Manfrotto Power Brand Team, Key Account Executive

What is your current role?

I currently work as part of the Manfrotto Power Brand Team UK. The role consists of sales and marketing, creating brand awareness and interacting with consumers. I manage a variety of relationships and integrate new brands into the market through our retailers, selling the products across all types of stores, whether it is consumer electronics or local camera retailers. I also create the website landing pages for our larger retail customers to ensure our brands look strong and the consumer’s online retail experience is positive.

What makes Vitec a great place to work?

I have been at Vitec almost 6 years progressing from finance assistant to a Power Team member. Vitec are willing to invest in talent, recognise your skills and help you make the most of your abilities. Vitec is a fantastic place to work as the company invests in people and provides great opportunities for staff. I couldn’t imagine working anywhere else and look forward to furthering my career in a growing business that has so much passion.

What is your favourite Vitec brand?

This would have to be Manfrotto because of their great product innovation and skill in creating product solutions. The bags ranges have evolved at such a quick pace and have not compromised on quality, functionality or design. The focus on quality and innovation is what attracts the Manfrotto customers that I speak to every day.

How are you impacting the business in your current role?

My role is customer focused so I am at the forefront of the business. As a member of the Power Team I sell product directly to retailers and consumers so the impact I make on the business is key to driving product sales. The Power Team also build relationships with our partners and educate staff and consumers on what product solution suits their needs.

What has been your greatest achievement at Vitec?

There have been many achievements in my time at Manfrotto but the greatest is progression. I have gained knowledge in various aspects of distribution and the experience from these opportunities has been invaluable in helping me progress in both my career and as an individual.

Details

Division: Imaging
Location: Various locations UK

Simone Schiavo

Teradek Head of Finance

What positions have you held at Vitec?

I joined Vitec Head Office in 2009 as Group Risk Assurance Manager. At the start of the year I joined recent acquisition Teradek as the Head of Finance and relocated to the US.

What are your current responsibilities?

I lead theTeradek finance team in supporting the business by providing information for future decisions and risk analysis, ensuring maximum efficiency and profitability. I like my job because no day is ever the same. Each day I am presented with new challenges and situations, which really helps me to stay focused and interested.

What makes Vitec a great place to work?

The entrepreneurial spirit: Vitec gives you the opportunity to work with great entrepreneurs.

What's your favourite moment as a Vitec employee?

In my previous role in Vitec working as Group Risk Assurance Manger my favourite moments were when I visited a business for the first time. In my current role it is each Friday when I see the satisfaction in the eyes of the Operations Director when he tells me the quantities of items shipped that week.

Details

Division: Videocom
Location: Irvine, California, USA

Astrig Boghossian

Senior Category Manager Bags and Accessories

What attracted you to Vitec?

I joined the company nearly 5 years ago; the quality of the products and the opportunity to develop the bags category motivated me to become part of Vitec.

What are your current responsibilities?

I’m responsible for local marketing activities for Bags and Accessories. My role is to launch and promote the bags ranges for the French market. This is an exciting task as the bags market is highly competitive, Manfrotto is a challenger in the market and 2014 is going to be “The Bags Year” which I’m very happy about!

I’m also in charge of Sekonic, a third party brand (lighting control products) as Manfrotto has the exclusive distribution in France.

Alongside my Category Manager role, I also manage many diverse projects such as media planning, PR, merchandising, in-store activities and the new Manfrotto Ambassador Project. I’m very proud of this project as I’m creating strong relationships with fantastic professional photographers who represent our brand and act as customer mentors.

What's your favourite Vitec product and why?

I like all the products I’m in charge of, but recently we launched a great product that shows the synergy between bags and tripods: the Advanced Travel Backpack. This bag was designed to carry photographic and personal gear and also a BeFree tripod, which fits inside thanks to an extendable lateral pocket. It’s very smart.

What do you like to do outside of Vitec?

After a long day’s work I like to practice sport to clear my head. I practice Pilates which is relaxing and Zumba which is energetic!

Details

Division: Imaging
Location: Rungis France

Scott Avery

Litepanels Brand Manufacturing Warehouse Manager

What attracted you to Vitec?

Looking at the Vitec and Litepanels websites I could see that this would be an exciting, challenging and rewarding environment in which I could showcase my existing skills and develop new ones. Throughout my career, I have looked to be a part of different and exciting industries so I can grow as a professional and as a person. The last 4 years of my career have certainly been the most enjoyable.

What are your current responsibilities?

As the Warehouse Manager, I am responsible for training, leading and working with an amazing team that manufactures and ships out high-end LED lighting equipment to the Vitec distribution warehouses worldwide. I am also the Health and Safety and recycling programme Site Director in Chatsworth. In these roles, I promote a safe and responsible working environment for all staff at Litepanels.

What's your favourite Vitec product and why?

My favourite products are our Litepanels Fresnel product line. I was recently invited to the Fox 11 news studio in West L.A. where they shoot the morning and evening news programme that I watch at home. I was very excited to see all of our lights in use during the tour and the set looked brilliant under our lights.

What do you like to do outside of Vitec?

I am a family man so spend every minute of time that I can with my wife and two children. We enjoy going to comic-cons, hiking, movies, museums and theme parks.

Details

Division: Videocom
Location: Chatsworth, California, USA

Wendy DuRose

Buyer

What attracted you to Vitec?

Initially from a background in sales & admin and working for a small publishing company, I yearned to work for a large organisation once again. Attracted by the capacity of Vitec as a global organisation, I applied for a role advertised in Bury St Edmunds as a Sales & Marketing Administrator. My CV was kept and I was contacted again when an admin role arose in the Purchasing Department.

How are you impacting the business in your new role?

My potential as a Buyer was recognised after I had made significant cost savings across many of the site facilities contracts. With training and motivation from managers at Vitec, I am now an integral part of the purchasing team, ensuring our manufacturing sites are kept fully operational with the demand of components for our products as well as negotiating savings with suppliers.

What do you like most about working for Vitec?

I wasn’t aware of Vitec before I started working here, but as I learn more about our products, I thrive in being part of this exciting business within the broadcasting industry – I now find myself looking out for our products being used everywhere – even at a Beyonce concert! Vitec invests in it’s staff and positively encourages individuals to progress through the company. I enjoy the challenges and fast pace of a purchasing department along with the interaction and support of working with other departments and teams not just in the UK.

What are some of your hobbies outside of Vitec?

As an active individual, I spend at least 3 evenings a week at the local leisure centre (conveniently opposite Vitec, where we enjoy corporate membership). Where I particularly enjoy fitness classes. I also have a lifelong love of horses and most equine pursuits. I am also a bit of a petrolhead and enjoy watching Formula 1 and motorsports.

Details

Division: Videocom 
Location: Bury St Edmunds, UK

Mike Dowson

Global Director of Aftersales Service

Who are you?

I am Mike Dowson, the Global Director of Aftersales Service for Vitec Videocom and I joined Vitec just over 2 years ago. Outside work my hobbies are my family and competing in motorcycle trials competitions.

What do you do at Vitec?

I am responsible for the after sales activities for the Vitec Videocom division. This includes the supply of spare parts and carrying out maintenance and repairs on our customer’s equipment.

When supplying spare parts, it is essential to ensure we have the correct inventory in the correct locations. This involves a lot of analysis of sales data and forecasting quantities of parts to stock based on supply lead times, global logistics etc. We recently introduced an e-commerce system for spare parts which now allows our customers to go on-line at any time of day or night, to identify the spare parts that they need for their product, place an order and pay, all in one simple action. The development of this system was a really interesting and exciting project to work on. The system is now up and running across the world and interfaces directly into our warehousing systems to deliver a fast and efficient service to customers.

On the maintenance and repairs side, we have service engineers in our service centres across the world that carry out work on our customers’ products, both in our workshops and on the customer’s site. We are developing new service products such as support contracts and extended warranties to bring some innovation to this work and to provide a greater range of options for our customers.

Why did you join Vitec?

I joined Vitec because the company is involved in developing and manufacturing market leading, technical products and distributing and supporting them across the world.

The role was interesting as there seemed to be a lot of scope to develop and implement new ideas.

What development have you had at Vitec?

I have received a lot of support and development since I joined Vitec especially in the form of coaching and mentoring from the senior management. I have also attended several training courses, covering management skills and finance such as an internal development programme focussed on pricing which was carried out via our internal development portal, The HUB. Following the training I developed several changes to our spare parts pricing policy and carried out a benchmarking study of our service labour pricing. These changes have now been implemented across the company and are delivering measurable business improvements in terms of enhanced margin and profitability.

How would you describe the culture at Vitec?

I see Vitec as a positive, ambitious and increasingly collaborative company. We are certainly a global player with many international interactions and activities.

Why Vitec?

I would recommend Vitec to people because we produce market leading products in a very interesting industry. The company is ambitious to grow and willing to invest in people, systems and processes to achieve this. Vitec is very much a global player and this presents employees with lots of opportunities.

Details

Division: Videocom
Location: Bury St Edmonds, UK

Kenjiro Suzuki

Brand Manager

Who are you?

I am Kenjiro Suzuki and I work as Brand Manager for Gitzo which is Vitec’s premium brand of photographic tripods and heads. My hobbies include baseball, traveling and cooking. I joined Vitec in May 2008 as part of Manfrotto Distribution in Japan and have been in my current position in Italy since November 2012.

What do you do at Vitec?

In my job I plan and market new tripod products for the Gitzo brand. I create the initial product plan and then follow through the whole development and marketing phases. The Gitzo brand has 95 years of history, so it is important for me to keep the identity of the brand and listen to both the expert users and my experienced colleagues.

Why did you join Vitec?

I decided to join Vitec’s distribution arm in Japan after working for a large Japanese corporation, I wanted to work for a smaller more dynamic company and most importantly to enjoy my work. As soon as I started my role at Vitec I was excited by working with global brands with long histories and heritage. One of the challenges of my new role was to expand sales in a mature market with well-established Japanese brands; thanks to our innovative, high quality products and with help from energetic colleagues I was able to grow sales and develop myself as a marketer. One of my successful projects was a trade-in promotion; my German colleague shared with me her experience of a similar project, my Italian colleague helped me to arrange a professional photographer to endorse the product and my well-experienced Japanese colleagues gave me advice on how to sell to the Japanese market. This is one example how Vitec works as a global team across multiple companies.

What development have you had at Vitec?

I have been given the opportunity to experience many brands including Gitzo, Manfrotto, Kata and National Geographic and to manage many roles from new product introduction, store displays and educational seminars. Recently I was given the chance to further develop my skills via working in Italy where Gitzo products are developed, manufactured and marketed. I was nervous about moving to a new country but working with my new colleagues in Italy was much easier than I anticipated as they are very supportive and helpful.

How would you describe the Vitec culture?

I feel that the culture of Vitec has a nice blend of old and new. Many of our brands, product lines and people have longer histories than Vitec itself, it is important to keep this identity and for our people to maintain long-term relationships with external partners and users. Alongside this we are evolving and changing in a positive way, which is not always easy in a growing company.

Now that I work in Italy, in the Imaging HQ, where the Manfrotto brand was born, I feel the 40 year old history and culture of the company.  Alongside this heritage the company accepts all nationalities, cultures and practices, using these different experiences and skills to make it better.

Why Vitec?

Vitec is open to new and different people; it accepts new values while also maintaining the culture specific to each of its brands. The high quality of the products means that the work is enjoyable whether you’re involved in manufacture or selling. The great history of Vitec’s many brands means that even if you are very experienced in your field you will still gain new knowledge from working here.

Details

Division: Imaging
Location: Cassola, Italy

Francesca Santacatterina

HR Business Partner Americas

What positions have you held at Vitec?

I joined Vitec 6 years ago as the HR manager for the Imaging Division Headquarters. After a couple of years I moved to a newly created position overseeing the HQ, European & Asian Distributions and the Operations team in China, enlarging my responsibilities to the commercial branches of the Imaging Division of Vitec in Europe and Asia. I was HR Business Partner Services Imaging before moving to my current position in the US 2 years ago.

What are your current responsibilities?

I support the Manfrotto Distribution US team in all HR fields, from recruiting to performance evaluation, compensation, development, and training. The team has almost 50 people which makes my role a key factor to sustain and achieve our business targets.

What makes Vitec a great place to work?

The combination of a small local company business unit where you know your colleagues by name and everyone can make a difference and add her/his value to the company’s success, with all the benefits of a real and true international company with policies, processes and best practices.

What has been your favourite moment as a Vitec employee?

This is a tough question because there have been several of them, but I think my favourite moment is now. I have been able to put in place a development and training plan and an appropriate internal communication plan that are making a real difference for the company and the team. You can feel the willingness for a change and the commitment at all levels. The reward for me is being part of it.

Details

Division: Imaging
Location: Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, USA

Ali Ahmadi

Senior Product Manager - Litepanels

What positions have you held at Vitec?

Working Student – Sachtler Studio Lighting Solution; Sales Manager Projects – Sachtler Studio Lighting Solutions; Product & Marketing Manager for the Americas (Videocom Camera Support & Accessories); Brand Manager – OConnor; Senior Product Manager - Litepanels.

What are your current responsibilities?

As the Senior Product Manager, I create and implement the LED lighting strategy for the Videocom Division. I collaborate with my colleagues in the other Divisions, market segments and other brands within the Group, so I can ultimately define and specify current and future LED lighting products. I’m responsible for ensuring that the Vitec Group sells LED lighting products that give industry professionals practical products with real- benefits at a competitive price.

What makes Vitec a great place to work?

As a truly global corporation with market leading brands, I get to come to work every day and collaborate with some of the best people in the industry: whether it is our engineers, operations teams or industry professionals. We get to create global products and solutions within a global team for a very important activity: Image Capture – whether it is for photography, broadcast, movie making or for sharing special moments on social media.

What has been your favourite moment as a Vitec employee?

When, after months of preparation, we launch and deliver a new product and this product exceeds the high expectations of our loyal customer base, I feel a true sense of professional accomplishment. Watching an exciting TV show, important news events or a fantastic movie (something that has a positive impact on many people’s lives by informing them or offering them escape and entertainment) and knowing that I’m part of the company that creates the tools to capture this footage is incredibly rewarding.

Details

Division: Videocom
Location: Chatsworth, California, USA

Tom Dickinson

Vice President Technology

When did you begin working at Vitec?

1981 as I was part of the Vitec acquisition of BERC in 1995.

What are you responsibilities?

I determine and maintain Bexel’s rental asset base and oversee the capital budget. I determine equipment sell-off using equipment performance analysis while managing against any technology or market risks. I also review and approve all large projects and establish rental rates. Finally I manage our Olympic Broadcast Services (OBS) account for all Olympic related projects.

What do you like most about working for Vitec?

The integrity that Vitec maintains and operates by. I enjoy working in a professional environment focused on improving our business.

What has been your greatest achievement at Vitec?

Personally - becoming strategically focused; allowing us to make the changes necessary in our business with a strategic market focus and restructuring of our rental pricing. Professionally - securing and maintaining our long term contract for the Olympics.

Details

Division: Services
Location: Burbank, California, USA