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Management Team

VDC Trading Limited’s Board comprises four executive directors who work alongside the senior staff from our operations, production and technical divisions to form our Management Team.

With broad experience from a variety of backgrounds, the Management team all share a passion for delivering customer satisfaction and take day to day responsibility for the smooth operation of our business, the development of our people and attainment of our business plans.

Niall J. Holden

CEO and Founder

Contact Me Niall J. Holden

Born in Scotland in a Psychiatric Hospital to an Irish mother and Lancastrian father who were both doctors. Raised in the US until 12. First paid job was grouse beating on the Yorkshire moors. Studied mechanical engineering in Yorkshire. Moved to London, guitar in hand, in 1980.

Niall's first job down south was driving Routemaster Buses for London Transport. He also worked in various music shops as the guitar specialist before working as a driver delivering musical equipment to London's recording studios.

Like many people in the industry Niall was a 'budding' musician in his early 20's and had a load of fun but only a small amount of success as a guitarist in various pop & rock bands. Inevitably reality bit and a 'real' job was needed so Niall and his then bass player went to the Nat West in 1987 and borrowed £5k to start a business without any collateral - Oh how times have changed! Since it almost felt like free money Niall and his business partner went to Greece for 3 weeks to 'clear their heads', came back and bought 2 cars and were left with the princely sum of £128. Obviously this wasn't a business model that Harvard might endorse but it did focus the mind when the bank started barking. The office back then was a spare bedroom in a tower block in Hackney which then gave way to a small unit in the back streets of Camden. VDC grew at an exhausting rate but it was an exciting time and a good problem to have. From the beginning Niall was very hands on. Setting the quality of corporate ID, suppliers, staff, QC, marketing, the finance, etc… - still much the same today. Niall feels it's all about quality and getting it right first time.

Favourite VDC Project:

Our first invoice in 1987. It was for 36 mic stands for the Church Studios in Crouch End belonging to DNA (Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox of the Eurythmics). I loved it - we made 50p profit a stand, I couldn't wait to tell the bank!

Nick Chmara

Technical Director

Contact Me Nick Chmara

Nick joined VDC in July 2002 and is our Technical Director, responsible for all Technical Operations at VDC. With previous employment in one of the biggest UK PA companies (Touring and in-house prep), a degree in studio design and AV innovation (electronic engineering, live and studio engineering) and a history within the industry as a session musician and drummer in numerous touring bands, Nick's breadth of experiences mean he's a master at finding the right solution to the right problem.

Nick always gets a kick out of dealing with the bands. Historically it would be just the PA companies that we liaised with on any given tour. However, more and more now VDC are dealing with the techs/engineers and tour/production managers directly. The nice thing about this type of relationship is that when they finish a tour with one band they'll invariably go out with another band… and they'll give us a call.

Favourite VDC Project:

It’s a tough one to call – there’s a lot!

The Old Bailey re-fit all those years ago will always stand out as it was one of the first major projects I was involved with for VDC and it was the very definition of a baptism of fire! It taught me a lot from an operational perspective and set me up for the years going forward with VDC.

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 London Olympics also need a mention. The Olympics in particular was an event that had the potential to make or break many a working relationship between VDC and some of the fantastic companies that we deal with. It was a bit fruity at times to say the least but I think it's fair to say we did our bit.

Tony Maraia

Finance Director

Contact Me Tony Maraia

Tony joined VDC in September 2016 as Finance Manager, and was appointed Finance Director in April 2017. He is a Chartered Accountant, and prior to VDC he spent 19 years as a Partner in Practice before moving into industry as Finance Director of a major Interiors company.

Tony manages the VDC Accounts Department as well as being responsible for all financial matters, and works closely with the CEO on the company's forward planning.

Outside of work, Tony is a keen long distance runner, and combines his sound financial sense and love of exercise by running to or from work at least twice a week - he lives around 10 miles away from VDC House. He finished the 2015 London Marathon in an impressive 2 hours 50 minutes, and in fact spent most of the race running alongside Jensen Button – beating him to the chequered flag.

Paul Marchesi

General Manager

Contact Me Paul Marchesi

Paul started at VDC Trading nearly twenty years ago as a trainee wireman before being quickly promoted to Floor Supervisor and then Production Manager. Paul was promoted further, being appointed General Manager in December 2016.

Paul has overall responsibility for Warehouse Operations and the Production Department, and liaises with all departments from Sales through to Despatch to ensure the smooth running of the company.

As with many of the VDC team, Paul is keen on different types of music. He played bass guitar as a teenager and was into Thrash metal, hoping one day to be in a band, which never happened. He used to visit the old Marquee venue regularly to watch his favourite bands, once even being thrown out because his jeans were not tight enough.

Favourite VDC Project:

Probably the large project we delivered for LEE Engineering that was used for a Placebo world tour. VDC received fantastic reviews on the kit and we understand it was used over a period of two years without a single fault.

Adam Jafrabadi

Export And Technical Consultant

Contact Me Adam Jafrabadi

Adam joined VDC 19 years ago and was the company's Technical Manager for the last 5 years. His extensive knowledge of VDC's products and complex manufacturing, and great interpersonal skills made him ideal to take on the new role of managing the Export Sales Department. He hasn't escaped the Technical Department fully however, as many of VDC's key clients insist on dealing direct with Adam for their trickier custom systems.

Having started in the components store and working his way up through the tech department Adam doesn't mind getting stuck in and has done it all from unloading 40ft containers to making 100m pliosil looms (They are harder to do than you think).

Favourite VDC Project:

His favourite job was the Meyer Leo system he made for Wigwam Acoustics for an African client, in particular the labelling of the panels “Near” and “Far” because the end user didn't know his left from right.

Cain Cookson

Senior Relationship Development Manager

Contact Me Cain Cookson

Cain joined VDC's Sales Department in April 2016, and was appointed Senior Relationship Development Manager in January 2017. He heads up the UK Sales Team, as well as looking after his own client base.

He has a 1st Class BSC in Audio and Music Technology from the University of the West of England, graduating in 2012. He then ran his own Audio Production Company prior to joining VDC.

He has first-hand experience of the damage that can be caused by short cuts on quality and attention to detail. On his first day on an AV install he inadvertently started a fire in a school hall. A previous installer had decided to not bother with a mains connector, and had gaffa taped bare wires to a power amplifier's input terminals. Happily the fire was contained and without incident, but no doubt there are 300 children who will always remember that particular assembly.

A keen musician like many of VDC's staff, he is a guitarist and singer and has played in a variety of bands; actively producing music since he was 15.

Favourite VDC Project:

That would be the full audio fit out of The Boiler Shop, a multi-purpose arts venue in Newcastle in the autumn of 2016. A 64 channel custom metalwork 3 way passive split stagebox system, several kilometres of Van Damme Tour Grade speaker cable and numerous single lead assemblies were supplied by VDC, all turned around in double quick time.

Herpreet Singh

Customer Services Manager

Contact Me Herpreet Singh

Herpreet first started at VDC in 2014 as a Customer Relations Executive, but left in April 2016 to work for a well-known Industrial cable distributor, where she was rapidly promoted to Technical Sales Manager. However she missed the VDC family, and without too much kicking and screaming was persuaded to return to VDC to be our Customer Services Manager in January 2017.

For Herpreet the customer is king, or queen, and she will always go the extra mile to make sure that an urgent job leaves the building when promised.

Although Herpreet is about to complete an MCS in Electronic Engineering, maths is not her strong point and she can often be seen at her desk counting on her fingers. In fact it had to be pointed out once that the 3,000 single leads she had added to VDC's production schedule only added up to 500. (Don't worry; she relies on a calculator most of the time).

Another VDC Musician, she is an accomplished pianist and played in many bands during her time at University.

Mark Walton

Despatch Manager

Contact Me Mark Walton

Mark joined VDC in January 1996, which makes him VDC's longest serving member of staff - apart from the CEO. His first role was Warehouseman, and 5 months later he was appointed Assistant Warehouse Manager. Mark provided sterling support for VDC's Warehouse Managers over the years until becoming the Despatch Department Manager in 2015.

Mark oversees all goods in and goods out operations, and is also majorly involved in VDC's stock management. If he doesn't know where a cable is located – we haven't got it.

Outside of work Mark is a keen (and talented) Pool and Darts player, and a committed follower of football. He's not averse to a cheeky accumulator at the weekend and, if he's to be believed, he always wins.

Colin Huntley

Production Manager

Contact Me Colin Huntley

Colin started at VDC as a Junior Wireman in October 2005, having arrived in the UK from his native Trinidad in September. He tells us he wanted to come to the UK for the weather – but we don’t believe him…

As a drummer, recording musician and technician Colin always had a major interest in audio cabling & installation and this, coupled with his aptitude, led to a rapid promotion to Assistant Production Manager in early 2007. He was appointed Production Manager in 2016, and is now responsible for all VDC’s in house manufacturing – both copper and fibre. In fact he does a large part of our fibre terminations and repairs, having completed extensive external training.

Favourite VDC Project:

Colin’s favourite project is his first ever complex job, a 26 pole CCZ-A camera cable. In his eagerness and delight to be let loose on a new level of work he wired half of it backwards, but with some assistance he rectified the problem and the cable was used the next day for a live broadcast from Trafalgar Square. It’s his favourite because it showed him how absolutely vital attention to detail is in this job.

Dug Guthrie

Technical Consultant

Contact Me Dug Guthrie

Dug joined VDC in 1994 as a wireman and then worked as a technical sales executive and manager before being made VDC’s Technical Director in 2001.

He left the company to start his own consultancy business in October 2013, recognising that this would allow him the time and space to concentrate on maintaining and improving his knowledge of current and future connectivity technology. Dug liaises closely with Niall Holden, Nick Chmara and the rest of the Board to ensure that VDC continues to operate at the cutting edge.

Prior to joining VDC Trading, Dug worked as a backline and guitar technician and occasional live sound engineer, after acknowledging that a career as a professional musician was never going to happen. He toured with, and built backline cable systems for bands including Suede, The Jesus and Mary Chain and The Waterboys to name just a few. He started playing in a band again 2 years ago but is now mature enough to only do it for fun.

He is a member of SMPTE (The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) and The AES (Audio Engineering Society).

Favourite VDC Project:

Having worked at VDC since 1994 there have been far too many to single out a specific one. Generally speaking I enjoy working with a customer on a complex cabling system from initial concept and design through to delivery of the finished article. Outside of customer specific projects, I get a lot of satisfaction from new product development, particularly within the Van Damme Cable range.