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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.

Adam Jafrabadi

Export Director

Contact Me Adam Jafrabadi

Adam joined VDC 19 years ago. Having started in the components store and working his way up through the tech department Adam gets stuck in and has done it all from unloading 40ft containers to making 100m pliosil looms (They are harder to do than you think!). Adam is often consulted by others in the business for his sound advice and can always be relied on for his unrelenting good humour and level head.

He was the company's Technical Manager for 5 years before becoming Export and Technical Consultant. His vast knowledge of VDC's products, customers, history and great interpersonal skills make him the ideal Export Director. Adam has an excellent relationship with the International Customer base - he has met almost all 40+ distributors face to face and continues to work tirelessly to grow and streamline the department.

He hasn't escaped the Technical Department fully however, as many of VDC's high profile clients insist on dealing directly with Adam for their trickier custom systems due to his unparalleled technical ability – he has designed systems for the likes of Coldplay, Muse and The Stone Roses.

Adam is a devoted Gunner and Dad of 3; he is often the one treating the team to an ice cold pint on Fridays after work for a job well done.

Herpreet Singh

Export Sales Manager

Contact Me Herpreet Singh

Herpreet first started at VDC in 2015 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.

Now, as the newly appointed Export Sales manager, Herpreet does the day to day running of the Export side of the business, arranging the logistics as well as all the relevant exportation paperwork to ensure orders intended for Switzerland do not end up in Swaziland!

Along with Adam, she works closely with all 40+ current distributors and agents of Van Damme globally as well as works to identify new markets for exports and develop new business accounts.

She has since gained her MSC in Electrical Engineering on top of her Masters in Law specialising in International and European Trade Law.

Herpreet is a diehard Spurs fan and another VDC Musician - she is an accomplished pianist and played in many bands during her time at University.

Will Stead

UK Sales Manager

Contact Me Will Stead

Will joined VDC in July 2018 as a Relationship Development Manager after working tirelessly in many different jobs throughout the music industry. He was then appointed UK Sales manager effective January 2019, making him the most recent addition to the management team.

Will, like many of VDC’s staff, is a keen musician. He graduated from the University of Huddersfield with a degree in Music Technology and Popular Music Production. With his past experience in audio and previous employment at Polydor Records, Will is especially qualified to deal with any Pro-Audio account.

As UK Sales manager, Will heads up the sales team while also managing his own account base. His key decision making and nurturing of the team ensures the smooth running of the sales department.

In his spare time Will continues to run his music blog ‘Not Another Music Blog’ and sometimes begrudgingly follows his beloved Bradford City.

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.