Jess Goedhals, well-known and popular general manager of Sony Broadcast
South Africa has decided to move on after 13 years of serving the Sony brand
and has joined local Sony-authorised service centre, Central Engineering,
founded seven years ago by Ivor Westpfahl.
Goedhals’ career in broadcasting spans about 40 years after he started as a
trainee cameraman with the SABC OB Division.
After short stints at Trilion Video and John Rees’ The Box Office and a freelance
period, Goedhals joined Faan van Tonder at Mandalay Video, which was
ultimately sold to The Video Lab. During this period Goedhals initially founded
The Camera Store and became general manager at ZSE TV after which he
started in his former position at Sony Broadcast in 2000.
So what now? “I chatted to Ivor Westpfahl at Mediatech this year,’ says
Goedhals “and he was keen to explore opportunities on how he could expand
his business at Central Engineering, which has an extremely creditable
reputation, as I think Westpfahl is the best broadcast engineer in the business.
Having just resigned from the corporate world I wanted a less demanding
vocation and also to have some fun!’
As a result of discussions and the need to split service and sales, Westpfahl and
Goedhals decided to start a new business as partners. Named Central
Integration the new business will focus on sales, dealing primarily in new and
occasionally used broadcast equipment.
“This is a different side of the business for me,’ observes Goedhals, “and there
are a lot of new potential customers out there such as new emerging filmmakers
who can’t afford the cost of new products and church groups who are
surprisingly big users of AV equipment. I personally have a passion for Sony
products so these will be our first choice; however we will consider other brands
as the occasion demands.
“We will also be taking on agencies, and with this in mind we went to IBC this
year and were successful in acquiring a couple of sole agencies as well as
Central Integration is now the sole agents for the CVS Roamer Jib, a six- to
eight-metre indoor device which was shown to SuperSport with very favorable
results. Another sole agency is Swedish company LGZ that manufactures a
number of innovative products including an HD-SDI input USB recorder. “We
have a large potential order for these units for a local broadcaster that will use
them to replace their aging DVD recorders,’ adds Goedhals. The device can
record onto eight USB memory sticks simultaneously and also has a live
“We will also offer some camera accessories including CamGear tripods and
Cineroid eyepiece viewfinders.
“This is just for starters,’ concludes Goedhals. “With our background and
passion for Sony products I believe this will help us achieve success in this new
venture. After 40 years in the business, maybe it’s time to relax a bit, but then
again maybe not!’