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ESTA Bids Fond Farewell to Frances Thompson and Welcomes Laura Hoepker

Stage Directions • NewsOn the MoveStage DirectionsTheater News • August 19, 2021

Frances Thompson


After a storied career in the entertainment industry, ESTA’s Membership Manager, Frances Thompson, will be retiring at the end of 2021. For over two decades, she has been a vital force in the growth of the association and a galvanizing presence at trade shows and events. In 1996, Thompson was appointed to the ESTA Board of Directors, after being a part of the Business Resource Group for several years. She then served as Manufacturer Director until early 2000, when she was appointed as an Affiliate Director. Around 2001, Thompson joined the ESTA staff and has since held several titles. On her retirement, Thompson remarked, “I will miss engaging with members and staff. We are irreverent, creative, resourceful, opinionated, and uproarious. But most of my family and friends are as well, so I will be happy.” Thompson may be reached at or 865-298-0267 through the end of 2021.

Laura Hoepker

As her successor, ESTA is thrilled to introduce Laura Hoepker as its new Program Manager for Membership and Events, effective August 17, 2021. Like her predecessor, Hoepker also has a long history in the entertainment technology industry. Previously, she was the Marketing Events Specialist at Electronic Theatre Controls, Inc. She also held sales and marketing positions with PLASA, before acting as a consultant to NAMM as they expanded their entertainment technology sector. “I’m very excited about this new challenge,” Hoepker said. “I’m looking forward to reconnecting with old friends and colleagues and talking about the tremendous value of ESTA membership and events!” You can get in touch with Hoepker at or 608-618-9300.


More about the history and future of this position will be featured in the next issue of PROTOCOL,


The Entertainment Services and Technology Association is a non-profit trade association for the entertainment technology industries. Our members are the industry’s leading dealers, manufacturers, production companies, rental companies and professional service companies. Membership in ESTA supports some of the most important programs in entertainment technology, including the Technical Standards Program, Entertainment Technician Certification Program, and Rental Guard. By joining ESTA, you are investing in the future of the entertainment technology industry.

Further information from ESTA:

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