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Vari-Lite's Bornhorst Wins Top Industry Honor; Inventor of Automated Lighting Receives Wally Russell 2001 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Business Editors & High-Tech Writers

DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 8, 2001

The lighting industry's top honor was bestowed upon Jim Bornhorst when it was announced the Engineering Manager at Vari-Lite Inc. (Nasdaq:LITE) will receive the Wally Russell 2001 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Bornhorst, who has been with Vari-Lite since its inception, helped launch the automated lighting industry when he and a team of engineers developed the first VARI&LITE(R) automated luminaires for a Genesis concert that took place 20 years ago last month.

"To be acknowledged by your peers is something to be cherished. But to receive the 'Wally' Award is special because I'm proud just to be named in the same company with the likes of Wally Russell, all the past winners of the Award, and fellow 2001 nominees David Cunningham and Jimmy Fuller," said Bornhorst, Vari-Lite's two-time EMMY Award winner for Outstanding Achievement in Engineering. "This is truly an incredible honor."

The annual Wally Russell Lifetime Achievement Award was founded in 1992 to honor an individual exhibiting a strong sense of leadership, a commitment to technological innovation, and a career of service to the lighting industry. The prestigious award was established in memory of Wally Russell, an industry pioneer whose career influenced generations of industry professionals. Bornhorst will receive the Award at the LDI/ESTA awards ceremony Nov. 3, at the LDI industry trade show in Orlando, Fla.

"Jim Bornhorst is a cornerstone of our company," said Clay Powers, president of Vari-Lite, which celebrates its 20th Anniversary this year. "Time and again he has led our Engineering Department to excellence. Though his innovative ideas, plans and designs, Jim has helped make Vari-Lite the preeminent provider of automated lighting in the world. We are extremely proud of his latest accomplishment and honor."

Bornhorst began his career as a touring sound engineer and console designer for Showco, originally the parent company of Vari-Lite. In 1980, Bornhorst helped solve the problem of how to produce a commercially viable remote controlled spotlight. Bornhorst's engineering team combined pivoting dichroic filters, the MARC 350 arc lamp, and a single digital data link to produce the first automated light. A year later, 50 VARI&LITE VL1(TM) luminaires were being used on the Genesis international tour.

Bornhorst was also instrumental in developing the VARI&LITE Series 200(TM) and Series 300(TM) systems, the VL5(TM), VL6(TM) and VL7(TM) family of luminaires, which introduced revolutionary color and an 8:1 zoom, and most recently the Series 2000(TM) luminaires. Bornhorst received an EMMY Award for Outstanding Achievement in Engineering for the Series 200 system in 1991, and a second EMMY Award in 1994 for the VL5 wash luminaire.

Past winners of the Wally Russell Lifetime Achievement Award include: Stan Miller in 2000; Don Stern in 1999; Bran Ferren in 1998; Fred Bentham in 1997; Francis DeVerna in 1996; Tharon Musser in 1995; George van Buren in 1994; Charles Altman in 1993; and Wally Russell in 1992 (in memorial).

The Wally Award committee includes: Phil Bernard, Rusty Brustche, David Cunningham, Tom Folsom, Fred Foster, Don Hamilton, John Howe, Larry Kellermann, Philip O'Donnell, Richard Pilbrow, Brian Russell, Glen Russell, Robert Schiller, and Jacqueline Tien.

Vari-Lite International is a leading worldwide designer, manufacturer and distributor of proprietary automated lighting systems. The company also provides related equipment and services to the entertainment industry, serving markets such as concert touring, theater, television and film, and corporate events. The company sells and rents its VARI&LITE automated lighting systems through a domestic and international network of Vari-Lite offices and independent dealers. For more information, visit the website at www.vari-lite.com.

Vari-Lite International Inc. shares are traded on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol LITE.

The foregoing paragraphs contain certain forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Although the Company believes the expectations contained in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. These expectations may involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, factors detailed in the Company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

Notes to Editors: The last name of Rusty Brutsche should be written with an accent on the "e."
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 8, 2001
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