NEP Group has announced its founder Tom Shelburne has passed away at the age of 81 after a brief illness.
Shelburne founded NEP Supershooters in 1987, leading it to become the world’s biggest mobile broadcast production company.
Shelburne’s vision of what a mobile production truck could do launched the remote production industry, said NEP. The company began as WNEP, an ABC affiliate in Scranton, Pa., owned by the Shelburne family. The staff there developed the company’s first mobile broadcast units, tractor trailers filled with broadcast equipment to cover events on the road, beginning with Penn State University football games.
In 1986, the operation was spun out as NEP, an independent company, and one year later merged with Pittsburgh-based TCS. Co-founders Deb Honkus and George Wensel joined Shelburne to run the company and decided to relocate NEP to Pittsburgh, a city they were passionate about.
Co-founder Deb Honkus said, “I am honoured I was able to be an integral part of building such a great company and team with Tom. His leadership and passion for what we do as a business – and as an industry – and the people was unmatched. He never followed the rules, but he always put our clients and our staff first. It was a great 30 years building a dynasty and it couldn’t have been done without Tom.”
Mike Werteen, global president of NEP Broadcast Services, added: “There are few who can change an industry, but Tom Shelburne did. He is now on the Mount Rushmore of the remote production industry. His passion for excellence, his commitment to clients and his unwavering care for people are still the qualities NEP cares about the most. When I see the NEP logo on our offices around the globe I know Tom would be proud that his legacy and commitment will live on.”
NEP said its entire team joins Shelburne’s wife Lee Ann and family in mourning his passing.
Read more about Tom Shelburne’s life in the official obituary.