• Susan Dickenson

ALA hosts successful conference in Vancouver

The American Lighting Association just wrapped a successful and well-attended annual conference in Vancouver, B.C.vancouver

Hosted at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver, the event gave close to 650 members and guests an opportunity to conduct association business, network, recognize excellence and innovation, and catch up on industry dialogue, technology and design trends.

The general session kicked off Monday morning with a keynote address by Jon Sayah, president of Fleco Industries and manager of Lights Fantastic Pro, one of the first showrooms focused on LED lighting. Sayah shared his vision for the lighting industry’s future, focusing on lighting’s role in the overall life “experience,” a theme repeated throughout the 3-day event. Sales associates, Sayah summed, need to become learners —­ students of light, lighting design and the industry movement in order to help customers buy lighting for their “lives, goals and aspirations.”

Customer experience expert Ryan Estis followed Sayah, sharing several case studies about companies that have accelerated their growth by offering remarkable experiences and transformative selling strategies.

Association CEO Eric Jacobson spoke about ALA's legislative agenda, and Chairman Robert J. Dillon (CEO, Hubbardton Forge) presided over the business portion of the session.ALA

Maple syrup tasting Attendees enjoyed hot Canadian maple syrup, cooled over ice, at the opening night reception.

The morning’s highlight was the Hall of Fame induction of architect, lighting designer and professor Joseph A. Rey-Barreau, who has developed hundreds of education courses and online webinars for both the lighting industry and professionals including architects, engineers and interior designers. Rey-Barreau’s achievements and contributions to the industry were recognized with a standing ovation.

Nominees to the association’s 2018 Board of Governors were voted upon by membership and include Nathan Frampton, president, Fanimation, Zionsville, Ind.; Dave McKee, COO, Seattle Lighting; Fred Naimer, president, Montreal Lighting & Hardware, Mont-Royal, Quebec City; and Matt Hulett, president, Hulett & Associates, Blythewood, S.C.

A number of industry topics —­ ranging from smart homes and technology to selling, social media and design —­ were covered over the duration of the event in breakout sessions, group presentations and panel discussions, and several dozen companies exhibited at a manufacturer’s showcase Monday afternoon.

Tuesday at the conference, ALA named the three recipients of its 2017 Pillar of the Industry awards, recognized for their service to the industry and the association: Jon McMahan, owner, KTR Associates; Jon Sayah, president, Fleco Industries; and Rick Seidman, CEO, Quoizel.

Also announced were the winners of the 2017 Lighting for Tomorrow awards, sponsored by Consortium for Energy Efficiency, ALA and UL to honor exceptional innovation and efficiency in decorative, energy efficient fixtures:

Decorative Lighting: Blackjack Lighting, Project Greener Planet, AFX, Inc., Hubbardton Forge

Functional Lighting: Good Earth Lighting, WAC Lighting, L'Image Home Products

Replacement Lamps: Bulbrite Industries, Green Creative, MaxLite

Connected Lighting: Acuity Brands Lighting, Leviton Manufacturing, OTI Lumionics, Dolan Designs

Special Recognition: Globe Electric Company - G40 LED Vintage filament bulb, LEDVANCE SYLVANIA - Ultra LED 3-way A21 lamp, Globe Electric Company - A19 LED spiral filament bulb, PlanLED - Epikos, Emerson - Volta ceiling fan.

The conference schedule also allowed time for golfing at Furry Creek Golf Club (reached via a scenic ride along British Columbia’s Sea to Sky Highway), a bike tour through Vancouver’s historic and beautiful Stanley Park, a maple syrup tasting, salmon fishing, and exploration of Vancouver Island’s waterways and points of interest.

Look for more coverage of seminar and education topics in upcoming issues of Home Accents Today.

The American Lighting Association’s 2018 conference will be held in Asheville, N.C. at the historic Omni Grove Park Inn. Details and registration information is available at alaconference.com.


Susan DickensonSusan Dickenson | Editor in Chief

Susan Dickenson is the editor in chief of Home Accents Today, where she has spent more than a decade covering trending topics, best practices and news items pertaining to the manufacturing, retail and interior design segments of the home furnishings industry. A graduate of UNC, Dickenson spent 15 years in the Washington, D.C., area, writing and researching in both the public and private sector. After relocating to her native North Carolina in 2003, she freelanced as a writer of general interest, business, garden and home items for local and national publications before joining Home Accents Today in 2006 as retail editor.

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