Lighting Industry Unites During
2017 ALA Annual Conference
Following last year’s ALA Conference cancellation due to concerns related
to the Zika virus, ALA members came out in full force to demonstrate their
commitment towards connecting with one another, learning, and enhancing
the industry as a whole in Vancouver, B.C. The 2017 Conference was held
at the Hyatt Regency hotel Sept. 10-12. More than 550 industry members
were in attendance at the event, which featured valuable educational and
The overarching theme of the conference was in keeping with the association’s
goal that was laid out in the 2017 Action Agenda – to drive a connected
experience. Whether highlighting emerging connected home technologies,
discussing the importance of integrating these innovations into members’
businesses, or connecting with fellow industry members on a personal and
professional level, this theme was prevalent throughout the event.
The Monday morning general session kicked off with a presentation from
President of Fleco Industries and Lights Fantastic Pro Jon Sayah titled
Illumination Disruption, in which he challenged members to use the changes
occurring in the industry to their advantage as they disrupt their routines and
adapt to new possibilities. Ryan Estis, chief experience officer for Ryan Estis &
Associates, followed Sayah with a high-energy presentation on companies who
have accelerated their growth and overcome major industry shifts by offering
an incredible customer experience.
On Tuesday morning, social media expert, Crystal Vilkaitis, founder of Social
Edge (formerly known as Crystal Media) informed the audience on what is
up and coming in social media. She highlighted some interesting trends that
members will want to take note of and embrace in their social media strategies,
to stay ahead of the competition. Following Vilkaitis’ presentation, attendees
were inspired by CEO of the National Center for Civil Rights and Founder of the
Global Soap Project Derreck Kayongo. He captivated the audience with the
gripping story of how he overcame extreme turmoil as a Ugandan refugee to
develop a life changing idea by harnessing the power of his unique form of
observation. Kayongo encouraged attendees to look beyond the surface to see
the possibilities for change, growth, innovation and positive impact.
In addition to the general session presentations, attendees enjoyed in-depth
educational break-out sessions covering a variety of topics, from internet retailing
to sales strategies and technological updates. Conference attendees also enjoyed
more networking opportunities than ever. This year marked the first Women
in the Industry event, the start of a Young Executives book study, as well as the
ever-popular round table networking lunch. Members also got the opportunity
to enjoy some of the beauty of the Vancouver area during the golf tournament at
Furry Creek and a bicycle tour around the city.
Registration for the 2018 event in Asheville, N.C., is already up and running.
Members can register now at ALAConference.com. Hotel rooms at the
extremely popular Omni Grove Park Inn will fill quickly for the event. Members
are encouraged to book their hotel rooms as soon as possible. The link to the
ALA group rate is also available on the conference website.
(From left) Jon McMahan, owner/partner, K TR Associates; Jon Sayah, president, Fleco
Industries; and Rick Seidman, president and CEO, Quoizel, Inc.; accept their 2017 ALA Pillar of
the Industry Awards.
( From left ) Michael Smith, vice president, sales, at Lutron Electronics Company, kicks off the connected home panel presentation with Gerard Lynch, founder,
System 7 Solutions, and partner, Wolfer’s Lighting; Peter Romaniello, IALD, owner, Conceptual Lighting; and Terry McGowan, director of engineering and
Larry King, Co-owner, Capital Lighting, poses with 2017 Conference Chair Cathie Hayes,
principal, Nuvo Sales Group, as King accepts a plaque in recognition of his service as 2017
Chair of the ALA Board of Governors.
Through his inspiring story of survival and strength,
Derreck Kayongo, CEO, National Center for Civil Rights,
and founder, Global Soap Project, inspired ALA members
to harness the power of their own unique observations to
make a lasting difference.
Architect, lighting designer, professor, and ALA education instructor Joe Rey-Barreau, AIA,
IES, accepts his award alongside his daughters Michelle ( left ) and Angela ( right ), as he is
inducted into the Lighting Hall of Fame in recognition of his years of dedication to ALA and
the industry as a whole.