With changes occurring in the lighting industries, Sy recognized the need to diversify and left Circle F to create his own company, SSH International, which focused on importing portable lamps, lighting components, sockets and other electrical devices for the lighting and lamp industry. He also established himself on the retail side of the market, partnering with existing clients to open a number of retail lighting showrooms in New York and New Jersey. His daughter Jill shared stories of the times she would take the train to New York with him to work by his side in the stores, marveling that he owned this small piece of the city. Her experience and that of her brother, Brett taught them the value of paving their own path when the road wasn’t visible in front you. She believes his ability to create your own career were a significant part of her success in the retail business and Brett’s in media and film (Cannes Film Festival Lion Award winner).
As lamp and lighting production moved offshore, Sy recognized the need to continually re-invent himself and transformed SSH International into a multi-faceted business representing manufacturers to the retail trade and consulting with various major portable lamp and lighting fixture companies on the best practices in approaching the changing landscape. Recognizing those changes occurring during the late 90’s and into the early 2000’s, always evolving, Sy established Contact lighting Sales, a national sales representative team focused on lighting products specifically for the hospitality markets – hotel, restaurant, time-share and fractional ownership. For the last 20+ years Sy led Contract Lighting Sales, expanding the manufacturing focus to senior living, healthcare, commercial/office and multi-family markets with an strong emphasis on decorative fixtures and portable lamps, creative custom problem solutions, and premium products combined with an emphasis on support and service.
One of Sy’s major strengths was this emphasis on support and communication. His involvement with his team and the factories he represented insured their clients were their primary focus. Contract Lighting’s ability to execute as promised, and ability to resolve problems as they occurred came from his leadership and his ethical way of running his business. He leaves a cadre of friends and associates who have the utmost respect for this legacy in the industry and in his life and will miss him terribly.