The Business of Light at the IALD Enlighten Americas Conference

by | Sep 30, 2022 | News

Business of Light Board of Directors

BOL x IALD at Enlighten Americas ‘22

At the IALD Conference, Business of Light (BOL) has replaced the Business Owner’s Forum.   David Ghatan (CM Kling & Associates) opened the conference explaining that Business of Light is designed to offer education and workshops, reinforcing and improving a great industry, and not competing against the IALD. BOL was started to honor Barbara Horton and Stephen Lees who built a legacy as lighting design leaders and who also developed a culture of business fundamentals to mentor HLB’s next generation. 

Steven Rosen (Available Light, Inc.) explained the hunger for this kind of program and listed the goals of the BOL:

  • Educate, Support, Mentor
  • Empower
  • Grow and Lead
  • Elevate
  • Provide a Global Vision

Chip Israel (Lighting Design Alliance) discussed diversification and the importance of younger, more diverse people in the industry and retaining them. He explained that BOL can teach them the business side of lighting design so they don’t leave the industry altogether.  Chip mentioned the importance of mentoring, citing Leslie Wheel and Howard Brandston as role models.   

Carrie Hawley (HLB Lighting Design), keeping with the same theme, explained she was mentored by Barbara Horton and Stephen Lees.  Carrie informed the audience of a webinar in FEB of 2023 featuring Ian Motely of Blue Turtle Consulting. Register at

Jennifer Armstrong, founder and coach at Bright Chirp, collaborated with BOL on this forum.  Her session was entitled, Leaders as Coaches—The art and science of coaching successful teams.  There was an additional fee for this event and it was sold out with a waiting list. I counted 46 participants. 

Jennifer explained the difference between coaching and mentoring and her first point resonated well with the audience, “Coaching, typically, is not about you.”  She defined the coaching approach and contrasted coaching and mentoring and offered many coaching techniques.  There were breakout sessions, and the audience was well-engaged.

Two of the board members spoke to me off-the-record after the event.  They were very pleased of the warm reception Jennifer received as they only had one shot at first impression. The session lasted over 4 hours and she held the audience’s attention the entire time. Everyone I spoke with found the discussion informative and practical.