The American Lighting Association’s Women in Lighting (WIL) Committee will celebrate its fifth anniversary at a special reception Wednesday, June 21, at 5 p.m. The event will take place in the Kuzco showroom (TM 4010) during the Lightovation show at Dallas Market Center. In honor of WIL’s five-year milestone, ALA will give away five delegate registrations to the 2023 ALA Conference in a special drawing.
Highlighting the WIL event will be the presentation of the 2023 Women in Lighting Leadership Award (WILLA) honoring Gross Electric President Laurie Gross. Guests are invited to join the festivities including cake, champagne, and networking. Attendees may purchase a collectible pin themed for ALA’s 2023 Conference, Sept. 10-12, in Lake Tahoe, Calif. Pin sales will benefit the global not-for-profit organization Dress for Success.
The WIL Committee formed in 2018 following the first Women in the Industry reception at the 2017 ALA Conference in Vancouver. The group identified mentorship, leadership and networking as establishing principles guiding initiatives and accomplishments that followed.
“This is an incredible group of women from our industry who demonstrate the kind of leadership, dedication and compassion that empowers all women,” says WIL Committee Co-Chair Colleen Visage, vice president of product management for Progress Lighting.
Since its inception, WIL has hosted events at every Lightovation show and ALA Conference, most recently bringing in top-notch keynote speaker Betsy Allen-Manning to the 2022 Conference programming. The next WIL event at the 2023 Conference will be Monday, Sept. 11, at 5 p.m.
“The Women in Lighting Committee does an impressive job of bringing in popular speakers for ALA’s conferences,” said Larry Lauck, ALA president and CEO. “I encourage ALA members to join us in Lake Tahoe and attend the Women in Lighting reception and listen to the presentation on how to stay ahead and thrive in the current business climate.”
WIL created the WILLA in 2018 to honor one ALA member annually for her service to the industry, ALA, and her community. Past recipients include Kellee Hollenback Hammond, vice president of sales for Varaluz; Cathy Choi, president of Bulbrite; Jilla Farzan, executive vice president and founder of Nora Lighting; and Norma Cooper, founder of Lighting Etc. Any ALA member may nominate someone for this award, and nominations are accepted year-round atLightingWomen.com.
Also in 2018, WIL held its first charitable initiative, a drive to collect professional clothing and accessories for women in need on behalf of Attitudes & Attire, which assists women re-entering the workforce. In 2021, an annual charity pin initiative was established, first raising $4,000 for the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance in memory of ALA member Karen Krieger, and now raising money for Dress for Success which is dedicated to empowering women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire, and development tools to help them thrive in work and in life.
In 2020, WIL launched its popular Mentor Matching program, which now connects women in the industry with each other for four-month rounds to expand networks and foster ongoing relationships. The deadline to sign up for the next round of Mentor Matching (September-December 2023) is July 31 and requires new registration from everyone, including past participants. Sign up at LightingWomen.com.
“We have accomplished so much in our first five years, it is a testament to our commitment to creating a positive and lasting impact,” says Visage. “This milestone is something for all women in lighting to be proud of. Thank you to ALA for supporting such an important part of our industry.”
WIL events are open to everyone in the lighting industry, regardless of gender or ALA membership status. For more information about WIL, visit LightingWomen.com or request to join the Women in Lighting Facebook Group and Linked In Group, and be sure to follow @ALAWomenInLighting on Instagram.