meet the women behind the Lighting Advocacy Letter!

We think women working together will change the world – and the work Alex, Reiko, Melissa, Margie, and Sarah are putting into sustainability may also help save it. As an industry, we have made a significant impact on energy consumption through the shift to predominantly LED specification. But sustainability goes well beyond this and the lighting community has an obligation to understand how else we can improve our impact on the environment. We fully support the conversation mindful Materials is driving. Learn more below about the amazing women leading the charge!

The Lighting Advocacy Letter is an initiative by lighting specifiers to accelerate the sustainability of lighting products. Inspired by the AIA Materials Pledge, the letter is intended to inspire a collective dialogue with the lighting manufacturing community about how to align intent and action around a common framework for material transparency. If you are a lighting designer or specifier, this letter is your opportunity to publicly commit to making more informed material choices and specification changes and supporting an ongoing dialogue with manufacturers to reduce the impacts of the built environment. 

This letter and its signatories are posted on mindful MATERIALS (mM), a neutral space supporting the action behind these public commitments. 

Are you a manufacturer, interested in responding to these letters, being a part of the Pledge dialogue or supporting these efforts generally? Send us a note at with the subject line “Manufacturer Materials Pledge” to learn how you can get involved in our efforts to connect the dots with mindful MATERIALS.

Progress that has been made

  • Over 80 signatories from lighting design firms, architectural firms, & rep agencies since it launched in July of 2021;
  • Toolkit V1 launched in March 2022 at a webinar hosted by mM and the authors of the letter to explain the tools available in the free download to signatories and other interested parties;
  • Toolkit V1.1 launched July 2022 featuring additional resources; 
  • Follow-up Round Table held Oct. 18 for signatories to talk across the table and share their experiences implementing their commitment.

Where we’re going

It’s not too late to take action. Even if you weren’t able to join the first webinars, we encourage you to watch past recordings and join our conversations to advocate for holistic sustainability and health in lighting design. Connect and learn with us at one of our upcoming events!

Together, we’re creating a new future for the industry and elevating the impact of sustainable design practices through the power of transparency.

Name:  Alexandra McDowell Gadawski 
Title:  Associate 
Company:  HMFH Architects

What made you get involved (with the Lighting Advocacy Letter)? 
Collaboration is required to reach the level of change we will need in the built environment and to reach our sustainability goals. The Lighting Advocacy Letter allows specifiers to rally around shared goals and align behind a standard request to manufacturers for increased material transparency.  The letter is a demonstration of strength in numbers, and the number of firms who have signed on to the letter so far is truly inspiring!

Why is this important to you?
I believe we have tremendous power as specifiers, and that every decision is a chance to select a product that can improve the overall sustainability of a project.  Our firm primarily designs public K-12 schools, and we think a great deal about how to ensure that these formative environments are safe, healthy, and conducive to learning. Material transparency is the foundation that allows us to select healthy materials for the buildings we are designing.  

What do you want to see this achieve in the future?
I hope that in the future material transparency documentation will be available for all architectural products, including lighting. This will allow designers to select products that align with both firm values and project sustainability goals. 

Name:  Reiko Kagawa
Title:  Principal
LC, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP, WELL Faculty, Fitwel Ambassador
Company:  Sladen Feinstein Integrated Lighting 

What made you get involved (with the Lighting Advocacy Letter)? 
We always approached wholistic sustainable design with all of the tools available.  However, information on material transparency was always in the shadow of the complex assembly of lighting products.  When we realized this is a big part of the puzzle to address well-rounded sustainable design, we thought it was our responsibility to advocate for the importance of material transparency.  This missing piece of information will become a powerful tool to make informative decisions.

Why is this important to you?
The word ‘Sustainability’ implies keeping the state at a certain level.  This means we have to maintain resources for the next generation.  We must make choices that are thoughtful for the next generation.  The LAL is a first step to make responsible choices regarding your design selection, in this case our lighting specification.  This is my choice to help sustain our resources for our children.   

What do you want to see this achieve in the future?
I hope to see all lighting products use responsible materials and disclose what materials are used in the products.  I cannot wait to see this as a standard practice!  

Name:  Melissa Mattes
Title:  Senior Lighting Designer & Sustainability Specialist
LC, LFA, Living Future Ambassador, LEED Green Assoc., Assoc. IALD
Company:  Sladen Feinstein Integrated Lighting 

What made you get involved (with the Lighting Advocacy Letter)?
In September of 2020, Sladen Feinstein wrote a letter from our office to lighting manufacturers expressing our desire for greater insight into the human, climate, and social impacts of the products we were specifying.  Simultaneously, we collected data back from the manufacturers on their current level of knowledge and understanding of the existing labels available for products on the market today as well as manufacturers’ projected product development goals related to human, climate, and social impacts with a special focus on material transparency. 

In February of 2021, we publicly shared the story of our letter along with the results of the manufacturer survey at a webinar co-hosted by our local IES chapter and Built Environments +.  Following the webinar, a handful of industry designers approached us about rolling out a national version of the letter showing the collective voice of the industry to build upon this momentum.  Mindful Materials was engaged and together in July of 2021, the Lighting Advocacy Letter was written and launched as a national initiative.

Why is this important to you?
From the inception of this movement, the motive has always been very personal for me.  In 2019, I was going through a process of aligning my perceived values with my practiced values, carefully combing through my personal life to evaluate where there was room for greater alignment and authenticity between what I believed and how I lived in my day-to-day life.  After a sweep through my personal life at home, this naturally evolved into the same evaluation of my professional practices in the workplace.  Approaching our leadership team about how we were specifying product and writing a letter to manufacturers stating our values as a firm was a logical continuation of the journey I was on.  As my personal and professional story continue to evolve, watching this bloom into a collective community movement has been a great source of joy for me over the last several years.  

What do you want to see this achieve in the future?
I hope to see our collective voice as a design community trigger a revolution in supply chain innovation, awareness, and transparency.  I hope manufacturers are inspired by our collective cooperation to find their own unified voice amongst the manufacturing community and put pressure back on supply chain niche industries to create a major shift in the status quo of material ingredient reporting.  Ultimately, I hope our challenge to “business as usual” is a piece of the puzzle that inspires untapped potential for circularity within the practice of lighting design and manufacturing.  

Name: Margie McNally
Title: Interior Designer
Company: Interior Elements

What made you get involved (with the Lighting Advocacy Letter)?
As an interior designer, educator, and consultant, I have been committed to sustainable design for over 30 years. I am dedicated to education on healthy living, indoor environmental quality, universal design, and safety. I wish to stay informed and contribute whatever is helpful to the team in moving this issue awareness forward.

Why is this important to you?
I have had experience with negative health effects in both family members and personally. I believe that toxic materials contribute to the proliferation of human illness in our world and that education and advocacy are the keys to informing others about making better choices in materials and lighting products. Other factors including pollution and climate change are consequences as well. 

What do you want to see this achieve in the future?
Industry awareness and change, as well as manufacturers taking responsibility for harmful materials that may be in their products which affect human health. Also, circularity and disposal issues need to be addressed. I would like to see choices being made available to designers and consumers with cost not being a barrier. 

Name:  Sara Schonour
Title:  Lighting Cheerleader
Company:  Lytei

What made you get involved (with the Lighting Advocacy Letter)?
I believe designers have both a professional responsibility and an enormous opportunity to help slow (and hopefully reverse) climate change. Designers of the built environment sit in a powerful role, and the decisions they make have profound ripple effects. Building awareness around the ways choices about lighting affect people and the planet resonates deeply with me on multiple levels.

Why is this important to you?
Because the climate crisis is one of the most important issues of our time.

What do you want to see this achieve in the future?
I’d like owners, designers, reps, and manufacturers to understand what choices are available to advance more sustainable lighting practices, and to embrace progress and start prioritizing products and practices that move towards a more sustainable future.

Statement in Support of the Women of Iran

Women in Lighting + Design supports the women and allies in Iran fighting for their rights, fighting against oppression, and showing immense courage in the pursuit of gender equality.

In September, protests erupted across Iran concerning Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who died under suspicious circumstances while in the custody of Iran’s “morality police.” This group enforces the laws requiring women to cover their head and body. Religious freedom is the choice to wear these garments, repression is requiring it, and oppression is the fear that noncompliance is a death sentence. This enforcement is only one of the many ways that life for Iranians is controlled. The required wearing of the hijab has become a symbol of the totalitarian system controlling the daily lives of the people and more so the women of Iran.

 Mahsa Amini’s tragic death, and the protests that followed, have brought international attention to the oppression and disenfranchisement of women in Iran. After decades of injustice, these women-led protests condemn current practices in Iran and call for an end to the current facist regime. Many women are risking arrest by publicly waving or burning their veils and cutting off their own hair. The demand is that ALL the people of Iran have the right to basic human dignity, political and civic liberty. This message moves across the lines of gender, class, religion or ethnicity, calling for freedom and justice for all people, regardless of those differences. Protests have been met with internet shutdowns, arrests, and violent crackdowns, leaving more than 5,000 protestors, journalists, and activists arrested, hundreds injured, and more than 200 dead.

These protesters are our sisters. As they sacrifice everything in the struggle for dignity, we urge WILD members and the lighting community to support women’s rights in Iran through the following means:

LEARN more about the Iranian protests. Start by watching an explanation of the protest by Al Jazeera English (AJE) correspondent Dorsa Jabbari, and continue with the additional resources found below.

SIGN the Amnesty International petition calling on the United Nations Human Rights Council to end the violence against protestors in Iran.

DONATE to the Iran American Women’s Foundation, a platform for empowerment and networking among Iranian American women, and currently working to bring attention to the Iranian protests and keep this fight for justice in the headlines.

SHARE this information and spread awareness on social media platforms to keep the spotlight on the brave protesters. 

Zan, Zendegi, Azadi   |  Woman, Life, Freedom

#MahsaAmini #IranianWomen #WomenLifeFreedom #StandWithIranianProtesters 

Additional Resources:

Statement on the Supreme Court Decision to Overturn Roe v. Wade

On June 24th the US Supreme Court struck down the long-standing ruling of Roe v. Wade in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, eliminating the constitutionally protected right to abortion. Women in Lighting + Design (WILD), the North American Coalition of Lighting Industry Queers (NACLIQ), and Equity in Lighting (EIL) believe this polarizing decision must lead to a conversation about how self-determination over our own bodies is fundamentally aligned with equity.

We acknowledge that our members hold a range of political and religious beliefs, and believe that our industry must be diverse and inclusive so that all our members can thrive. This decision by the Supreme Court harms the lighting industry and our greater society by restricting access to healthcare, expanding gender inequality, and jeopardizing the right for our members to choose the path that is personally best for them and their families. Without the right to bodily autonomy and privacy, the rights of women, LGBTQIA+, and people of color are denied. When historically marginalized people have agency over their own lives, diversity thrives. Without it, the diversity problem that plagues this industry will only worsen. When bodily autonomy is denied we lose control over our own future—both personally and professionally. It is the mission of WILD, NACLIQ, and EIL to help the lighting industry understand and counteract the obstacles that our members and other marginalized communities face.

WILD, NACLIQ, and EIL call on the lighting community to join us in supporting the right of all lighting professionals to make informed, private, healthcare-related decisions and to understand that the greatest impact will be on those without the ease, means, or ability to travel. We call on companies in the lighting industry to offer expanded healthcare and travel benefits where state laws ban or severely restrict abortion access. We call on our colleagues and other lighting organizations to acknowledge the impact of this ruling on professionals in the industry and to amplify our call. As always, we call on the industry to mindfully support pregnant colleagues and working parents on their journey.

While we recognize this topic is polarizing on a deeply personal and political level, the core of the issue is not. This is not about abortion, it is about all individuals having personal dignity and autonomy and the freedom to make intimate and personal choices. Now is the time to find support in our community, have tough discussions, and demand more of employers and industry advocates. It is imperative that we come together in pursuit of equity for all lighting professionals and create a more diverse and inclusive community of which we can all be proud.

the mocktail initiative


With the return of in-person corporate and networking events, Women in Lighting + Design (WILD) invites you to help implement an industry-wide Mocktail Initiative. With this initiative, WILD aims to create more inclusive events, allowing all persons to fully participate in the cultivated event experience. We call for event hosts to offer fun alcohol-free options at all in person social events where alcohol will be served, and to show the same level of care and consideration for non-drinkers as they do for other guests.

What is the benefit to offering mocktails or non-alcoholic beverage alternatives?

  1. It creates an Inclusive environment. Whether they dislike the taste, are abstaining, or just want to avoid the extra calories and carbohydrates, non-drinkers shouldn’t be excluded from the fun. When you promote non-alcoholic options at your events, you’re communicating to your guests that their comfort and enjoyment is important to you.
  2. It saves money. Alcohol is the most expensive ingredient that goes into a cocktail; beer and wine are more expensive than flavored club soda. Guests can enjoy a delicious drink without alcohol, and it helps your event funds go further.
  3. They’re safe. Mocktails or non-alcoholic beverages allow people to keep their wits about them, and eliminates the health and social risks associated with alcohol consumption.
  4. They’re fun. Companies and conference planning committees get a chance to play with ingredients and create a signature mocktail or non-alcoholic beverage that is branded to them, and is universally enjoyable. You’re not just offering a mocktail, you’re creating an experience. 

WILD encourages the lighting community to embrace the Mocktail Initiative by prominently offering alcohol-free beverages at networking and social events as an industry standard. Consider enhancing club soda with a flavored option alongside beer and wine and pairing liquor with a signature mocktail at top-tier events. We’re excited to see how our allies use their creativity to enhance their brand experience! 

Thank you for helping us make a safer and more inclusive community for everyone. If you’re in, let us know, and we’ll give you a shout out on social media! 

Email to find out more.

a brand new WILD…

welcome to a brand new WILD!

WILD finished Women’s History Month off with a bang! Our new brand is fresh and bold – unified yet distinct. We are making our own history.

We are excited to welcome in a new era while celebrating our recent growth and the community that helps shape us. This rebrand signifies a united front across the country, representing 16 Chapters with more on the way, and will help us make more of an impact collectively in the industry through our robust programs that support the WILD mission.

A resounding thank you to our Board, Chapters, and volunteers for their help in envisioning and creating this next step in our growth.

Together, we are WILD!

Hear more about our rebrand directly from WILD’s Marketing Chair Lauren Dunn as she sits down with Al Uszynski during an Inside.Lighting 5-Big-Questions interview. 
Check it out!

Hear more about our rebrand directly from WILD’s Marketing Chair Lauren Dunn as she sits down with Al Uszynski during an Inside.Lighting 5-Big-Questions interview. 
Check it out!

International Women’s Day 2022

Thank you everyone who joined WILD for International Women’s Day either at our event or in celebrating the incredible women in their organizations! We can all help #breakthebias by smashing stereotypes, breaking inequality, and rejecting discrimination.

Bias – whether deliberate or unconscious – is holding women back in the workplace. It makes it harder for women to get hired and promoted and negatively impacts their day-to-day work experiences. This hurts women and makes it harder for companies to level the playing field.

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. WILD joins in this celebration because we believe strategic collaborations based on a foundation of shared purpose, trust and appreciation can impact positive change for women. Help us #BreaktheBias today and everyday.

Are you in?

Huge thank you and shout out to our conversation leaders: Shelby Klooster, Linda Morton, Alyssa Humphries Stewart, Likhitha Rangaswamy, Stacey Teresa Bello, Molly Hanson, Tal Janowitz, Elizabeth Williams, Luz Garcia, and Rachel Fitzgerald. They were all such inspiring sessions! Special thanks also to Shelby Klooster, Kelly Roberts, and Katherine Stekr for coordinating the event.

Keep scrolling or click the link for a recap of each hour: LEAD, VALUE, CONFRONT, and EMPOWER!

LEAD by example

Being an active bystander means being aware of when someone’s behavior is inappropriate and choosing to challenge it.

Be an active bystander by:

  • Noticing (general awareness of your surroundings)
  • Interpreting (if a situation catches your attention, interpret it as a problem)
  • Not Assuming (we often assume others will help; be that someone)
  • Knowing (prepare yourself to help safely – have resources and know relevant numbers)

What you can do in the moment:

  • Direct – directly address the situation (make sure it is safe for you and others
  • Distract – cause a distraction to diffuse the situation
  • Delegate – find help/report the incident

Here’s what we heard from you:

Any help is help – even the smallest actions matter ⬝ If multiple people choose to intervene, you can be stronger together ⬝ Being on the receiving end of these aggressions can affect your health ⬝ Address the corporate culture – bosses should STEP IN! You have a responsibility for your employees The power dynamic of stepping forward can be tricky when you feel like your job is at risk ⬝ We look to work for women-owned businesses, we know the support is there ⬝ The loudest voice in the room is NOT always the most effective ⬝ Be the change you want to see.

TRIVIA TIME Q: How many times more often do men interrupt women than other men?
A: Almost three (3) times more often.

VALUE and celebrate our differences!

As a woman, how do we value ourselves?  How do we value others?  How do those of us in leadership positions or positions of power/privilege use our voices to reflect the value of women as a whole and help younger women recognize their value?  How do we hold space for different lifestyles and viewpoints? We watched Pat Michell’s TEDTalk on being a DANGEROUS WOMAN for inspiration.

Pat Mitchell: Dangerous times call for Dangerous Women

Here’s what we heard from you:

All the best mentors made it feel safe to be me ⬝ Speak up, speak out, and stand up for one another ⬝ You remember a person by how they made you feel ⬝ Everyone should be given the equal opportunity, the equal offer, and they can decide to say no or yes ⬝ Leadership is another term for power, and leadership is the ability to turn over the talking stick and provide opportunities to other people ⬝ Own your difference to change the conversation in your favor ⬝ Because I’m a woman, I have to think twice about what I’m doing, and I have to edit myself all the time ⬝ We don’t have to go at it alone.

TRIVIA TIME Q: Compared to straight men, how much more likely do lesbian and bisexual women feel like they can’t talk to colleagues about their lives outside of work?
A: Around four (4) times more likely.

CONFRONT with confidence

Implicit (unconscious) bias is “a bias or prejudice that is present but not consciously held or recognized” …in other words a bias we hold that we are not necessarily aware of that may affect our outlook, behaviors, or decisions.

We surround ourselves with people that we most feel comfortable with; the people who help make a place feel like home and that we can rely on when in need of advice. Often this will consist of people who look, think, and act like us…this is NOT an indication of unconscious bias but more a biological inevitability that we are innately drawn to the familiar. It just means you like who and what you like and that there is nothing wrong with this. These are preferences but not biases. 

How to know when something goes from a preference to an unconscious bias? The truth is you might not even realize the difference. A preference is the act of selecting someone/something over another. A preference can BECOME a bias when the act of preferring becomes an inhibitor to impartial judgment resulting in a prejudice and NOT a preference.

Here are some common (but not all) types of biases that women face in the workplace:

What can you do?

  • Speak up for someone in the moment
  • Ask a probing question
  • Stick to the facts
  • Explain how bias is in play
  • Advocate for policy or process change

Here’s what we heard from you:

They were undermining me before I even got a chance to speak ⬝ Being able to speak up is super brave, but educating people and making people aware it’s an issue is the first step ⬝ Don’t wait for the moment to happen again – this is your moment to make sure it doesn’t happen again ⬝ I can’t count how many times I’ve been told women can’t be engineers, women can’t have work and family ⬝ It’s recognizing the bias within yourself, recognizing it and then dismantling it ⬝ Consider the ramifications of your comments or actions and figure out what you can do to correct them. Don’t end at saying sorry

Ask yourself:

“My one action to address my own bias is….”
“My one action to address bias against women in the workplace is…”

TRIVIA TIME Q: According to Harvard University’s Implicit Association Test, what % of people more readily associate men with “career” and women with “family”?
A: 76%

EMPOWER yourself and others

Empowerment is the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights. When you empower others, you are giving them the tools they need to succeed. When you empower yourself, you are taking steps for a healthy mind/body and to be successful in your career. However, are you giving and getting all the best advice?

We watched Susan Colantuono’s TEDTalk on CAREER ADVICE and this video forced us to question how we empower women and men differently, and how our typical mentoring practices for women do not provide them with all the tools they need to succeed. There is a missing 33% of business acumen that is not taught in typical mentoring. Women learn how to be confident, or the “human factor” in business, which can only bring us so far. In order for women to reach higher levels of management, we need to learn and understand the financial side of the business.

Susan Colantuono: The Career Advice You Probably Didn’t Get

Here’s what we heard from you:

Don’t be afraid of failure, we all learn from our failures ⬝ My dad taught my brother how to handle money, but he didn’t teach me ⬝ Don’t wait for someone to mentor you. Ask for it ⬝ Don’t forget to give yourself a break; we all need to keep work-life balance in check and support (or EMPOWER) ourselves and those around us to keep that balance ⬝ Don’t be afraid to ask questions, the worst that happens is that someone says “no” or doesn’t give you the advice or mentorship that you were seeking; so seek it elsewhere ⬝ Set a roadmap for yourself to hold yourself accountable – empowering yourself ⬝ Lean on each other.  We are a community.  The more we advance as individuals, the more we advance as a collective

What we are going to do to #BreakTheBias:

  • Stand up for younger colleagues so they receive the credit they deserve
  • Amplify others voice
  • Create awareness in myself
  • Seek out the thoughts and opinions of those that are quiet rather than always listening to the loudest in the room
  • Lead by example and ensure my actions match my words
  • Look at talk time, making sure everyone has a chance to speak
TRIVIA TIME Q: For every 100 men promoted to manager, how many Black women are promoted?
A: Only 58 Black women.

LEDucation Women Speakers Feature

We’re excited to catch this year’s conference package at LEDucation and especially to see all the amazing content these WILD women are presenting! Keep scrolling for a full list of their topics with links to learn more. Can’t attend? Make sure you check out the Virtual options on Monday, March 14th.

Lighting Planning for a Resilient Urban Environment: Visual Comfort and Well-being in the City During the Night
9:00AM – 10:00AM Monday

Dr. Rebeka Vital, Ever Vital Design – Architectural Lighting

Conversation between North America and Europe on Embodied Carbon and Circular Economy in Lighting
10:30am – 12:00pm Monday

Leela Shanker, Borealis Lighting Studio | Russell Greenberg, RUX and Stickbulb | Emilio Hernandez, Green-Light Alliance | Yuliya Savelyeva, Arup | Jonathan Visser, Zumtobel | Iris Dijkstra, Atelier

How Manufacturers and Specifiers Can Support Sustainability and Circular Economy Through Design for Disassembly
2:30PM – 3:30PM Monday

Kate Hickcox, PNNL | Aaron Smith, Finelite Inc.

Making Progress: Improvements in Lighting Controls Systems
4:00PM – 5:30PM Monday

Ruth Taylor, PNNL | Dan Blitzer, Practical Lighting Workshop | Naomi Miller, PNNL

Creating Control Clarity: How to Write Control Intents & Sequences
9:00AM – 10:30AM EDT Tuesday

Harold Jepsen, Legrand | Shoshanna Segal, Luminous Flux | Lyn Gomes, DPR Construction

Digital Lighting in the Post-COVID Era
11:00AM – 12:30PM  Tuesday

Carol Jones, Axis Lighting | Shoshanna Segal, Luminous Flux | Casey Diers, Morlights

First Look: ANSI/IES Recommended Practice for the Calculation of Lighting Power Density Values in Energy Codes
4:00PM – 5:00PM Tuesday

Kelly Seeger, Signify | Michael Myer, PNNL

Acoustic Lighting: One Solution for 2 Design Problems
12:30PM – 1:30PM Tuesday

Clara Powell, Cooledge Lighting

Sleep Math = Better Daytime Light = Better Nighttime Sleep
2:00PM – 3:00PM Tuesday

Mariana Figueiro, Light and Health Research Center at Mount Sinai

Practical Application of Circadian Metrics
10:30AM – 11:30AM Wednesday

Yaneli Rozon and Leela Shanker, Borealis Lighting Studio

Lighting to Support a Healthy Circadian Rhythm
3:00PM – 4:00PM Wednesday

Sarah Turner, Conestoga College/Head Turner Designs

Simplifying Systems with Smart Lighting
2:00PM – 3:00PM Wednesday

Murrill Oakes, OneButton

LightFair 2021: New Recording + Live Q&A

WILD is thrilled to present a new recording of our LightFair 2021 presentation, followed by a Live Q&A with our presenters.

During LightFair, WILD presented a round of fast-paced and engaging PechaKucha, or “chit-chats”. A PechaKucha consists of 20 images for 20 seconds each. In other words, presenters have 400 seconds to tell their story, with visuals guiding the way. Each presentation offered a clear and powerful message to attendees. 

This program was originally presented at LightFair 2021 in the Designery on October 28th at 1PM.
Tanya Hernandez – Let’s Talk Leadership
Rachael Stoner – Life in Middle Management
Mariel Acevedo – Codeswitching
Alana Shepherd – LGBTQ+ By the Numbers
Amber Watnik – Books as a Catalyst for Community
Luz Garcia – Traditional and Reverse Mentoring of Women by Women
Brittany Lynch – The Secret Shame of Working Moms

WILD on the Rise: Texas Edition

Check out the new podcast from Lytei featuring our amazing WILD Texas leaders Alriah and Alyssa (DFW), Michelle (Houston), and Sarah (Austin)! They dive deep about WHAT inspired them each to start their Chapters and WHY you should join them. Check out this truly honest and open conversation from these four incredible women.

Kimberly King – Transformative Not Transactional: Design-Minded Supply LytePod

The lighting industry has gone through a few evolutions, and the pathway from design to final delivery is undeniably one of them. Gone are the "transactional" days of interchangeable parts + pieces like lamps and ballasts — for better or worse, today's lighting equipment has become unique and specialized, and staying at the forefront of change requires a new way of thinking about supply. Enter design-minded supply teams like Illuminate in Philadelphia, where Kimberly King works as a project designer and communication bridge from concept to completion. Join us as Kimberly talks us through some ways complex design outcomes can be achieved by rethinking partnerships and processes in today's evolving lighting landscape.
  1. Kimberly King – Transformative Not Transactional: Design-Minded Supply
  2. Elaine Cook – Equity in Lighting: An Inclusive Approach to Design
  3. Andrea Wilkerson – Doubling Down on Data-Driven Design
  4. Archit Jain and Scott Hatton – Selling Time as a Service: Service-Based Businesses
  5. Gerald Olesker – From Curbside to Poolside: A-List Lighting Design

LightFair 2021 is a wrap!

Thank you Tanya, Amber, Mariel, Alana, Rachael, Luz, and Brittany for your amazing PechaKucha presentations at LightFair2021! You inspire us to do better and be better – and you knocked it out of the park!

  Keep scrolling to hear from our speakers, learn how to connect with NACLIQ and BOSLady, and check out the recording!

Voices of WILD: Rising for Social Change

Tanya Hernandez – Let’s Talk Leadership
Rachael Stoner – Life in Middle Management
Mariel Acevedo – Codeswitching
Alana Shepherd – LGBTQ+ By the Numbers
Amber Watnik – Books as a Catalyst for Community
Luz Garcia – Traditional and Reverse Mentoring of Women by Women,
Brittany Lynch – Not So Secret Shame of Working Moms

LightFair 2021 brought together seven amazing presentations in the PechaKucha format. PechaKucha means chit-chat in Japanese, and each presentation consisted of 20 slides for 20 seconds each. This means each of our presenters only had 400 seconds to tell you their story. This was fun, engaging, and much harder than it sounds

Tanya, Amber, Mariel, Alana, Rachael, Luz, and Brittany provided seven personal and passionate stories, seven guidelines
for excellence, and seven inspirations for changing the way you interact with your colleagues and yourself. We are so grateful
to them for sharing their message and for making our LightFair experience so memorable!

Many thanks to Pyramid Lighting Group of NYC for sponsoring our Social Hour on Thursday afternoon (even though it
didn’t quite turn out the way we had hoped!) and special thanks to Rowena Burcham at LightFair for the game-day help.
It’s just one of those trade-show things!
As we discover what our new normal will hopefully be, I wanted to share something that affects all women, but particularly women of color to make it part of the return to work conversation.  The format was really challenging, it’s harder to speak for 6 minutes than an hour, but it was worth the work because of the connections it made. That was what this LFI was about – re-connecting, seeing new faces for the first time off the screen and hugging old friends.
– Mariel Acevedo
This was the weirdest LightFair ever, but I’m glad for it. I had the unique opportunity to join some of the strongest and most passionate women I’ve met to present to a cask strength distillation of industry professionals from all facets of the lighting world.  Truly a once in a lifetime experience.

– Alana Shepherd
LGBTQ+ By the Numbers
In 2020, Alana founded the North American Coalition of Lighting Industry Queers, an explicitly transgender and non-binary inclusive organization providing advocacy and support for LGBTQIA+ lighting professionals. WILD is proud to consider NACLIQ and Alana a partner in our own journey and mission.
Learn more here!
What drew me to want to speak with WILD was the PechaKucha format.  I’ve done a few others and know this is a great way to get information out quickly and succinctly.  I chose middle management because that is what my daily life is!  I’ve gotten some comments from other lighting designers that are in middle management, and they were encouraged by my discussion.  LightFair was great to see everyone in person and talk about what we are currently up to and are planning to do next.

– Rachael Stoner
Life in Middle Management
I’ve never experienced such an ENGAGING set of presentations. The PechaKucha format caters to the wandering mind we all have. Because the slides change every 20 seconds, it keeps the focus as the presenter flows from one topic to the next. There isn’t room for dawdling, both from the presenter and the audience! What a fantastic platform to share ideas that captivates the audience.
It was so delightful to come together with others in our industry. After being sheltered in our own environments for the past year and a half, it was so refreshing to share thoughts and reignite that passion for lighting, that we all seem to share. WHAT A TREAT!

– Brittany Lynch
Not So Secret Shame of Working Mothers

In 2018, Amber co-founded the BOSLady Book Club and curates their semi-weekly newsletter on design, personal development and inspiration, and women and minorities in business.
Their next meeting is NEXT TUESDAY!
Nov 9th @ 6pm EST / 3pm PST
Learn more and sign up to join the club here!

Missed seeing the event in-person?
Check out the recording from Instagram Live!