2021 Conference Brochure



Sunday, September 26

11 a.m. (shotgun start)  |  Golf Tournament (on site)*

1 p.m. - 4 p.m.  |  CLC Class*
6:15 p.m. - 7 p.m.  |  New Member/First-timer Reception

7 p.m. - 10 p.m.  |  Opening Reception (offsite - High Camp)

Monday, September 27

8 a.m. -  9:45 a.m.  |  Opening Breakfast General Session

10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.  |  Seminars

12:15 p.m. - 2 p.m.  |  Business Lunch

2:15 p.m. - 3:45 p..m.  |  Seminars

5 p.m. - 6 p.m.  |  Women in Lighting Event

6 p.m. - 7 p.m.  |  Young Executives Event

7 p.m. - 9 p.m.  |  Manufacturer-hosted Lawn Games Event

Tuesday, September 28

6 a.m. | Sunrise Yoga

8 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.  |  Breakfast General Session

10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.  |  Seminars

12 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.  |  Networking Lunch

2:15 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.  |  Seminars

7 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.  |  Closing Reception

7:30 p.m. - 10 p.m.  |  Closing Dinner and Entertainment


*Requires extra fee and/or pre-registration. 


Networking Groups
Available meeting times will be posted soon. Pre-registration required. 
Join your peers for a non-compete showroom and manufacturer’s representative networking group. Participants say these are one of the best ways to connect with industry peers facing similar challenges, and the ensuing conservation is helpful and stimulating.

Keynote Presentation - They Buy Your Because
Gerry O’Brion | Brand Strategist, What Brands Know
Learn a framework of innovation and influence that will show you how to become the number one choice in the crowded lighting industry. Create disruptive strategies and messaging to attract your ideal customers and close sales in a competitive, sometimes commoditized, market. Customers BUY YOUR BECAUSE. Gerry’s Power of BECAUSE framework has been used by retailers, manufacturers and distributors to clarify their message, drive referrals and close sales. This presentation is a fun, thought-provoking dialogue that reveals the four critical questions you should be asking to stand out in the sea of sameness. It is packed with strategies and case studies from multiple industries that can be implemented immediately. Gerry has worked on several billion-dollar brands and distilled that experience into a framework that will challenge your thinking about why customers buy and how they make referrals.


Beyond Seeing
Mark McClear | BIOS Lighting
The importance of light to human health and wellbeing is becoming an increasingly popular topic. As technology improves, allowing more control over our exposure to light, it is important for industry professionals to understand how this applies to lighting systems. In this seminar, Mark will explore the science behind how humans see. He will discuss the spectra of human visual systems and the details behind circadian stimulation, including the blue-sky signal we should all get every day. Participants will learn about the VITALS for health lighting and receive an introduction to the BIOS Lighting spectra and bio-dimming controls to show how these can be used to bring the outside in. Mark will also explain how indoor lighting can be designed to strengthen circadian rhythm, enhance productivity, boost mood, increase alertness and promote better sleep.
Work Smarter, Not Harder: Powerful Time Management Strategies to Boost Your “Tech” Productivity
Steve Turner | CEO & Founder, Turner Time Management
What tools and best practices are available to use your time well and get the results that you need to increase sales productivity and efficiency? Steve will share real-world, easy-to-apply tips and tricks on time management and how you can change your habits to improve efficiency. Topics include increasing your personal “tech tools” productivity with your apps, email, calendar, smartphone and more!


Panel Discussion: Positive Business Strategies Going Forward
Rick Seidman | President and CEO, Quoizel, Inc., Goosecreek, SC
Laurie Gross | President, Gross Electric, Toledo, OH
Kris Quackenbush | President, The Carlson Group, Folsom, CA
Moderator - Peter Romaneillo | Owner, Conceptual Lighting, LLC

As the pandemic spread across the U.S and Canada, it forced many companies to reassess their approaches to technology, operations and sales strategies. Industry leader panelists will discuss their successes, lessons learned and plans for what comes next.
Key questions that will be addressed include:

  • What are the needs and ramifications of this new reality and how your company pivoted to thrive under new unforeseen conditions?
  • What are the trends of new products demands and how to take advantage of continued building material boom?
  • What will this mean for the future of remote work?

After the discussion, attendees will participate in round-table discussions on the opportunities and challenges that are most impacting your organizations and the best practices to approach them.

Master Your Online Presence and Run Successful Webinars and Events
Steve Turner | CEO & Founder, Turner Time Management
What are the keys to a successful online presence and webinars? Steve will share real-world, easy-to-apply tips and tricks on time management and how you can change your habits to improve efficiency. Topics include increasing and optimizing your online presence and how to have successful online meetings, presentations and live-streaming events.

Social Selling: Turning Prospects into Customers and Customers into Your Digital Salesforce 
Corey Perlman
It’s not a question of whether or not social media is an effective sales tool.  The question is whether or not it’s working for you. Corey’s workshop unpacks the sales process and offers a step-by-step process for winning business on social media. He shares best practices from 10+ years as the owner of a digital agency on how his clients generate leads, build credibility, close the sale and turn happy customers into repeat business and referral partners.  


How to Become an Invaluable Resource to Designers
Christina Couvillion | CEO, DaVinci Interiors
Linda Longo | Editorial Director, enLIGHTenment Magazine

Lisa McDennon | Owner, Lisa McDennon Designs 
Moderated by Tim Stumm | Creative Director, Z-Lite

Strong partnerships with designers can bring steady, new business to your showroom. But how do you become an invaluable resource and ensure those designers come to you when it’s time to shop lighting with their clients? Join us for this fun and interactive discussion between industry experts who will share personal stories, real-world examples, and the insider scoop on why designers choose to work with certain showrooms. You'll leave knowing how to identify the best designers to fit with your specific showroom and how you can provide exactly what designers are looking for in long-term showroom partners.


Networking Lunch
Tuesday, Sept. 28 | 12 - 1:30 p.m

This lunch has quickly become one of the most popular events during the ALA conference, as it offers a unique opportunity to network with your peers and discuss leading topics facing the lighting industry today. Topics for this event include a discussion on color and design, supporting women in the lighting industry, and more.  

Moderators are needed for all discussion topics. Please contact Katie Grandel at Katie@ALALighting.com if you would like to volunteer as a moderator. 



The Changes in Residential Architecture that will Impact Lighting
Jeffrey Dross | Lighting by Jeffrey 
In 2000, the typical ceiling height was 8’-0” and homes were lucky to have CAT 5 wiring. In the 20 short years since, we’ve moved to taller ceilings and wireless residences. Architectural and technological changes are driven by homeowner demands. That meant lighting had to change as well, but how that change occurred was obscure. While new home construction was rapidly accelerating prior to 2020, the pandemic altered the way we use our homes. Both of these will factor into how homes will be illuminated going forward. This session will review a wide variety of architectural and technological changes and discuss their impact on lighting, resulting in good solutions for the client and customer.

Digital Marketing Masterclass: Overhaul Your Digital Footprint and Outpace Your Competition
Corey Perlman
When someone chooses not to do business with you or go with a competitor, they rarely tell you why. More often than not, it’s because of something they see (or don’t see) online. Discover the holes in your digital footprint that may be sabotaging sales and pushing prospects toward your competition.



Keynote Speakers

Gerry O’Brion
Brand Strategist, What Big Brands Know
The foundation of all business is getting customers to buy from you. Gerry speaks about a framework of influence that reveals how to become the number one choice, even in a crowded market. He teaches the Power of BECAUSE. After years as an executive with billion-dollar brands, Gerry is now a professional speaker and author. His Power of BECAUSE framework has helped tens of thousands of CEOs, business owners and sales teams stand out from the sea of sameness and grow their sales. Gerry began his career in marketing at Procter & Gamble and then was an executive for Coors Light, Quiznos, and Red Robin. He has his MBA from the University of Michigan and has also spent eight years serving in the military.

John Burns
Real Estate Consultant 
John founded John Burns Real Estate Consulting in 2001 to help business executives make the most informed housing industry investment decisions possible. His team of PALS (Passionate, Articulate, Likable and Smart people) in offices all over the country advise the company’s research subscribers and consulting clients on shifts in housing demand, supply, and affordability, as well as consumer, building products and design trends. The firm has developed a number of proprietary tools, including risk and valuation indices, DesignLens™, the New Home Trends Institute, and even trademarked the term surban™ upon release of their best-selling demographics book, Big Shifts Ahead: Demographic Clarity for Businesses. John has a Bachelors in Economics from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA.

Educational Speakers

Mark McClear 
COO, BIOS Lighting 
Mark has worked in the lighting industry for more than 20 years, serving in various engineering, commercial and business leadership positions at Cree, Seoul Semiconductor, and BIOS Lighting. Mark has been a speaker, teacher and thought leader in LED and Solid State Lighting and has helped thousands navigate the transition from traditional lighting technologies to LED. He has taught more than 20 accredited CEU courses on implementing LED technology in commercial and residential lighting luminaires and lamps. Mark is an inventor on 20 issued and published US patents in Solid State Lighting. He holds a BSEE from Michigan State University and an MBA from Babson College. Mark lives near Asheville, N.C., with his wife of 35 years and two Labrador Retrievers.  

Bryan Shirley, CPMR
Former President/CEO, MANA
Bryan is a graduate of Virginia Tech, a visiting professor at the University of Texas-Austin teaching Motivational Compensation for Outside Sales at CPMR (the Certified Professional Manufacturers’ Representatives program), and has presented to thousands of salespeople at association conferences and sales meetings. He is published in various industries’ sales and trade journals and magazines. In addition to serving on many board of directors and executive committees, he is the former president/CEO of MANA, the former executive eirector of AIM/R and was the president/CEO of COLRUD Corporation, a premier manufacturers’ representative organization in the Philadelphia area.

Steve Turner
Founder & CEO, Turner Time Management 
With a background in technology and over 35 year of business experience, Steve has shared technology and time management tools, techniques, and tips with thousands of professionals across the country.  His speaking, training, and coaching have helped many organizations increase their employees’ technology IQ and supercharge their personal performance. Steve has worked with well over 150 manufacturing representative firms over the past fifteen years. His proven ability to leverage technology (including apps, desktops, laptops, and mobile devices) is of great value to anyone in need of greater sales, marketing and/or productivity results. 

Jeffrey R Dross
Lighting by Jeffery
Jeffrey is an internationally known lighting expert whose in-depth knowledge and capabilities allow him to translate design concepts into functional products that optimize lighting in residential projects. He has helped the design community understand the complexity of new and emerging technologies, providing relatable, easy-to-comprehend explanations. His long career and expertise have made him a “go-to” resource for trade, design and consumer trends journalists, who rely on him for quotes, design knowledge and articles. He is also a creator of fine art and writing for personal enjoyment. Jeff was honored with ALA's 2015 Pillar of the Industry Award.

Lisa McDennon
Founder, Lisa McDennon Design
Lisa founded her Laguna Beach–based interiors firm, Lisa McDennon Design, in 2000. Inspired by the region’s beauty, history, and culture, Lisa's distinctive style reinvigorates coastal California design. She works with natural materials, elegant forms, and varied textures to create modern residential and commercial interiors that are sophisticated, unexpected, and timeless. With degrees in fine art and interior design, Lisa brings a deep knowledge of art and architecture to all her work, which has been recognized with multiple awards and coverage in national publications. House Beautiful named her one of 2010’s “Next Wave of Designers to Watch.” Nuance, Lisa's trend-setting home and lifestyle boutique in Laguna Beach, showcases her modern, sophisticated style with custom furniture, lighting, and linens.




Click here to register for the 2021 ALA Conference.


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