2021 Conference Brochure



Sunday, September 26

12 p.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.  |  Young Executives Event

6 p.m. - 7 p.m.  |  Women in Lighting Event

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

Tuesday, September 28

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. 
Before and during the Conference, there will be several opportunities to join non-compete showroom and manufacturer’s representative networking groups. Participants say it is one of the best ways to connect with industry peers facing similar issues, and the ensuing conservation is helpful and stimulating. A minimum of six companies must register for each time slot in order to hold a meaningful meeting.  Please contact Jack Grandel at Jack@ALALighting.com or (214) 698-9898, ext. 235 for more details.

Golf Tournament
Sunday, Sept. 26 | 12 p.m. Shotgun Start
Extra fee and pre-registration required
Come swing a round of golf at the Links at Squaw Creek. It is a championship Robert Trent Jones Jr. golf course surrounded by six Sierra mountain peaks. All participants will enjoy a boxed lunch and drink tickets. As always, there will be prizes awarded following the conclusion of the tournament. Rental clubs are available for $45 and must be reserved through the clubhouse by calling (530) 581-6637.  Please reserve early, as there are a limited number of sets available for rental.  Any pairing requests may be sent to Jack Grandel at Jack@ALALighting.com. To sponsor part of the golf tournament in support of the ALA Education Foundation, please contact Wendy Jones at Wendy@ALALighting.com.
A portion of this event’s registration fees will be donated to the ALA Education Foundation. 


Pre-Conference CLC Course
Sunday, September 26 | 1 p.m.  - 4 p.m.
Extra fee required.
Peter Romaniello, IALD | Owner, Conceptual Lighting, LLC

Details coming soon.

Opening Breakfast General Session
Monday, Sept. 27 | 8 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.
Sponsored by:


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.



Educational Sessions
Monday, Sept. 27 | 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Follow Up on Keynote Session
Gerry O’Brion | Brand Strategist, What Brands Know
After Gerry's keynote, attendees will have an opportunity to apply Gerry's Because Framework to their businesses. Roll up your sleeves and get to work answering his four questions for your business. Participants will leave with the tools to implement the framework into their businesses and share it effectively with their teams. You will do individual work using worksheets, but also have the opportunity to share your ideas and get feedback if you wish.  Two volunteers will be put on the hot seat to work directly with Gerry and get feedback from the group during the session.

Virtual Territory Visits
Bryan Shirley, CPMR | Former CEO of MANA
While everyone has been utilizing Zoom and Microsoft Teams meetings, there are ways to make your meeting pop! Schedule a time with your customer and make sure your executive team members stop in to your virtual meetings. Even as the country is opening back up, virtual meetings will remain a large part of how we do business. Remember to make it fun and a valuable experience for your customers. Personalize the visits with their company logos and make it unique for them. Come learn more valuable tips to separate yourself from the competition.

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!


Business Lunch
Monday, September 27 | 12:15 p.m. - 2 p.m.

Panel Discussion: COVID-19 Success Stories and Lessons Learned
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.

Educational Sessions
Monday, Sept. 27 | 2:15 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.

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.

Virtual Council of Reps
Byran Shirley, CPMR | Former CEO of MANA
Do you have a rep council? Do you sit on a rep council? Remember to utilize this as a tool. It is not expensive and gives you access to great market intel. Now, council meetings are hosted virtually, and it is free! The idea is to get four reps from around the country and to have an anonymous survey for all reps to take. This is not to sell products or dwell on the negatives, the agenda is all about advising manufacturers on what they can do to increase sales. Action items can be created on what to do to improve moving forward. Try it out, all it takes is your time! 



Educational Sessions
Tuesday, Sept. 28 | 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. 

New Trends in Residential Smart Lighting
Yan Rodriguez
Smart Home lighting has evolved from simple in-wall dimmer control of incandescent loads to more complex LED-based smart luminaires. White light tunability, RGB color effects, Circadian recipes, voice assistants, built-in speakers and sensors are just some of the features now found in luminaires. Additionally, a multitude of wireless control protocols are now available to fit just about any application and home size, simplifying installations in new construction as well as retrofits. This presentation will focus on demystifying wireless technologies, the impact of cybersecurity on these products, and the latest product trends and best practices on how to select and apply lighting products to fit any application. Current market conditions, including growth rates by segment, the influence of a post-COVID economy, and go-to market strategies will also be discussed.




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.


To book your room at the discounted ALA group rate of $235 per night at the Resor at Squaw Creek, click here. For more information on travel to Conference and the hotel, click here