Sy Gerber Inducted into ALA Lighting Hall of Fame
During the Welcome Party for the ALA Virtual Symposium members celebrated the induction of GM Lighting’s Sy Gerber into the ALA Lighting Hall of Fame through a special video tribute.
An iconic fixture in the lighting industry, Sy embodies the characteristics required of all Hall of Fame members as a significant contributor to the association and entire lighting industry. One of Sy’s most noteworthy achievements was his work with the federal government to develop critical safety standards for recessed lighting.
In a recent reflection on what personal characteristic is most important to him, Sy said, “I wouldn’t trade my honesty and integrity for anything in the world.” Many would agree the driving force behind Sy’s success is exactly that.
Those values were shaped and developed during his formative years. Following the death of his mother, Sy was raised by his aunts and uncles who impressed upon him the importance of a strong work ethic.
As an adult, Sy recognized that the role of a boss was more that of a team leader. “I worked with my people,” says Sy. “Nobody felt like I was the boss. Nobody was guarded. Everyone had their way of speaking and everyone contributed. Everybody felt like part of the company, and people loved coming to work.”
Sy’s journey in the lighting industry began when he joined his brother at Efengee Electric Supply where he worked in sales. From there, Sy took his family to California and worked with Air King Fans. Air King bought a recessed lighting company that piqued Sy’s interest, which started his love affair with the lighting industry.
With his brother and Burt Fenmark, Sy then created Capri Lighting. That is where his legend began as Capri grew into a driving force in the recessed halogen lighting industry. Sy remained at the helm as Capri grew.
Fifteen years ago, Sy co-founded GM Lighting and brought in his son Rob to run it.
Rob Gerber remembers, “They (GM) decided to improve the current state of under-cabinet lighting. They came up with this great fixture and asked me to join the company. So, I joined my dad and made the jump from ConTech to GM Lighting.”
“When you stop learning, you stop living,” Sy remarked recently to a lighting industry insider.
Sy’s kindness and dedication to his craft provide a template worthy of emulation in the quest to provide the best that the lighting industry has to offer. As the 2020 Lighting Hall of Fame inductee, his legacy and industry impact will be recognized and remembered for years to come.
Members can view the Hall of Fame video here.