President's Letter - December 2020




Looking Forward to a Brighter New Year

2020 ends with innovative ways of doing business


2020 will be remembered as the year of COVID-19. For many in the lighting industry, the first quarter began with optimism and strength as the January Lightovation kicked off strong followed by other key well-attended industry building shows. As we entered early March, the worldwide scale of COVID-19 was taking full shape and all businesses had to rapidly pivot to drive sales. In the lighting industry, we encountered business shutdowns, employees scaled back, and everyone quickly adapted to offer curbside service, deliveries and many new, unique services to remain viable and successful.



Eric Jacobson, CAE

President & CEO



At ALA, we faced the same challenges and believed our best opportunity during this time was to keep members informed of all federal assistance programs and offer free training to the membership. From April through August, ALA had over 1,380 members take advantage of the free Lighting Associate (LA) course program and hundreds took advantage of every free webinar. In all, ALA provided over $500,000 in free training to the membership.


As vaccines for COVID-19 are being approved and implemented, we look forward to continue to deliver on our commitment to create value for our members and the lighting industry. We could not do it without the fantastic support of our membership during one of the most challenging times in world history. We enter 2021 with hope and optimism for a successful year. As we continue to implement virtual meetings and programs, we look towards the future and are excited to emerge to have face-to-face meetings and events.





Government Engagement


A lot is still unknown about government spending and COVID-19 relief. ALA is encouraged that Congressional leaders are meeting and working to reach an agreement on a package that will bring much needed aid to American businesses and individuals. One major policy item that ALA is tracking is deductibility for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. ALA has signed onto a multi-industry letter urging members of Congress to include this measure in the final package. We recommend that members reach out to their Member of Congress or Senators and urge the same.


For more information on ALA's recent Government Engagement efforts, click here.





Lightovation Moved to March


To support the health and safety of all customers, Dallas Market Center (DMC) recently announced the in-person event for January Lightovation will be moved to March 23-26, 2021. Although DMC has been making important updates to its health and safety guidelines to prepare for the January event, the Lighting Board came to the consensus that the event will better serve customers if held at a later date.



Changing conditions were a key factor in the decision, according to DMC, along with strict travel measures enacted in certain states and the continued U.S.-Canada border closure. The March Lightovation dates will coincide with DMC's spring Total Home & Gift Market. The June 2021 edition of Lightovation will continue with its previously announced dates of June 23-26.


While the in-person January edition of Lightovation has been postponed, the virtual show will still launch in January as planned. DMC will be promoting the virtual event heavily and those interested in learning more about participating may contact Laura Van Zeyl.





ALA Committee Meetings

Committees to meet virtually Jan. 18-22


This January all ALA committees will meet virtually, Jan. 18-22, 2021. The full meeting schedule is listed online. ALA relies on member volunteers to serve on committees to ensure the association is focused on the matters most relevant to the membership. Each committee has a unique purpose and plays an important role in the success of the association.


If you would like to serve on a committee or inquire about participation, please reach out to Jack Grandel, ALA director of membership, at





HEARTS Awards auction


Artists, designers, celebrities, influencers and special guests have designed one-of-a-kind Rosenthal dinner plates to be auctioned off to benefit No Kid Hungry. The Hearts 4 Hunger live auction will conclude Jan. 12.


The HEARTS Awards event has been moved to June 2021 during Lightovation in order to be an in-person celebration for 12 companies and individuals who have shown outstanding leadership, empathy and service during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more and start bidding on the auction here.





Lighting Magazine and Ad Campaign


The 2021 issue of Lighting magazine is well into production. The annual publication, published by the ALA BiNational Advertising & PR Program in partnership with Meredith Publishing/Better Homes & Gardens, will be available on high-end newsstands targeted to demographically qualified homeowners as well as in ALA-member showrooms beginning in April. ALA showrooms that support the BiNational Program receive free copies of the magazine for their customers throughout the year.


We promote Lighting magazine and the advantages of shopping in ALA showrooms through digital and print campaigns as well as through social media. The BiNational Program’s Google ad campaigns continue to be effective in positioning ALA-member showrooms as the preferred source for quality lighting and expertise. From July 1 to Nov. 15 this year, ALA’s ad campaigns resulted in more than 254,000 clicks to ALA’s website and 40 million impressions for ALA member products and showrooms.


Any ALA manufacturers interested in advertising in Lighting may contact Larry Lauck at or Amy Wommack at






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