Upton has more than 55 years of experience as a professional Organization Management executive and has served at ALA since 1994, with his retirement set for January 2015.
“I’m surprised by this award from the standpoint that these recognitions usually go to members, so this is a significant honor and I’m very humbled by it,” Upton says. “It’s a very generous action by the Awards Committee, the board and the organization. It’s very satisfying to me that my work has been recognized by members of ALA — as a professional, that’s all you can ever ask for.”
Active in government affairs at the highest level throughout his career, Upton’s most recent accomplishment is establishing ALA as a leader in the energy-efficiency and conservation movement throughout the U.S. and Canada. In 2007, he was one of the industry representatives at the table who helped shape the energy-efficient lighting section of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) that was signed into law by President Bush. Upton has become a trusted advisor to state and federal lawmakers and is often called on to represent the lighting industry in negotiations between business and conservation groups.
“What this recognition shows more than anything is what ALA has become as an organization and what it can do in the future,” Upton says. “The dedication, commitment, and enthusiasm of the leadership, members and professional staff is unmatched.”
A native of Iowa, Upton is a graduate of the University of Iowa and the Academy of Organization Management at Michigan State University. He also did graduate work at the University of Colorado. In 2008, he received the Life Member
Award from the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE), the most prestigious award given by the organization.