Lloyd Gottesman (pictured with his wife Sheila), the second-generation owner of Royalite Lighting Centers, died on Aug. 27, just a week shy of his 87th birthday.
Lloyd’s son Dean Gottesman, who is now Executive Vice President of Shanor/Royalite, says his father greatly enjoyed the lighting industry.
“He grew up in it and he just loved lighting,” Gottesman says. “He loved everything about it: negotiating with vendors, going to shows and just the fact that the industry was changing all the time.”
Gottesman says his father, who was a former lieutenant in the Air Force and served as a navigator in World War II, was known in the business as a tough negotiator, who would always play “bad cop” to his partner’s “good cop.”
“His favorite thing was working over the vendors for the best possible price,” Gottesman says. “He was always tough, but I think most people would say he was fair.”
Bruce Bellwood, CEO of Tuthill Lighting in Rochester, NY, remembers Lloyd as a “the shrewdest and most driven negotiator in the lighting business.”
“He tested the manufacturers to no end, and he found great joy in achieving the best deal,” Bellwood says. “He also had a calculator for a mind, and could add up a purchase order of 25 or so products in his head in less than 10 seconds and come up with the exact number. It was almost scary.”
Jack Fleischer, President of Hermitage Lighting Gallery in Nashville, TN, calls Lloyd a “pioneer of negotiation” who was also a good friend.
“Lloyd never met a stranger,” Fleischer says. “Once you were friends with Lloyd, he was always there for you.”
David Director, President of Connecticut Lighting Centers, says Lloyd helped him learn the lighting business, as Director’s parents, Arthur and Edythe, were close friends with the Gottesmans.
“For me, he was kind of a mentor,” Director says. “I learned a lot about this industry from Lloyd because he had been doing this for so long and was probably one of the toughest buyers I’ve ever met.”
Outside of work, Lloyd was an avid sports fan, traveler, golfer and card player, his son says. He and his wife spent their retirement in Boynton Beach, FL, living in the same complex as their good friends Arthur and Edythe Director.
Lloyd is survived by his wife, Sheila; his children, Adrienne (Jay) Young Cohen, Dean (Marcie) Gottesman and Terry (Rick) Lenard; and his grandchildren, Stacey and Jason Young, Jamie and Todd Gottesman, and Michael and Laura Speier.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Brothers of Mercy Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, 10570 Bergtold Rd., Clarence, NY 14031, or another charity. Condolences can be expressed online on the Mesnekoff Funeral Home website.