The American Lighting Assn.  (ALA) inducted Zia Eftekhar (pictured), CEO of Philips Lighting North America  and 40-year veteran of the lighting industry, into the Lighting Hall of Fame at the ALA Annual Conference in Palm Beach, FL, on Sept. 13.
In his acceptance speech, Eftekhar said he couldn’t imagine working in any other industry.
“It’s great that after four decades, I’m as enthusiastic about what I’m doing today as I was 40 years ago,” he said.
Eftekhar also praised ALA, saying the organization has come a long way in the last two decades.
“Today we have an organization that is truly the voice of our industry, and we are able to bring about enormous expansion and growth for our industry,” he said.
Eftekhar closed his speech by saying that his decision to become an American citizen was a major turning point in his life and one of the most important decisions he ever made.
“As Americans, we can dream as high as we want, strive as hard as we can, and aspire as high as we have the talents to drive us,” he said. “We have the freedom to achieve and the freedom to choose, and that is the most precious value we have.”
As CEO of Philips Lighting North America, Eftekhar is responsible for all of Philips Lighting’s business in North America, including Lamps, Consumer Luminaires and Professional Luminaires. Prior to working for Philips, Eftekhar became president of Lightolier  in 1992, and in 2008 became director of the Genlyte Group, the publicly traded parent of Lightolier, which was acquired by Philips in 2008.