The American Lighting Assn.  (ALA) Board of Governors voted unanimously to name Eric Jacobson, current ALA Vice President of Membership Development Services and Administration, as the next president of the association, following the retirement of current President Dick Upton in January 2015.
“I am looking forward to building upon the successes of the ALA and working hard to make sure ALA delivers meaningful programs that advance the sale of lighting, ceiling fan, and control products,” Jacobson says. “It will be an honor to serve an outstanding membership with so many dedicated members and volunteers.”
Jacobson joined the “New ALA” in January 1994, when ALA was reorganized with a professional staff. After graduating from Baylor University, he served as a President George Bush appointee at the U.S. Department of Labor for three and a half years, where as Senior Intergovernmental Affairs Officer, he was a liaison to trade associations and assisted with Congressional relations. While at ALA as Vice President of Membership Development, the association’s membership has grown from 460 to 1400 members. Jacobson has been engaged in most aspects of ALA programming, including working with Upton on ALA’s annual Washington D.C. Mission, which has significant interface with members of Congress.
“I am most pleased that Eric was chosen to serve as ALA’s next president," Upton says. "I believe he will help take ALA forward in delivering quality programs and needed action to advance the sale of lighting products in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean, and successfully fight for industry interests.”
A special task force, called Forward ALA, formed to conduct the search for Upton’s successor. Its members included Carolyn Overman (task force Chair), co-owner, Western Montana Lighting; Ray Angelo, President and Chief Executive Officer, Westinghouse Lighting; Zia Eftekhar, Chairman (retired), Philips Lighting North America; Fred Fennell, CLMR, owner, Fennell Marketing & Sales Ltd.; Clark Linstone, Chief Financial Officer, Lamps Plus, and President, Pacific Coast Lighting.; and Tom Underwood, IES, CLMR, President and Chief Executive Officer, Saguaro Marketing Group LLC.
Upton will continue to be ALA’s President through 2014. Following retirement, he will serve as a consultant to the chairman of the Board of Governors and to the president for six months (until June 30, 2015). Upton is also being looked to to serve as president of the ALA Education Foundation and treasurer of the ALA Political Action Committee, with service targeted for two years (2015-2016) or more, if mutually agreeable.