Early '90s: Grow, Baby, Grow
Another look back in honor of our 20th anniversary: Just as readers were getting to know Residential Lighting magazine, ALA was making key moves that would change the course of history
Cori Dunn
Early hires for the new dedicated ALA management Larry Lauck (left) and Eric Jacobson (right) at the 1994 ALA Convention in Las Vegas with John Blanchard and Amy Karsnak.

Landmark decisions in the early 1990s provided the foundation for the American Lighting Assn. (ALA) to expand and thrive. What began as a loosely knit group in 1949 had become large enough that by the early 1980s, ALA was being managed by The Bostrom Corp. in Chicago. Back then, ALA was run as three divisions representing lighting showrooms, manufacturers and manufacturers’ reps, each with its own Board and dedicated Bostrom manager.

Virtually in step with Residential Lighting’s own launch, a new ALA was emerging, with a unified Board of Governors led by President Don Little. The Board was comprised of six showroom members, three manufacturer members and three rep members. The Board’s defining legacy was its vote to end a 13-year relationship with Bostrom and hire a full-time executive and staff.

A seasoned Chamber of Commerce executive with experience in team building and legislative affairs, Richard D. Upton, CCE, was the man for the job. His first task: quickly set up shop in the new ALA offices in Dallas. In his first RL interview (December 1993), Upton pledged to grow ALA membership with equal speed. “[ALA] will become one of the country’s fastest-growing and most dynamic organizations,” he predicted. Since then, ALA membership has gone from 494 to its current 1,344 members. Upton also wins high marks in the personnel department. His initial hires, Eric Jacobson and Larry Lauck, currently serve as Vice Presidents for membership and communications, respectively. Progressive, ongoing gains in both of those areas speak to their leadership.


LOOKING BACK: Early '90s


Hot Finishes: Faux finishes are redefining contemporary lighting direction. Verde and rust mesh well with popular earth tones.

Looks: Mission leads the move to transitional decor. The Lodge look is also gaining strength.

Leading-Edge Fashion: New Pink Rosaline Strass® crystal from Swarovski opens the crystal world to colorful chandeliers.

Quoizel enters the Tiffany market in 1993.

Vic Bentley joins the Dallas Market Center after 15 years with Ethan Allen stores.

Garden Source Furnishings officially changes its name to Currey & Co. to reflect its broadened product offering, including indoor lighting.

The U.S. Suppliers Show debuts in Dallas, the first time OEM parts suppliers showed wares concurrently with finished products. Organized by Debra Kelly of Frank Morrow Co., regional shows were also held in High Point, New York and Chicago.

About this author

Cori Dunn

Cori Dunn has been covering the retail, lighting and furniture industries since 1982, and was the Founding Editor of Residential Lighting. Dunn also created Furniture Style and Home Fashion Forecast magazines. In this blog, she takes a look back at the last two decades in the lighting industry, in honor of Residential Lighting's 20th anniversary.

Leave A Comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

RL Tweets!

Dead Site