Member of the Month

We are pleased to introduce to our readers the IESNYC Member of the Month, chosen as part of a dedicated team of professionals that represent a cross-section of the lighting industry in New York City. We value their expertise, and thank them for volunteering their time and energy for the betterment of the section.

December 2017

Mitchell Bloomberg, MIES 
International Lights

Q: How did you first get started in the lighting industry?
Well … I used to be a man of the cloth. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Long Island University, I began working for my in-laws. They had a well-known linen and drapery company called Ezra Cohen Corp. The store was located on the Lower East Side, two blocks east of Bowery. Anyone who knows lighting knows the Bowery is the lighting capital of the US. One of my clients was the wife of George Blumenthal, who then was vice president of Lightolier. She insisted I meet her husband and when I did, George asked if I was one of Ezra’s sons or grandsons. I replied that I’d married in and he burst out laughing, saying he had his son-in-law in his business too. He handed me his card and said that if I ever considered changing careers, I should give him a call. And so, about six months later, I did. He got me an interview with their HR manager, who just happened to have gone to Herricks High School in New Hyde Park on Long Island, same as me, and who also graduated with my wife Susan. I was hired on the spot!
I worked for Lightolier from 1983 to 1987 as a specification salesperson. I left to start a lighting distributorship called Spec Lite in Westbury, Long Island, a division of Ken Claire Lighting, an export agency. In 1989, I went back to college and earned my Lighting System Design Certification from NYU. In 1992 I was asked back to Lightolier to be their vice president and president of their agency, The Lighting Group. I remained there until 2007, when the company was sold to Philips Electronics. That same year I started a new agency, Greenlight Solutions, along with Picasso Lighting Industries, a manufacturing company. In 2009, both companies merged with International Lights, a Zumtobel affiliated agency. In 2017 I became the owner, along with my partner Jim Panichella, of International Lights, a rep firm for leading manufacturers in the lighting industry, and I’m back in Manhattan.

Q: How did you first get involved in the IESNYC?
I’ve been a member of the IES for 25 years! When I worked a Lightolier as a spec salesperson, it was mandatory to belong to the IES. That was okay with me because I was rewarded by being fortunate to call on some of the pioneers of the lighting design like Howard Brandston, Imero Fiorentino Jules Horton, Paul Marantz, and Jim Nuckolls. I recall and honor Jim Nuckolls every year by giving to the Nuckolls Fund.

Q: How do you see your role as member of the IESNYC?
My firm covers membership for all our employees, and I personally try to stay involved by going to events, taking as many classes as possible, and encouraging other people to also get involved. We financially support the Section by advertising the firm and the 24 manufacturers we represent in the Lumen Journal, and by buying tables at the Gala. We also support Moonlighting, a coproduction of the IESNYC, which is a great event!

Q: In your opinion, what are the best assets of the IESNYC?
The society’s manuals are the best in the industry. They have different levels of education, from Introduction to Lighting through Advance Lighting Systems. Their guideline manuals are considered to be the holy bible of the industry. IESNYC events are always cutting edge, and feature the latest lighting topics that are crucial to lighting professionals. And, attending IESNYC programs and events is a wonderful way to see my fellow colleagues!