February 2021

Jessica Kaller
New York City Sales Manager
Moda Light

Q: How did you first get started in the lighting industry?
After finishing up my Master of Science at Bard College’s Center for Environmental Policy, I moved to New York City and continued to work with the nonprofit environmental organization I had interned with. I continue to work with Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space (MoRUS) as a part of their development team. Prior to getting involved in lighting, I was working in the energy efficiency space. Admittedly, I initially saw lighting as a path to engage further in the engineering and electrical space. However, I was quickly enamored with the melding of the technical and creative in the form of architectural lighting design. I heard over and over again that once you get involved in the lighting industry, you never get out. I guess the rumors are true because I’m sold. As I have become more engrossed in the lighting industry, I still bring my values of sustainability and intelligent design to fruition in my daily work. I am so excited to have recently taken on a new role with Moda Light. Not only do I love representing the company in the New York City market, but I am thrilled to be part of our transition to stateside manufacturing with an emphasis on sustainability and corporate responsibility. I think that this aspect of environmental and health consciousness is largely missing at present and I hope that our work to pioneer a progressive future can spark a new industry standard.

Q: How did you first get involved in the IESNYC?
When I began working in the lighting industry, I was looking for ways to immerse myself and learn as much as possible about the art of lighting. I was so excited to learn about the IESNYC and other industry specific organizations and immediately joined them all. At present, I am also a member of DLFNY, WILD, NYCLIQ, and Ladies in Architecture, Construction, Engineering, and Design (LACED). I also serve on the Board of the International Furnishings and Design Association’s NY chapter (IFDA NY). I especially love that the IES was both a technical and education-centric group. The melding of creative and technical principles that culminates in the practice of lighting design continues to inspire and motivate my pursuit of interesting work. My favorite thing about working in lighting is that the technology, our understanding of how light works, and how we experience it is ever evolving. There is always something new to learn and I am passionate about lifelong learning! The IES is the most obvious and trusted source for reliable data and information; so naturally, I gravitated toward the organization and am very excited to be involved today.

Q: How do you see your role as member of the IESNYC?
I have the great pleasure of being in charge of placing announcements on social media for the IESNYC as a member of the Digital Communications & Archives Committee. It is wonderful being part of such an engaged network of industry professions. (If you haven’t followed the IESNYC on social media yet, make sure to check us out - @the_iesnyc; Instagram Facebook, and Twitter. And as a shameless plug, while you’re there you can find me at @jesskaller_lightingNYC). As we work remotely from all corners of the city, and eventually transition into a hybrid office model, connecting on social media has never been more important. I want to give a huge thank you to all of the people in our community that have worked so hard to put together virtual events and casual conversations over the past year. It has been heartwarming to see the resilience of our New York City community.

Q: In your opinion, what are the best assets of the IESNYC?
Organizations like the IESNYC serve as an important hub for information sharing and education, a necessity for keeping up with ever-advancing technologies, such as TM30 standards, as well as understanding newly quantified user preferences. But beyond the technical aspects, the best part about working in lighting is the incredible people that power the industry. I think the value of organizations within the industry is beyond just a “network” but is in providing space for people to reach across the aisle in the interest of the whole and to have a good time doing it. There are few industries that are as progressive technologically and socially and I’m ecstatic to have found myself a member in good company.