April 2018

Robert Nadel, LC 
Vice President
Energy and Lighting Systems

Q: How did you first get started in the lighting industry?
For me, it was OJT (on the job training). I studied engineering in college and following in the footsteps of my father, I became a projectionist at movie theaters. On the side, I was an audio/visual consultant which led me to check out an early Lightfair at the Javits Center. There, I met an inventor/entrepreneur who was selling light bulb life extenders that actually worked! I began to sell his product, and subsequently became an intermediary for procuring and distributing other energy saving products from other lighting manufacturers. Thirty-one years ago, along with my wife Judith, we founded Energy and Lighting Systems, best known for retro-fitting major banks and midsize chain stores. We sold the company last year, but I am still the company’s vice president. Our company has championed energy conservation and in some small way, we hope we have made a lasting contribution to a cleaner and greener planet for future generations. Eleven years ago, along with Peggy Meehan, I co-founded LEDucation. The first edition of LEDucation, a joint program between the IESNYC and DLFNY, had 34 tabletops and attracted 250 attendees. Today, LEDucation is the largest and best recognized LED show in the Eastern United States. I believe my greatest accomplishment was bringing together the DLFNY and the IESNYC to sponsor LEDucation.

Q: How did you first get involved in the IESNYC?
I became involved in the Section back in 1994. Later I served on the Board of Managers and am proud of several accomplishments. While serving on the Membership Committee, we established a program where student members received free membership, the fee being paid, through the generosity of fellow Board of Manager Frank Conti, and his company Enterprise Lighting Sales (ELS). To date, the program continues to make membership possible to students who can take advantage of the benefits of Section membership. In addition, I worked on what might be considered a precursor to LEDucation, The DLFNY and IESNYC collaborated on a one-day program called “Take Total Control” in 2002 at Cooper Union.

Q: How do you see your role as member of the IESNYC?
Judith and I attend as many IESNYC events as we can. For years, I was the “unofficial” IESNYC photographer and now I am sort of an “unofficial” historian while I’m helping Randy Sabedra unearth facts for the upcoming celebration, 50th Anniversary of Lumens. I also had the honor of serving as a juror on this year’s Lumen jury. It meant a lot to me to be asked to be asked by the Lumen Committee to participate.

Q: In your opinion, what are the best assets of the IESNYC?
Three years ago, the Section along with DLFNY and IALDNY started “Moonlighting” which showcased the talents of lighting professionals outside of their 9-5 workday. For two years, I exhibited my work at Moonlighting. This is an example of how the IESNYC collaborates on programming with other lighting organizations to further strengthen our lighting community. I love the comradery the Section provides and educational programs are of the highest quality. I am proud to be a member of the IESNYC.