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.


November 2020

Yesenia (Jessie) Grillo
Specification Sales
O’Blaney Rinker Associates


Q: How did you first get started in the lighting industry?
My journey through the world of lighting began when an administrative position was offered to me at International Lights. Along the way, I acquired additional skill sets in order entry, the IT help desk, and eventually I became a junior estimator. My interest in and admiration for lighting itself, and the lighting industry as a whole, started to grow. Further down the timeline, I progressed into a project management position at SDA Lighting. For fourteen years, I worked at SDA, four of which I had the honor and good fortune to work alongside Kenneth S. Ceppos, who was a principal at SDA. He was my mentor, and I appropriated all of the knowledge he bestowed upon me. He was a dignified man and someone for whom I am eternally grateful. Though he is recently deceased, I continue to admire and think of him. So, in 2018, with all the experience I garnered at SDA, I jumped feet first into the agency known the world over as O’Blaney Rinker Associates.

Q: How did you first get involved in the IESNYC?
I am grateful to O’Blaney Rinker for encouraging me and paying for my attendance to the IES Fundamentals of Lighting Certification Course in the spring of 2018. My employer, the remarkable and accomplished James O’Blaney, co-founder and a co-owner of O’Blaney Rinker (with Caroline Rinker), suggested I become involved in the IESNYC. Taking his sage advice, I joined the New York City Lighting Council Committee and the Programs Committee. During a recent program planning meeting of the Programs Committee, I was asked to serve as a moderator for an IESNYC webinar — 3D Printing for Lighting Professionals. In case you missed it, members can view the webinar On Demand. I must declare that it was an exhilarating experience. Helping for framing the program, as well as assemble a diverse panel of connoisseurs, was an experience in and of its own. The panel discussion was an absolute success and we had over a hundred attendees, including international participants representing fifteen countries. I was ecstatic when I received the stats the following day.

Q: How do you see your role as member of the IESNYC?
After my experience serving as moderator for the 3D Printing for Lighting Professionals webinar, I now aspire to continue to contribute to the Programs Committee and to other areas of the Section. I hope everyone can sense my exuberance for the Section and all the work we do.

Q: In your opinion, what are the best assets of the IESNYC?
Coming from the agency side of the industry, I believe the IESNYC provides a place where we can learn about different facets of the lighting industry. Through networking opportunities, attending events, and work on committees, we can all help to promote, connect, and support each other’s professional goals.