The American Lighting Association (ALA) recognizes the newest ALA Lighting Hall of Fame inductee, Sy Gerber of GM Lighting. The honor became official during the ALA Virtual Symposium in September. Members of the association celebrated Gerber virtually by viewing a special video tribute to the lighting veteran.
An iconic fixture in the industry, Gerber embodies the characteristics required of all ALA Lighting Hall of Fame members as a significant contributor to the association and entire lighting industry. One of Gerber's most noteworthy achievements is the development of critical safety standards for recessed lighting that were a result of his work with the federal government.
The driving force behind Gerber's success is his unwavering value system. He recently reflected on what personal characteristics are most important to him. “I wouldn’t trade my honesty and integrity for anything in the world," he said.
Those values were shaped and developed during his formative years. Following the death of his mother, Gerber was raised by his aunts and uncles who impressed upon him the importance of a strong work ethic.
As an adult, Gerber recognized that the role of a boss was more that of a team leader. “I worked with my people,” says Gerber. “Nobody felt like I was the boss…. Everybody felt like part of the company, and people loved coming to work.”
Gerber's lighting industry journey began at Efengee Electric Supply where he worked in sales. From there, Gerber took his family to California and worked with Air King Fans. Air King bought a recessed lighting company that piqued Gerber’s interest, which started his love affair with the lighting industry. Subsequent moves included co-creating Capri Lighting and growing it into a driving force in the recessed halogen lighting industry, and co-founding GM Lighting in 2005.
Gerber’s kindness and dedication to his craft provide a template worthy of emulation in the quest to provide the best that the lighting industry has to offer. Gerber’s legacy and industry impact will be recognized and remembered for years to come.