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ALA President and CEO Announces Retirement

Eric Jacobson

ALA President and CEO Eric Jacobson announced he will be stepping down from his role with ALA to join his family business. To support the transition, Jacobson will continue to serve as CEO through 2022 and into 2023 until a replacement is selected.

Eric has worked with ALA for nearly 30 years, serving as director of membership before stepping into his current role as president and CEO in 2015 following the retirement of Dick Upton. Throughout his tenure with ALA, Eric helped grow the association’s membership exponentially and has secured ALA as the leading association supporting the residential lighting, ceiling fan, and controls industry.

“Eric has served the ALA admirably. He is respected and appreciated by all that know him,” said ALA Board of Governors Chair Richard Alan, owner and president of Richard Alan & Associates. “His integrity and his character are beyond reproach. He is a friend and a trusted advisor, and in many ways, a mentor to me and many others in our industry.”

As for many, the past few years have brought challenges and opportunities to Jacobson and his family. He and his wife, Kyla, have supported Kyla’s father through an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, and ultimately, his passing, as well as caring for Kyla’s mother following a diagnosis with dementia.

Throughout this time, Kyla and her sister have stepped in to run their family’s commercial real estate and energy investment business in Oklahoma. Jacobson will bring his leadership and business experience to join Kyla and her family as they continue to carry on and drive their family business to the next level.

As the transition takes place, Jacobson will support and provide leadership to ALA in every way possible, as well as be available for consultation.

A dedicated search committee composed of ALA Board and Committee members has been designated by the ALA Executive Committee to assist in the selection of a new president and CEO. The committee members include:

• Laurie Gross, 2023 ALA Board Chair; President, Gross Electric
• Rick Seidman, 2023 ALA Board Chair-elect; President & CEO, Quoizel
• Richard Alan, 2022 ALA Board Chair; Owner and President, Richard Alan & Associates
• Cathy Choi, 2023 ALA Board Member; President, Bulbrite
• Clark Linstone, Former ALA Board Chair and 2023 Government Engagement Chair; President and COO, Lamps Plus

“We will seek to find the best of the best to fill Eric’s shoes,” added Richard Alan. “All candidates are welcome and encouraged to apply, and we will begin the arduous task of vetting these candidates to determine who shall lead us all into a new era.”

Of his retirement from ALA, Jacobson said, “As with most of us in this industry, I have spent a majority of my life in our lighting family and hope you will include me as part of it forever. Thank you for the opportunity to serve and lead you. It has been an honor and a pleasure.”

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