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IALD CEO to Step Down

CHICAGO – The International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) announces Marsha L. Turner, CAE will step down as Chief Executive Officer of the association and Executive Director of the IALD Education Trust after 18 years effective 30 June 2021.

The IALD Board of Directors has selected the current Chief Operating Officer Ashley Robbins, CAE, IOM as Interim Chief Executive Officer effective upon Turner’s departure. Robbins will also act as Interim Executive Director for the IALD Education Trust.

During her tenure, Turner worked in partnership with the IALD Board of Directors to advance the association’s mission of promoting the global profession of lighting design through leadership and advocacy. She also worked in tandem with the IALD Education Trust Board of Directors as Executive Director to foster the future of lighting design by supporting education and connecting students to future colleagues.

Under her leadership, IALD’s globalization flourished and the association’s Region and Chapter network grew from a handful of chapters into the robust international footprint of 30 regions and chapters globally it enjoys today. Through these efforts, the IALD Region and Chapter network has significantly increased activities on the local level while supporting the global achievements of the profession and membership. Membership in the association has also seen exponential growth over the last 18 years with more than 1,500 members currently globally.

Professional education and advocacy became cornerstones of the work under Turner. The Enlighten Conferences evolved from a single one-day conference to a fully developed suite of multi-day international conferences featuring internationally renowned speakers. Likewise, the association’s public policy and regulatory affairs efforts to advocate for the profession have been successful in places like the EU, UK, Australia, and USA. Turner also helped establish the global certification program for assessing proficiency in lighting design, the Certified Lighting Designer (CLD) credential. The CLD is the first evidence-based certification in architectural lighting design.

“Marsha’s leadership and dedication to the association have set the IALD up for success long after her departure,” said IALD President Douglas Leonard, IALD. “Personally and professionally, I am grateful for the time I have had to work with her. She has truly led IALD to deliver on the ‘I’ in its name, and I am impressed with how far the association has come during her tenure.”

“I have seen the IALD grow and thrive during my time here and I am pleased to have had a part in its successes,” said Turner. “I have been privileged to work closely with the best and most visionary volunteer leaders I have ever met, and I know, with IALD’s amazing leadership and in Ashley Robbins’ capable hands, the future holds great things for this association, its members and the lighting design profession.”

Robbins steps into the roles of Interim CEO and Interim Executive Director after eight years with the IALD working closely with the members as Director of Membership and most recently Chief Operating Officer. She has earned the prestigious Certified Association Executive credential and her previous association management experience includes the Australian Institute of Management and the Chicago Medical Society.


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