Jul 28, 2022

By Frank Agraz

Frank J Agraz, Jr.
Frank J Agraz, Jr., LC

As we transition into another fiscal year, I can’t help but notice the changing landscape all around us. Our community continues to deal with the lingering effects of COVID, supply-chain delays and financial burden. Although our Society struggled to balance in-person education and outreach with health-related priorities and government mandates, our Regional, District and Section leadership found ways to navigate the crisis. It seems that every IES generation has had its fair share of challenges and opportunities. 

When I first entered the lighting industry nearly 30 years ago, agents, distributors and contractors alike struggled with technology growing pains such as silver-film troffer reflector kits, 480-V electronic ballasts and compact fluorescent dimming. The big three manufacturers at the time (GE, Sylvania and Philips) were releasing revolutionary new systems that forced lighting practitioners to rethink winning value-add propositions to their customers. And, the IES also had its hands full with the increased rate of innovation. When the 8th edition of the Lighting Handbook was released in 1993, the standards committees worked continuously (although slowly) to update Recommended Practice documents as new systems challenged the status quo.

Nearly three decades later, the IES continues to lead the lighting community as a standards development organization—and the status quo continues to be challenged. In order to meet the needs of our members in today’s era of information access and education, the Lighting Library ® was released in 2020—and the IES made a fundamental shift from analog to digital.

Meanwhile, we’ve been busy developing new standards such as the recently published ANSI/IES RP-44-21, Recommended Practice: Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation, and ANSI/IES RP-45-21, Recommended Practice: Horticultural Lighting. A review process of several other environments including videoconference rooms, office spaces, and sports and recreational area lighting is underway. And, our new Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Respect (DEIR) Committee promotes a community that is respectful of all members and serves to identify standards, best practices, and related frameworks governing diversity and inclusion globally.

I am honored and humbled to accept today’s Society challenges and deliver results based on our strategic plan as the 118th president of the IES. I would like to thank Antonio Garza, James Potts and Susanne Seitinger, who have provided guidance and inspiration during their years of service. I am also pleased to welcome our 2022-2023 Board Members: Carl Bloomfield; Rebecca Stuart Connor; Amardeep Dugar; Liliana Gonzalez; Tanya T. Hernandez; Jeremy Maxie; Michael Myer; Kelly O’Connor; Ira Rothman; Kelly Seeger, Jared Smith and Billy Tubb. I look forward to working with you to improve the Society experience.

I would also like to express gratitude to our dedicated and hardworking IES staff. The Board appreciates all of your efforts as we maneuvered through the process of choosing our new executive director, Colleen Harper. The entire IES team continues to focus on its mission: to improve the lighted environment by bringing together those with lighting knowledge and by translating that knowledge into actions that benefit the public.

Whatever challenges or opportunities lie ahead, I am comforted in knowing that we will learn and grow together as a community. May we accept the things that we cannot change, have the courage to change the things we can, and have the wisdom to know the difference.