Connecticut Lighting Centers is proud to be a participating vendor of the 2013 Project Home. Project Home is a partnership between FOX CT, Lovely Development and the Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Greater Hatford that built a home from the ground up.
Connecticut Lighting Centers provided all the lighting and ceiling fans for the home. Lighting fixtures included a foyer fifteen-light chandelier, kitchen pendants, bathroom vanity lights and flush mounts, a bedroom ceiling fan, a dining room pendant and chandelier, numerous trend setting table lamps, outdoor lanterns and much more.
The finished home was open to the public for tours in May. Net proceeds from the sale of the home will benefit member programs and services of the Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Greater Hartford. Proceeds from the home tours will benefit Camp Courant, a free summer program for Hartford area children that helps them develop positive relationships, learn and have fun.
David Director, President and Owner of Connecticut Lighting Centers, speaks with Ray Dunaway on WTIC New Talk 1080 radio about how Connecticut Lighting Centers is a one stop shopping experience. Connecticut Lighting Centers is not only your source for Lighting, Fans, Decorative Hardware and Home Accents, but so much more! From lamp shades, lighting controls, LEDs and bulbs, mirrors, clocks, wall art, wine holders, unique gifts, door chimes, mail boxes to so much more-the choices are endless! Listen to the full WTIC News Talk 1080 radio interview with Ray Dunaway here>>.
At the 2013 Dallas International Lighting Market, Connecticut Lighting Centers won the 2012 HomeWorks Job of the Year Award from Lutron. This prestigious annual award is chosen from entries all across North America.
Jim Meltzer, Outside Sales Manager, was responsible for designing a whole-home lighting control system for an exclusive 18,000 square foot home using the Lutron HomeWorks QS system. HomeWorks QS is a sophisticated system that offers peace of mind with state of the art whole-home controls that are easy to use, have energy saving benefits and easily integrates with third party systems.
The Award-Winning HomeWorks QS Project Included:
- 233 zones that are controlled by Remote Power Modules, Hybrid Keypads, wireless switches, wireless dimmers and even a control for holiday decorations.
- 43 keypads, three table top controls and a garage entry system.
- 29 countdown timers in the closets and mechanical rooms.
- A variety of motorized shades including roller shades and venetian blinds for windows and entries for privacy and sun remediation.
The HomeWorks QS system in this home is still growing with requests for added controls. The latest request is to integrate a Pentair pool system that can be controlled by the Lutron HomeWorks QS system.
“The monumental task of programming 288 buttons, the garage entry, and all of the time clock programs ended up being great fun. Seeing the homeowners reaction to how this system works reminds me of taking a kid to Disney for the first time,” said Jim.
Jim has over 40 years of experience in the lighting industry and his specialties include Whole-Home Lighting Controls, Landscape Lighting and Custom Lighting Design.
“We are very proud of Jim. His efforts have earned Connecticut Lighting Centers two prestigious awards including the 2011 Five-Star Showroom of the Year by Lutron. His passion and knowledge for Lighting Controls is an extremely valuable asset,” said David Director, President and Owner of Connecticut Lighting Centers.
Want to learn more about Whole-Home Lighting Controls and shades for your home or business? Visit our showrooms and see these systems in action with our Interactive Lutron display. Our lighting experts can explain how they work, how to install and which option is best for you.
By Nicole Bowling, Residential Lighting Magazine
From leading the business his father founded 40 years ago to treating his employees with compassion – and vendors with tough love – this year’s Residential Lighting Industry Leadership Award winner David Director of Connecticut Lighting Centers represents a true legacy.
Like many people in the lighting industry, David Director literally grew up in the business. In high school, he started working at his father’s showroom, Connecticut Lighting Centers, sweeping the floors and working in the warehouse. Fast-forward 30-something years and Director is owner and President of the company, which now has two locations plus an offshoot, Restoration Lighting Gallery. He’s an active member of the American Lighting Assn. (ALA) and many other non-lighting related nonprofits, a father of three, and a respected and well-known businessman.
And, although he’s made some moves since his warehouse days, he still has a passion for lighting. “In college, I would drive to the store and work there on the weekends and can quite honestly say that I loved what I was doing,” Director says. “And I still love what I do today.”
An Industry Family
Director’s father, Art, started Connecticut Lighting Centers in 1972. David’s late mother, Edythe, also worked in the store after leaving her job as a teacher’s aide and brought decorative accessories, table lamps and floor lamps to its inventory.
Because his father was “old school,” Director was involved in all aspects of the business. Although he says he briefly considered a career as a gym teacher before realizing it wouldn’t be a fruitful path, Director started full-time at the showroom in 1981 as a salesman on the showroom floor, then ventured out as an Outside Sales Manager, then came back to the store as Sales Manager. In 1994, Art officially retired and David became President.
“I’m really fortunate,” Director says. “I had a father who left me a business that was debt-free. He never cared about how big we were, but instead, how profitable we were. As my father developed my business acumen over the years, it was always about the bottom line — and, equally as important as the bottom line, our people. You have to integrate the two.”
This standard — to take care of your staff — still reigns supreme today. The 94 employees at Connecticut Lighting Centers and Restoration Lighting Gallery are provided with health insurance and a 401k plan, and even during the recent economic downturn, they didn’t endure any pay cuts or layoffs.
“My people need me more when times are tough than when times are good,” Director says. “So for me, it was even more important to stand behind them and do whatever I could do to support them so that when things come back, the feeling is mutual.”
Connecticut Lighting Centers Vice President and General Manager Neil Fleisher says this is one of the reasons why he likes going to work everyday. “I admire that David is always looking out for the well-being of his employees, which he refers to as his ‘extended family,’” Fleisher says. “He has built an organization where you don’t feel like your job is in jeopardy.”
Director has shaped his business into a successful organization and mainstay in Hartford, CT, while also making his own mark on the lighting industry. He’s acquired many friends through his work and they speak highly of him, as a businessman and a friend.
Longtime buddies Jack Fleischer, owner of Hermitage Lighting, and Dean Gottesman, Executive Vice President at Shanor/Royalite Lighting Centers — both cultivated from their own family businesses — have known Director for nearly 30 years. They commend his savvy and work ethic.
“David is a very astute businessman who takes advantage of every opportunity,” Fleischer says.
“He’s a very dynamic person,” says Gottesman. “When he gets involved in something, he goes in full force.”
This proves to be true in and out of business. Described as a workaholic, Director, a Certified Lighting Consultant (CLC®), regularly works 18-hour days, six days a week. He serves on the board of Liberty Bank and several nonprofit boards including the Rushford Center, Middlesex United Way, Connecticut Retail Merchants Assn., Quinnipiac University Business School Advisory Board and the Middlesex County Community Foundation. He organizes two charity golf tournaments and tries never to miss any of his childrens’ athletic games.
“There’s more than just the business, and that’s why I work as many hours as I do. To me, giving back to the community is really important — it’s on the top of my list,” Director says.
Director credits his wife, Carol, with making his success possible. “She’s put up with me working seven days a week for almost 20 years, on top of all the boards and other activities I’m involved in. She’s been incredibly supportive through it all.”
Getting Things Done
Director is the first to admit that sometimes he can be tough to deal with. “But, it is what it is,” he says matter-of-factly. “I’m that way because my employees are number one.”
Quoizel President Rick Seidman agrees. “David can be very critical at times,” Seidman says. “If you don’t know him well, you might take it the wrong way. But I know he’s that way because he wants to take everything to the next level and better his business. Honestly, I wish I had 100 David Directors who would get on the phone and tell me when something is not right.”
Fortunately, Director’s industry involvement and knowledge help to make his opinion one worth listening to. He’s been an ALA member since the start of his career and, since 2001, has been involved in more than 15 ALA committees, panels and groups, most recently the Membership Campaign Committee, which had recruited 121 new members this year as of September’s ALA Conference.
“David always has been a supporter of ALA’s numerous programs over the many years that I have known him,” says Dick Upton, President/CEO of ALA. “Whether he is asked to actively recruit new members for ALA or help us grow the consumer outreach effort of the BiNational Advertising and PR Program, David always steps up to the plate.”
In fact, Director’s readiness to work on behalf of the greater industry good is a key reason he was nominated for this year’s Industry Leadership Award. Art Langlais of the Langlais Group nominated Director, citing his recent successful efforts to get a favorable rebate for independent lighting retailers in the entire state of Connecticut — even Director’s own competition.
“He did this for the benefit of the Connecticut lighting industry and paid 100 percent of the costs from his own pocket,” Langlais wrote in his nomination. “I doubt his competitors have any idea what he did for them. He is truly a supporter of the lighting industry, not just of his own success.”
With Connecticut Lighting Centers celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, Director is building on a solid foundation as he looks to the future. He sees the business expanding, introducing different product groups into his stores. A good example of that is the new hardware business that just opened in September as part of Connecticut Lighting Centers. He’s also bringing in the next generation to his family business; his older son, Todd, began working for him full-time two years ago.
“Retail is a difficult industry, which makes it fun for me,” Director says. “It’s also very dynamic, which can make it exciting, but I didn’t really think too much about that. The challenge of the tough industry keeps me going.”
Regardless of the success of his business, however, Director said he hopes he’s remembered for what he’s given back. “I always tell my kids: There’s only one thing people remember — your name and what kind of person you were. That’s really what it’s all about. If you can use your business to help your employees, make a decent living, but most importantly give back, that’s what it’s all about.”
David Director, President and Owner of Connecticut Lighting Centers, and Jim Fellows, Hardware Manager, speak with Ray Dunaway on WTIC New Talk 1080 radio about our new Decorative Hardware Showroom in our Hartford location. Listen to the full WTIC News Talk 1080 radio interview with Ray Dunaway here>>.
“Decorative Hardware is the jewelry for your house,” Jim Fellows explains. Decorative Hardware includes cabinet pulls, door pulls, hinges, doorknobs and knockers, bathroom accessories and more. All of these products are functional, but also accent your home–making them both decorative and functional.
The key is that Connecticut Lighting Centers is bringing the same tradition of superior customer service to the Hardware industry—making it fun and exciting to shop for Hardware. We have knowledgeable Hardware Specialists on hand that are dedicated to assisting all your Hardware needs.
“Adding Hardware was a no-brainer,” added Jim. Now, Connecticut Lighting Centers can easily coordinate Lighting with Hardware to better accent your home. It also creates a one-stop shopping destination for all your Lighting, Fans, Decorative Hardware and Home Accent needs.
Some of the Hardware vendors include many that are made in the U.S.A., as well as right here in Connecticut such as Colonial Bronze.
During the 2012 American Lighting Assn. (ALA) Conference held in Scottsdale, AZ, Sept. 9-11, Residential Lighting presented its annual Industry Leadership Award to David Director from Connecticut Lighting Centers.
A lifelong member of the lighting industry, Director serves as President of Connecticut Lighting Centers, which was started by his parents, Arthur and Edythe, in 1972. Over the past 31 years, Director has been a leader in both ALA and his local community.
Art Langlais of the Langlais Group says he chose to nominate Director because of his recent successful efforts to get a favorable rebate for independent lighting retailers in Connecticut. “He did this for the benefit of the Connecticut lighting industry and paid 100 percent of the costs from his own pocket,” Langlais says. “I doubt his competitors have any idea what he did for them. He is truly a supporter of the lighting industry, not just of his own success.”
Director thanked his colleagues and looked to the future of the lighting business in his acceptance speech at Conference.
“I believe this industry is now at the most impactful crossroads that we have been at since I started my career,” Director said. “And, like I tell my own employees, we either grow or we die, the choice is ours.”
Residential Lighting presents its Industry Leadership award to an individual who exemplifies service and leadership in the lighting industry. Nominees were announced in the May issue and magazine readers voted online for the winner. Past winners include Fanimation President Nathan Frampton, Quoizel President Rick Seidman and Fredrick Ramond founder Fred Glassman.
Article From Residential Lighting – www.residentiallighting.com