Already a seasoned entrepreneur with 20 years in recycling and re-manufacturing, Michael decided his second act should be a bit more creative. As he worked toward an education in landscape design, an introduction to lighting changed his course. The rest as they say is history.
Michael founded NatureScape Lighting in 2004 and jumped in with two feet. He joined the AOLP (then LVLIA) in 2007. In 2011, after completing his commitment to a local landscape organization’s board as treasurer, he became more involved in committee work. He currently serves on the Awards and the Conference Planning Committees.
Forever the student, Michael is always on the hunt for new information, solid educational opportunities and sharing that knowledge with colleagues and clients. In addition to his memberships in many organizations, Mike’s pet philanthropic endeavor is the biennial Mansion in May designer show house hosted by the Women’s Association of Morristown Medical Center. A “repeat offender,” NatureScape Lighting has consistently illuminated the grounds of these magnificent properties to serve the committee’s after-dark activities. “It is by far the most rewarding charity I’ve been involved with,” says Michael.
Mike and his bride of 21 years, Lisa, have two junior lighting designers, Alexa and Michael, who often accompany Dad on after-dark critiques. They live in the green foothills of north-central New Jersey where they all preach the gospel of good lighting. EMAIL
Andy Thomas is the owner and sole proprietor of Viewpoint Lighting, a landscape and architectural lighting design-build firm in the Sacramento region of California. Andy has been a licensed landscape contractor in the state of California since January 2006. EMAIL
Gerry is the owner and president of Terradek Lighting, Inc. Gerry has been involved in the Outdoor Lighting Industry for the last twelve years, first as a Lighting Design and Installation Contractor and now as a National Wholesale Distributor specializing in outdoor lighting products. Gerry is an AOLP Certified Low Voltage Lighting Technician. In addition to the AOLP Board, he serves on the AOLP Membership Committee. Gerry is certified by the State of Minnesota to provide continuing education training for the Minnesota Low Voltage Lighting license. He sits on the Landscape Lighting Committee of the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association. In addition he is the AOLP representative to the U.L. Standards Technical Panel for UL 1838 and UL 2108. When not involved in lighting, Gerry likes spending time with his family, fishing, golfing, and playing poker. He has two children, one in college (Francesca) and one in elementary school (Antonio). Gerry and his wife Debbie have been married for 31 years but have known each other since the 6th grade. Gerry and Debbie grew up in San Antonio, TX, went to college in Boston, MA, and now live in Minneapolis, MN. EMAIL
William (Bill) E. Smith, Jr. established Westar Illumination in 2003 after working 11 years for Sallie Mae and eight years as a principal at Willow Garden Design. He currently serves as the President and principle designer of WEStar Illumination. He received his Bachelors of Science Degree in Commerce from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA; and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, and Masters in Information Management from Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia. Bill prides himself on his ability to listen to and understand his client’s needs and to translate that understanding into the proper mood in the landscape.
Kyle Adamson, owner and lighting designer at Red Oak Outdoor Lighting in Lexington, KY. He graduated from University of Kentucky with a degree in Landscape Architecture. Kyle worked in Dallas, TX Atlanta, GA and Charleston, SC after college and returned to Lexington, KY in 2001. He started Red Oak Outdoor Lighting in 2006 and loves what he does.
Matthew was born and raised in Atlanta, GA, where he started Firefly Lighting LLC in 1999. Matthew had such a passion for the industry that he soon realized that he could not just do low voltage outdoor lighting, which led to Firefly Lighting now installing lighting systems for all sorts of needs, with the main focus on residential landscape lighting. Matthew resides in Roswell, GA with his wife, son and daughter. EMAIL
Greensboro native, Pete attended Grimsley High School and graduated from Appalachian State University with a degree in Business. Pete runs the day-to-day operations at Southern Exposure and oversees all aspects of the company making sure a high level of excellence is maintained in every area. Pete continues to take multiple courses every year to keep up-to-date on the latest trends, techniques and requirements within the industry. Pete is a Certified Low Voltage Lighting Technician (CLVLT) and is enrolled in the COLD (Certified Outdoor Lighting Designer) program as well as an ICPI (Interlocking Concrete Paver Institute) and SRWI (Segmented Retaining Wall Institute) certified installer. Married to Natalie for 12 years and together they have two children, Davis & Clyde.
Lisa Ruggiers is AOLP’s Executive Director, working with the leadership for the past five years. Lisa has the staff leadership role and works with the AOLP Board of Directors, the Executive Committee and the Bylaws & Policy Committee. Lisa has over 19 years of non-profit experience focused mostly on trade associations in the areas of expertise ranging from strategic direction, budgeting and organizational management to public relations/marketing and event planning. EMAIL