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April 26, 2022   

IES Takes Action to Manage Costs Amidst Lower Revenues

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Organization takes steps to right-size payroll and expenses


NEW YORK, NY  –  The Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) has reduced staff and expenses as part of an effort to “introduce new efficiencies that will support the organization’s sustainability” – according to a statement from the organization.

Last month, inside.lighting outlined the financial strengths, weaknesses and risks of the organization and explored “How is the IES Faring Amidst Revenue Decline?”  This week, concurrent with a staff reduction, the IES has combined departments that were previously separate: the Standards and Education teams are now combined into one as are the previously separate Membership and Marketing teams.  The IES staff headcount in June 2020 was 28.  Today, the IES website lists 20 staffers. 

The conference & trade show revenue streams of the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) are not expected to imminently return to pre-pandemic levels, so the organization – and its new leadership – are seemingly taking measures to right-size itself and turn around its multi-year streak of financial losses.

Pre-pandemic Lightfair contributions of $3+ million and revenues from other live events are expected to be much lower in the foreseeable future.  Sustaining memberships, which are usually corporation memberships in the several-thousand-dollar range, have dropped significantly.  Thanks to $20+ million in pre-COVID assets, the organization has been able to sustain itself while enduring a leadership change over the last year.

One year ago, Executive Director, Tim Licitra, announced that he was leaving the IES.  Daniel Salinas filled in as the Interim Executive Director until new Executive Director, Colleen Harper took over on March 14, 2022.  Harper seems to be taking swift measures to help bring payroll and other costs in-line with the expected revenues of the organization.  


Related: How is the IES Faring Amidst Revenue Decline? »


Below:  IES Sustaining Membership totals and Net Income FY2019-2021

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Statement from the Illuminating Engineering Society:

In an effort to introduce new efficiencies that will support the organization’s sustainability well into the future, the Illuminating Engineering Society has restructured its internal departments, unifying the standards and education departments into one group to optimize the market intelligence, knowledge and content that the Society produces and provides to the industry. The organization is also combining its membership and marketing teams to streamline engagement opportunities and communications with our members, volunteers and constituents.

The IES remains committed to its mission of improving the lighted environment by bringing together those with lighting knowledge, and by translating that knowledge into actions that benefit the public. With over 50 technical committees comprised of over 1000 volunteers, the IES will continue to develop and publish standards as an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Accredited Standards Developer. The IES also believes strongly in supporting research initiatives that advance the industry, and will continue to pursue relevant research opportunities with our partner organizations. 

While this restructuring did result in some staffing redundancies, the IES remains committed to operating effectively, and to developing and delivering the resources, networking opportunities and content that our membership, and the broader community of lighting professionals, has come to rely upon.




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