September 16, 2022
5 Things to Know: Week Ending September 17
Lutron to build a new U.S. factory. Leadership changes at some architectural lighting brands.
Here's a roundup of some of the week's happenings curated to help lighting people stay informed.
1. Mlazgar vs. Focal Point update
In April, lighting agent Mlazgar sued Focal Point in federal court alleging that Focal Point violated Minnesota's Termination of Sale Representatives Act when it terminated the Wisconsin sales representation agreement without good cause or ninety‐day notice. Both Mlazgar and JTH line cards cite Focal Point as a represented manufacturer.
In its Motion to Dismiss filing, Focal Point argued that the contracted dispute resolution procedures were not followed by Mlazgar and that Mlazgar didn't state a substantive claim. The court denied Focal Point's Motion to Dismiss, and the case continues. The parties will soon determine timing and deadlines for fact discovery, expert discovery and other motions.
2. Leadership Change at SPI Lighting
Wisconsin-based SPI Lighting is undergoing a leadership change at the top. Rick Meyer has left the company after serving as President since 2020 with previous roles in sales, marketing, and product management since 2015. Lighting industry veteran Bill Foley has joined SPI to serve as Interim President until the company appoints a permanent President.
SPI is an independent brand of Bukas Lighting Group, which also owns other lighting brands including FC Lighting, SSL Lighting, and Paramount Lighting.
3. New Head of Legrand's Lighting Brands
Legrand is expanding the responsibilities of Tom Lowery who has been President of the company's Building Controls Systems Division (Wattstopper, Vantage Controls, Shading Systems) to now include Legrand's lighting brands; Focal Point, Finelite, Pinnacle Architectural Lighting, Kenall and OCL. The direct responsibility for the lighting brands were previously on the very full plate of John Selldorff, CEO Legrand North and Central America, to whom Lowery continues to report.
4. European Theatrical Lighting Acquisition
Robe Lighting, a Czech-based leader in theatrical lighting and controls, recently announced the acquisition of Artistic Licence, leaders in the design & manufacture of lighting control products and originator of Art-Net.
5. Lutron to Build New Factory in Virginia
In 2000, Lutron made its first-ever acquisition by acquiring shading company, VIMCO (Virginia Iron and Metal Co. Inc.,) which gave the worldwide leader in lighting controls its first facility in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Recently, Lutron has announced plans to build a new 145,000-square-foot facility in Ashland, Virginia that is expected to increase the company’s manufacturing capacity and create approximately 200 new jobs.