Keynote Speakers

Robert Stevenson is an internationally recognized speaker and author of the books How To
Soar Like an Eagle in a World Full Of Turkeys and 52 Essential Habits for Success. This formerAll-American athlete has owned several companies; sold internationally in more than 20 countries; established and maintained hundreds of accounts worldwide; and managed a worldwide sales force. He can be reached through his website at

Zia Eftekhar is a highly respected 40-year veteran of the lighting industry and currently serves as CEO of Philips Professional Luminaires North America. Since 1992 he has been the president of Lightolier and a director of The Genlyte Group, the publicly traded parent of Lightolier acquired by Philips in 2008. Eftekhar is a past chairman of the ALA Board of Governors and is also presently active as a board member and advisor to a number of industry associations and educational institutions.
Rick Leaman is the president and CEO of OSRAM SYLVANIA, the North American operation of OSRAM GmbH, a Siemens company. He began his career at SYLVANIA in 1984 as a senior industrial engineer and held successive positions until being promoted to president and general manager of the company’s automotive joint venture, Valeo Sylvania, in 2001.
Jon Schallert teaches businesses and communities how to reinvent themselves into “consumer destinations.” He speaks to audiences around the country on his 14-step Destination Business strategy, which he developed after more than 25 years of on-site consultations with small business owners. He can be reached through his websites at and

John Arnold is a leading marketing expert, author, speaker, trainer and consultant specializing in marketing advice for small businesses, franchises, associations and organizations. John is the author of several marketing books including Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, E-Mail Marketing for Dummies and the forthcoming book Mobile Marketing for Dummies.

Terry Brock is an internationally recognized speaker and trainer in technology, the Internet and marketing. He works with small businesses to help them increase sales. Terry gives real-world examples to help his clients save money and build solid business profit.

Caldora Lighting Design is a recognized leader in the design, merchandising and selling of lighting products. Denis Caldora has redesigned hundreds of lighting showrooms and presented seminars to thousands of lighting professionals. He is a monthly contributor to Home Lighting & Accessories magazine.

John Cutler is an attorney based in Washington, D.C. who specializes in freight transportation, logistics and regulatory issues. He was the attorney ALA retained to successfully challenge the trucking industry’s antitrust exemption for collective ratemaking.

Terry McGowan, FIES, LC, ALA director of engineering and technology, has more than 40 years’ experience in the lighting industry, in part with GE Lighting in Cleveland and as executive director of the Lighting Research Office of the Electric Power Research Institute. Today, he serves as technical committee chair for the International Dark Sky Association (IDS), is a member of the International Commission of Illumination and owns a lighting consulting business, Lighting Ideas, Inc.

Jack Miller began his career when he purchased a lighting and electrical store in Cleveland in the late 1970s. He expanded to a second location, and then subsequently sold his business in 1990. He immediately joined Kichler Lighting and has held a number of positions since his hire. He is currently the senior product manager for landscape lighting.

Fred Oberkircher, FIESNA, Educational IALD, IDA, LC, is an emeritus associate professor at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, as well as the Philips DayBrite Ambassador for Lighting Education. He has a Bachelor of Architecture and a Master of Science in Architecture from Penn State University. He is a fellow and current past president of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America.

Bryan C. Shirley, CPMR, recently retired as president and CEO of MANA, the largest representatives’ association in the U.S. As a visiting professor at Arizona State University, he teaches two classes for the Certified Professional Manufacturers’ Representative program, of which he is a 1994 graduate. He recently received the Ed Lalle Industry Faculty Award for excellence in teaching.

Nicki Weiss, founder and president of Toronto-based SalesWise, is an internationally recognized sales management coach and workshop leader. Since 1992, she has trained business executives, independent reps and entrepreneurs with a desire and dedication to help them improve their bottom line.