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Pilot Mentorship Program 2021 Fosters Professional Growth and Paves the Way for Future Programs

Mentors and Mentees 2021

“The right mentor can leave a lasting impression and shape your career journey.

This was the premise on which we launched our mentorship program in 2021 that culminated at LightFair on Oct 29, 2021 in New York with a panel discussion moderated by Lytei’s Sam Koerbel.


Our goal in launching this program was to foster meaningful and personalized professional connections between experienced and emergent lighting industry professionals with the understanding that networking and some form of informal mentorship have always been a part of the LightFair experience. Our pilot program aimed to build upon the organic approach through a more streamlined process.

We set out to

• facilitate and support sustainable, effective connections that form the cornerstone of growth, learning, the future of lighting
• provide mentees the opportunity to delve deep into their chosen topics or areas of interest with their mentor
• provide mentors the opportunity to build their professional brand and that of their firm’s as they train and develop a pool of high-caliber emergent professionals
• create a dedicated channel for professional support and growth within the LightFair community

“The mentorship program created new relationships and gave young individuals an opportunity to grow personally and professionally. Hosting a live panel discussion and seeing their smiles first-hand was the biggest feel-good moment I had all week!” – Sam Koerbel

LightFair Mentorship Program

Program highlights

LightFair’s pilot mentorship program began in June of 2021 with eleven mentors and eleven mentees. They worked together over the course of six months and many of them came together at LightFair in October.

On Friday, October 29 the Design Theater hosted a Mentorship Q&A with Sam Koerbel from Lytei as moderator. The panelists included two mentors: Lee Brandt with HLB Lighting and Kathy Pryzgoda with LightstudioLA, and two mentees: Nishat Tasnim with Stantec and Justin Kobayashi with Clarknexsen. It was a great discussion and emphasized how important a mentorship program is.

“It was great to meet the next generation and learn about their aspirations to help guide them both critically, emotionally and hopefully inspirationally. I also loved that my mentee was thinking waaaayy outside of the box and it made me reflect on my own career and work. She will do great things and I am excited to have hopefully played a small part in fueling her spark.” – Sean O’Connor, Sean O’Connor Lighting, INC

“I really enjoyed my time as a mentor and would happily serve again. It was an opportunity to pass along insights I’ve gained in more than 40 years as a professional lighting designer to someone eager to learn. Gratifyingly, my mentee put a lot of my advice into the immediate application which evidently helped his standing within his organization. Our compatibility success was based on mutual generosity, honesty, inquisitiveness, and humor. Enjoyable for me and a career jump for him.” – Mark Loeffler, Loeffler Design

Following on the heels of the well-received 2021 program, we are working on offering a 2022 program; more information to come soon.

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