By Jason and Shane Fisher
As we commemorate our company’s 40th Anniversary this spring, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on TLA’s history, share what we’ve learned and are doing now, and describe our vision for the future. We’d also like to thank and acknowledge everyone who has taken part in our journey, and welcome any new readers joining us on the blog today.
The Lighting Agency was co-founded in March 1980 by our father, Arthur Fisher, and his former partner Marv Logan. They launched their business as a lighting manufacturer’s representative with a team of four employees. They worked out of a small house in the Highlands, but purchased the current building we are working out of in 1982. Eighteen years later, the co-founders parted ways and divided their original territory. During this period, Art’s territory, which included Northern Colorado and Southern Wyoming, flourished under his leadership. Widely recognized as an industry leader and visionary, Art grew his business through a combination of customer focus, big-picture foresight, and a willingness to think-outside-the-box in regard to where the company and the lighting industry were headed.
Art was an industry icon, who took a 35,000-feet-high view in his approach to running his business.
Building a sustainable company culture was always a priority for Art. When he re-acquired his former partner’s share of the business in 2006, he infused the Colorado Springs based office with the same family-oriented, people-first culture that had always been the bedrock foundation of TLA’s personal relationship-building philosophy. This same philosophy was carried over to relationships with business partners and clients, and enabled Art to grow the company to 50 lines and 25 employees by the time we took over management in 2010. At the time of Art’s passing in 2018, our company had grown to encompass more than 150 lines and 60 employees.
We look at our team as one big family. We have a professional culture, but we like to have fun. Work hard, play hard definitely applies here.
As second-generation owners of an established and successful company, we’re working even harder to build upon the legacy of our father. Construction is a very stressful industry as a whole, so we try to be sensitive to the pressure our clients and employees experience in their jobs. We take an inclusive approach to understanding the individual circumstances of each of our team members, while also thinking ahead of how to keep our entire company working and productive even during difficult times. This mindset drives both our strategic planning and daily decision-making processes.
This is a relationship-oriented business. It feels like one big family and a privately-owned company. We care about our people, we care about our company.
Since 2010, we have continued to expand our capabilities and grow our team through new divisions, such as CSG. We have also challenged ourselves to stay ahead of our competition by integrating new technologies and designing novel strategies for creating more impactful experiences and connections within our industry. Our Manufacturer Showcases, hosted in our LoHi office, are a unique approach to bringing manufacturers and clients together in our state-of-the-art space for larger presentations. Utilizing the original building that our father purchased in 1980 when he founded the company to make these connections is very personal and meaningful to us. During our recent renovation, it was important to channel Art’s feeling of pride in the company he founded even as we reimagined both the physical space and the company’s continued growth and future evolution.
Plan ahead. Save for the future. Build a reserve.
As we all face uncertain times in 2020, our father’s mantra about planning ahead has become even more of a cornerstone of our leadership style and decision-making process. Even before the pandemic, we had begun to implement work-from-home capabilities for our teams. Having happy people fosters positive teamwork and heightened productivity. For us, becoming better and more effective leaders is crucial to overcoming this pandemic. We’ve challenged ourselves to become more nimble and flexible and to find new ways to stay in touch with our managers and teams to make sure they have all the resources they need to do their jobs remotely.
Reflecting on TLA’s legacy, our goal is to be bigger but better – growing our territories, and continuing to be at the forefront of technologies and capabilities.
From our perspective, lighting is really all about people. Our current team of 67 includes 30-year company veterans, graduates of the CU Lighting Design School, and people of a wide range of ages and professional experiences. Lighting has a profound ability to affect people’s mood, energy level and perception of space and colors. Given the critical nuances that inform a successful lighting design and installation, we like to be involved in our projects as early as possible to optimize aesthetic and function. We strive to add value by utilizing the latest technology and assisting the end user in finding the best solutions for their project while staying within the budget scope. Many of our projects are for schools, hospitals, and other care facilities where students, staff and residents spend many hours in indoors—which make our expertise an integral part in shaping their daily lived experiences for the better.
In closing, we’d like to invite you to explore our newly refreshed website and visit our EVENTS page for a calendar of upcoming webinars and virtual events.
Thanks again for joining us, and here’s to the next 40 years!
— Jason and Shane