It has been one year since The Lighting Industry Association (LIA) announced Ayça Donaghy as the Association’s new Chief Executive Officer. At this time, she laid out her ambitious plans for her first 100 days in the role. Therefore, to celebrate the anniversary of her appointment, she is sharing how the organisation has worked to meet these goals.
With over 10 years of experience and senior positions in the electrical distribution and lighting industries, Ayça was selected as the perfect individual to take on the role of CEO and make a real difference from within the association. She says: “As the first year into my role as the CEO at the LIA closes, I want to provide an update on the incredible progress we have made in my first year. When I started, I recognised that the organisation needed new energy to create an environment for committed teams, engaged members, elevated alliances, increased visibility, and supporting sustainability. I am proud to say that we have made significant progress in achieving these goals.”
In terms of creating a committed team through increased recruitment, the LIA has focused on outreach and hiring for a range of new senior roles. This has included the appointment of a new Marketing Manager and a Business Administrator Apprentice, and the organisation is also currently recruiting for a Commercial and Training Manager, and a Technical Operations Manager.
The LIA has also seen its commitment to engaging members and reaching new members pay off through social media, networking, and events. The company’s LinkedIn following has reached over 11,000, and the social media presence of the organisation has also expanded to Instagram to reach new followers.
The LIA has hosted a range of events in 2023 which have gained excellent attendance and overwhelmingly positive feedback, including the AGM & Annual Lunch, the ICEL Emergency Lighting Conference 2023, and the Winter and Autumn Tech Forums 2023. Webinars have also been launched to success, such as the Tech Talks @ 2, Sustainability Illuminated, as well as the in-person Sustainability Illuminated Roundtable. The events calendar for 2024 is already impressive, with further events in the pipeline throughout the year to address key industry topics, and provide networking opportunities amongst our members, and the wider industry.
As well as cementing relationships with members, the LIA has also strengthened its alliances, connecting with leaders at partner organisations such as LightingEurope, CIBSE, SLL, ILP, HEA, IALD, EDA, ECA, BEAMA, CPA and Women in Lighting, to promote engagement and collaboration. The organisation has also built new relationships with companies that offer extension services that complement its work, including marketing support agencies, training, CRM, website providers, and associated organisations like ACID (Anti-Copying in Design) and MAKE UK.
Another key focus was on government advocacy and championing industry updates. The industry came together to shape our response to the Ecodesign Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) proposals, published by the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) on January 10th, 2023. This was led by the LIA, working within the Lighting Liaison Group (The LLG). The LIA provided its members with the necessary information to complete their DESNZ consultation returns and submitted an in-depth evidence document to DESNZ. DESNZ have since confirmed that ‘they are currently working with Ministers, and they will provide an update on the publication of the government’s response as soon as possible. They also offered guidance on the change in regulation to the energy labelling of lamps which came into effect on the 1st October 2023, allowing those in the industry to prepare for the deadline and ensure that products were sold before that date.
The LIA has also proven its dedication to supporting sustainability, through the successful launch of the TM66 Assured Product Verification Scheme. This innovative initiative was developed and fulfilled by the LIA and endorsed by CIBSE (Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers), aiming to advance circular economy practices within the lighting industry.
Ayça adds: “I am incredibly proud that my first year as CEO has seen so many significant changes arise within the organisation. We will continue to deliver to this excellent standard, striving to create a more engaging and supportive environment and working towards government and sustainability initiatives that benefit both our members and the wider lighting community.”