How long have you worked at Western Montana Lighting? What’s your job or title today? Have you always had this role at WML?
I’ve worked for Western Montana Lighting since 1998, with a couple short breaks to live and work in Scottsdale, Arizona. Most recently, I’ve been back since 2015 and I love being here. I’ve always done lighting sales while also managing the warehouse.
How long have you lived in Missoula? What, in your opinion, is the best thing about living in Montana?
I was born in Missoula and raised in the Flathead Valley. From 1989-1998 and 2000-2002, I lived in Phoenix and Scottsdale. Moving away made me realize that Montana will always be my home. I love the scenery and the seasons. At first, it was nice to have blue sky and warm weather all the time in Arizona, but I realized how much I love four seasons.
What certifications have you earned or expertise have you gained over the years?
In over 25 years, I’ve gathered technical knowledge of lighting and ceiling fans. I have a lot of experience solving technical problems in ceiling fans and I’ve seen almost every type of problem. I can always provide feedback on the best solutions to service fans. I am also working towards gaining my certification as a Lighting Specialist.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
I love solving problems for people and making them happy. People often comment about being glad that they stopped in to see us for help. I really love making custom lamps and chandeliers out of objects people bring in. I’ve made custom lighting out of ox yokes, rotary phones, and a motor with a spark plug switch. Right now, I’m working on a chandelier made out of a vintage metal chicken egg incubator with lighting components from an old Tiffany lamp.
Tell us a memorable story about working at Western Montana Lighting.
The opportunity to work on the lighting configuration on the star for the national Christmas tree this year was memorable. My favorite part of the design was the simplicity of it. Drew, who’s the owner of Western Montana Lighting, and I worked on the design together and it only took me about an hour to figure out what the best solution would be for lighting, and we went with it.
Please share your top lighting tip or secret.
When trying to solve a lighting problem, start simple. Sometimes simple is the perfect solution, and you really can only learn that through years of experience.