4:00 PM Seminar – A Conversation with Women in Lighting


This powerhouse roundtable of women in lighting will explore the role of women in lighting through personal history and career philosophies. What unique approaches to design and career choices do women make? Does the female perspective bring a sensitivity or even an aesthetic to a project that is qualitatively different from a male perspective? How do women constructively create equal partnerships and successes in our rapidly evolving industry? What strategies do women develop to mitigate overt or unintentional bias in the workplace, client meetings, or even in the projects themselves? Does the lighting industry suffer from the same equity issues seen in architecture or engineering? How do women in lighting deal with work-life balance, any salary inequity, or lack of recognition issues? All these topics and more will be on the table for what’s sure to be a lively discussion. The session will begin with presentations by all four speakers, followed by a panel discussion moderated by Melinda Lavalle. The last ten minutes of the session will be devoted to questions from the audience.

Learning Objectives
1. Find inspiration in the stories of successful women in light and an understanding of how to better achieve your own desired professional goals, as well as, consider what is a uniquely feminine sensitivity to workplace and a project’s built environment.

2. Identify skills that will help you lead and communicate successfully – in the design process and in performance reviews. 

3.Discover approaches that can help with work-life balance. 

4. Learn how to read the signs that a firm is a supportive culture where diverse people can succeed and be valued.

Approved for 1 IES CEU and 1 AIA LU

All Light! Seminars are free for Expo attendees. To register for the Expo click HERE. Expo registration does not guarantee a seat at the seminars - admission is on a first-come-first-served basis. To request CEU credits before the seminars click below.


Melinda LaValle, IES, Moderator & Speaker, Principal, CAL Lighting, San Francisco Bay Area - Moderator
Melinda is a Principal at CAL Lighting, a Bay Area manufacturer's representative agency, who has been working in the lighting field for more than 28 years. She began her career as a lighting designer in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where her projects included art galleries, private art collections and residences. Moving to San Francisco, Melinda joined CAL Lighting 22 years ago as a lighting salesperson, an experience that has extended her knowledge to a myriad of lighting projects from jails to wineries.

Faith Jewell, Assoc. IALD, IES, Senior Associate, Horton Lees Brogdan Lighting Design, San Francisco
Faith began her career in lighting design with Kardorff Ingenieure in Berlin, where she developed design expertise on several international projects, including the Palazzo Versace Dubai. A California native, Faith, received a Bachelor of Arts at the University of San Diego, with an emphasis in 3D Design. Her growing interest in the relationship between space and light led her to a Master of Arts in Architectural Lighting Design at the Hochschule Wismar in Northern Germany, one of the leading architectural lighting design programs internationally. In 2007, Faith returned to California and joined HLB, SF, where she is an integral part of leadership guiding her team on projects such as: the 290,000 sq. ft  Dropbox Headquarters, San Francisco, CA | PWP Landscape Architecture - Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, CA | SOM - Stanford Hoover Center and Office Building, Palo Alto, CA | Centerbrook Architects & Planners - The W Hotel and Residences, Austin, TX., and while at her prior firm Faith created the lighting design for | Andersson Wise Architects - Mission San Luis Rey, Oceanside, CA | ARG Architects.

Her professional affiliations include: Associate Member of International Association of Lighting Designers and Member, Illuminating Engineering Society of North America. She is on the Interior Design Department faculty at the California College of the Arts and a multiple presenter at IALD Enlighten Americas conferences. Lighting Design awards include: IES Section Award of Recognition - 140 New Montgomery Lobby San Francisco, CA;  IES Section Award of Recognition - Girls Inc. Simpson Center for Girls Oakland, CA; and  IES Award of Merit - Block 21, W Hotel & Condominiums Austin, TX.

Shu Jiang,  Assoc. IALD, IES, LC, LEED Green Associate, Lighting Designer, San Francisco
Recognized as one of "40 under 40” lighting designers by Lighting Magazine in 2017, Shu has successfully illuminated a wide variety of projects including museums, retail, educational facilities, corporate offices, hospitality venues and public spaces. Graduating with a master’s in Architectural Lighting Design from Hochschule Wismar in Germany, Shu has an excellent design and technical background from working at leading design consulting firms and prominent manufacturer. In 2007, Shu started her lighting career at Office for Visual Interaction (OVI) based in New York City. She has since then experienced different perspectives in lighting by working for ERCO, Auerbach Glasow, and most recently PritchardPeck Lighting. She grew up in China, studied in Germany, lived in New York and now settled in the San Francisco Bay Area, and now looks forward to continuing learning and sharing her experience with others. Shu is passionate about lighting and believes that lighting design can become a stronger profession if more people understand how much a lighting designer can contribute to a project. Shu is inspired by nature, music, culture and architecture. Outside of work, she is a member of the IES San Francisco section, and was a guest juror for Parsons School of Design from 2015 to 2016.

Toby Lewis, IES LC, Senior Lighting Designer, Arup, San Francisco
Toby brings an awareness of the influence culture has on design to her projects, whether it is national, artistic, or work culture, she believes it provides context relevant to design. In the SF Arup lighting team for the last 8 years she has lead a broad range of award winning projects from interiors, exteriors, facades, bridges, museums, and from EIRs to art installations. She grew up in Oregon, and prior to putting down roots in Oakland, CA, spent her early career traveling extensively through work; interning at Fisher Marantz Stone in New York City, in Goa, India, while working at Light@Work, and in Israel as construction manager for a start-up building pre-fabricated solar homes. Last Spring Toby worked from the Arup Madrid office further expanding her perspective on design through exposure to the cultures and architecture of the EU and Middle East region. Toby is a 2006 graduate of University of Colorado, Boulder; lighting educator at AAU and the AIA SFARE prep-course; and in 2018 has been named a top 40 under 40 lighting designer by Lighting Magazine. Toby's background gives her a unique perspective on what it means to be women in the lighting design field.