It was Angie Alvarado’s experience in the lighting industry that caught SDLA’s eye, but it’s her passion for retrofit lighting that makes the two a perfect fit. Angie not only leads our Energy Sales department, but she is also a lead singer for a band called Eva’s Lyric. Angie loves kicking old lighting to the curb, just like her eight-year-old son loves kicking butt in karate. Eco-conscious lighting solutions and family are what fuels Angie’s mission, and her expertise fuels ours!

Q: How did you get started in the lighting agency?

AA: My story in lighting began 30 years ago after I served time in the Navy. My brother-in-law owned an electrical contracting firm in Los Angeles and brought me onto his team. Since then, I’ve done everything in lighting, from electrical contracting, electrical distribution, lighting manufacturing to owning my own agency. Innovative Lighting Solutions, Inc., was the brainchild of my passion for lighting and giving back to mother earth. I quickly became recognized as a lighting solutions provider for the lighting retrofit industry as I brought energy reduction solutions to the San Diego marketplace while trying to pioneer innovative technologies that have been successfully vetted and used in Europe & Asia for over 30 years, and in the USA for the last 10 years.

Q: What attracted you to SDLA?

AA: Once I started my own agency, I never imagined working for a big rep. My passion is fueled by energy reduction and that was an avenue large agencies just weren’t exploring at the time. In recent years, CA code has changed making energy-efficient lighting a requirement, and that’s where I come in. When Danny approached me about the opportunity to join SDLA to expand their retrofit business, I saw a great opportunity to have a big rep like SDLA support my mission by making it a priority and providing me with the training & support necessary in order to focus on the energy reduction Retrofit Market. I was taken aback at first, but then I realized the platform I’d have if we joined forces would be hard to ignore in the marketplace.

Q: What’s your day to day like in the office?

AA: Everything is immediate in my line of the business. Once I explain to clients the thousands of dollars they can save by upgrading their lighting & controls, they want immediate action. My day is always filled with job walks, on-site audits and then providing the client with a quick turnkey solution. Whether I’m meeting with clients or taking utility courses or working with the lighting & controls teams, my day is at full capacity. The beauty of my role at SDLA is that I still get to work with some of my old clients- people I met along the way over the last 30 years. For example, one of my first clients was the Pechanga Casino. I upgraded their parking garage lighting 7 years ago, and sure enough, they happen to be one of my first big projects I’ll be working on here as an SDLA agent. 

Q: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

AA: My TEAM. Although most of my coworkers are younger than me, they are incredibly intelligent, competent people that are passionate about what they do but more importantly, they have an unending desire in getting educated on what they don’t know. This is a GREAT quality to have. They ALL truly care about what they do and are very responsive. At SDLA, there is no deadweight, everyone pulls their own and we have each other's back.

Q: What do you like best about the culture at SDLA?

AA: The work ethic & team mentality. It starts at the top. All of the principals genuinely care about their employees and that resonates with everyone’s work ethic and dedication to their job. The principal’s offices are always open to their employees and questions are always welcomed. Even when there is a mistake, the principals use that as an opportunity for all of us to learn from, they instill an idea that we are all in this together. They are the core of the company and as a result, have built a phenomenal team that is the heartbeat of this organization. I’m happy with my decision and have no regrets, however, I am still waiting on my SDLA jacket!