This month’s Meet the Team Q&A is with our Maronee Rodenberger, the queen of specification sales at SDLA. She’s a real firecracker and one of the most passionate people you’ll ever meet. We like to call her Fired Up Fran on her “feisty” days. When she’s not at her son’s baseball games keeping score for the team, or playing on her co-ed softball league, Maronee is dishing out the best lighting specs out there. She’s even helped our specifications department grow significantly in just a few months – adding three new staff members to the team. Ready to talk shop with Maronee?

Q: What is your background? How did you get started in the industry?

MR: I have been in the industry for 10 years, and I’ve been fortunate enough to work with SDLA for the past 4 years. In 2008, I began working in distribution and SDLA was one of my suppliers. I was a lighting project manager who helped open my former company’s branch in San Diego. I always had the career goal of moving up to work as a manufacturer’s rep. The fit with SDLA was perfect. In 2013, I made the shift to working in specification sales for SDLA – and I love what I do.

Q: What do you like best about working at SDLA?

MR: One of the things I really pride myself on is when I came to SDLA, I took on a whole new role for myself. While it was in the same industry, it was also completely different. It was scary, I was nervous, and it was so different. But now that’s all changed, and it changed fast. I really feel that shift happened so quickly because of the environment I work in. I absolutely adore all of my coworkers. We are like a family. Kristin, Danny & now Brian too, are the best mentors. With their utmost support, I was able to learn a new role, a new position and inspired and encouraged to take on the job. Plus, I’ve learned from the industry’s best.

Q: What’s your most memorable project?

MR: Hand down, my very first project at SDLA. It was the Poway Library. The engineer gave me full control over the fixture selection, so I worked hard, got creative and when it came to life, it was so rewarding. One particular aspect of the project I was very passionate about was the children’s reading area. I was concerned about the look and feel of the lighting, as well as the practical functionality of the lighting for the reading space. We used some really fun shapes – and one of my favorite fixtures – the Arq from Barbican – to bring the space to life.

Q: Any trends you’re seeing in specification?

MR: With the demand of California energy code requirements, LEDs are the way everything is specified. This is really nice because we can also specify both fun and functional fixtures with LEDs. And, the controllability of the fixtures lets us create a really nice environment in the space.