Meet The Team: Laura Ramirez

Specifications sales team member, Laura Ramirez, loves traveling the country with clients and coworkers, but San Diego has always been home for this California native. If you’re looking for an adventure around the area she’s your go-to girl. Laura loves cross country mountain biking, trail running and camping. When she’s not tackling an adventure or client design challenge, she loves spending time outdoors with her four kids, (ages 2-9). Though you may have heard about the famous straw story from the Eureka trip in Montreal, there is a lot more to this team member’s story. Are you ready for the next SDLA page-turner?

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

LR: I had just graduated college with a degree in interior design and was looking to work with architectural or interior design firms. Unfortunately, I started looking just before the economy crashed so of course, no one was hiring. I had to branch out and get creative in my search and I found an engineering firm with a position open. They were looking for designers who could help them select lighting for their jobs. As Danny would call it “I like the pretty sh%$.” I discovered in that first position that lighting was the one thing on the engineering side I enjoyed, and I’ve just kept going down that rabbit hole ever since.

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

 LR: My day in the office is different every day, every week. I’m a part of the specification sales team and my clients are made up of architects, interior designers, lighting designers and electrical engineers. With that wide range of clients, I can find myself hosting booths at tradeshows, running design meetings, or taking customers to lighting shows all in the same week. It keeps the job fresh and I love being out of the office, traveling with coworkers and clients. I work closely with other members of the spec team, like Maronee and Brian. And most recently, I’ve been working with our newly expanded quick quotes team a lot by helping facilitate orders for smaller scale projects and establishing budgetary pricing.

Q: Do you have a favorite/most rewarding project that you have worked on?

LR: I’m really excited to see the completed KSS Restaurant project. That project includes a lot of custom light fixtures that I believe will set this place apart, so I think we are all excited to see our hard work in action once the project is finished! Additionally, it was really rewarding to have our lighting package become a building standard at Terragen.

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

 LR: I’ve been here for just under 2 years, and by far the best thing about SDLA is how strong our culture is. It’s incredibly special to have a unique culture, and there is nothing better than to be part of this team!

Meet The Team: Amanda Ivko

Amanda Ivko, or Got-to-Go Ivko, use to be known as the nicest girl in the office. After revealing her Uber score though (tied for last in the office), everything changed. In this month’s meet the team Amanda is ready to redeem herself! Amanda loves being apart of the specification sales team and when she’s not in the office you can find her on the soccer field or in the kitchen whipping up some treats. Next time you have a sweet tooth, Amanda is your go-to girl, she loves being creative with her baking and decorating everything from cakes to cookies. Can you say yum?

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

AI: It all happened by chance. Prior to coming to SDLA, I worked in the hospitality industry for 10 years, 6 of those years as a sushi chef! I loved being able to connect with the customers and creating delicious food for them; however, I ultimately ended up leaving because I was missing out on special and important moments with my friends and family. Soon after I left my previous job, my friend Jessica, who also works here, was being promoted and looking for her replacement. After hyping up the company, I decided to come work for SDLA and will have been with the company almost 2 years come December.

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

 AI: My day-to-day consists of scheduling manufacturer visits, planning upcoming events, helping my associates with whatever they need while they are out of the office, visiting customers and updating them on the latest products, taking samples to customers, creating posts to our social media accounts, etc. It’s a great mix that keeps me busy and on my toes!

 Q: What’s your favorite part of your job?

AI: I love planning the events that our office puts on! Everything from the Bi-Annual product shows, our Designer Luncheons or Happy Hours, I love having a role in making the events the best they can be for our clients and customers. Seeing everything come together is really rewarding, and it’s great to see customers enjoy themselves. Plus we always host our events at unique and fun places around San Diego and I love being able to check out the hottest restaurants or venues in the area. One of my favorite projects to be apart of was our agency product show at 57 degrees. It was completely different than our normal shows, so it was an exciting process to be a part of and so great to see how well it was received by our clients.

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

AI: I’ve recently transitioned into the new role of specification sales and the culture of support here has made this process so much easier. I love that my co-workers are always so willing to help each other out and take on new challenges. The atmosphere is fun but everyone knows how to work hard as well. Work hard, play hard.

Factory Tour Fun: A-Light

Last month the specification sales team had a ball on a tour to one of our awesome manufacturers’ factory. Not only does A-Light put on a great tour – they have affordable and customizable options with a lot of different components. The experience was memorable because it allowed us to spend a half-day ingraining ourselves into A-Light’s products and processes and really get a better sense of their story.

To start our journey, we took a bus up to beautiful Oceanside. Once at the factory we enjoyed a delicious breakfast in their training room. Sitting under multiple samples of their lights we learned more about the company and product line. We even got to check out awesome mock-ups of new products and their components. The hands-on experience really enhanced our understanding of what A-Light has to offer.

We especially enjoyed seeing the Absent product line in-person…pictures just don’t do it justice. It’s truly incredible how well it creates a beautiful throw of light without any glare. Next up, the factory tour! The factory is neat and we had the opportunity to see every stage of the manufacturing process…from welding the products to seeing how they get their quality packaging. We ended the visit with an excellent lunch…the perfect ending to a great morning.

Thank you to our friends at A-Light for having us!  Interested in checking out A-Light’s factory southern California factory? Be sure to contact them for a tour and check out their unique customization guidelines.