Lighting industry pioneers Imero Fiorentino, Richard Pilbrow, and Sonny Sonnenfeld are the three distinguished nominees for the 2003 Wally Russell Lifetime Achievement Award. Industry professionals are invited to vote to select the winner.

Founded in 1992, the prestigious "Wally" Award was established in memory of Wally Russell, a true trailblazer whose career influenced future generations in the lighting industry. Each year, the "Wally" honors one individual who follows in his footsteps, exhibiting a strong sense of leadership, a commitment to technological innovation, and a long career of service to the lighting industry.

This year's slate confirms the contributions made throughout the past decades by these three extremely gifted individuals:

Imero Fiorentino
Lighting designer Imero Fiorentino launched his career in 1950, working on such programs as Omnibus, US Steel Hour, Pulitzer Prize Playhouse and the Bolshoi Ballet's first televised appearance in the United States. He formed his own company in 1960, and has supervised the lighting for hundreds of TV specials and stage productions, including 14 national political conventions.

Richard Pilbrow
Richard Pilbrow is an internationally known lighting designer, consultant, and author. His Broadway credits include Show Boat, Our Town, and The Life. His Theatre Projects Consultants received an EDDY Award in 2003 and the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2002. He has published two seminal books on lighting, received two awards from USITT and was twice elected to the USITT Board.

Sonny Sonnenfeld
Sonny Sonnenfeld has been an active member of USITT since its inception as well as the IES, and has been involved in theatre and architectural lighting for over 55 years. In 1999, he was honored with the LDI Life in Light Award for his contributions to the lighting industry and is currently a consultant for Electronic Theatre Controls.

Past winners of the "Wally" include: James C. Fuller in 2002; Jim Bornhorst in 2001; Stan Miller in 2000; Don Stern in 1999; Bran Ferren in 1998; Fred Bentham in 1997; Francis DeVerna in 1996; Tharon Musser in 1995; George van Buren in 1994; Charles Altman in 1993; and Wally Russell in 1992 (in memorial).

The Wally Award committee includes: Donna Appleton, Phil Bernard, Rusty Brutsche, David Cunningham, Tom Folsom, John Howe, Larry Kellermann, Philip O'Donnell, Richard Pilbrow, Brian Russell, Glen Russell, Robert Schiller, Jacqueline Tien, John Wiseman, and Jennifer White. New members this year are: Donna Appleton of Strand Lighting, John Wiseman of High End Systems, and Jennifer White, Wally Russell’s daughter.

“We would like to welcome the three new board members,” says Jacqueline Tien. “The Wally is not only a prestigious award, now over 10 years old, but it also is a great way to pay tribute to those who dedicate their lives to the lighting industry. I hope everyone will take time to vote for one of this year’s outstanding candidates.” The deadline for voting is October 1, 2003.

Industry professionals are invited to vote for this year's "Wally" winner by filling out a printed ballot and faxing it to 913-514-3600; by an email vote sent to; or online on this website. Ballots can also be mailed to:
Jackie Tien, Lighting Dimensions/Entertainment Design, 249 W. 17th Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY, 10011.