For immediate release: August 1, 2001
Contact: Jacqueline Tien 212-229-2965 x815



Click here to vote for this year's winner!


Lighting industry pioneers Jim Bornhorst, David Cunningham, and James C. Fuller have been nominated for the Wally Russell 2001 Lifetime Achievement Award. The 2001 "Wally" will be presented as part of the LDI/ESTA awards ceremony on Saturday evening, November 3, at LDI 2001 in Orlando, FL. The winner is selected via a voting process open to all industry professionals.

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

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

Jim Bornhorst is the inventor of modern-day automated lighting. He solved the longstanding problem of how to build a color-changing system for a stage luminaire by creating the first dichroic color changer. Bornhorst also introduced the use of metal halide sources for automated fixtures, which in combination with his dichroic color-changing system created a compact package that enabled real-time automated lighting. September 25 is the 20-year anniversary of the first Vari*Lite show, which took place in a bullring in Barcelona with Genesis and began the current era of automated lighting.

David Cunningham graduated from the University of California San Diego with a dual degree in physics and philosophy in 1969. Following a stint as student actor and director, he turned his talents to technology and built the computer lighting system for the Anomaly Factory, then went on to design the Compuset2000 for Van Buren Industries in 1974. Cunningham became the vice president of R&D for Strand Century, where he developed the MultiQ, MicroQ, Mantrix, Light Palette, Mini Palette, Mini Light Palette, CD80, and Environ II. In 1984, he became the president of Entertec, and has been responsible for the development of D192, Prestige, Scenemaster, Scenemaster 60, ENR, and Viewpoint for Lee Colortran as well as the HPL, Source Four, Source Four PAR, and Sensor dimmer for ETC. Cunningham’s latest project is the Anomaly Factory II, which includes 24 themed rooms constructed by a collective of artists and craftsmen.

James (Jimmy) C. Fuller embodies those things that we held dear in Wally: a man of impeccable character, an entrepreneur, and a gentleman, he has given back to the industry much more than he has taken out. Jimmy was president of the IATSE Toronto chapter for almost 40 years; for almost 30 years, he served as chief electrician of the O'Keefe Center in Toronto. During this period, he also found time to run Canadian Staging Projects, the premier stage lighting and sound rental company of Canada. Jimmy had a close business relationship with Wally, but more importantly, they were good friends for many years. This is a man whose handshake was the equivalent of a 10-page contract.

Past winners of the Wally include: 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.

The Wally Award committee includes: Phil Bernard, Rusty Brustché, David Cunningham, Tom Folsom, Fred Foster, Don Hamilton, John Howe, Larry Kellermann, Philip O’Donnell, Richard Pilbrow, Brian Russell, Glen Russell, Robert Schiller, and Jacqueline Tien.

Industry professionals are invited to vote for this year's Wally winner.
Please click here for a ballot.
The deadline for voting is October 1, 2001.