Three true leaders in the lighting industry have been nominated for the 2002 Wally Russell Lifetime Achievement Award: Imero Fiorentino, James (Jimmy) C. Fuller, and John McGraw, all of whom have made outstanding contributions to the industry over the past few decades. The 2002 "Wally" Award will be presented as part of the LDI2002 Award ceremony at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Saturday evening, October 19, 2002 as LDI celebrates its 15th anniversary as North America’s largest entertainment technology show.
Founded in 1992, the prestigious "Wally" Award was established in memory of Wally Russell, a true trailblazer whose career influenced several 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 to the lighting industry. The winner is selected through a voting process open to the lighting industry at large.
The three nominees for the 2002 "Wally" are:
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, stage productions, commercials, concerts, and industrial shows. He has been the lighting and design consultant for 14 national political conventions, served as consultant to every US president since Dwight Eisenhower, and also lit the very first pictures that were transmitted live to outer space and back to earth via Telstar. Fiorentino's team designed the environmental lighting for the World Showcase Pavilions at Disney's EPCOT Center.
James (Jimmy) C. Fuller embodies those things that we held dear in Wally: he is a man of impeccable character, an entrepreneur, and a gentleman who 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 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 close friends for many years. This is a man whose handshake was the equivalent of a 10-page contract.
John McGraw came to NYC in 1971 with $5,000 borrowed from his parents, and lighting equipment borrowed from a summer theatre outside Rochester. Within a year (and for the next seven years) he was working by night as a Broadway electrician for Grease, and by day growing the small lighting rental company, Production Arts Lighting, which he founded with Peter Forward, one of his college instructors. The second president of the Theatrical Dealers Association (the precursor to ESTA) he has worked on important milestones in the history of both associations, including creating the code of conduct for ESTA members. John is most proud of assembling the team of people who worked at Production Arts and who collectively accomplished so much in entertainment lighting.
"There is an extremely strong slate of candidates for this special anniversary year, as LDI turns 15, Lighting Dimensions hits 25 and Entertainment Design marks 35 years," says Jacqueline Tien, publisher of Lighting Dimensions and Entertainment Design. "Lighting Dimensions> and LDI have been honored to recognize the pioneers and luminaries of our industry since the inception of the Wally Awards in 1992."
The Wally Russell committee members are: Phil Bernard, Rusty Brutsche, David Cunningham, Tom Folsom, Fred Foster, John Howe, Larry Kellermann, Philip O’Donnell, Richard Pilbrow, Brian Russell, Glen Russell, Robert Schiller, and Jacqueline Tien.
Industry professionals can vote for the candidate of their choice. Click here to vote or submit ballots to
Entertainment Design/Lighting Dimensions
32 West 18 Street
New York, New York, 10011.
Telephone: 212-229-2965 x815; Fax: 212-229-2084
The voting deadline is August 16, 2002.