Three true pioneers in the lighting industry have been nominated for the 2004 Wally Russell Lifetime Achievement Award: George C. Izenour, William Klages, and Joel E. Rubin, all of whom have made outstanding contributions to the industry over many decades. The 2004 "Wally" will be presented as part of the LDI2004 Award ceremony at the Sands Convention Center on Saturday evening, October 23, 2004, at the 17th anniversary of North America’s largest entertainment technology show.

The prestigious "Wally" Award was established in 1992 in memory of Wally Russell, a true trailblazer whose career influenced several generations of lighting 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 2004 "Wally" are:

George C. Izenour

One of the most important figures in the lighting industry, George C. Izenour wrote his Master’s thesis on what was to become his first invention: the electronic lighting control system for theatre. His first job was as lighting director for the Los Angeles Federal Theatre Project. When that was dissolved in 1939, he was made a fellow of the Rockefeller Foundation with the mandate to establish a laboratory dedicated to the advancement of theatre technology. This was established at Yale University and became the home base for Izenour’s long career as inventor, consultant, acoustician, professor, and author (Theatre Design 1977, Theater Technology 1988, Roofed Theaters of Classical Antiquity 1992). His most important invention was the inverse polarized rectifier circuit for dimming and switching. After working in a war research laboratory during WWII, he completed a lighting system that was patented by Century Lighting, ushering in the modern era of stage and television lighting. In the late 1950s he consulted on Harvard’s Loeb Drama Center, the first of over 100 performing arts venues in his prolific theatre consulting career. He has been a member of numerous professional organizations and received numerous awards during the 65 years of his ongoing career.

William Klages

Bill Klages has won seven national Emmy Awards for television lighting design and has received 28 Emmy, Monitor, and Ace awards and nominations. He is best known for his success in lighting television's most celebrated entertainment specials, award shows, and large-scale events. He is also very active as a television facilities consultant. He has lectured and conducted seminars throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, and has written many feature articles for trade and consumer publications. He has been honored by LDI as "Designer of the Year" in 2002 and by USITT in 2004 with the "Distinguished Award in Lighting Design." By maintaining his own high standards, Bill Klages endeavors to gain recognition of the lighting designer’s artistic contribution to the visual quality of television.

Joel E. Rubin

Joel E. Rubin is approaching his 50th year in theatrical lighting and theatre consulting having joined Kliegl Bros. in 1954 while completing his Ph.D. dissertation. His years at Kliegl saw the earliest of the SCR dimmers, the first full-line of lighting instruments designed specifically for tungsten-halogen lamp technologies, and the first truly portable lighting control memory consoles. Most of all, he takes pride in having nurtured and mentored a small army of professionals with a love of light and lighting, who have themselves earned leading places in the profession. He was the co-founder in 1961 of USITT and its second president. A few years later he organized the international activities group within USITT, and went on to become one of the founders of the OISTAT (International Organization of Scenographers, Theatre Architects and Technicians) and President for eight years. Currently he is in his second decade with Artec Consultants Inc as a Principal Consultant dealing with theatre planning, lighting, project development and project management.

"All three candidates represent the same pioneering spirit and dedication to the lighting industry as Wally Russell," says David Johnson, associate publisher and editorial director of Lighting Dimensions and Entertainment Design. "Both the magazines and the trade show have been honored to help recognize such industry trailblazers and luminaries since the inception of the Wally Awards in 1992."

Industry professionals can vote for the candidate of their choice by emailing their vote to Ellen Lampert-Gréaux at The deadline is August 15.