LDs Robert Ornbo and Richard Pilbrow have been named the new joint presidents of the London, England-based Association of Lighting Designers (ALD). They were officially welcomed by the chairman of the ALD, Rick Fisher, at a dinner held in their honor on April 9, 2002 at Kettners, a popular restaurant in the heart of London’s theatre district. The dinner was made possible by a bequest from Michael Northen MBE, the previous president who passed away last year, and was attended by approximately 25 members and guests of the ALD.

from left to right: Richard Pilbrow, Rick Fisher, and Robert Ornbo at Kettner's on April 9, 2002

Ornbo and Pilbrow are seasoned veterans of the lighting industry. "They have an enormous amount of combined experience and the ALD will benefit greatly from their knowledge, not just of the theatre but of all the other various sectors in which lighting designers work today," says ALD spokesperson Lesley Harmer of Harmer Public Relations in London.

"Robert was my assistant many years ago, and the third employee of Theatre Projects in about 1961," says Pilbrow, who is the chairman of Theatre Projects Consultants in South Norwalk, CT. "He was the chief electrician at the Shaftbury Theatre in London, and I went in there to light my second or third West End Show, called Girl On The Highway. The show was wildly unpopular. It may have run a week, but Robert and I became frineds. TP was taking off rapidly so I offered him a job. He arrived on a Monday morning and he went home three weeks later. We've been together ever since. He became a bloody good designer in his own right of course. So just like back then, I have the silly ideas and he does all the work."