Sonny Sonnenfeld Winner of the 2003 Wally Russell Lifetime Achievement Award


Sonny Sonnenfeld, a five-decade veteran of the lighting industry, will be honored with the 2003 Wally Russell Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contributions to the field. The 2003 Wally Award will be presented as part of the LDI2003 Award ceremony in Orlando, FL on Saturday, November 22, 2003.

Founded in 1992, the prestigious Wally Award was established in memory of Wally Russell, a legendary 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.

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 participated in the PRG-sponsored "Significant Lives In Light" panel at the Broadway Lighting Master Classes, a professional training program that Sonnenfeld founded ten years ago. He is currently a consultant for Electronic Theatre Controls (ETC).

"Lighting Dimensions and LDI are pleased to join the Wally committee in welcoming Sonny Sonnenfeld into the group of outstanding lighting professionals who have received the Wally Award," says Jacqueline Tien, publisher of Lighting Dimensions and Entertainment Design. "We have enjoyed working with Sonny over the years on the Broadway Lighting Master Classes and congratulate him on this distinguished honor."

Previous Wally Award winners are:
2002 James C. Fuller
2001 Jim Bornhorst
2000 Stan Miller
1999 Don Stern
1998 Bran Ferren
1997 Fred Bentham
1996 Francis P. DeVerna
1995 Tharon Musser
1994 George Van Buren
1993 Charles Altman
1992 Wally Russell

Also nominated for the 2003 Wally were lighting designer Imero Fiorentino, whose 50-year career includes hundreds of TV specials, stage productions, commercials, concerts, and industrial shows, and Richard Pilbrow, veteran lighting designer, theatrical producer, and esteemed founder of the internationally acclaimed Theatre Projects Consultants.

The Wally Award committee includes: Donna Appleton, Phil Bernard, Rusty Brutsché, 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.

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