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Cecil Whig: Comptroller honors North East-area company with innovation award

Cecil Whig

Comptroller honors North East-area company with innovation award

May 2, 2017

By Jessica Iannetta

NORTH EAST — Most businesses aren’t too excited to receive a call from the Comptroller’s Office, so when i-Lighting owner Scott Holland picked up the phone a few weeks ago, he wasn’t sure what to expect. Luckily, the staff member on the other end of the line started the call with a quick reassurance.

“(He) said, ‘Don’t worry, it’s good news,’” Holland recalled with a laugh.

The good news was that i-Lighting, an outdoor LED lighting company, had been chosen to receive Comptroller Peter Franchot’s “Bright Lights Award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship,” which recognizes and celebrates innovation in the private and nonprofit sectors that strengthen Maryland’s economy. One company from each of the state’s 23 counties and Baltimore City were selected to receive the award.

Franchot came to visit the company’s headquarters outside North East on Tuesday afternoon to present the award during a brief ceremony, which was also attended by State Sen. Wayne Norman (R-Harford/Cecil), Cecil County Economic Development Director Chris Moyer, Alan Sexton of the Susquehanna Workforce Network, Mary O’Keefe from U.S. Rep. Andy Harris’s office (R-1st District) and county Register of Wills Michael Dawson.

Standing in the company’s 12,000-square-foot headquarters in Principio Business Park, Franchot reflected on how far the company has come since Holland started i-Lighting in his basement 12 years ago. He noted that Holland realized that there was a need for outdoor LED lighting that was both affordable and easy to install and was able to build a successful company based on that idea.

“Since 2005, i-Lighting has played a vital role in this region’s economy. It’s been fueled by vision and passion for a high-quality product and good customer service. It was started in a basement and is now a global manufacturer of outdoor lighting,” Franchot said. “It’s growing rapidly … (and) on track, frankly, to become a much bigger company and that’s great news for Cecil County.”

In addition to the Bright Lights award, Franchot also presented Holland with a proclamation from the comptroller’s office and gave comptroller medallions to both Holland and his wife. Norman also presented Holland with a proclamation celebrating the company’s achievement.

While taking a quick tour of the company’s warehouse, Holland was able to point out to Franchot a new partnership with Bayside Community Network, an Elkton-based organization that gives vocational training and job placement to adults with disabilities. Eight people from Bayside have been working with the company since January to package plastic parts for deck railings, a job that was previously done in China, Holland said.

Throughout Franchot’s visit, Holland was quick to give the credit for his company’s success to his employees and said that the award was completely unexpected, but a great honor.

“It’s not my award, it’s everyone’s,” he said. “I just happened to start the company.”

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