IN MEMORIAM | Remembering Leonard Schwartz, former WAC Lighting executive

Dec. 12, 2023
After decades in the lighting industry, Schwartz is remembered by colleagues for his kindness and "generosity of spirit."

LEDs Magazine has learned that longtime lighting industry executive Leonard Schwartz (pictured above with WAC Lighting's Tai [l] and Tony Wang [r]) has passed away.

Founder Tony Wang said in a company statement, "Leonard was one of the finest men I ever met. A gentleman in every sense of the word, he was very generous, kind, and highly successful in his personal and professional life. He was instrumental in helping our family build WAC into the industry leader it has become today."

Schwartz begain his career as a factory representative for Lightolier in the 1950s. Working his way through the electrical distribution sector, he gained sales experience at Electrical Distrbuting Company (EDCO) and later purchased it, eventually developing lighting products through his own startup, Southwest Lighting. Schwartz built up a resumé in lighting manufacturing with Southwest Lighting, Eagle Lighting, and their combined organization American Lantern, before forming his lighting representative firm, Leonard M. Schwartz and Associates. He was employed at WAC for more than 30 years, in executive vice president of sales, sales representative, and consultant roles. His son Hal Schwartz and grandchildren Sam and Renee continue to represent the WAC brands.

WAC Lighting president Shelley Wald remembered Schwartz's "patient empathy, fierce friendship, and generosity of spirit," saying that "he always inspired people and had a great gift for seeing the best in everyone. By his example, he helped people aspire to be better."

*Edited and condensed from WAC Lighting announcement.

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