Retail  March 25, 2019

Jennifer Guerriero, The Light Center

2019 Women of Distinction - Business and Business Services

The lighting business has been part of Jennifer Guerriero’s life since day one.

Her father, Larry Edwards, started The Light Center in Fort Collins 47 years ago. Her first job there, at age 16, was to stand atop a ladder in the showroom and replace light bulbs in display fixtures. Today, she is the company’s CEO.

But let’s back up a bit. After graduating from Arizona State University and doing a “Semester at Sea,” Guerriero was wondering what her next steps should be. Her dad suggested she come work at the store while she figured it all out.

The rest is history.

“That was my first time being in sales, and once I learned the product, I loved the sales and building relationships with homeowners, designers, architects and builders,” she said. “Seeing what they were doing was so inspiring. I took a highly technical lighting course and learned the product side of the business — and here I am.”

Guerriero is this year’s Women of Distinction honoree in the business and business services category. She will receive the recognition at the BizWest Women of Distinction breakfast on April 2, 7:30 a.m. at the Embassy Suites by Hilton, Loveland.

Guerriero became co-owner of the business in 2009 and now oversees sales, operations, vendor relations, merchandising, financials, human relations and marketing. Under her purview, The Light Center added an energy-efficiency division. She oversaw a complete store remodel and expansion, implemented a paperless catalog system, upgraded software systems and hired most of the 38 employees.

Recently, she reorganized The Light Center’s structure to streamline all sales and retail operations, and is developing new business opportunities with the goal of doubling sales. Currently, she is focusing on improving technology for the employees, evolving the company’s culture and facilitating strategic planning with key metrics and team building. All of this is driven by a desire to see employees succeed and grow as individuals while working in a thriving business.

“I love all the different aspects that go into lighting,” she said. “I love the design and the technical aspects of lighting and the atmosphere that’s created by choosing the right fixture. But most of all, I love the community connection.”

Giving back to the community is important to Guerriero, both on a personal and professional level. In addition to volunteering with Semester at Sea, Crossroads Safehouse and the Junior League of Fort Collins, as well as sponsoring more than 15 couples or individual women to receive free birthing classes and/or doula services. She developed “Shed a Light on a Cause,” an event hosted at The Light Center to benefit area nonprofits. The Light Center donates dollars for every person who attends the event, and attendees donate even more money to the nonprofits.

Guerriero is excited about her future and the future of The Lighting Center. It’s certainly worth shining a light on everything she hopes to achieve.


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