The Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) has announced that after 23 years of service, Rita Harrold, will be retiring, effective June 30, 2015. Harrold served as the Society’s 81st President from 1985 – 1986 and was the first woman to hold this title. In 1992, she joined the IES staff as Director of Educational and Technical Development, now referred to as Director of Technology. During the course of her career, Harrold served as the Society’s principal liaison to the lighting industry, developed its educational program offerings, and oversaw the preparation and production of hundreds of IES technical documents and standards through to publication.

“Spending almost 50 years in the lighting industry, 23 years of which in lighting standards development, has afforded a wonderful opportunity to participate in so many exciting changes in areas of product development and application, and challenges of helping to develop technical recommendations and educational programs to satisfy new requirements in building codes and energy legislation,” Harrold said in a prepared statement. “When you love an industry it is hard to step away but I am looking forward to 'next steps' and continuing to participate in different ways.”

Current IES President Paul Mercier noted, ““Rita Harrold defined the role of Technical Director for the IES. She has been exemplary in her performance and sensitivity to the ever-changing needs of the lighting community. Not only did Rita elevate the IES as the authority on consensus-based lighting recommended practices, her guidance for the technical committees that write lighting standards has become a benchmark for the industry. We are very proud that Rita chose to dedicate so many years of her career with us at the IES.”