June 15, 2014
Doing the right thing and helping others inspires James Solecki
The owner of Integra Bespoke Lighting Systems in Port Sydney became a Landscape Ontario member in 2006. He currently serves as chair of the Lighting Sector Group and sits on the provincial board of directors. He has also participated in some capacity at all of the Lighting Sector’s annual symposia. “In the future, I am looking forward to expanding the Lighting Sector’s involvement in other Landscape Ontario programs, such as Congress, Canada Blooms and hopefully a large volunteer effort to bring great outdoor lighting to a public space.
“I was attracted by the possibility to further network with other industry professionals and to become more engaged in the green industry in Ontario. I was also attracted by the many industry partnerships and continuing education opportunities,” says Solecki.
One of Solecki’s favourite memories surrounds his LO volunteer experiences. “It comes from one of the early, formative meetings of the Lighting Sector Group. It was very inspiring to see so many people, all passionate about the outdoor lighting industry, gather together and form a group focused on taking action to protect our livelihoods. There was a very real sense of camaraderie in the room. It wasn’t a competitive environment, but rather one of shared interests and goals.”
Solecki says that his volunteer efforts at LO and elsewhere help to keep him connected to the industry, and provide a sense of satisfaction. “That sense of doing the right thing and helping others to learn, succeed and prosper is very important to me.” He says he has been been fortunate to receive a lot of advice, direction and help along my path. “I think it is important to take some time and give that back to others.”
There are many other areas in which Solecki takes his volunteerism throughout his community. He has been involved in the Lions Club, Chambers of Commerce, school parents’ councils, Muskoka Futures and some YWCA programs. He also provides free light pollution education programs to other service clubs and “groups who are interested in learning.”
Past chair and provincial board rep on the Lighting Sector Group, John Higo of Turf Products Canada, says, “If I had to think of a single word to describe James, it would be passionate. I have known James since 1999, and in that time, I can honestly say, I have never met an individual more committed to his industry, his company, and his clients. James demands the best, and strives every minute to provide it. James has managed to be a mentor to many, an educator to some, a provider for his family, and a pillar in his community, both locally, and professionally.”
Solecki says that LO has done a fantastic job at growing and supporting its membership. “Moving forward, I would like to see additional resources put toward promoting the association and its members to the public. It would be nice to have our clients asking if we are LO members, while they are considering project proposals.”