Pathway Connectivity and Acuity Brands on Van Rommel's Retirement

by Michael Eddy
Van Rommel who can now be found fishing or barbecuing
Van Rommel who can now be found fishing or barbecuing

After a very successful and hard-earned 45-year career in entertainment lighting, Pathway Connectivity and Acuity Brands would like to congratulate Van Rommel on his retirement. They released this statement to say good-bye to Rommel.

“Van studied Music and Theater at Trinity University before hitting the road as a lighting designer and touring lighting director for some of the big acts in Rock 'n Roll during the 70s, including extended tours with Waylon Jennings, REO Speedwagon, and POCO. Those happy years became even happier when he met his bride-to-be Beth. To get away from sleeping on a tour bus and to spend more time with Beth and raise a family, Van got a suit and started designing for television in 1980 and eventually started a career as a specialized salesperson in theatrical and architectural lighting controls.”

“Raising two children, Mia and Will, the Rommels settled in San Antonio, TX. Van was invited to join Vari*Lite in Dallas and led to that firm's effort to move beyond concert touring and promote the use of automated lighting on Broadway, cruise ships, Las Vegas showrooms, opera, and theme parks. At the same time, Vari*Lite introduced the landmark VL5 and VL6 luminaires and Van established and built a network of dedicated production services partners who enabled the company to offer top-notch quality lighting in local and regional markets throughout North America.”

Van then became the Southeast Regional Sales Manager, then National Sales Manager for Strand Lighting and remained with them until joining Acuity Brands Lighting in 2010. Van was instrumental in Acuity's acquiring Horizon Control and Pathway Connectivity and combining those engineering, manufacturing and customer service teams to birth what is now known as a leading-edge solutions provider for lighting controls and networking technologies for the entertainment and architainment verticals. Other Acuity Brands, such as Fresco, are now reaping the benefits of the products and technologies developed under Van's tutelage.”

“Every person in this industry knows Van and we all love the incredible energy he has for the promotion of exceptional lighting control—it is contagious. Van was a tireless advocate within our company to teach people what dynamic lighting is and how it should be done right. Most importantly, Van was a mentor and has passed his expertise and passion for lighting to more people than he probably understands. Van left his mark on Acuity and the careers of his friends here.”

“Van serves as a board member of the Wally Russell Foundation so you'll be sure to see him at next year's USITT as he helps us celebrate when Dave Higgins, Pathway's founder, is presented the 2018 Life Time Achievement Award.”

“Acuity and the very close-knit family of colleagues at Pathway Connectivity offer Van and family all the best in his retirement. Thank you, Van, for your dedication and inspiration, and thanks to your family for lending you to us. We see a lot of fishing in your future. Please put the BBQ on, as we'll be visiting.”

Further information from Pathway Connectivity and Acuity Brands: