Mitchell Hefter

Hefter-2011Dallas, Texas

Inducted as a Fellow: 2002

Earliest memories of the institute?

I first was aware of USITT in high school, and attended a local meeting in college.  But I didn't get actively involved until the USITT NEC Committee work started by Fellow Steve Terry in 1981.

A favorite USITT memory?

Certainly being inducted as a Fellow and receiving an Honorary Lifetime Membership are at the top of the list of USITT memories. Another memory - somewhat ironic - is when I received the Founders Award with Fellows Ken Vannice and Steve Terry:  None of us was able to attend the 1993 conference.  This was the days before e-mail and award recipients were still kept a secret until the event, so we had no idea.  Fellow Rick Stephens called me a few weeks after the conference and said we should get together for lunch.  When we did, he presented me with the award.

Short list of your career highlights:

  • I have worked in Entertainment and Architectural Lighting Controls my entire career - at Strand Lighting, EDI, Entertainment Technology, Genlyte (Lightolier Controls), and Philips Lighting.
  • As part of the work of the USITT NEC Committees, we have proposed a number of changes to make the NEC current with the advancing technology in the entertainment industry.  This also included dealing with an issue at the 1984 Olympics and single-conductor feeder cables and working to allow variations in requirements so broadcasting in some venues could happen.
  • Became a member of NEC Panel 15 in 1997.
  • One of the founding members of ESTA's Technical Standard Program.  

Short list of your various involvement in the institute:

  • Several terms as Engineering Commissioner
  • Board of Directors
  • Bylaws Committee in 2010.

A short list of the memorable USITT characters?

A short list of favorite USITT characters (emphasis on 'characters') is not possible.

Anything you want to say about being a Fellow?

Being inducted as a Fellow was one of the highest honors of my careers.  Being part of a group of industry leaders who are great mentors and readily share the experience and knowledge is a wonderful experience.

Anything you'd like to add about what the USITT means to you personally?

USITT is a second family to me.  I look forward to attending the Annual conference every year to reconnect with friends I may not have seen for a year.  But sometimes it feels like we saw each other just a few weeks earlier.

Contact: See Membership Directory & Resource Guide