Founded in 1981 by two people of faith, Regency Lighting has always had a higher calling. Headquartered in Chatsworth, California, Regency distributes brand-name products such as Philips Lighting, Osram Sylvania and many other best-in-class lighting manufacturers. It also provides commercial lighting maintenance, design, construction, retrofits, replacement products and recycling.
But all the while, Regency Lighting uses considerable time, money and employees to support charitable causes, lighting the way in a Good Samaritan sense. And just as the company has physically grown, Regency Lighting has increased the volume and scope of its donations, often by involving employees.
In recent years alone, Regency Lighting has partially funded an emergency medical wing in Ghana, financed an orphanage in Haiti and worked with ZOE International Ministries, an organization that rescues children from being sold into prostitution or slavery, to build a boys’ home in rural Thailand.
“When people feel like they are working towards something bigger than just their paycheck or making the company money, it helps give them purpose for what they do.”
“For us, there had to be something more than just making money and being successful,” says Owner and President Isaac Regenstreif, whose father, Ron, founded the company four decades ago with childhood friend, Mike Goldstone.
“I believe people are looking for meaning in what they do, and for us, we believe that we can use our success to help make an impact on the world around us,” Regenstreif says.
The benefit of charitable giving is not just for the individuals and organizations who are supported by Regency Lighting, Isaac says, but also for employees.
“When people feel like they are working towards something bigger than just their paycheck or making the company money, it helps give them purpose for what they do,” he says. “We try to provide opportunities for employees to get involved when oftentimes, people don’t know where to start.”
When founders Ron and Mike opened a lighting distribution center in Van Nuys, California, they only had a handful of employees.
In 2010, the company moved its headquarters to Chatsworth.
Five years later, Regency acquired electric wholesaler, AllSale Electric, to strategically grow the company and expand its product line. Today, the combined companies have around 350 employees in six facilities across the United States.
The company has retrofitted the Grand Hyatt Hotel’s 35,000-square-foot convention area in Atlanta with LEDs, installed LED high-bays for the Los Angeles STAPLES Center and helped Arby’s Restaurant Group achieve two awards from the Lighting Energy Efficiency in Parking Campaign by installing energy-saving outdoor lighting in the parking lots of 92 of the company’s restaurants.
Founded on faith
When founders Ron and Mike were in the rigors of starting the business in the ‘80s, they still found time to volunteer at local homeless shelters and missions.
Today, Regency Lighting donates to organizations including Africa Renewal Ministries, which supplies food, clothes and education for children in northern Uganda; The Atlanta Dream Center, which provides food, clothing, shelter and more to Atlanta’s inner city residents; and the Children’s Hunger Fund, which equips local churches to deliver food to children and families around the world.
In 2007, all of Regency Lighting’s locations began working with Wheels for the World, a ministry of Joni and Friends International Disability Center, by collecting wheelchairs to be shipped and distributed to those in need around the country. Isaac says Regency Lighting went a step further by financing the cost of manufacturing an expandable pediatric wheelchair. The first “Regency Chair” was assembled at the end of 2009, and since then, over 1,000 chairs are produced each year.
Isaac grew up spending his summers and school holidays working for the family-oriented business. When he was old enough to be an employee, he started as a clerk, working his way up to president. Just as he was inspired by his father’s spirit of giving during all those years, he tries to instill the same in employees.
For instance, when Regency Lighting acquired AllSale Electric in 2015, Isaac and the leadership team made sure to follow the values Regency knows as R.I.S.E., to make sure the company’s culture would not take a back seat in the expansion.
R.I.S.E., which stands for relationship, integrity, service and expertise, “defines how we do business and we reinforce these values every chance we get,” Isaac says.
Employees are further involved in the maintenance of these values through charitable projects. Those who raised the most funds for a recent project with ZOE International Ministries, for instance, were able to travel to the Thailand and volunteer with the children they supported.
“It never gets old and we never get tired of reinforcing who we are. It’s how we run our business, and it’s how we live our lives,” Isaac says.
And the more the company grows, the more it will answer that higher calling, he says.
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