At DFL, we’re genuinely passionate about what we do and take every opportunity to get involved with events, initiatives and organisations that promote and improve the lighting industry.

One of the best examples of this passion comes from our work with the Highway Electrical Association (HEA) and all its activities. We’ve been on the HEA council for some time, and now we’ve got an extremely exciting announcement regarding our future with association (drumroll, please)… our executive director Richard Jackson is the new president of the HEA!

As you can imagine, we’re itching to tell you all about this. So, here’s a quick rundown of what the HEA’s all about, everything the role entails and a snippet of what Richard had to say about his next venture.

A lighting designer’s dream role

The HEA’s a trade association with a history spanning over 70 years. Its three key aims are to be a professional organisation for the highway electrical sector, provide services that meet members’ needs and lead the development of relevant qualifications and training.

Now one of the largest and most influential bodies of its kind, the HEA represents more than 100 organisations from street lighting companies to highway communications organisations and represents all sorts of members, including highway electrical equipment manufacturers.

Unsurprisingly, it takes a lot for the HEA to do all this. The association plays a key part in policy development, supports networking opportunities and even runs an annual awards ceremony to give credit where credit’s due and spur on the best people in the lighting industry.

There’s also the HEA and Highway Electrical Manufacturers and Suppliers’ Association (HEMSA) councils, which are responsible for things like establishing the association’s strategy and overseeing its performance, and of course: the presidents!

The HEA president works with the vice president, previous president and CEO Mike Levack to set business agendas, chair meetings and keep things in check across the board. The president also works with councils to ensure the interests of the HEA’s membership are listen to and promoted.

Individuals are only offered the HEA presidency after they’ve represented their organisation on the council for three years and been vice president for one year — two things Richard had already done for DFL. So, he went for it and now he’s been elected as the new president for the next 12 months, which he’s obviously over the moon about!

A few words from the man himself

‘My year of presidency should be about one thing: progress. It’s my job to continue making the HEA that 1–2% better. If we all continue to do that year on year, as others have before me, the association will continue to evolve and stay at the forefront of the highway electrical sector’. That’s Richard’s take on the role that he’s just accepted. Very wise if you ask us…

But Richard’s also going to be a bit different to his predecessors, because he’s the youngest-ever serving president of the HEA!

Speaking about this tremendous privilege, Richard says, ‘Let this be just the start. May there be the opportunity for younger, more talented members to come and lead this great association in the coming years’.

So, what’s he going to do to lead the association and pave the way for future generations to come and work within the amazing highway electrical sector?

Other than supporting CEO Mike, Richard plans to work hard to promote the association and do his part to take association membership to the next level: ‘We’re keen to explore how we can widen our offering to support more companies and attract different organisations to join the HEA’.

Richard’s also keen to bolster the ‘Nex Gen’ initiative, which is all about attracting a diverse range of new talent into highway electrical careers.

And of course, he’ll continue the HEA’s history of advocating for safety in the highway electrical sector — promoting regular streetlight maintenance and ensuring the association oversees the safe integration of electric vehicle (EV) systems with highway networks.

He’s got a lot to do, but we’ve got no doubt that Richard will smash the next 12 months with the HEA!

DFL’s one of the UK’s biggest independent lighting consultancies. We’d love to help out with your upcoming lighting design — call us at +44(0)1962 855080 or email to learn more.