Cultivating a 35-year career with the world’s leading lighting-solutions manufacturer, Michael Pessina today sits in his Coopersburg company’s top seat.
Pessina worked his way through the ranks and in 2012 was promoted to president of Lutron Electronics Co. Inc., which since the mid-20th century has been blazing the trail in the lighting-control industry. Leading a company that has 1,500 employees and 2,700 worldwide patents and produces nearly 17,000 different energy-saving products for more than 100 nations around the globe makes Pessina one of the most influential business persons in the Greater Lehigh Valley.
“Lutron is by far the greatest quiet business-success story in the Lehigh Valley,” said Don Cunningham, president and CEO of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp.
In the U.S. alone, Lutron’s products annually save an estimated 10 billion kilowatts of electricity, or about $1 billion in utility costs.
“Mike Pessina has been one of the key leaders behind that innovation and corporate growth for more than three decades,” Cunningham said. “We are fortunate that both Mike and Lutron call the Lehigh Valley home.”
With a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Lafayette College and a Master of Business Administration from Lehigh University, Pessina is a licensed professional engineer in Pennsylvania and certified senior quality engineer through the American Society of Quality. He also is a member of the Association of Manufacturing Excellence, National Association of Manufacturers, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the board of governors of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association.
Pessina’s milestone moments at Lutron include in 2000 when he was appointed to senior vice president, in 2002 when he was promoted to executive vice president and chief operating officer, and in 2009 when he was named president of the office of product development. Pessina also is a member of Lutron’s executive board and advisory council.
In the community, Pessina is a member of the board of the Lehigh Valley Partnership, a consortium of the region’s top employers that seeks to drive economic development. He is a trustee at DeSales University and chairs its audit committee.
The idea for Lutron Electronics began in the late 1950s in a makeshift lab in New York City. By 1961, the company was incorporated and developed its first invention – a simple rotary dimmer that can still be found on many dining-room walls today – marking the birth of the lighting-control industry.