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Lighting Design Team

Robert Sardinsky, LC, IESNA—Principal
“Sardo” founded Rising Sun in 1987 to provide turnkey lighting consulting and project implementation services for clients across the country seeking high efficiency lighting. His work focuses on creating lighting that enhances aesthetics and productivity while minimizing our impact on the planet. Sardo’s passion is creating luminous environments that lift the spirit. He is noted for his pioneering work in tracking and analyzing state-of-the-art lighting technology developments and for incorporating these into new construction and retrofit designs. Sardo has consulted for commercial and industrial clients, including Fortune 500 companies, as well as institutional and residential clients throughout the U.S. He has worked on over 50 million square feet of projects through his 30 year career and has authored strategic lighting technology and marketplace reports for the lighting industry, utility industry and environmental advocacy groups. He lectures nationally on new lighting developments and has also served on the test committee for the National Council on Qualifications for the Lighting Profession. Previously, Sardo worked with Amory Lovins at The Rocky Mountain Institute where they co-authored the ground breaking report, “State-of-the-Art Lighting” and he authored “The Resource Efficient Housing Guide.”

James Benya, PE, FIES, IALD, LC— Principal Designer / Engineer Associate
Jim is a principal with Benya Burnett Consultancy and collaborates with Rising Sun on many of our more challenging projects. He is one of the most distinguished individuals in the lighting profession today and is among the most widely respected international lecturers and speakers in the field of lighting design, day lighting design and efficient buildings. Over his 39 year career, Jim has won over 200 national and international lighting design awards and his work has been published in every major lighting design and architectural journal. He has completed 12 LEED Platinum projects including two zero energy buildings and has won five international environmental design awards. Jim writes for Architectural Lighting magazine and has been a contributing author for The Advanced Lighting Guidelines and dozens of other publications. He is also the author of two books, “Lighting Design Basics” and “Retrofitting and Relighting.” He has served on the board of fellows for the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, the board of directors of the International Association of Lighting Designers, the test committee of the National Council on Qualifications for the Lighting Profession and the board of directors of the International Dark Sky Association. He is also a past member of ASHRAE 90.1 and 189.1 committees and currently serves as principal consultant to the California Energy Commission.

Marla Stauth, PE, LC, LEED-AP, Associate IALD - Engineer Associate
Marla is a lighting consultant and electrical engineer with over 25 years of experience. She works with Rising Sun on projects throughout the region. Marla is involved in overall lighting design, lighting selection, lighting budgets, construction administration, specifications for luminaires, lighting calculations and renderings for designs. She works with the entire construction team to coordinate lighting schemes, lighting controls and coordination with architectural features. Marla has worked on such diverse projects as Re/Max Corporate Headquarters in Denver, Gallup Organization Headquarters in Omaha, Sun Microsystems in Broomfield, Gates Rubber Company in Denver, Denver School of Science and Technology in Denver and the Westin Hotel in Westminster. Marla was a 2005 recipient of the International Illumination Award of Merit from IIDA for interior and exterior lighting for the Aurora Municipal center and a 2001 recipient of local IIDA Lighting Design Award for the Telluride Conference Center.
Scott Padios, IESNA — Senior Designer
Scott has over 30 years of experience in lighting design and electrical engineering, including extensive experience in renovations and new construction. He has worked on a wide variety of projects across the U.S., and has been recognized for achievement in lighting design by the IESNA International Illumination Design Awards program. His work has been published in the IESNA LD&A magazine. Scott has served as the Southwest Regional Vice President for the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America and has been heavily involved in lighting education courses for the IESNA. Scott was named “Featured Engineer of the Year” in 2000 by the Memphis Joint Engineers Council in Memphis, Tennessee
Cheryl Berg — Senior Designer
Cheryl has been involved in the lighting industry for 30 years, the last ten with Rising Sun. Prior to that, she worked in Minneapolis as a lighting designer and at the Lighting Center in Fort Collins, Colorado. She is a gifted designer who has an extraordinary ability to weave together diverse lighting elements into sophisticated designs. Cheryl has completed several hundred distinctive residential and commercial projects nationally. She has also taught Lighting Design at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.
Barbara Heckendorn, Project Manager
Barbara is Rising Sun’s Vice President of Operations. Since joining Rising Sun in 1990, she has been instrumental in developing computer software specific to lighting design, construction and research projects. She has managed the implementation of such diverse projects as 40 Esprit Clothing Boutique and Factory Outlet Stores nationwide, a 52-building retrofit for Public Service of Indiana, and several hundred other Rising Sun projects throughout Colorado. Barbara currently specializes in computer assisted drafting and in designing and implementing lighting control systems. Barbara holds a Bachelor of Science in mathematics and computer science from Texas Christian University.

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