Owner, Ion Lighting
With over 20 years of experience in the architectural lighting and design industry, Jamie Connell brings his lighting expertise to companies throughout the country.
After finishing high school, a Massachusetts-born Connell enlisted himself in the infantry stationed in Germany and served in the Gulf War. Upon returning home from the Army, he earned his Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Florida. With a drive to succeed, Connell then went on to work for General Electric Company in Boston. While there, he was part of the technical sales leadership program, became a Six Sigma Black Belt, and ultimately moved into consulting where he oversaw quality control projects.
Four years later, Connell moved to General Electric’s Florida location as a sales engineer in their electrical division. After 10 more years with the company, Connell decided it was time to go out on his own. And in 2011, Ion Lighting was established.
“I decided to start my own lighting company by meeting directly with the manufacturers,” Connell says. “By having these relationships, I am able to build and create custom lighting fixtures that I can then deliver to my clients.”
Whether it’s a need to create custom LED lighting solutions or lighting controls, Ion Lighting has a wealth of resources from Asian and North American manufacturers to their own manufacturing facility in Orlando. Some of Ion Lighting’s most innovative projects have been the result of successful collaborations with companies that include Disney and Universal as well as resorts, hotels, commercial and multi-family projects throughout the country.
“I liked to be challenged with new projects and ideas,” Connell says. “It’s great to bring a new product to market while helping customers complete their projects on time.”
Vice President, Ion Lighting
For Vice President, James Christino, lighting has always been in his blood. Christino’s father, George, was the Cooper Lighting Representative for Central Florida for 15 years.
After graduating from Florida State University, Christino landed a job at Lighting Partners of Central Florida (LPCF) where he was an outside salesman. During that position, he attended Cooper Lighting’s The Source and that’s where he realized his passion for lighting.
“As I attended The Source, I learned the basics of lighting and I quickly realized I had a passion for it,” Christino says.
As a lighting rep, Christino worked with the electrical distributors by keeping them up-to-date on the latest products for their inventory and helping contracting partners with their time sensitive needs on product delivery and field coordination.
After his time with LPCF, Christino accepted a position as an outside salesman for World Electric Supply before moving on to Mayer Electric Supply for the next four years.
“Being a distributor I was tasked to sell any and all electrical products to the contractors installing them,” says Christino, who credits some of his most successful projects to his time working with Tri City Electric. “This experience added greatly to my overall knowledge of the electrical industry.”
Today, it’s that extensive knowledge and passion or the lighting industry that makes Christino a key player on the Ion Lighting team.
“My favorite thing about working with Ion Lighting’s clients is the hands-on approach we take to every project,” he says. “No end user has an unlimited budget for their project so we specialize in helping them achieve their design intent while keeping cost and schedule in mind. It is also important to me that the contractors are familiar and comfortable with our products prior to them being on site. All this adds to my preferred ‘TEAM’ approach to every project.”