Tony Wang, founder of WAC Lighting, Port Washington, NY, recently announced that Leonard Schwartz, a highly respected member of the WAC family veteran has died.
According to Wang, "Leonard was one of the finest men I ever met. A gentleman in every sense of the word, he was very generous, kind and highly successful in his personal and professional life. He was instrumental in helping our family build WAC into the industry leader it has become today."
"Leonard meant so much to so many of us," said Shelley Wald, WAC Lighting’s president, in the press release. "He always inspired people and had a great gift for seeing the best in everyone. By his example, he helped people aspire to be better. We will sorely miss his patient empathy, fierce friendship, and generosity of spirit."
Schwartz worked for WAC for more than three decades, serving as executive VP of sales and as a marketing & sales representative and consultant. He is survived by his daughters Beverly Weiser and Joann Raby. His son Hal Schwartz, and grandchildren Sam and Renee, continue to represent the WAC and its affiliated brands. In addition to Sam and Renee, he is also survived by seven other grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Leonard enjoyed a long career in the lighting industry starting as a factory representative for Lightolier in the late 1950s. Soon thereafter, he went to work as a salesman for Electrical Distributing Company (EDCO) in San Antonio, TX. He learned the business and eventually purchased EDCO several years later.
During this time, he established Southwest Lighting to produce some of his own lighting products for resale. He sold EDCO and concentrated on manufacturing. Southwest Lighting was combined with Eagle Lighting before becoming American Lantern. When American Lantern was winding down operations, Schwartz was ready for another challenge and formed Leonard M. Schwartz and Associates. He owned and operated his rep business for a few years before selling his agency to concentrate full time on his next and last career journey with WAC Lighting.