Meet some of the amazing women in our industry

On this International Women's Day, we thought it would be a great opportunity to meet some of the amazing women in our industry. 

In 2022, we were honored to be able to interview a number of successful women working in various aspects of lighting. Here is a recap of those articles. 

Amber Whatley


When Amber Whatley decided to study lighting design in college, she quickly realized that many of her peers were coming to the program with prior training because of the programs that existed at the high school level. Unfortunately, in the majority of Black communities in the United States, public schools aren’t able to offer arts programs because they are focused on raising enough money to hire core-subject teachers. Drama clubs, AV clubs, and theatre classes, simply don’t exist. Amber is changing that with her intro to lighting courses. Read more about the program on her website. 

Erica Maholmes


Like so many designers in this industry, Erica Lauren Maholmes says she came upon her career by accident. And like so many students, the momentum of her young career was dramatically impacted when the world shut down in 2020. Despite the unfortunate timing, however, she is an inspiration to students and other young designers trying to pick up where they left off.

Mextly Couzin


Couzin is a Mexican American designer with a passion for opera, a BS in pure mathematics, and an associate design credit on a show currently running on Broadway.

Rebecca Bonebrake


Here is a woman who, like others, has ties to the theatre, but unlike the others, makes a living as an architectural lighting designer. This segment of lighting design is lesser known, but is definitely one of those careers that gives us pause and makes us ask, “wait, someone gets to do that for a living?” With an impressive resume of equally impressive projects, meet Rebecca Bonebrake.

Sherrice Mojgani and Venus Gulbranson


This is a conversation between Sherrice Mojgani, lighting designer, and Venus Gulbranson, assistant lighting designer. The two discuss their own thoughts on the professional process, expectations, and assumed duties of both lighting designers and their assistants.


We couldn't have an article about amazing women in the industry without featuring a couple of our own ETC ladies.

Anne Valentino


Anne worked with and for ETC for nearly 30 years by the time she retired in October of 2020. She finished out her career at ETC as the Senior Product Manager for Entertainment Controls. Prior to that, in the early 90s, she was the manager of ETC’s Research and Development group where she co-designed the Obsession control desk. In this article, we go even further back to her days before ETC.

Wendy Luedtke


Wendy is the Product Technology Specialist for color at ETC and is a member of its Advance Research Group (ARG). She chaired the Color Committee for the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America for eight years, remains a member, and is also a member of both the ESTA-TSP Photometrics Working Group and United Scenic Artists Local 829. Previously, she was the product manager for color and lighting at Rosco Laboratories, Inc. With more than 15 years of experience designing lighting for theater, live entertainment, corporate events, and architectural projects, she definitely qualifies as a woman worth knowing in the industry.

Additional resources

Are you a woman in the industry looking for additional resources and support? Check out WILD - Women in Lighting + Design and this article they did for Women's History Month, interviewing another collection of amazing women in the industry. 

And Women in Lighting, an online organization that gives encouragement, resources, and inspiration to women in lighting design. Here's a link to an article they published back in 2020 about the first female, African American lighting designer, Shirley Prendergast.

Shirley Prendergast




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Rachel Frederick
Rachel has worked with ETC since 2007. She takes advantage of the limited warm months in Wisconsin by participating in outdoor activities like camping, paddle boarding, kayaking, and riding waterslides. She has several gardens that she swears she’ll be able to keep up with someday. And she enjoys stretchy things like new socks, yoga, and taffy. She writes a lot, she reads a lot and she plays with her kids a lot.