Candela Systems Corporation, Hawthorne

General Excellence Award



James Bernardo

Photography by Toshi Tasaki

With a staff of more than 25 experts in the field of lighting and electricity—boasting numerous certifications and Master Electrical licenses—and a commitment to providing the highest-quality energy-efficient lighting technology for its clients, Hawthorne-based Candela Systems Corporation has been going strong for the last 22 years. “We are the go-to company for energy conservation, lighting upgrades, and Smart-lighting controls,” company CEO James S. Bernardo says proudly. 

It didn’t seem that way a few years ago. In March 2013, Candela took a turn for the worse when they accepted a lucrative but “ultimately poorly managed” offer to expand the business internationally. “I also made some really bad decisions,” Bernardo adds, “which compounded the issues,” leading to employee terminations and mounting debt.

But, he says, thanks to “hard work, determination, and surrounding myself with Westchester’s talent pool of great people,” Candela was able to rebound. Today, the company offers expertise in electrical installations, energy-management systems, emergency-egress lighting systems, and stage/theatrical-lighting systems for a wide range of clients. (The company just recently won contracts with two Ivy League universities.)

Bernardo believes that going green is more than just a trend, explaining that “by implementing sustainable lighting solutions, clients achieve a measurable reduction of total lighting costs and increased system performance.”

As the Candela CEO celebrates the renewed success of the business, he recalls those who aided him during their  struggle: “If it weren’t for this community, Candela Systems simply would not be here today.”  

 

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