GE Lighting Celebrates 100 Years of Innovation at Nela Park Headquarters

Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:36pm EDT

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GE Lighting Celebrates 100 Years of Innovation at Nela Park Headquarters

  • GE Foundation donates $500,000 and GE Lighting commits volunteers to two local nonprofits
  • GE Lighting opens museum highlighting its impact on the progression of lighting design and application
  • GE Lighting announces a sweepstakes for a chance to win a home lighting makeover

To celebrate GE Lighting’s 100 years at its headquarters—Nela Park in East Cleveland, Ohio—the GE Foundation has donated $500,000 to two Northeast Ohio nonprofit health centers: Neighborhood Family Practice (NFP) and Northeast Ohio Neighborhood Health Services (NEON). The grants are part of the GE Foundation’s Developing Health program whose goal is to increase access to healthcare in underserved communities. These grants increase the GE Foundation’s total footprint to 33 U.S. cities and more than 100 nonprofit community health centers. Both organizations received $250,000, as well as a three-year commitment of skills-based volunteer service from GE Lighting.

To celebrate GE Lighting's 100 years at its headquarters, Nela Park in East Cleveland, Ohio, Preside ...

To celebrate GE Lighting's 100 years at its headquarters, Nela Park in East Cleveland, Ohio, President and CEO, Maryrose Sylvester, presents donation on behalf of the GE Foundation to Neighborhood Family Practice. (Photo: General Electric)

The $250,000 donation to NFP will help support the expansion of its integrated behavioral health offering to Cleveland’s West Side community. For NEON, the grant will help fund the organization’s Patient Navigator Services Program, which is designed to increase access to healthcare for patients with diabetes and provide financial counseling. Specifically, NEON plans to use the funds to hire a case manager and facilitate the program. The GE Foundation’s Developing Health U.S. and Developing Health Globally programs have positively impacted the health of more than 14 million people around the world.

In addition to the donations to NFP and NEON, the Nela Park centennial celebration offered more than 100 guests and hundreds of Nela Park employees the opportunity to reflect on the rich history of the nation’s first industrial park—and to look toward the future of lighting.

“As the lighting industry continues its rapid transformation, it’s important to reflect on the accomplishments of those who came before us,” said Maryrose Sylvester, president and CEO, GE Lighting. “We value the opportunity to learn from the experiences and genius of inventors like GE’s founder, Thomas Edison, and GE scientists like LED inventor Nick Holonyak and Nela Park’s recently retired Lou Nerone, whose more than 100 patents improved the performance of GE’s fluorescent lighting systems.”

Sylvester added: “For every well told story of GE greatness, there are thousands of significant accomplishments and discoveries that are dutifully saving customers billions of dollars in energy and maintenance costs every year. We’re innovating for customers because when they’re successful, we’re successful.”

Sylvester, invited guests and hundreds of Nela Park employees also took time to inaugurate the GE Museum of Lighting Innovation, an educational resource now accessible to the more than 4,000 commercial customers who visit Nela Park each year.

Earlier in the day, GE employees gathered to witness the unearthing of a nearly 100-year-old time capsule and the burial of a new one. The time capsule from 1916 included some of the first bulbs developed at Nela Park, original blue prints of Nela Park and engineering documents and photographs. The newly buried time capsule contained energy-efficient bulbs of today, including GE’s energy smart® LED and CFL bulbs and historical artifacts, such as some of the first GE Mazda bulbs sold for general home lighting and Nela Park history books.

Home Lighting Makeover
GE Lighting is inviting U.S. consumers to join the celebration, too. In honor of Nela Park’s centennial, GE Lighting will be giving away a whole home lighting makeover. The winner will consult with GE Lighting designers to help select energy-efficient lighting options from GE Lighting, including GE reveal® bulbs, GE Bright from the Start™ CFLs and energy smart LED bulbs. To enter, simply go to the GE Lighting page on Facebook (Facebook.com/GELighting) from April 18 – May 9, and access the Sweepstakes application. After reading the Official Rules, complete all required fields on the entry form and follow the on-screen instructions to submit an entry form to receive one entry into the Sweepstakes. Limit of one entry per person/email address. No purchase is necessary.

Nela Park and the GE Lighting Institute
In addition to being the nation’s first industrial campus and GE Lighting’s world headquarters, the Nela Park property was once a vineyard known as “Panorama Heights.” Chosen for what was then a rural location, the 92-acre campus sits approximately 234 feet above—and three miles from—Lake Erie. The “Nela” in the park’s name stands for “National Electrical Lamp Association,” an organization that was eventually purchased by GE.

On April 18, 1913, GE Lighting moved its headquarters from a downtown location at East 45th Street and Hough Avenue to Nela Park in a caravan of cars and horse-drawn carriages. At the time, the move was known as one of the biggest in Cleveland’s history. Not only was it completed in a day, but employees only missed three hours of work. Since its establishment, Nela Park has been home to a number of innovations including both halogen and LED technologies. In 1975 Nela Park was listed in the National Registry of Historic Places.

Since the founding of the Nela School of Lighting in 1924—it became the GE Lighting Institute in 1933—over a quarter million customers from around the world have visited the Nela Park campus for training and education. For more information about GE Lighting’s Nela Park campus, visit GE’s Lighting Institute and GE’s Nela Park historical overview.

About GE Lighting
GE Lighting invents with the vigor of its founder Thomas Edison to develop energy-efficient solutions that change the way people light their world in commercial, industrial, municipal and residential settings. The business employs about 15,000 people in more than 100 countries, and sells products under the Reveal® and Energy Smart® consumer brands, and Evolve ™, GTx™, Immersion™, Infusion™, Lumination™, Albeo™ and Tetra® commercial brands, all trademarks of GE. General Electric (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter to build a world that works better. For more information, visit www.gelighting.com.

About the GE Foundation
The GE Foundation, the philanthropic organization of GE, works to solve some of the world’s most difficult problems. With its partners, the GE Foundation focuses its efforts in the areas of health, education, the environment and disaster relief. In 2011, the GE family invested more than $198 million to global community and educational needs. For more information, visit www.gefoundation.com.

GE Lighting
David Schuellerman, 216-266-9702
david.schuellerman@ge.com