tED Magazine 30 Under 35 Winner to be Honored by University

tED Magazine 30 Under 35 Winner to be Honored by University


JACKSON, MICHIGAN – August 14th, 2014 – Each year, Siena Heights University honors its distinguished alumni with four unique alumni awards. The Adrian, Michigan based University released the four names of the annual honorees in May of this year, and amongst them were one of Jackson’s very own young professionals. A recipient of the Recent Graduate Award, Kyle Leighton, is being honored for his professional success in the public relations field, commitment to sustainability, and community volunteering in the Jackson area. “I know Kyle well, and he has worked incredibly hard to achieve what he has in a very short period of time especially given that fact that at one point he was pursuing his professional career and attending Siena at the same time,” said Zachary Orlosky, co-classmate and Siena Heights University alumni.

Determined by the Siena Heights University Alumni Association Board of Directors, the Recent Graduate award recognizes alumni who have graduated within the past 10 years, and whose professional achievement, community involvement and/or civic commitment demonstrate dedication to Christian values and the spirit of Siena Heights University. “I have a lot of gratitude for Siena Heights University and the education that I received there,” explained Leighton. “My experience at SHU absolutely impacted my professional career and I’m looking forward to homecoming weekend this year with them.”

In 2012, Leighton designed and launched a Michigan Energy Awareness Initiative that was adopted throughout the state to increase awareness surrounding energy savings; rebate awareness, economic growth, and Michigan made products. The initiative garnered extensive support and concluded in 2013 with nearly 6,700 energy efficient commercial fixtures sold state-wide, 2.5 million garnered in sales, and a 60 percent reduction in energy costs for those Michigan businesses.

In early 2013, he was published in the Parking Professional magazine, an international publication, regarding a study on Michigan State University’s energy reduction at their Wharton Center. Since then, he has been published in several industry leading publications regarding best practices for commercial buildings to become energy efficient by installing SMART lighting; including a handbook for building owners and contractors published by California Lighting Technology Center (part of the Department of Design at the University of California, Davis). The handbook explains some of the new California State Lighting Codes that go into effect in 2014.

Leighton was also named to tED Magazine’s list of emerging electrical industry leaders in the United States and honored at the National Association of Electrical Distributors LEAD Conference in Chicago, Illinois last year. Lauded as one of the top PR professionals in the nationwide electrical industry by the St. Louis, Missouri based publication, tED Magazine ran a feature article on Leighton late this summer also naming Siena Heights University as his Alma Mater.

Furthermore, Leighton holds a seat on the Advisory Council for Jackson College’s Business Program, and is also one of their adjunct instructors for first year seminars and business courses. “Kyle’s outstanding professional achievement coupled with his nationally recognized potential provides the evidence SHU needed to choose Kyle for this honor,” commented Douglas Jones, Adjunct Instructor at Jackson College. “I often share Kyle’s ongoing success with my students. He is a great example for students at Jackson College.”

A President’s Lunch will precede the 4 p.m. awards presentation on Friday September 26th, and a kick-off Homecoming reception will follow the ceremony. In addition to meeting with other SHU classes on Thursday and Friday morning, Leighton will be introduced during halftime of SHU’s homecoming football game with his girlfriend Erica Konopka, whom also briefly attended SHU, against Olivet Nazarene University. “Erica and I are both excited to go back and visit. These circumstances make it that much more special, but we both are looking forward to this year’s homecoming,” Leighton commented.

Other alumni recognized were Colleen Lewis Agilar, Dr. Thomas Bilan, and US Congressman Darrell Issa.

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