Brooke Ford – Orion Design Associates
Brooke talks to us about his experience with Garden Light LED and shows us why he was asked to be a featured speaker at the Dealer Congress.
Brooke Ford is currently the President of Orion Design Associates, a manufacturer’s representative based in West Palm Beach, FL. Orion Design Associates specializes in residential and commercial lighting products and was launched in January of this year as a direct result of the continued evolution of the CEDIA / Integration dealer channel. The national CEDIA integration accounts have experienced several significant evolutions in their business over the years and most recently they are being asked to provide the lighting fixtures as a part of their projects which were previously focused on programming and controls. Brooke and his business partner Scott Summers saw an opportunity to form Orion Design Associates to help their customers make a smooth transition incorporating lighting products that were tested and proven to work as part of any desired control strategy. Orion Design Associates has a sister company (Orion Integrated Systems) which has been in business for over 10 years specializing in audio/visual, HVAC, security, and shading solution products. Together these two companies strive to offer the necessary products and expertise required to complete many modern high-end residential and commercial projects.
Brooke was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah and is the youngest of 5 siblings (1 brother and 3 sisters). His mother was a school teacher and his father was an assistant attorney general for the State of Utah and a Colonel in the Utah Army National Guard. He graduated from Brighton High School and then served a two-year service mission to Monterrey, Mexico for his church. Upon his return from Mexico he joined the Utah Army National Guard as a member of the 19th Special Forces Group and simultaneously enrolled in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) at the University of Utah and upon his graduation was commissioned as a Regular Army Infantry Office in the U.S. Army. Brooke spent the next several years on active duty and served as a Rifle Platoon Leader, Scout Platoon Leader, Company Executive Officer and Brigade Plan officer as a member of the 101st Airborne Division, 4th Infantry Division and 40th Infantry Division. During his years in the military, he deployed to Korea, Kuwait, Haiti and Iraq in support of various missions.
Upon leaving active duty Brooke took a job with Lutron Electronics and was initially focused on distribution sales and rep management working with key accounts and agents in Utah, Arizona, Idaho, California, Oregon, and Washington. In January of 2004, he was called back to active duty and assigned as the company commander for Bravo Company, 1st Battalion / 160th Infantry (40th Infantry Division), California Army National Guard. He commanded a unit of 135 men and was the first unit to deploy to combat from the State of California since the Korean War. Brooke deployed to Baghdad, Iraq in 2004 and spent a year leading his unit in support of various missions, primarily including personal protection for the U.S. State Department and New Iraqi Government along with various direct action missions. His unit was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for their combat service upon their return to the U.S. in 2005.
Brooke returned to Lutron and spent several years working in a variety of positions (residential systems sales, commercial sales, and specification) and his last position was as an Area Leader for the Southeastern United States where he managed the commercial, residential, distribution and shading solutions business units for Lutron. He has also worked for Group Dekko as the Global Director of Sales, AMX as the Director of Army Sales and Lucifer Lighting as Director of Sales.
Brooke has been married to his wife of 23 years (Susan) and they reside in Orlando, FL, they are the parents of three daughters; Victoria (20), Casey (18) and Alexis (15). His educational and military awards include; a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Education from Excelsior College, a bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Utah, a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Troy University, Bronze Star Medal, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Ranger Tab, and the Airborne and Air Assault badges.