“Through these doors walk the finest manufacturers in the world!” reads a sign above a doorway in B-K Lighting. Employees, several of whom are Fresno State alums, file through the doorway smiling and chuckling at each others’ jokes, amiable and comfortable, happy.
B-K Lighting is a family-owned outdoor lighting company that started here in the Central Valley in 1984. Their office, in the countryside of Madera County near Valley Children’s Hospital, has a family atmosphere feeling — taxidermy bucks line the walls from the owner’s hunting trips, American flags and war memorials hang proudly throughout the entire building, the company holds season tickets at Bulldog Stadium which employees share every football season.
The entire B-K “family,” including B-K’s partner companies Blue Dolphin Design and Engineering, Star Finishes and Teka Illumination, totals about 105 total employees. Of those, six are Fresno State alumni, with degrees ranging from mechanical engineering and industrial art, to accounting and computer science.
Nathan Sloan (2005), president of B-K Lighting, has worked for the company for over 20 years. “It’s a family company and the atmosphere lends itself to family,” Sloan said. “We can joke around with each other, we get to have fun.
“You come to work and there’s that camaraderie, but we know when to get down to business and get work done.”
And B-K Lighting has done some impressive work. Fresno State alums there design products that can be found around the world — Dubai, South America, Europe. Almost every hotel in Las Vegas gets its glow from B-K, including the Bellagio. They’ve done lighting jobs for war memorials across the country, including the Flight 93 Memorial, in Stonycreek Township, Pennsylvania. Their catalogs and promotions, designed by Fresno State alum Toni Eamigh, have won multiple ADDY awards.
The quality of their work worldwide is reflected internally at their Madera headquarters. Each of the Fresno State alumni noted how much they appreciate working for a family-oriented company and how strongly B-K Lighting encourages and supports their personal and professional growth.
Shaun Cuaron (Lyles College of Engineering, computer science, mechanical engineering, 2005) noted that when he was fresh out of college and started working at B-K Lighting, he was put in the position to start developing product right away.
“I learned really fast and I think I was able to accelerate in my career faster than I would have in most other places,” he said.
“You spend most of your time at work, but there’s still a personal life that we know everyone has to be able to grow,” Sloan said. “If we can help in some way — whether it’s time off or financially — we’re behind your personal and professional development.”
B-K Lighting supports Fresno State athletics and the Madera High Robotics team, and many employees are still connected with clubs they participated in as Fresno State students. The company also sends care packages to soldiers, sending one every month for the last ten years, and participates in “Sea of Red” Fridays, where employees wear red shirts in support of American troops.