The Light Center in Fort Collins is a local and small business with 33 dedicated employees. Jessica Verderame is the newest addition to the group and brings new ideas and designs in her position as the Design and Merchandising Specialist.
We R FoCo had the opportunity to speak with Jessica to find out more about her past, present, her love for Fort Collins, and to welcome her to her new position at The Light Center in Fort Collins.
We R FoCo: Where are you from?
Jessica: That’s a little complex! I was born and raised in northeast Ohio. Then I moved to New York City after high school to pursue music. That didn’t work out, but I lived in NYC for over 10 years.
We R FoCo: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Jessica: I attended Saint Francis College and earned a BA in Psychology in 2008, then completed coursework for interior design at the Art Institute of NYC. Before college, I worked in fine dining in NYC, so I love to cook. My husband, John, and I met in 2000 while working in restaurants in Rockefeller Center- it was kind of like a movie! We have been married for almost 17 years and have two daughters- Gianna/Gia (8 years old) and Francesca/Frankie (6 years old) and a rescue mutt named Noodles. I love weightlifting, so six mornings per week I’m in my home gym! I serve on the Foundation Board of Directors for Foothills Gateway as they were instrumental in providing early intervention services for my youngest daughter. We also love to hike!
We R FoCo: What is your experience?
Jessica: I worked as a designer for LaZBoy in SoHo, a stager with New York Home Staging Solutions, and on independent freelance design projects. We chose to relocate to Florida in 2010 to start a family and decided to leave our current industries for a more family-friendly one that wasn’t dependent on the market. The 2008 crash had a big impact on both our industries. We moved to Fort Collins in 2014 when our kids were 2 years old and 8 months old and we just bought our first place out here in Wellington in May.
We R FoCo: Where were you working previously and what was your role?
Jessica: Prior to working at The Light Center, I was the Development and Retention Coordinator for the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce.
We R FoCo: How did you find this position with The Light Center?
Jessica: I really missed working in design and staging and wanted to get back into it. I reached out to my network on Instagram and Facebook looking for people who would let me work on their space so I could build up my local portfolio. Jennifer and I connected last year while I was in Leadership Fort Collins. The Light Center generously donated fixtures for our project, which was renovating the ladies’ room in the Murphy Center. She saw my post and messaged me right away (I believe it was “we need to talk!”). We met for coffee and she told me about her vision for The Light Center and asked me if I wanted to collaborate, which led to the creation of my position. I loved working for the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce, but I was so excited by the possibilities and so honored to be able to work with Jennifer and her family that I couldn’t say no!
We R FoCo: What do you enjoy most about living and working in Fort Collins?
Jessica: I have found the people in Fort Collins to be the kindest, most generous and welcoming people in all the places I have lived. I feel that for the short amount of time we have lived here, we are so well connected and informed, and this truly feels like home to us. I think the way in which the people here reach out to each other for friendship, collaboration, feedback, etc. is so unique. It truly feels like the community wrapped their arms around our family. While working for the Chamber, I truly enjoyed connecting with local businesses and helping them with their needs. Now I am excited to interact with the community in a different way, whether it’s providing an incredible showroom experience, staging a property, or designing interiors for residential or commercial spaces.
The Light Center is a family-owned, full-service lighting center located in Fort Collins, Colorado. Their local staff is knowledgeable and experienced with some employees dedicating 15+ years to this Fort Collins business. Stop by and visit Jessica today for a one-of-a-kind experience and all your custom lighting design needs. The Light Center is located at 2725 S College Avenue or visit lightcenterinc.com for additional information.