2016 Business Leader of the Year Michael Sestak (2nd from left) with Chamber President Richard Hernandez, Board Member Fred Palmer and Immediate Past President Paul Weubbe

2016 Business Leader of the Year Michael Sestak (2nd from left) with Chamber President Richard Hernandez, Board Member Fred Palmer and Immediate Past President Paul Weubbe. Photo: Monica Neumann Lunardi photo artist

The Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce has named Michael Sestak, founder and owner of Sestak Lighting Design, as its 2016 Business Leader of the Year.
Sestak is a former Chamber board member and president who initiated a partnership with the Sacramento Kings to facilitate contracting opportunities for small, local businesses during construction of the Golden 1 Arena. As a Chamber leader, Sestak also played an important role in garnering support for AB 1678, which requires companies regulated by the California Public Utility Commission to include LGBT-owned businesses in their supplier diversity efforts.

“I am extremely proud of Michael Sestak and his selection as Business Leader of the Year for the Rainbow Chamber of Commerce,” said Chamber President Richard Hernandez. “Michael and I both had the opportunity to open the Hyatt Regency Sacramento in 1988. Through the years it has been a pleasure to see Michael grow into the successful business person that he has become in Sacramento. In addition, Michael has contributed in so many charitable ways to support our LGBT community. Congratulations, Michael.”

“It’s a real honor to be chosen as the Business Leader of the Year for 2016,” Sestak said. “Through leadership and community activism for our LGBT community, I accept this award and look forward to promoting our fellow members and their businesses.”

The Business Leader of the Year is selected by a panel of Chamber and community leaders and recognizes an individual who has demonstrated leadership success within his or her business and the business community as well as within the Sacramento LGBT community and who has and will continue to serve as a role model for the Greater Sacramento community.

Sestak launched his lighting design business in 2000 following a successful culinary career, beginning at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco and later serving as pastry chef at Sacramento’s then newly opened Hyatt and at Mace’s, Biba’s, and Ettore’s European Bakery. After obtaining his California Contractors C-10 license and developing his technical skills through courses provided by SMUD and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, he built his business creating custom-designed installations for high-profile clients in the Sacramento area, such as Mark Friedman, Michael Lyon, Lina and Ken Fat, Jeanne Reaves, Cecilia Delury and Vince Jacobs.

Sestak’s commercial and residential lighting projects include the award-winning exterior lighting design for the California Governor’s Mansion, the interior lighting at Badlands nightclub, and the red-blue glow lighting at the top of the L Street Lofts. Most recently Sestak designed the colored lighting features in the UPRR underpass entryway and Clubhouse at the newly opened McKinley Village development in East Sacramento.

Established in 2001, the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce is a regional chamber serving LGBT business owners and professionals in northern California, as well as straight allies who support its mission of fostering a prosperous, diverse and inclusive business climate.