Lighting Designer Michael Sestak is 2016 Rainbow Chamber Business Leader of Year

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.

Gov. Brown to Help Light Up Governor’s Mansion Nov. 4

RCC President Michael Sestak Instrumental in Mansion Lighting Upgrade

Special Evening Event to Celebrate Completion of the Third Floor Restoration Plus Major Irrigation & Outdoor Lighting Donations

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California State Parks and the California State Historic Governor’s Mansion Foundation are pleased to announce a special “Light Up the Night” evening event on Monday, November 4, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park (SHP).  RCC President Michael Sestak Governor's Mansion LightingThe special event is designed to celebrate the completion of the third floor restoration project, the installation of a state-of-the-art outdoor lighting system and a new environmentally-friendly irrigation system for the Mansion gardens. As an event highlight, honored guest Governor Jerry Brown will officially “light up the night” by activating the eye-catching new lighting system once darkness falls.

 Working through the Sacramento Historic Sites Association, a State Parks Cooperating Association, a devoted group of Governor’s Mansion docents worked diligently for the past 30 years to raise the needed $100,000 in funds earmarked specifically to restore the Mansion’s third floor for public viewing. As background, a piece of the original crown molding was uncovered a number of years ago that revealed the original paint colors.  That discovery, in turn, spurred a renovation effort to re-create the third floor to its original 1877 splendor. After careful analysis and research, a dedicated team of experts has worked for over a year to re-plaster the walls, re-create the original paint finishes, re-finish the decorative hard-wood floors in the billiard room and the ballroom, and had Victorian carpet custom made for stairs, hallway and sitting parlor. At this point, the team is still searching for funding for grand Victorian chandeliers to finish the project (although some are currently on loan from a generous local resident).

Coinciding with the completion of the third floor restoration of the Governor’s Mansion SHP are two major donations to the exterior of the Mansion as well, including: the installation of a technologically-advanced outdoor lighting system with 110 LED lights that can be individually controlled to light up the Mansion, Carriage House and the grounds (which have never been lit before) that was provided by the Sacramento Chapter Association of Outdoor Lighting Professionals (AOLP); and an environmentally-friendly and low-flow irrigation system donated by a number of involved local companies.  Donations of these two outdoor improvements total approximately $100,000 in materials and labor.  The new exterior lighting will illuminate the grounds and also provide an entirely new street presence for the prized Governor’s Mansion SHP, and the upgraded irrigation system will improve the landscaping while also conserving precious natural resources.

The idea to provide lighting for the exterior of the Mansion came from Michael Sestak, of Sestak Lighting Design.  Sestak was at the Mansion for a special event and thought the majestic house needed to be lit so everyone could appreciate the wonderful architecture and design at night.  He, along with Andy Thomas of Viewpoint Lighting, Scott Sissom of Elegant Outdoor Lighting and the members of the Sacramento Chapter of AOLP helped make the elaborate project happen.

“This celebratory event is significant in scope because it demonstrates what can be accomplished when State Parks, the Foundation, involved docents and community-minded private entities have a vision and work collaboratively to make it happen,” said G. Albert Howenstein, Jr., Chairman of the California State Historic Governor’s Mansion Foundation.  “These exciting high profile projects will help to raise the stature of this magnificent Mansion and further interpret California history for generations to come.”

Tickets to the “Light Up the Night” outdoor reception and cocktail party cost $75 per person and include wine, tasty appetizers from Coyote Tap House, Lucca Restaurant and Bar, Oshimi Sushi, Restaurant Thir13een and Seasons 52, entertaining live music and the opportunity for guests to tour the newly restored third floor before it opens to the public. For advance tickets, more information about the “Light Up the Night” celebratory event or VIP sponsorships, please call 916-646-3827, or email (for event information) or (for VIP sponsorship information).

About the Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park

Beginning with Governor George Pardee and his wife Helen in 1903, the stately Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park served as the home of 13 California governors and their families until 1967, when then-Governor Ronald Reagan and wife Nancy became the last to live there. Operated by California State Parks with financial assistance from the non-profit California State Historic Governor’s

Mansion Foundation, the Governor’s Mansion is open Wednesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.  For more information, call (916) 323-3047 or visit