Mark Carlson

ELLI Founder/ Administrator/ Educator (’19 – present)

  • Director: Composition Series


  • Avalon Lighting Design—Owner/ Lighting Designer-Contractor (’99 – present)


  • Degree: Botany (’87), Calif. State Univ., Long Beach

Certifications/ Specialties:

  • Licenced Landscape Contractor, C-27 (’92)
  • AOLP Certified Low Voltage Lighting Technician (CLVLT)–(’06)
  • AOLP Certified Outdoor Lighting Designer (COLD)–(’11)
  • AOLP Educator (’09 – ’12)—primary writer/developer of COLD program
  • AOLP Technical Writer—primary writer for revised Standards for Installation
  • IESNA Visionary Challenge 2020—selected winner for white paper
  • Book Author—’Lighting Design Awareness-Composition’ (’22), and ‘The Original Garden Lighting Book’ (’13)
  • Featured professional magazines—Professional Lighting Design, Sunset, Pro Landscaper, Landscape Contractor, Home Improvements & Remodeling, and several others

Clientele & Service Areas:

  • Primarily Sacramento regions & N. California/ Some works in S. CA, OR, AZ, and NV
  • International projects: Playa Flamingo, Costa Rica/ Edmonton, Alberta, Canada/ Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Background Overview:
Mark has worked for four different California landscape architectural firms through his career. He served in a junior engineer’s position at Kiewit-Pacific, a western USA based company. In addition, he has worked in several management and/or leadership roles within the U.S. Army, Hunter Douglas, Wendy’s International, as well as his own businesses.

He also served in a sales role for regional development with CopperMoon lighting (’09-’11). Mark provided a blog series (’13 – ’15) to help educate and/or present controversial insights towards poor practices by landscape lighting providers. Currently, he is focused on the development and legacy of what ELLI can provide for the next generation of lighting designers.

Chris Mitchell

ELLI Advisory Board/ Educator (’21 – present)

  • Director: Business Series


  • NiteLiter’s Inc.—Lighting Designer/ Trainer (’98 – present)


  • Degree: Housing Design (‘91), Univ. of Missouri
  • Assoc. Degree: Business (’91), Univ. of Missouri

Certifications/ Specialties:

  • AOLP Certified Low Voltage Lighting Technician (CLVLT)—(’06)
  • AOLP Certified Outdoor Lighting Designer (COLD)—(’11)
  • ILLI Intensive Course certificate (’11)
  • ILLI Intensive Course Mentor/ Lead Mentor (’12 – present)
  • Sandler Sales training (’10 – ’14)

Clientele & Service Areas:

  • Primarily KY, IN, and TN

Background Overview:
Chris has accumulated most of the landscape lighting certifications that exist in today’s market. For about 20 years, he’s served as a lighting designer, installer, and maintenance service provider. His company is one of the few across the country that is an excellent model utilizing systems in their business program. He has served many years working directly with Janet L. Moyer and the ILLI mentor team.

He also served as Chief Experience Officer (CXO) of Amino Health (’16-’20) where he was responsible for the experiences of both the staff and patients. One of these considerations was lighting and ensuring that the lighting was synchronized and in harmony with the patient’s biological rhythms.

ELLI Founder Notes:
Chris has been a personal friend since the early days of our involvement with the AOLP. Over the years, he has been an excellent sounding board and advisor to me. His personality is ideal, not only for the ELLI mission, but in helping to motivate everyone involved in our program development.

Chris is very confident and has a special way of exploring one’s intent and thoughts. This ability makes him unique in that he can help to advance goals. He has been selected a Director of the Business Series of educational training. In addition, Chris has direct experience within the health care community, which is a longer-term goal of ELLI—to tie good lighting design into a tool to provide positively in human well-being.

George Winterling

ELLI Advisory Board/ Educator (’22 – present)

  • Director: Applications Series


  • Winterling Lighting, Inc.—CEO/ Lighting Designer (’82 – present)


  • Degree: Social Psychology & Business (’77), Univ. of Maryland
  • Graduate: Realtor Institute, Maryland
  • Educator: Landscape Lighting for Lands. Architect program—Fanshawe College, London, Ontario

Certifications/ Specialties:

  • Featured professional magazines: Architectural Digest, Vogue, W, Millionaire Homes, and several others
  • Licensed Realtor: MD, DE, and VA

Clientele & Service Areas:

  • Primarily Florida, California and New York/ Some works in TX, HI, MD, VA, GA, and LA
  • International projects: Bali, Indonesia, England, Italy, the Americas, China, and Caribbean

Background Overview:
George is credited with so many wonderful projects over his career—too many to list, as it all began in 1979. Initially, George worked with John Watson Landscape Illumination and established an office in Palm Beach, FL and Nassau, Bahamas. In 1982, he left this organization and established Caribbean Lighting Design and ultimately returned to the Palm Beach area. He performed his services throughout the world for elite clients and commercial projects for over 40 years.

Not only is George a lighting designer, but he is a photographer, pilot, in addition to his licensing in real estate. Once again, he is not short of professional experiences, which is a huge asset to ELLI and its students.

George is an innovator, too, as he learned many techniques during his early years with John Watson, Artistic Lighting, and William Wertz, as well as several architects, Burle Marx, John Randal McDonald, Carson Wright, Peter Marino and others. He worked with Peter Jackson of Wendel Lighting to develop new product designs. Because of this, George developed his own style of concealing light sources and selectively pruning trees to allow the internal illumination of these forms. He has been recognized for his glare-free designs and treating these environments as a ‘whole’—concepts specifically aligned with the ELLI approach.

ELLI Founder Notes:
I found George just by luck on LinkedIn, as he has worked more or less privately for the past four decades. He is a “hidden gem” and one in which we wish to celebrate with the world. George accepted our invitation to aid the ELLI mission—“To educate and separate.”

We are fortunate to have George within this group because he brings a wealth of experience and lighting applications knowledge. He has been selected a Director of the Applications Series. There are very few working today with his experience of ‘how to’ properly illuminate, especially from within trees.