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Kevin Loretto 1952 – 2018

Kevin Loretto 1952 – 2018

USA – Kevin Loretto, popular New York-based lighting and technical sales specialist died on 23rd January in New York, surrounded by his loving family, after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Celebrating his life, bubbly personality, resilience, dignity and amazing contributions to the world of entertainment and performance lighting, his friends and colleagues at Robe Lighting are all proud and privileged to have had the chance to work alongside Kevin for the last five years.

He is survived by his wife and soulmate of 29 years, Penny Loretto, three children: Tammy Monroe, Kerry Watkins and Robert Monroe and four grandchildren, and will be hugely missed by everyone.

Kevin graduated from St John’s University in Queens, New York in 1974 and has worked in many jobs over the years primarily in marketing and sales. It was his love of music which led him into entertainment industry lighting for the last 11 years of his career, where he became successful, and loved and respected by everyone whose lives he touched.

His infectious and affable persona and excellent communication skills opened doors wherever he went, bringing his unique gentle humour, intellect and lateral thinking to any scenario.

Since 2013 Kevin worked as north-east regional sales manager at Robe North America, where he excelled and seized the chance to develop relationships with those at the forefront of creativity and innovation in the worlds of theatre and performing arts, an environment he totally embraced and had his finger on the pulse.

Previously he was a director of sales for Creative Stage Lighting where he also built a solid network of long-term industry relationships and connections. They also happened to be a Robe customer.

Harry von den Stemmen was CEO of Robe North America at the time and recruited Kevin as the first addition to what was then a very small team. Kevin saw potential and was keen to work for the Czech brand and help put them on the map, and Harry immediately recognised talents and a skill set that would make some serious waves.

He certainly made his mark, introducing many influential designers to Robe, bringing guests regularly to the factory and HQ in the Czech Republic and working hard on the Robe booth at numerous international trade shows, his last one being LDI 2017 in Las Vegas just two months ago.

Kevin was known for his interesting ideas and ability to think out-of-the-box, presenting a number of cool and alternative solutions for achieving a result.

He loved life and enjoyed outdoor activities and utilising his college major in marine biology to enhance scuba diving, hiking, camping, kayaking and fishing.

He also loved to travel and experience other cultures and lifestyles. His absolutely favourite place was the state of Maine where he spent the last 25 years camping each summer with his wife and grandchildren.

Working for Robe enabled him to combine his enthusiasm for both music and travelling. It was a fulfilling job he relished every hour of every day.

“Kevin played an instrumental role in the incredible US sales team which has helped build and establish Robe as a leading player in North America” said Robe CEO Josef Valchar, “but above all, throughout his time with us, he’s been valued as a fantastic friend and Robe family member as well as a great employee.”

Harry stated: “We all loved his tenacity, his gritty New York spirit, his intelligence and his eloquence – he was always up for a discussion and a debate and could always posture from both sides of an argument!”

Bob Schacherl, CEO of Robe North America commented: “I have known Kevin since 2013 and enjoyed first-hand the pleasure of seeing his honesty, dedication and impressive energy in action. His non-judgmental and inclusive outlook on life was a breath of fresh air, together with his ability to balance the life-work equation of family and career so brilliantly.”

Lorienn Cochenour, Robe North America’s COO / CFO stated: “Kevin has left his mark indelibly, from his great commitment and the colour and fun he brought to all those around him to his intense work ethic and the inspirational and positive way in which he dealt with and fought illness right to the end.”

Kevin was passionate about advancing technical education opportunities and training in the arts, and Robe will be administering The Kevin Loretto Education Fund in his memory through USITT. This will support students studying lighting and other technical disciples through workshops, seminars, training sessions, outreach programs and a number of other initiatives, including their annual trade show.

Those wishing to donate to the Fund can do so at  

For those who wish, a special remembrance can be made to the family by visiting

In picture: Kevin with his wife, Penny.

26th January 2018

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