Here at Southern Lighting Services, we believe it takes a team of highly skilled and well-rounded individuals to ensure that our customers receive the very best service possible. Beyond being a family-owned and -operated company, we also view each of our employees as part of the Southern Lighting family. If it wasn’t for the hard work and dedication of our employees, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
A native of Oceanport, New Jersey, Gary Whichello founded Southern Lighting Services in 1994 after spending many years working in and around the lighting industry. Gary took his knowledge of lighting, applied his work ethic, passion and understanding of the industry, and turned his dream into a reality. Gary is a veteran of the United States Air Force and a graduate of Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, where he received a B.A. in Business Management.
Gary resides in Sunset Beach, NC, and enjoys boating on the Intracoastal Waterway and spending time with his family.
Vice President of Southern Lighting Services and the younger brother of founder Gary Whichello, Steve Whichello joined the company in 1998, helping further expand operations into the western region of the Carolinas. Steve has been an instrumental part of company’s growth, with his experience and industry knowledge proving invaluable to its continued success.
Steve resides in Asheville, NC, and enjoys boating, old cars and spending time with his wife Ramona and two children Bethany and Sarah.
Brian Whichello, son of Gary Whichello, serves as Director of Sales and Marketing for Southern Lighting. From a young age, Brian was involved with the family business, working with his father to learn the ins and outs of the lighting and electrical industries. Brian has worn many hats since his 2006 initiation into the family business, from managing the day-to-day operations and working in the field, to implementing new business strategies aimed at expansion and growth.
Brian resides in Wilmington, NC, and enjoys fishing, boating, mountain biking, attending church and spending time with his wife Megan, as well as his family and friends. Brian is also a Freemason and an active member of St. Johns Lodge #1 A.F. &. A.M. in Wilmington, NC.
Neal, whose electrical career began in 1990, joined Southern Lighting Services in 2003, coming aboard as Director of Operations. Neal comes from a strong electrical background, spending many years as an estimator and project manager. He carries his unlimited electrical license and is responsible for overseeing and managing all of our field service technicians.
Neal resides in Valdese, NC, where he spends his free time working in his garden, fishing and spending time with his wife Leeann and three children, Colton, Tanner and Drew.
Jake began his association with us in 2010, working for Granite Flag and Banner, a subsidiary of Southern Lighting. At Granite Flag and Banner, Jake was responsible for creating an inventory and part number system for the hundreds of products available through both our brick-and-mortar store and our online store. Jake transitioned from Granite Flag and Banner to Southern Lighting Services in April 2013, bringing with him a strong background in mathematics and a dual degrees from Appalachian State University: a B.S.B.A. in Banking and Finance and a B.S. in Actuarial Science. Jake is responsible for all office functions of Southern Lighting, including purchasing, billing and customer service. Jake also manages and routes all field service technicians in our Eastern Carolina regions.
A close friend of Brian Whichello’s since middle school, Jake now resides in Wilmington, NC, where he enjoys playing golf, watching Manchester United soccer matches, and spending time with his girlfriend Erika.
Brian Caldwell began his career with Southern Lighting Services in 2014, bringing with him over 20 years of commercial electrical experience. A licensed electrician, Brian is our field service manager for the mid- to mid-western parts of the Carolinas, and his responsibilities include project quotations and job routing. Brian has quickly become an exemplary employee with hard work and dedication to Southern Lighting.
In his free time, Brian enjoys coaching his son’s little league baseball team at the local optimist club, playing golf and taking his camper on weekend excursions with his wife and two kids.
Beau began working with Southern Lighting Services as a Field Service Technician. He transitioned into Director of Sales for the Western Region with ease, bringing more than 20 years electrical and commercial signage experience and more than 10 years sales experience in these fields. Beau is responsible for building strong strategic partnerships with organizations to ensure their businesses maintain a safe and successful appearance, while ensuring their brand integrity is preserved at the highest standards. He holds a degree in business from the University of Maryland at College Park.
Beau currently resides in Lenoir, NC, where he enjoys playing golf, watching college and professional football, and spending time with his wife Shannon and son Gage.