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“I’m a Sign Guy Thanks to Them” – A Grateful Signmaker Recalls His Mentors

Buzz Session: Plus 15 more things for which sign pros are thankful.

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AS OUR WORLD returns to normalcy, sign pros understand there’s much to be grateful for, whether that’s their colleagues, customers or just the industry itself.

With the holidays approaching, we implored our Brain Squad: “Ahead of Thanksgiving, share some words about something that you’re grateful for as a sign pro.”

Respondents revealed the sources of their professional satisfaction, namely the freedom to be creative, the chance to work with a supportive team and the ability to serve loyal customers.

1. “We’re grateful that we’re a small family-run shop that doesn’t have to adhere to the ‘big business’ model. I’m personally grateful for our customers and their willingness to come back year after year!” — Nonnie Luther, Cadillac Sign Co. & Promotions, Norwood, NC

2. “I’m grateful to be able to supply every kid in my small community that plays hockey, football, swim club and/or baseball all of their stickers, name tags or affiliated signs to help sponsor them.” — Geoff Orlick, Quality Designs, Campbell River, British Columbia

3. “A job that gives unlimited creative expression. One of the most important pieces of my work life.” — Peter Poanessa, Signworx, Swanzey, NH

4. “My family, I get to work with them every day; it’s not easy, but it’s better than working for a stuffy corporation with a bunch of micro-managers. Our customers, who recognize quality service and products and keep coming back to us. Our vendors, who keep us well stocked and those who have acted as mentors helping us to navigate the landscape and challenges of business ownership.” — Yvette Bryars, Signs Designs Now, Kingwood, TX

5. “Grateful to keep all production going during these trying times. and keep everyone employed.” — Joe Gibson, Ramsay Signs, Portland, OR

6. “I’m very thankful for another year to be standing with a fantastic team of employees to serve our customers.” — JC Aviles, Competitive Signs & Graphics, Montclair, NJ

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7. “Loyal coworkers and loyal customers.” — Lisa Hyman, Creative Printing & Internet Services, Boone, NC

8. “I’m grateful to work under a great owner who believes in personal growth and development. … I’ve attended countless seminars, become trade show certified, digital marketing certified, and have had the opportunity to attend some of the industry-leading events like ISA multiple times. It is really fulfilling to work for someone who values you, your growth, and wants you to flourish.” — Mallory Lynn, Signarama, Brighton, CO

9. “The ability to adapt and choose opportunities as economies shift. The ability to create customized client solutions out of thin air. The depth of diversity across our team – yet continuously aligned in purpose – provides solid, stable income for all.” — Bob Persichetti, Effective Sign Works, Burlington, NJ

10. “I am thankful for our customers. We’ve found that our customers have become more understanding of our struggles as a small business. With material shortages and employee turnover, we are still able to exceed our customers expectations. It is nice to see their appreciation and understanding.” — Cory Marcin, EP-DIRECT, Fond Du Lac, WI

11. “More than ever grateful for our incredible team. During the pandemic we embraced our #workfamily in new and exciting ways. Our team for each other, for our community and our business to become stronger than ever.” — Rocco Gaskins, ABCO Signs, Pennsauken, NJ

12. “I am thankful for an industry that continues to provide work both locally and nationally. It’s not easy, and yes, pricing can be a challenge, but the work is there. Our industry is blessed.” — Brad Turpin Jr., Ruggles Sign, Versailles, KY

13. “I’m grateful to be in an industry that is always challenging me and my team with new and more creative ways to make a sign.” — Heather Jack, FASTSIGNS, Oklahoma City

14. “Thankful for Jesus Christ and His amazing grace in allowing us to serve through our business for 30 years now. We have great clients, great staff and a great community to live and work!” — John Hipple, Sign Designs, Joplin, MO

15. “I’m grateful for the mentoring that got me started in the sign industry. Mary Ellen Kemmerer and Lois Stofko hired me as their first employee back in March 1989. … I’m proud to say that I’m a sign guy thanks to them.” — Gary Gower Jr., G&L Sign Factory, Bethlehem, PA

16. “My customers have been so great over my 45-year adventure, they have kept me busy and with me through it all. Thank you all, hope the future brings goodness to everyone.” — Frank Sarra, Sarra Signs, Candia, NH

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. sign business, you’re invited to join the Signs of the Times Brain Squad. Take one five-minute quiz a month, and you’ll be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the sign business. Sign up here.

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