4949 S. 110th St., Greenfield
Industry: Outdoor and indoor signs and displays, menu systems, LED letters, lighting and related products, electronic price displays, specialized lighting, scoreboards and related items.
Employees: About 800, including more than 500 in Wisconsin.
Everbrite LLC’s corporate headquarters and research and development facility are tucked into an out-of-the-way corner of Greenfield. And from a corporate perspective, the company maintains a relatively low profile.
However, Everbrite’s products are seen by almost all Americans every day. The company makes outdoor and indoor signs, menu systems, point-of-purchase displays, LED message centers and other products used by fast food restaurants, gas stations, convenience stores, and other places that most people visit or drive past almost every day.
Everbrite’s exterior signs and facades are used on national chain restaurants such as McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Dunkin Donuts, Arby’s and more.
“McDonald’s is one of our biggest customers,” said Kim Horneck, the company’s director of marketing. “We also make the kiosks for Red Box.”
The company also makes menu systems, which incorporate speakers, LED lights, menu boards and related components used for both interior and drive-through ordering, said Kim Horneck, director of marketing at Everbrite.
“Our menu systems include the menu boards, order confirmation LED message boards, and all of the drive-through components like overhead signs and speaker stands,” she said.
The company also makes a large number of exterior signs for gas stations, which frequently have LED lights installed to display gas prices per gallon.
Everbrite manages almost all aspects of its exterior and interior signage jobs, Horneck said.
“We offer a turnkey service – our design department helps create it, our engineering and manufacturing departments figure out how to make it and we do it all the way through including installation and maintenance,” she said.
The company also makes a wide range of custom interior displays and point of purchase displays. Many of its fixtures use neon lights and specialized LED displays, and are frequently used for in-store advertisements for beer, liquor and soft drinks.
Everbrite’s capabilities extend far beyond interior and exterior signage. From a specialized facility in Pardeeville, it makes scoreboards. Its specialty lighting division produces LED lights used in MRI exam rooms and illuminated panels in hospitals.
The company also has a specialty plastic fabrication group that makes housings for MRI machines, dashboards for the Dodge Viper and housings for some of Johnson Controls’ products.
Everbrite is owned by the family of Charles Wamser, who founded the company in 1927. The company has about 800 workers in total, and more than 500 of those employees are in Wisconsin.
Everbrite’s corporate headquarters are in Greenfield and it has manufacturing facilities in South Milwaukee, Elkhorn, Pardeeville and La Crosse.
In South Milwaukee, Everbrite makes outdoor signs for clients like McDonald’s, Horneck said. It also makes the housings for Red Box. The company’s Elkhorn plant performs specialized plastic molding for MRI machines and some specialty signs. It makes scoreboards in Pardeeville, and makes some neon signs in La Crosse.
Everbrite also has manufacturing facilities in Kansas, Virginia, Illinois, and China.
“Most (competitors) don’t have a dedicated facility in China,” Horneck said. “We do, and we can still be our customers’ partner when they go overseas.”
Everbrite would not disclose its revenues for 2010. However, Horneck said the company fared well during the recession because of its diversified customer base and because of whom some of its largest customers are.
“McDonald’s fared very well in the recession and they’re in the middle of a massive re-imaging project,” she said. “There is not as much new construction, but because of our LED expertise, we’re able to retrofit many businesses for LED.”
Everbrite recently became a preferred supplier for Wendy’s and Arby’s, which it will begin working on later this year. It will also soon begin selling outdoor LED lights, which will be made in Elkhorn, but were developed at the company’s Trame Technology Center in Greenfield.
“We have a reputation for signage, but because we have this terrific technology, we can go into nontraditional markets like medical and exterior signage,” Horneck said.