What's new at your company?
"New at Sign Effectz is the implementation and kickoff of our service and maintenance program – SignRepair.org. SignRepair.org addresses the most important thing to our customers and what they value most…time. It's designed to make ordering service or repairs as simple as possible. SignRepair.org allows customers to go online and order repairs and service calls for their signage and lighting with just a few clicks. Features include auto search for their business, confirmation of scheduled appointments, 48-hour response time, 90-day warranty and many others."
"From a business standpoint, the smartest thing we did was implementing growth plans through diversification and innovative problem solving – staying focused on the future through forecasting and putting in place some measuring and monitoring performance tools."
What will be your company's main challenges in the next year?
"Our biggest challenge will be turning newly implemented processes and procedures into habits that are cohesive with our culture. When we bring on new staff, they are evaluated as much on the lines of their passion as they are on their skillset. Passion drives growth. This makes it much easier and more cost effective to train new employees. Internally, the employee experiences growth and has much more gratification of their successes. Removing the startup administrative burden will be second in line."
What's the hottest trend in your industry?
"LED technology is the hottest trend. The use of LEDs in lighting has spread throughout the sign and lighting industry. It is now in 80 percent of the signs we manufacture and is reaching into our SignRepair.org division with retrofitting gas canopy lights and parking lot lights."
How do you innovate to distinguish your company from competitors?
"Our methods of problem solving, from the technical world all the way through to our customer service, helps us develop a clear message to our customers of what being a full-service company is all about. It's our biggest differential from our competition. Problem solving at every level possible increases added value to the customers."
Do you have a business mantra?
"Follow through on your commitments and hold yourself accountable."
What was the best advice you ever received?
"You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take."
What's the most unusual sign project you've ever tackled?
"'Periscope,' a project for Amazon.com Inc. in Seattle. Periscope is a three-dimensional sculpture that was created as a visual of the Internet. We performed complete design, engineering, prototyping, manufacturing and installation of the project. Rotocasting technologies were involved along with DMX controlled engineering to operate RGB LEDs and live video feeds for the art sculpture at Amazon's headquarters."
What's the funniest thing that ever happened to you in your career?
"Early in my career, I was installing an exterior border neon project with my partner, Rick Rossetti. The neon bordered the exterior of a theater building in West Bend. The installation required two people, one person on the outside of the soffit and one on the inside. Rick got to work inside. While installing, I heard Rick calling my name. I responded, 'Yeah, what's up?' The response was 'I think I'm stuck!' A few sounds of grunts, moans and banging around came from the area he was in as well. The interior soffit area had gotten smaller as the building frontage came to an end. Rick had to lie down to creep through the soffit and found that he couldn't back out. After a few hours of discussions, motivational speeches and thoughts about the 'next move,' the fire department option came to the table along with Vaseline, bearing grease, et cetera. Rick continued squirming around with many failed attempts but did finally get himself backed out without having to make the call to 911. I don't think Rick has ever volunteered to go in another soffit since and the experience may have even added some reasoning to why he keeps himself trim."
What do you like to do in your free time?
"Coach ice hockey for my kids, play ice hockey, build anything and everything, volunteer for my community improvement committees and boards – sharing any knowledge, and learn or experience new things."