ISA: A Winning Hand

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Kyle Edmonds of Mitchell Signs had an opportunity to close a sale. A bank wanted to install a certain kind of signs on top of its building, but the city wouldn’t allow it. City leaders asked Kyle’s company for help in navigating the difficult task of allowing that sign without creating havoc with other signs.

“They said, ‘We’re not used to this in our town, and we really don’t know what to do,’” he said. “The city knew that if they allowed this, it might open the door for other buildings.”

Asking a sign, graphics, and visual communications company for assistance in writing the regulations is not unheard of. But few companies have the expertise on staff to handle this task—at least not easily.

That’s where ISA comes in, providing free assistance to members and communities.

“ISA sent us specifics from other cities with comparable skylines,” Kyle said. “We used that information to go back to the city and offer our recommendations. We could have probably pulled together all this information, but the information was just available to us then and there.”

Since ISA works with communities across the country, we are familiar with sign code issues that are outside the expertise of a typical sign, graphics and visual communications company—and often the municipal leaders, too.

That’s one great reason for membership, says Kevin Stotmeister of Federal Heath. “I think that sign regulations impact everybody,” he said. Kevin is former chair of the Government Relations committee for ISA, so he has seen how these services benefit sign companies nationwide. But he also has experienced it with his own company and clients.

“I have relied on the International Sign Association to help our company and, more importantly, help our customers on several sign code issues in various parts of the country,” he said.

Kevin believes this service is the “single biggest benefit to membership that I see.” And with recent surveys consistently showing that restrictive sign regulations cost the average sign company over $100,000 a year in lost business, it’s a benefit that can help your bottom line.

Others might answer that question in another way, relying on ISA’s quality education and workforce development programs. Or maybe it is seeing the latest products and information at ISA International Sign Expo each year. Or perhaps your company relies on the information that ISA communicates about regulatory issues, business opportunities and marketing materials.

Whatever the reason, there is power when we, as an industry, pool our resources to tackle the big problems that face our small businesses—and our customers. It’s a winning hand, one that more and more frequently results in communities—and member companies—turning to ISA for help in drafting reasonable sign codes.

Maybe you renew your membership in ISA or an Affiliated Association each year and don’t think twice about it. Or maybe you realize all the benefits that come when we as an industry work together to tell the story of how our products build businesses and communities.

Regardless, it certainly is an investment that pays off in numerous ways.

—David Hickey, Vice President of Government Affairs, International Sign Association http://www.signs.org

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