The Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) congratulates the first ten PDAA Master Certified Installers of 2019. In a testing workshop held January 9-10 at AdGraphics (Pompano Beach, Florida), the following installers demonstrated proficiency in all types of vinyl installations, including complex curves and vehicle wraps:
- AdGraphics (Pompano Beach, Florida): Alex DaFonseca, Adrian Dixon and Walter Seidel
- Arlon Graphics (Placentia, California): Matt Braswell
- Branding Concept Solutions (Atlanta): Pablo Rubiano
- Crystal Coast Graphics (Jacksonville, North Carolina): Chris Ulmer
- I2K Digital LLC (Miami): Carlos Romero
- JCGI (Louisville, Kentucky): James Campbell
- MXC Media (Vancouver, Washington): Christa Harden
- Vivid Sign (Mount Pleasant, South Carolina): Kim Magraw
Spaces are filling up for the two additional testing workshops SGIA has scheduled for the first half of 2019. The February 28-March 1 event will take place at GeckoWraps Inc. (Las Vegas), and May 15-16 will be held outside Kansas City at CNJ Signs & Wraps (Lee’s Summit, Missouri).
A Rigorous Credential
The path to PDAA Master Certification begins with a written test, after which applicants who pass with 80 percent or higher are eligible for the hands-on testing workshop. The hands-on portion is a two-day event, with the first day spent on practicing and new skills, and the second day on testing.
“I enjoyed having the workshop the day before the testing to get a feel for the materials we’d be testing with and how they perform in different situations,” said Chris Ulmer, owner of Crystal Coast Graphics. “Whereas some certifications are focused more on vehicles, this had a good range of different things.”
PDAA Master Certified status is recognized by Arlon, Avery, FLEXcon, Mactac, Orafol, and Ritrama, and automatically earns Avery certification as well.
SGIA Director of Digital Print Programs Ray Weiss said, “Growing your installation business requires knowing the industry inside and out. It requires proof that your company can handle any installation job with confidence. That’s what PDAA Master Certification provides.”
Being PDAA Master Certified Means Business
PDAA Master Certified Installers are indicated on the PDAA Find an Installer website — a clear benefit, according to Kristen Lanzarone-Scribner, owner-operator of WrapStar Pro (Sacramento, California), who earned her PDAA Master Certification in April 2018.
“As soon as I got put on the Master Certified list on SGIA’s Web site, I began to get phone calls for quotes on installs. The money I put into testing and travel was well worth it. With the first calls I got from the SGIA website, it had paid for itself. I get calls weekly—I’m blown away,” she said.
Weiss noted that the unique two-day format for hands-on testing adds value to the certification.
“There’s value to practicing, and there’s also the opportunity to network with other installers. This is a group that values community and camaraderie,” Weiss said. “Training, followed by testing, maximizes the testing investment.”
For Lanzarone-Scribner, there’s another benefit: industry involvement.
“Getting my Master Certification has led me to be more involved in the industry. Now I’m on SGIA’s Women in Print Advisory Committee. I want to be more involved in the quality of installation, encouraging and motivating other installers. That’s what’s going to make our industry better,” she said.