ISA International Sign Expo 2022

Georgia World
Congress Center

Speakers

Meet Our Industry Experts

Speakers are listed in alphabetical order below. 

Session: RGB 2.0

Pierre Carreau has over 35 years of experience in the Sign Industry. From neon tube bender to senior account executive for Allanson, Pierre’s expertise and passion for signage radiates success. Highly respected in the industry, Pierre has represented numerous well-known companies, and has participated in multiple committees, including UL-2161. Pierre speaks Sign Language!

Session: Sign Structure Failures

Louis Cortina PE is the Director of Operations for MBI Companies Inc. – Engineering. Graduate from the University of TN – Knoxville with a BSCE . Licensed Professional Engineer since 1987 and currently licensed in 39 States. Been involved with over 20,000 sign structures since 1990.

Session: Master Wall Wrap & Graphic Applications: Overcoming Challenges

As the Graphic Innovations Market Manager for ORAFOL, with over 15 years of industry experience, Josh works closely with industry partners, identifying and nurturing market trends, working closely on special initiatives with various departments and divisions of ORAFOL and it’s global subsidiaries. Additionally, he manages the ORAFOL Educations series which focuses on providing graphics professionals with continuing education in professional vehicle wrapping as well as architectural and corporate signage and graphics applications. Josh also works closely with designers and corporate brand managers to generate signage and graphics application specifications and custom warranties. One of his ultimate goals within this industry is to help signage and graphics companies realize and maximize their full creative potential.

Session: Making the Future: AI and Technology for Design and Manufacturing

Keith has a very diverse skill set that allows him to be an asset on multiple types of projects. With over 20 years experience every aspect of the design and manufacturing process, he has consistently proven to be the go-to resource capable of delivering the highest quality installations in some of the most complex environments.

Session: Ready, Aim, HIRE: How to Hit the Bullseye More Often When Seeking New Employees

As the founder and owner of the metro Atlanta-based consultancy, Your Personal Business Trainer, Vince DiCecco, was a dynamic and sought-after business coach and seminar leader with a unique yet practical perspective on the art and science of strategic planning and business development. Before his recent retirement after serving the sign and digital graphics for 18 years, Vince would spark the kind of passion within his client business owners that created customer delight and loyalty, sharpened their competitive edge and delivered double-digit gains in profitability to an organization’s bottom line.

As an award-winning professional with over 40 years of roll-up-your-sleeves experience in training, sales and marketing, Vince made significant contributions to the success of two Fortune 200 companies, the US Coast Guard and numerous small- to mid-sized businesses. He has been a presenting speaker at many industry expos—including ISA—and was a monthly columnist and featured author for several trade publications—including Sign & Digital Graphics magazine.

Today, Vince enjoys his home in Dallas, Georgia with his wife of 26 years, Karin. He is an avid tennis player and golfer, and has three successful sons, two wonderful daughters-in-law, and five fun-loving grandchildren.

Sessions:

  • Finding Success with Wide Format Print
  • The Selling Owner: When You ARE the Sales Force

Bill Farquharson is a sales trainer and content creator for all the Graphic Arts. Having sold print, signage, and labels over the course of his 40-year sales career, Bill has a unique perspective, lots of experience, and plenty of instantly-applicable ideas to share.

Session: Effectively Handling an Aggressive OSHA Inspection under the Biden Administration

Ed Foulke is the only attorney in the country confirmed by the U.S. Senate to run the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). He is currently a partner in the Atlanta office and the Washington, D.C. Metro office located in Arlington, Virginia. He is the former co-chair of the firm’s Workplace Safety and Catastrophe Management Practice Group. He is also the President of Fisher Phillips Safety Solutions, LLC.

Prior to joining Fisher Phillips, Ed was the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health named by President George W. Bush He served from April 2006 to November 2008. During his tenure at OSHA, workplace injury, illness and fatality rates dropped to their lowest levels in recorded history.

For more than 30 years, Ed has worked in the labor and employment area, focusing on occupational safety and health issues, workplace violence risk assessment and prevention, whistleblower protection, and accident and fatality prevention. He is recognized as one of the nation’s leading authorities on occupational safety and health and is a frequent keynote speaker and lecturer on workplace safety, leadership development, and other labor and employment topics.

Ed has testified before the U.S. Senate and U.S. House Congressional Committees on occupational safety and health issues and appeared on CBS “60 Minutes”

He also served on the OSHA Review Commission in Washington, D.C., chairing the Commission from March 1990 to February 1994. Ed is the only person in the United States to serve as both head of OSHA and Chairman of the Review Commission. Ed was named one of the “”50 Most Influential EHS Leaders”” by both EHS Today (2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013) and Occupational Hazards (2008) magazines.

Ed currently serves on the EHS Today Safety Leadership Board of Directors and on safety committees for the Georgia Association of Manufacturers, the U.S. Poultry Association, , the National Association of Tower Erectors, and the American Foundry Association.

John Duever has been in the adhesive backed advertising industry for over 20 years. Since 2002 he has been a partner at Vinyl Images and Design in St. Louis, Missouri. Vinyl Images and Design has a team of 20 people in their 27,000 square foot World headquarters. John became an Avery Dennison wrap instructor in 2017. He is the host of The WrapIQ Podcast and owns a business specializing in coaching and consulting in the wrap/PPF/tint industries.

 

Session: How to Get the Most Out of Your Sign Shop Talent

As Chief Efficiency Officer of Oculus Business Solutions, Inc, John assists shop owners and their managers who want to improve their business. Whether poised for expansion, making a generational transition in leadership or needing a “Shop Makeover” to increase performance and profitability. – He will help you take your business to the next level.

John is an experienced leader and mentor sharing best practices identified & honed over 35 years of hands-on experience in the Visual Communications, Architectural, and Electric Sign manufacturing industries.

As a thought-leader and consultant, John contributes regularly to Sign Builders Illustrated Magazine, and The International Sign Association on subjects, including Reducing Rework and Continuous Process Improvement, and he speaks at conferences around the country.

Prior to founding Oculus, John led his own firms for more than 35 years and has taken the knowledge from starting, growing, and selling his companies to help others do the same. He is an accredited consultant with the AASBC, past board member of the California Sign Association, and an expert in the Theory of Constraints (TOC) and LEAN Manufacturing.

Session: When Do You Start Charging for Design?

Mark Kissling is the Editor-in-Chief for “Signs of the Times,” the world leader in sign information since 1906.

Session: Key Business Measurements for Financial and Operational Success

Mr. Lew is the Executive Vice President at Lauretano Sign Group (LSG). In this position, Mr. Lew has overall responsibility for the company’s Global Operations. He oversees the departments of Design, Estimating, Project Management, Production, Installation and Service as well as outsourcing, new product development and overseas partners. Prior to joining LSG, Mr. Lew served as Vice President and General Manager of Business Technology Management Inc. – an international business management consulting firm. He has over twenty-five years’ experience in leading business improvement programs and is an expert in analyzing business processes and implementing advanced process management models. Over the years, Mr. Lew worked with a broad spectrum of industries around the globe from aerospace and defense to medical devices, automotive parts, electronic components, airlines, hospitals, food products, apparel and more. In addition, Mr. Lew was the founder and President of three start-up companies.
Mr. Lew holds a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering and an Executive Business Management certification. Mr. Lew was awarded several patents and trademarks. He is a frequent guest speaker at various industry forums, academic institutions and business owners’ gatherings.

Session: Accessibility And The Visually Impaired/ADA: 2010 Standard For Room Identification Signs

Tim is the fourth generation of his family involved in the sign industry. Over 25+ years Tim worked for Spraylat Paint, Matthews Paint (rising to the level of Director), and now the Director of Nova Polymers. A career working with fabricators, designers, and sign supply distributors. “It continues to be my privilege continuing to service the the valued people working within the sign industry.

Session: Business Boot Camp for Wrap Professionals by Avery Dennison

Justin specializes in wrap training for all substrates – walls, floors, windows and vehicles. Justin began car wrapping in 1996 in New York City and, in 2007, moved to Amsterdam. Over his 22-year career, Justin has wrapped over 3000 vehicles. In 2014, Justin launched The Wrap Institute, an online streaming video education platform.

Session: Signs 101
Alex Perry is the CEO of Right Way Signs, LLC in based in Chicago, IL. Alex has over 20+ years experience in the sign industry as a business owner on top of 8 years of experience working for the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, the states largest business association. In his role with the Chamber, he worked with businesses of all sizes and engaging them in public policy issues from workers compensation reform, healthcare policy, infrastructure policy and policy issues that impacted small businesses. Starting in 2015 Alex teamed up with business leaders to champion sign permit reform in Chicago, leading to the passage of new sign ordinances in 2021. For over 20 years Alex has worked with municipalities on making small changes to their sign codes that help the businesses in their communities. In 2004 Alex was appointed by the Mayor of Evanston to the Sign Review and Appeals Board and in 2018 Alex was named the first ever Sign Code Champion by the International Sign Association.

Session: Take the Pain out of Permitting

Kenny Peskin is the Director of Industry Programs for the International Sign Association. Kenny helps represent the on-premises sign industry in developing technical standards and responding to code issues across the country. As part of his work, he regularly meets with city officials, appears at public hearings, files written comments on draft ordinances, and speaks on sign-related issues. Kenny serves on the NFPA 70 National Electric Code Code-Making Panel 18, the International Code Council A117.1 Consensus Committee on Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities, Underwriters Laboratories’ Standards Technical Panel 48 for Electric Signs, and cochairs the Underwriters Laboratories Sign Industry Business Panel. Kenny grew up in the sign industry, as his family manufactured custom electric signs in Youngstown, Ohio for nearly 100 years. Before joining ISA, he worked for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, handling federal regulatory and environmental issues.

Session: Leader as Coach: How to Bring Out the Best in Your People

Kevin Poland is the founder and President of The Renaissance Group, a management consulting and coaching company that provides advice and guidance to business owners who are ready to build a great business and live a great life.
Certified as a Senior E-Myth Consultant, Kevin uses this specialized training to help small business owners design and grow businesses that work for them, rather than because of them. He speaks regularly on the topic of business growth strategies and how to solve other challenges that are unique to owner operated businesses.

Kevin has over twenty years of strategic business leadership experience. He holds a MS in Engineering Management and a BS in Industrial Engineering. Prior to starting The Renaissance Group, his previous business experience was working with large corporations in the areas of Industrial Engineering, Manufacturing Management, Operations, Production Planning and Strategic Planning.

Session: Show Me The Color!

Jim Raffel is a color management consultant who also serves as CEO of ColorCasters, LLC. As a veteran of the printing industry and a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology’s acclaimed printing management program, in 1995 he formed ColorMetrix to bring an idea he had to make color measurement and evaluation easier by creating easy-to-use software solutions. Today as a certified G7 expert and color management professional, his consulting practice focuses on dye sublimation and flat-bed UV inkjet printing. This work keeps him on the road many weeks each year working with end users and manufacturers to improve their color management processes.

Session: Handling Terrible Customer Images: Workflow Tools for Every Shop

Mark has over 35 years in the sign and print market and has owned and operated two successful sign shops. He uses his experience in those shops when offering guidance in problem-solving because he had to solve issues himself as an owner-operator. He is an expert with design software, color management, FlexiSIGN, and much more. His seminars are practical and the information provided can be used immediately.

Keynote: Second Chances: Shon Hopwood’s Incredible Story of Robbing Banks, Winning Supreme Court Cases, & Finding Redemption

Shon Hopwood is an Associate Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, where he is an expert on federal courts, criminal procedure (including federal sentencing), and prisoners’ rights. Shon’s unusual legal journey began not at law school, but federal prison, where he learned to write briefs for other prisoners. Hopwood was serving a 11-year sentence stemming from bank robberies in Nebraska. Two petitions for certiorari that he prepared were later granted review by the United States Supreme Court, a very unusual feat. Upon seeing Hopwood’s work, former U.S. Solicitor General Seth Waxman remarked that a petition, which in turn reduced the fellow prisoner’s sentence by four years, was one of the best he had ever seen. Hopwood continued his work and went on to win cases for other prisoners in federal courts across the country, helping inmates from Indiana, Michigan, and Nebraska receive sentence reductions from lower courts.

After his release in 2009, he went to work for a printing company that produced Supreme Court briefs. He then attended the University of Washington School of Law, and received his J.D. as a Gates Public Service Law Scholar in 2014. He clerked for Judge Janice Rogers Brown at the prestigious United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In 2014, the Supreme Court of Washington allowed Hopwood to take the state bar examination and, in 2015, he became a licensed lawyer in the state of Washington, 17 years after his sentencing.

Since becoming a licensed attorney, Shon’s record of success has continued: In 2016 alone, he won three federal habeas appeals before the Fourth and Eighth Circuit Courts of Appeals. He went on to serve as a Teaching Fellow at the Georgetown University Law Center’s Appellate Litigation Program, where he litigated criminal, immigration, civil rights, and federal statutory cases in federal courts of appeals. He is currently a tenure-track professor of law at Georgetown Law School and a founding partner at PrisonProfessors.com, where he works to create content that will improve the outcome of our nation’s criminal justice system.

Shon’s incredible story of second chances and success after failure has been featured in the The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, NPR, and most recently, on 60 Minutes. He is the author of the memoir Law Man: My Story of Robbing Banks, Winning Supreme Cases and Finding Redemption, and an advocate for criminal justice reform.

Shon’s scholarship on courts and the criminal justice system has been published in the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties, Fordham, and Washington law reviews, the Georgetown Law Journal’s Annual Review of Criminal Procedure, and the American Criminal Law Review.

Session: Keeping Your Team Positive in an Ever-Changing Time

The President of Signarama, the worlds leading Sign and Graphics Franchise, A.J. helps leads his corporate team as well as hundreds of individually owned and operated franchisees around the world. He has led the team for over 5 years now and has seen his share of disruption. A South Floridian, he enjoys supporting all of the South Florida Teams

Session: Developing Exemplary Project Management Teams

Karen Vanhoy is a Senior Project Manager with over 17 years of Project Management experience in the signage industry.  Karen has managed several high level teams that successfully completed multi-million dollar projects including re-image programs, new construction and natural disaster response programs.

Through the years Karen has facilitated programs/projects for National and Regional Retail Chains, Restaurants (fine dining and fast food), Hospitality and large roll out programs for the banking industry.

Karen’s reputation in the signage industry has provided many invitations to facilitate training programs and seminars on Leadership and Project Management at several sign associations Including The International Sign Association, Mid-South Sign Association and Northeastern Sign Association.

Session: Effective Approaches to Business Communication & Leadership Development

Alexia Vernon is the CEO and president of Step Into Your Moxie, a vocal empowerment company that shows business leaders, and the consultants who develop them, how to find their voice and master using it. Dubbed a “Moxie Maven” by the White House Office of Public Engagement for her unique and effective approach to communication and leadership success, through Step into Your Moxie, Alexia and her staff excel at supporting executives, key leaders, and their teams to communicate powerfully – particularly during high-stakes conversations and presentations. Alexia has presented for Fortune 500 companies, CEO forums, professional associations, and she is the creator of the Step into Your Moxie® Certification program for coaches, consultants, trainers, and managers who want to help their people “speak up” and move people to take action. Alexia has been featured by media including CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, and Entrepreneur. A thyroid cancer survivor, Alexia is also the creator of The Legacy Fund for women founders and nonprofit leaders, and she is an active supporter of Las Vegas’ Rape Crisis Center.

Session: How to Sell Your Company: Everything You Need to Know, But Didn’t Know to Ask

Bridgepoint Investment Banking is a leading investment bank that focuses on the signage, graphics, display and printing space. Bridgepoint Managing Director, Bryan Wallace, will guide business owners through the preparation process, provide unique insight into the M&A marketplace, and answer questions on what buyers in this industry are looking for. It is possible to achieve a premium valuation for your business and Bridgepoint can help guide you through this complicated and life-changing process.

Session: Size and Scope Research

During his extensive career as a Washington, D.C. economist, Cliff Waldman, New World Economics CEO, has been an active and in-demand public speaker on topics ranging from the U.S. and global economic outlooks to new markets, productivity, and automation. While he has spoken throughout the US, he has also appeared in Germany, Canada and South Africa. As a rising voice in the D.C. policy research community, Cliff has made appearances at events on Capitol Hill and in major think tanks. He is the host of Manufacturing Talk Radio’s “Manufacturing Matters With Cliff Waldman” which is now in its third year.

From 2003 to 2018 Cliff served as Senior Economist and Chief Economist of the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI). He has spent 17 years writing and speaking on the global economic picture as well as range of issues of central importance to the manufacturing sector, including productivity, demographics and emerging markets. His career has also included tenures as an economic researcher with a state government forecasting and policy research unit as well as with a small business research team in Washington, D.C. He has won three national research awards and recently published a paper with Indiana University on competitive challenges in U.S. manufacturing.

As a leader in the economics community, Cliff served two years as Chairman of the Board of the National Economists Club. In 2019 he served as co-chair of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) manufacturing roundtable. In 2018 he was awarded the Certified Business Economist (CBE) designation by NABE.

Sessions:

  • 5 Simple Steps to Successful Sales with Digital Signage
  • Smart Cities – Smarter Signage

Deacon Wardlow is in-Continuous Improvement Manager & Innovationista at Vantage LED, Co-Director of Spectacular Media, Founder of FiSimply Consulting, and an avid speaker, author, and futurist often tasked with delivering information on new and emergent technology and its effect on various industries. Deacon helps simply address complex issues with revolutionary solutions.

Louis Cortina | PE Director of Operations, MBI Companies Inc. - Engineering

Louis Cortina PE is the Director of Operations for MBI Companies Inc. - Engineering. Graduate from the University of TN - Knoxville with a BSCE . Licensed Professional Engineer since 1987 and currently licensed in 39 States. Been involved with over 20,000 sign structures since 1990.

Keith Davis | Technical Design Director, KRD Design

Keith has a very diverse skill set that allows him to be an asset on multiple types of projects. With over 20 years experience every aspect of the design and manufacturing process, he has consistently proven to be the go-to resource capable of delivering the highest quality installations in some of the most complex environments.

Vince DiCecco | Principle (Retired), Your Personal Business Trainer, Inc.

As the founder and owner of the metro Atlanta-based consultancy, Your Personal Business Trainer, Vince DiCecco, was a dynamic and sought-after business coach and seminar leader with a unique yet practical perspective on the art and science of strategic planning and business development. Before his recent retirement after serving the sign and digital graphics for 18 years, Vince would spark the kind of passion within his client business owners that created customer delight and loyalty, sharpened their competitive edge and delivered double-digit gains in profitability to an organization’s bottom line. As an award-winning professional with over 40 years of roll-up-your-sleeves experience in training, sales and marketing, Vince made significant contributions to the success of two Fortune 200 companies, the US Coast Guard and numerous small- to mid-sized businesses. He has been a presenting speaker at many industry expos—including ISA—and was a monthly columnist and featured author for several trade publications—including Sign & Digital Graphics magazine. Today, Vince enjoys his home in Dallas, Georgia with his wife of 26 years, Karin. He is an avid tennis player and golfer, and has three successful sons, two wonderful daughters-in-law, and five fun-loving grandchildren.

Bill Farquharson | President, Aspire For

Bill Farquharson is a sales trainer and content creator for all the Graphic Arts. Having sold print, signage, and labels over the course of his 40-year sales career, Bill has a unique perspective, lots of experience, and plenty of instantly-applicable ideas to share.

Edwin Foulke | Partner, Fisher Phillips LLP

Ed Foulke is the only attorney in the country confirmed by the U.S. Senate to run the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). He is currently a partner in the Atlanta office and the Washington, D.C. Metro office located in Arlington, Virginia. He is the former co-chair of the firm's Workplace Safety and Catastrophe Management Practice Group. He is also the President of Fisher Phillips Safety Solutions, LLC. Prior to joining Fisher Phillips, Ed was the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health named by President George W. Bush He served from April 2006 to November 2008. During his tenure at OSHA, workplace injury, illness and fatality rates dropped to their lowest levels in recorded history. For more than 30 years, Ed has worked in the labor and employment area, focusing on occupational safety and health issues, workplace violence risk assessment and prevention, whistleblower protection, and accident and fatality prevention. He is recognized as one of the nation’s leading authorities on occupational safety and health and is a frequent keynote speaker and lecturer on workplace safety, leadership development, and other labor and employment topics. Ed has testified before the U.S. Senate and U.S. House Congressional Committees on occupational safety and health issues and appeared on CBS “60 Minutes” He also served on the OSHA Review Commission in Washington, D.C., chairing the Commission from March 1990 to February 1994. Ed is the only person in the United States to serve as both head of OSHA and Chairman of the Review Commission. Ed was named one of the ""50 Most Influential EHS Leaders"" by both EHS Today (2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013) and Occupational Hazards (2008) magazines. Ed currently serves on the EHS Today Safety Leadership Board of Directors and on safety committees for the Georgia Association of Manufacturers, the U.S. Poultry Association, , the National Association of Tower Erectors, and the American Foundry Association.

John Hackley | Chief Efficiency Officer, Oculus Business Coaching

As Chief Efficiency Officer of Oculus Business Solutions, Inc, John assists shop owners and their managers who want to improve their business. Whether poised for expansion, making a generational transition in leadership or needing a “Shop Makeover” to increase performance and profitability. – He will help you take your business to the next level. John is an experienced leader and mentor sharing best practices identified & honed over 35 years of hands-on experience in the Visual Communications, Architectural, and Electric Sign manufacturing industries. As a thought-leader and consultant, John contributes regularly to Sign Builders Illustrated Magazine, and The International Sign Association on subjects, including Reducing Rework and Continuous Process Improvement, and he speaks at conferences around the country. Prior to founding Oculus, John led his own firms for more than 35 years and has taken the knowledge from starting, growing, and selling his companies to help others do the same. He is an accredited consultant with the AASBC, past board member of the California Sign Association, and an expert in the Theory of Constraints (TOC) and LEAN Manufacturing.

Shon Hopwood | Associate Law Professor, Georgetown University Law Center
Yaron Lew | Executive Vice President, Lauretano Sign Group

Mr. Lew is the Executive Vice President at Lauretano Sign Group (LSG). In this position, Mr. Lew has overall responsibility for the company’s Global Operations. He oversees the departments of Design, Estimating, Project Management, Production, Installation and Service as well as outsourcing, new product development and overseas partners. Prior to joining LSG, Mr. Lew served as Vice President and General Manager of Business Technology Management Inc. – an international business management consulting firm. He has over twenty-five years’ experience in leading business improvement programs and is an expert in analyzing business processes and implementing advanced process management models. Over the years, Mr. Lew worked with a broad spectrum of industries around the globe from aerospace and defense to medical devices, automotive parts, electronic components, airlines, hospitals, food products, apparel and more. In addition, Mr. Lew was the founder and President of three start-up companies. Mr. Lew holds a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering and an Executive Business Management certification. Mr. Lew was awarded several patents and trademarks. He is a frequent guest speaker at various industry forums, academic institutions and business owners’ gatherings.

Tom Lichtenstein
Tim Lloyd | Director, Nova Polymers, Inc.

Tim is the fourth generation of his family involved in the sign industry. Over 25+ years Tim worked for Spraylat Paint, Matthews Paint (rising to the level of Director), and now the Director of Nova Polymers. A career working with fabricators, designers, and sign supply distributors. "It continues to be my privilege continuing to service the the valued people working within the sign industry.

Kenny Peskin | Director, Industry Programs, International Sign Association

Kenny Peskin is the Director of Industry Programs for the International Sign Association. Kenny helps represent the on-premises sign industry in developing technical standards and responding to code issues across the country. As part of his work, he regularly meets with city officials, appears at public hearings, files written comments on draft ordinances, and speaks on sign-related issues. Kenny serves on the NFPA 70 National Electric Code Code-Making Panel 18, the International Code Council A117.1 Consensus Committee on Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities, Underwriters Laboratories’ Standards Technical Panel 48 for Electric Signs, and cochairs the Underwriters Laboratories Sign Industry Business Panel. Kenny grew up in the sign industry, as his family manufactured custom electric signs in Youngstown, Ohio for nearly 100 years. Before joining ISA, he worked for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, handling federal regulatory and environmental issues.

Kevin Poland | Owner & President, The Renaissance Group

Kevin Poland is the founder and President of The Renaissance Group, a management consulting and coaching company that provides advice and guidance to business owners who are ready to build a great business and live a great life. Certified as a Senior E-Myth Consultant, Kevin uses this specialized training to help small business owners design and grow businesses that work for them, rather than because of them. He speaks regularly on the topic of business growth strategies and how to solve other challenges that are unique to owner operated businesses. Kevin has over twenty years of strategic business leadership experience. He holds a MS in Engineering Management and a BS in Industrial Engineering. Prior to starting The Renaissance Group, his previous business experience was working with large corporations in the areas of Industrial Engineering, Manufacturing Management, Operations, Production Planning and Strategic Planning.

Jim Raffel | CEO & Consultant, ColorCasters, LLC

Jim Raffel is a color management consultant who also serves as CEO of ColorCasters, LLC. As a veteran of the printing industry and a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology’s acclaimed printing management program, in 1995 he formed ColorMetrix to bring an idea he had to make color measurement and evaluation easier by creating easy-to-use software solutions. Today as a certified G7 expert and color management professional, his consulting practice focuses on dye sublimation and flat-bed UV inkjet printing. This work keeps him on the road many weeks each year working with end users and manufacturers to improve their color management processes.

AJ Titus | Director of Education, MUTOH

Mark has over 35 years in the sign and print market and has owned and operated two successful sign shops. He uses his experience in those shops when offering guidance in problem-solving because he had to solve issues himself as an owner-operator. He is an expert with design software, color management, FlexiSIGN, and much more. His seminars are practical and the information provided can be used immediately.

Mark Rugen | Director of Education, MUTOH

Mark has over 35 years in the sign and print market and has owned and operated two successful sign shops. He uses his experience in those shops when offering guidance in problem-solving because he had to solve issues himself as an owner-operator. He is an expert with design software, color management, FlexiSIGN, and much more. His seminars are practical and the information provided can be used immediately.

Karen Vanhoy | Senior Project Manager, Atlas Signs

Karen Vanhoy is a Senior Project Manager with over 17 years of Project Management experience in the signage industry.  Karen has managed several high level teams that  successfully completed multi-million dollar projects including re-image programs, new construction and natural disaster response programs. Through the years Karen has facilitated programs/projects for National and Regional Retail Chains, Restaurants (fine dining and fast food), Hospitality and large roll out programs for the banking industry.. Karen’s reputation in the signage industry has provided many invitations to facilitate training programs and seminars on Leadership and Project Management at several sign associations Including The International Sign Association, Mid-South Sign Association and Northeastern Sign Association.

Alexia Vernon
Cliff Waldman | CEO, New World Economics

During his extensive career as a Washington, D.C. economist, Cliff Waldman, New World Economics CEO, has been an active and in-demand public speaker on topics ranging from the U.S. and global economic outlooks to new markets, productivity, and automation. While he has spoken throughout the US, he has also appeared in Germany, Canada and South Africa. As a rising voice in the D.C. policy research community, Cliff has made appearances at events on Capitol Hill and in major think tanks. He is the host of Manufacturing Talk Radio’s “Manufacturing Matters With Cliff Waldman” which is now in its third year. From 2003 to 2018 Cliff served as Senior Economist and Chief Economist of the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI). He has spent 17 years writing and speaking on the global economic picture as well as range of issues of central importance to the manufacturing sector, including productivity, demographics and emerging markets. His career has also included tenures as an economic researcher with a state government forecasting and policy research unit as well as with a small business research team in Washington, D.C. He has won three national research awards and recently published a paper with Indiana University on competitive challenges in U.S. manufacturing. As a leader in the economics community, Cliff served two years as Chairman of the Board of the National Economists Club. In 2019 he served as co-chair of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) manufacturing roundtable. In 2018 he was awarded the Certified Business Economist (CBE) designation by NABE.

Deacon Wardlow | Special Ops, Spectacular Media

Deacon Wardlow is in-Continuous Improvement Manager & Innovationista at Vantage LED, Co-Director of Spectacular Media, Founder of FiSimply Consulting, and an avid speaker, author, and futurist often tasked with delivering information on new and emergent technology and its effect on various industries. Deacon helps simply address complex issues with revolutionary solutions. From 2003 to 2018 Cliff served as Senior Economist and Chief Economist of the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI). He has spent 17 years writing and speaking on the global economic picture as well as range of issues of central importance to the manufacturing sector, including productivity, demographics and emerging markets. His career has also included tenures as an economic researcher with a state government forecasting and policy research unit as well as with a small business research team in Washington, D.C. He has won three national research awards and recently published a paper with Indiana University on competitive challenges in U.S. manufacturing. As a leader in the economics community, Cliff served two years as Chairman of the Board of the National Economists Club. In 2019 he served as co-chair of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) manufacturing roundtable. In 2018 he was awarded the Certified Business Economist (CBE) designation by NABE.