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Erik Sine

Sign Industry Power Grab?

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SIGN INDUSTRY POWER GRAB?
UPDATED 09/11/12, See Post 25, Page 2

ISA%20Takeover.jpg


The ByLaws & Re-Organization Proposals
Bylaws & Reorganization Proposal.pdf


It's been interesting for me to see this all slowly unravel.

Without Electric Sign Industry websites such as The Sign Syndicate.com you would normally just read in the trade magazines about a large Sign Association such as the International Sign Association taking over and pretty much absorbing the smaller sign associations for the industry "good". Just a short description about "once you join your local association you're also a member of ISA" and visa versa if you're a member of ISA as a primary you get the mini appetizer too.

That would be pretty much it, no sound of opposition, no sound of debate because most magazines of our industry are in bed with the largest sign association.

The marketeers of the International Sign Association are claiming it's for all the reasons of/or to unify the interests spread across all the various associations as one, and to speak as one with the thunderous voice as large as the sea.

I'm always apart of the "suspicious" folk camp, so to speak.

I like competition, I like variety. I don't like everything to fall all under one or have all your eggs in one basket. My thoughts and suspicions are greatly amplified due to recent events of ISA attempts at getting or making what the normal sign shop should have a "right to do" in his or own community or state, instead turning it into a exclusivity "have to be a member to perform work here" i.e. the Louisiana Purchase

I've already heard/read the concerns of those longtime/lifer board members of the smaller orgs who see this as nothing more than a "power grab". I see this the same way, in a matter of fact I'm starting to see what I thought/predicted might happen.

Good intentions going bad.

I've been seeing a lot of these recent events as a way to "control" the sign industry. A sort of "in order to conduct business, you need to go through us" with the "exclusivity" clause/indirect regulation to force an industry into membership.

This shotgun marriage at the expense of the sign industry may have a few good/positive points for it's members, but I'm also sure it has it's HUGE draw backs as well.

What happens if the orgs don't agree and an area possibly due to membership special interests, or if the smaller org feels the org is not doing what it should be?

In someways it might not even make a difference, we've always seen the same faces recycled an regurgitated from org to org. It's safe to say it's like watching an episode of Melrose Place because at one point or another everyone has slept with everyone and it's just a swingers lifestyle. Maybe now it's just "official"?

Life is interesting. Glad the Electric Sign Industry is not a dull place.

Could be that we're all one step closer to that Euphoric state

or...

It could be like that horrible movie come to life where it's join or die!

bodysnatchers.jpg


Forget the horse head that I thought I might one morning wake up too in my bed, hell...it might be a pod that I wake up too laying next to me.




Have a good and safe Labor Day Weekend, take a load off your shoulders you've all earned it! Rest easy and get some sleep...HAHAHAHAAHA



bodysnatcher.jpg


You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

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It's happening everywhere else, why shouldn't it in our beloved industry?

I agree with the sentiments of the OP. I believe this universal push to consolidate everything under one giant big brother organization promotes itself through patently false claims. Creating a top heavy, centralized authority does not result in the masses speaking in "one powerful voice", it results in each of their individual, unique voices being watered down to one foul synthesis that represents nobody's interests except for the select fiew who sit on the Politburo that rules over it.

I'm wary of any all powerful organization that pats it's members heads with a soothing assurance that "it's for your own good, little one, now run along, shut up and let the grownups decide what's best for you."

Edited by MSLDesigner

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I'm pretty ignorant on what power the associations have to begin with. Outside of trying to sway places like UL to accept certain things what exactly do they do? We aren't a member of any sign group. The older guys have been in the past and saw no real benefit. Are we missing out anything other than paying dues?

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I'm pretty ignorant on what power the associations have to begin with. Outside of trying to sway places like UL to accept certain things what exactly do they do? We aren't a member of any sign group. The older guys have been in the past and saw no real benefit. Are we missing out anything other than paying dues?

Probably not.......

And the larger sign companies pay those dues with the money they refuse to pay you as a subcontractor. Hell, it wouldn't surprise me if the same pillars of honesty you read about daily on this board are the same captains who guide the ship on its path.

I wouldn't worry too much about Associations taking over anything, they are too busy stroking their own egos with fantasy accomplishments that will save us all. Do your own due diligence on whatever you embark and it might actually pay off better. Or better yet, take your potential dues and go to Las Vegas and lay it down on the crap tables. At least you will have some fun and a few laughs.

Dominic


"Don't be afraid to see what you see" - President Ronald Reagan

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I'm starting to see them as a minor threat to the industry. Their trying to make a business model out of regulation.

If you do business in Louisiana then you have to be a member
http://www.thesignsyndicate.com/forums/index.php?/topic/5762-the-louisiana-purchase-isa-imerc/

I don't reside or do business in Louisiana so it doesn't affect me.....yet, but who knows when it comes to the environmentalists and the government bureaucrats that work as the finger puppets in combination with special interest groups like ISA . But if they want to be a part of the problem and not the solution to all then I'm going to encourage playing "ignorant" and proceed with business anyway. How hard can it be to conduct business as usual? We've all seen how slow government is in acting and enforcing. Hell, probably no one in that state even knows about the the proposal, it's like the poorest state with corrupt officials who use their refrigerator to hide their embezzled cash $$$$$$. I'm a step away to encouraging bootlegging because it infringes on our liberties.

Since you're into neon what do you think about the International Sign Association trying to get outline neon and cold cathode UL Listed? They tried but failed, but the attempt alone says it all. Can you imagine having to UL Neon glass?
http://www.thesignsyndicate.com/forums/index.php?/topic/5371-nec-for-electric-signs-approvals-rejections-revisals


I'm pretty ignorant on what power the associations have to begin with. Outside of trying to sway places like UL to accept certain things what exactly do they do? We aren't a member of any sign group. The older guys have been in the past and saw no real benefit. Are we missing out anything other than paying dues?

You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

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Here is what I found quite humorous in the new bylaws doc attached above. What it should read I changed to red. But I guess they would loose half their high paid "National Sign Members who are +1K a pop in membership fee(s).

Article 4, Section 9 changes the language from “divisions” to “councils” and stipulates that any withdrawal, suspension or expulsion in the Affiliated Association Council may only be by the Affiliated Association with which the company has a membership. The rest of the section remains the same as the current bylaws.

Section 9: Withdrawal; Suspension; Expulsion

A Member of the Direct Sign Company Member Council, the Suppliers/Distributors Council and the Associate Members Council may withdraw at any time by giving written notice to the Board of Directors, the Chairman, the President, or the Secretary/Treasurer. A Member of the Affiliated Associations Sign Company Member Council will be considered withdrawn from ISA upon withdrawal or expulsion from the membership of the ISA Affiliated Association, in accordance with the Affiliated Association’s bylaws and policies.

Any member may be suspended or expelled from ISA membership for violation of the Bylaws or any other lawful rule or requirement duly adopted by the ISA membership or Board of Directors; or for conduct prejudicial to the interests of ISA.

Suspension or expulsion shall be by two-thirds vote of the Board of Directors, provided that the ISA shall have sent a statement of the charges by certified mail to the last recorded address of the member at least twenty (20) days before final action is taken. The member shall have the opportunity to appear in person, to be represented by counsel, and to present any defense to such charges before final action is taken.

All privileges of membership shall terminate upon withdrawal, suspension or expulsion of a member and the former member shall not be entitled to a refund or repayment of the balance of any portion of the membership dues or assessments that have already been paid to ISA.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, a member failing to pay dues in a timely manner, fails to pay it's subcontractors or suppliers in a timely manner according to it's state laws WILL automatically be suspended from ISA membership (without requirement of a two-thirds Board of Directors vote). The suspended member will be returned to active membership (without requirement of a two-thirds Board of Directors vote) upon successful resolution of all outstanding amounts.

Now I think I know why Association Board members want help to fight what's coming from within.

• Create a forward-thinking board that focuses on strategy and policy

Good God, Magic Mouth had a say in the new order. When there is clearly NO accountability, or accountability chain to examine look out.

Probably not.......

And the larger sign companies pay those dues with the money they refuse to pay you as a subcontractor. Hell, it wouldn't surprise me if the same pillars of honesty you read about daily on this board are the same captains who guide the ship on its path.

I wouldn't worry too much about Associations taking over anything, they are too busy stroking their own egos with fantasy accomplishments that will save us all. Do your own due diligence on whatever you embark and it might actually pay off better. Or better yet, take your potential dues and go to Las Vegas and lay it down on the crap tables. At least you will have some fun and a few laughs.

Dominic


You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

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Here is what I found quite humorous in the new bylaws doc attached above. What it should read I changed to red.

Article 4, Section 9 changes the language from “divisions” to “councils” and stipulates that any withdrawal, suspension or expulsion in the Affiliated Association Council may only be by the Affiliated Association with which the company has a membership. The rest of the section remains the same as the current bylaws.

Section 9: Withdrawal; Suspension; Expulsion

A Member of the Direct Sign Company Member Council, the Suppliers/Distributors Council and the Associate Members Council may withdraw at any time by giving written notice to the Board of Directors, the Chairman, the President, or the Secretary/Treasurer. A Member of the Affiliated Associations Sign Company Member Council will be considered withdrawn from ISA upon withdrawal or expulsion from the membership of the ISA Affiliated Association, in accordance with the Affiliated Association’s bylaws and policies.

Any member may be suspended or expelled from ISA membership for violation of the Bylaws or any other lawful rule or requirement duly adopted by the ISA membership or Board of Directors; or for conduct prejudicial to the interests of ISA.

Suspension or expulsion shall be by two-thirds vote of the Board of Directors, provided that the ISA shall have sent a statement of the charges by certified mail to the last recorded address of the member at least twenty (20) days before final action is taken. The member shall have the opportunity to appear in person, to be represented by counsel, and to present any defense to such charges before final action is taken.

All privileges of membership shall terminate upon withdrawal, suspension or expulsion of a member and the former member shall not be entitled to a refund or repayment of the balance of any portion of the membership dues or assessments that have already been paid to ISA.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, a member failing to pay dues in a timely manner, fails to pay it's subcontractors or suppliers in a timely manner according to it's state laws WILL automatically be suspended from ISA membership (without requirement of a two-thirds Board of Directors vote). The suspended member will be returned to active membership (without requirement of a two-thirds Board of Directors vote) upon successful resolution of all outstanding amounts.

Now I think I know why Association Board members want help to fight what's coming from within.

• Create a forward-thinking board that focuses on strategy and policy

Good God, Magic Mouth had a say in the new order. When there is clearly NO accountability, or accountability chain to examine look out.

I'm pretty ignorant on what power the associations have to begin with. Outside of trying to sway places like UL to accept certain things what exactly do they do? We aren't a member of any sign group. The older guys have been in the past and saw no real benefit. Are we missing out anything other than paying dues?

Probably not.......

And the larger sign companies pay those dues with the money they refuse to pay you as a subcontractor. Hell, it wouldn't surprise me if the same pillars of honesty you read about daily on this board are the same captains who guide the ship on its path.

I wouldn't worry too much about Associations taking over anything, they are too busy stroking their own egos with fantasy accomplishments that will save us all. Do your own due diligence on whatever you embark and it might actually pay off better. Or better yet, take your potential dues and go to Las Vegas and lay it down on the crap tables. At least you will have some fun and a few laughs.

Dominic

On a serious note, I am extremely interested in those comapnies and individuals who are the "Titans of Justice" on the ISA leadersip council.

Do you have access to a membership or board list and their associated companies. I will bet dollars to doughnuts some of the same infamous names on the board are one in the same as some who have been chastised on this board. I could be wrong but would be curious to see.

Dominic


"Don't be afraid to see what you see" - President Ronald Reagan

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Interesting you should ask.

As of the last two years I've developed a map so to speak of all the chairs and subcommittees, the members and who they work for or from and what that company "pushes" for, or gears for in marketing. It's no wonder what decisions are made for and why. An agenda can be painted out. But up to now it's just been for my own research for what I bring to the table here. We/ I can;t use is as real data, but it sure can paint a solid picture and leave one to verify why certain decisions are made.

I made this clear to some the International Sign Association core employees, that they don't /or may not really understand why some decisions are being made or understand the why's because their not of the Sign Industry. They've never fabricated a sign, installed a sign, pulled a permit or went through the reviews or title 24 blah bah blah. These Employees of ISA don't know the "Agenda", at least I'm crediting them with the ignorance. I' hate to think otherwise. But this is why their needs to be term limits, and why they need to "clean house", get new consultants, get new people who have "tradition" and "pride" in their heart. Do away with those who have personal gain, or personal glory.




On a serious note, I am extremely interested in those comapnies and individuals who are the "Titans of Justice" on the the International Sign Association leadership council.
Do you have access to a membership or board list and their associated companies. I will bet dollars to doughnuts some of the same infamous names on the board are one in the same as some who have been chastised on this board. I could be wrong but would be curious to see.


Dominic

You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

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http://www.signs.org/AboutISA/Leadership/ExecutiveCommittee.aspx

I knew it.............

A pillar of honesty and integrity that belongs to an organization who insists that members "Must pay its subs or be banished to the planet Lovetron forever". I knew it.

Dominic


"Don't be afraid to see what you see" - President Ronald Reagan

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Since you're into neon what do you think about ISA trying to get outline neon and cold cathode UL Listed? They tried but failed, but the attempt alone says it all. Can you imagine having to UL Neon glass?

http://www.thesignsy...ctions-revisals

Wow! Who ever thought that was a good enough idea to entertain outside of a joke needs their head examined. We'd be out of business the day after that was enacted. The only people I see benefiting from that would be UL with their new mandatory payments and the biggest neon companies who could afford a full time UL inspector.

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A power grab is exactly that!!!>>>>>>I'll comment at a later time when I can sort out the facts from the rumors but I will say it's like having someone kick down your front door and inviting themselves in to dinner>>>>

Edited by TecnoluxMan

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Sitting down at the dinner table with their arm around your wife, eating your food? That kind?

I will say it's like having someone kick down your front door and inviting themselves in to dinner>>>>


You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

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Sitting down at the dinner table with their arm around your wife, eating your food? That kind?

What if your wife is into that sort of thing?

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We'll get into greater detail next week on what this means and we'll post the updated bylaws proposal

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

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I don't see anything good coming out of this. It is totally out of my control and my/our thoughts will have no effect on the outcome. Total waste of time.

Edited by chubbygumby

Installation & Maintenance Services

Brian Phillips | expresssignandneon@sbcglobal.net | P. 812-882-3278

Express Sign & Neon | 119 S. 15th Street - Vincennes - IN 47591

express%20neon%20sig.jpg

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It's happening everywhere else, why shouldn't it in our beloved industry?

I agree with the sentiments of the OP. I believe this universal push to consolidate everything under one giant big brother organization promotes itself through patently false claims. Creating a top heavy, centralized authority does not result in the masses speaking in "one powerful voice", it results in each of their individual, unique voices being watered down to one foul synthesis that represents nobody's interests except for the select fiew who sit on the Politburo that rules over it.

I'm wary of any all powerful organization that pats it's members heads with a soothing assurance that "it's for your own good, little one, now run along, shut up and let the grownups decide what's best for you."

I'd like to follow up my original comments (self quote, above) with some clarification in light of looking into this matter thoroughly and coming up with my own conclusions as a result.

While I remain no less passionate about my opposition to any and all consolidation of power into the hands of a privileged few at the expense of the disenfranchised masses, I fail to see any evidence whatsoever that this is what the International Sign Association is trying to do through its restructuring effort. If anything, it is trying to give a better voice to the little guy, not less. The onus though is on the little guy to get involved, to get engaged, and to fight for the things she or he believes in within the context of an organization that is as committed to reaching a consensus by extensive consultation and open dialogue as the ISA, made even more accessable as an option now that ISA is extending automatic membership to those who already are members of regional associations.

Criticism from without, especially criticism rooted in ignorance of the facts is ineffectual and counterproductive. As a point of belief I support anyone's right to do so. But my passionate opposition to any "power grab" is only as intense as it is true. I'm not about to go to battle against wrongs that do not exist.

I'm a passionate believer in democracy, liberty, equality and fair play. As an employee of a man who today sits on the board of ISA, I've had extended and unfettered access to ask as many grueling questions as I wanted to in order to arrive at the truth of this matter. After having done so, I do not feel its fair to characterize ISA's effort to restructure itself more effectively as some kind of big brother, big business initiative to wrestle all control away from local and smaller players. If anything, the ISA provides a forum and structure in which there is more of a level playing field among participants, where richer, larger company owners have no more votes than one man sign shops. Outside of this context, out in the competitive industry, bigger companies are free to spend as much money as it takes to run roughshod over anyone else's efforts at making a buck as far as it is legal to do so. Not so in ISA. There is just as much room, especially under the new proposed Bylaw amendments, for the equal representation of those members of lesser means, even at the highest level, all within a well governed, democratic structure. Local and regional organizations would remain as free as ever under the proposed changes to develop and promote positions that are more in keeping with regional and local concerns.

My own employer, Robert Mattatall, both a board member and proponent of the changes outlined in ISA's restructuring proposal (which I might add has not yet even been ratified by its membership, by popular vote, as is the intent) is the president of a relatively small company of a little over 30 employees. I know for a fact that this man has made many personal sacrifices to keep his company competitive and profitable, not for his own financial security, but for the benefit of his employees. This to me is not the kind of person who is likely to side with big business trying to crush the little guy. I can say without question he would never support or endorse any restructuring of ISA that would do so. (And for anyone out there who would read this and like to accuse him of coercing me into making these statements I would simply say that you don't know either of us very well. He would never do anything of the sort, and even if he did, I'm not the kind of guy who takes kindly to other people doing my thinking for me, so let's settle that argument before it even gets started. I'm doing this entirely of my own accord).

The truth is there is no effort on ISA's part to exert control or to interfere in local associations or local issues. I see no evidence of an agenda to force participation in it or any other association, and there certainly is no evidence of it trying to crush or oppose healthy competition among players in the industry, big or small.

On a specific issue, raised by the OP, regarding the notion of amending ISA's bylaws to make for mandatory expulsion for failing to pay one's suppliers, I'd like to say that its my belief that if such a clause were adopted it would effectively turn the ISA into the autocratic, big brother, global power grabbing monster the OP makes it seem it already is! I believe whether or not a company pays its bills falls under the power and authority of state or provincial governments, who have a legal obligation to police such offences, certainly not an industry association whose effort is to develop a collective voice, not impose its power on its members, even if it is by the stigma associated with expulsion. It's not, nor it should be, the ISA's or any other sign association's mandate to interfere in legal disputes among its members or pass judgement on one side or another.

In the end, I remain just as concerned about the invasive and intrusive push toward globalization in many industries and governments the world over. My own, exclusive, personal opinion is that globalization has brought untold destruction to the US and Canadian economies and has done nothing but undercut the middle class and weaken western civilization in favor of countries more willing to sell their labor for peanuts.

I just don't believe that ISA's restructuring has anything to do with that whatsoever, or is even remotely undertaken in the same kind of spirit. Quite the opposite in fact.

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Thank you for your updated view/opinion. Sorry if you may have stepped on your tongue with the boss man a member as well and following along this thread. That happens here with the employed here at times and I have to make edits or deletions. It's the biggest "non-participating" reason of the membership.

Oddly enough since I posted this topic I've been getting calls and emails from dissatisfied Board Members/Chairs etc etc. I'm not going to add to this until I get more information to back it up so I'm going to sit on it for a while and stay open minded. But if what I'm hearing is true, then it may dig in a lot deeper than most thing or presume.

On the top of it all, the perception of this grand marriage I don't like. Reason being, is history paints a forecast of what's to come. I understand you work for someone and it might weigh in or it may not since your original opinion/post.

But ask your boss this, as this has been a struggling question to get answered like so many proposals in that past that start or come from the International Sign Association. Ask him to find out who thought of it, who initiated it? A name please. It's so hard to ever get a name out of these things, it's always a "group", or like the the answers I've gotten in the past from ISA "I don't know, it just came to the committee" haha.

On the the International Sign Association playing big brother, that's a cop out answer that I'm sure got passed down to you.

There is a code of conduct one has to go by and if a company wants to use as association logo or emblem to display or better yet, portray themselves in marketing stationary as "honorable" or a company with "integrity" and if they are anything but to the public or within an industry then ISA needs to enforce their code of conduct and upkeep the decency. No one likes a sign company who simply puts up a crappy sign, picks up the final check and runs with no worry to honor a warranty. Just the same no one like a association who says they are concerned for an industry, but in turn just wants to collect large membership fees from nationals and look the other way, or turn it's back on doing the honorable thing. As I've said before, ISA does good and they do bad. I'm waiting for this to unravel more, but my gut tells me, he doesn't like it.

Of all the past threads I've listed in this thread, and in others about associations is what leads me to believe it's not a betterment for all involved. The phone calls and emails in opposition sure didn't make me feel any better.


However I welcome any opinion or thought that agrees or disagrees. It's amazing how fast this thread view number got in such a short time.



So, we'll just through all the information out on the table and with as much info as possible and the readers can decide. That's why this site exists.


Maybe I'll feel better, maybe I won't. And please....get me that name.


You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

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Wow - that was a major change of opinion by designer. So much for private opinions versus owner opinions.

And 600+ views? And 17 replies?

gn

Edited by Gary Nutting

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Wow - that was a major change of opinion by designer. So much for private opinions versus owner opinions.

And 600+ views? And 17 replies?

gn

RIGHT???

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Wow - that was a major change of opinion by designer. So much for private opinions versus owner opinions.

And 600+ views? And 17 replies?

gn

Nonsense. my first post was a knee jerk reaction, based on my own beliefs in general and a taking at face value the truth of the OP's post. Once I had a chance to find out the facts for myself (a quest I undertook with the utmost scrutiny) I realized the OP wasn't necessarily representing the truth, but his own take on it. Therefore I changed my opinion and said so.

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Thank you for your updated view/opinion. Sorry if you may have stepped on your tongue with the boss man a member as well and following along this thread. That happens here with the employed here at times and I have to make edits or deletions. It's the biggest "non-participating" reason of the membership.

Oddly enough since I posted this topic I've been getting calls and emails from dissatisfied Board Members/Chairs etc etc. I'm not going to add to this until I get more information to back it up so I'm going to sit on it for a while and stay open minded. But if what I'm hearing is true, then it may dig in a lot deeper than most thing or presume.

On the top of it all, the perception of this grand marriage I don't like. Reason being, is history paints a forecast of what's to come. I understand you work for someone and it might weigh in or it may not since your original opinion/post.

But ask your boss this, as this has been a struggling question to get answered like so many proposals in that past that start or come from ISA. Ask him to find out who thought of it, who initiated it? A name please. It's so hard to ever get a name out of these things, it's always a "group", or like the the answers I've gotten in the past from ISA "I don't know, it just came to the committee" haha.

On the ISA playing bid brother, that's a cop out answer that I'm sure got passed down to you.

There is a code of conduct one has to go by and if a company wants to use as association logo or emblem to display or better yet, portray themselves in marketing stationary as "honorable" or a company with "integrity" and if they are anything but to the public or within an industry then ISA needs to enforce their code of conduct and upkeep the decency. No one likes a sign company who simply puts up a crappy sign, picks up the final check and runs with no worry to honor a warranty. Just the same no one like a association who says they are concerned for an industry, but in turn just wants to collect large membership fees from nationals and look the other way, or turn it's back on doing the honorable thing. As I've said before, ISA does good and they do bad. I'm waiting for this to unravel more, but my gut tells me, he doesn't like it.

Of all the past threads I've listed in this thread, and in others about associations is what leads me to believe it's not a betterment for all involved. The phone calls and emails in opposition sure didn't make me feel any better.

However I welcome any opinion or thought that agrees or disagrees. It's amazing how fast this thread view number got in such a short time.

So, we'll just through all the information out on the table and with as much info as possible and the readers can decide. That's why this site exists.

Maybe I'll feel better, maybe I won't. And please....get me that name.

1. Tongue stepping

My only regret is in taking your original post at face value and not finding out whether or not your claims were true before weighing in on them. I am pretty passionate about things like that when they're grounded in fact. In hindsight, after a considerable effort of my own to find out the truth, I found I have an entirely different opinion.

Witch hunts only tend to hurt legitimate causes. The second you burn someone at the stake who in reality is innocent you rob your own crusade of legitimacy and will fail to have the means to fight against real injustices. The lesson to learn here is to endeavor first to be on the side of the truth, which goes hand in hand with justice.

I believe in the truth so passionately I want to make sure it is the truth I'm fighting for.

2. Complaint calls from board members

Since you're so eager to find out names, perhaps you'd go on the record and state here just who exactly, boardmembers and chairs, who called you with complaints?

Perhaps the reason you've never got that one name you're so convinced is responsible for these proposed changes is that it truly was a group idea and effort. No idea gains much traction in a group of peers unless it is one already held in common, in one way, shape or form. I don't think the lack of a specific name is any proof that the answer of it being a group concept is a false one. But if its answers you want from ISA perhaps you'd have better luck if you actually joined it and became part of the dialogue. You want to see whether or not the rock star is lip syncing or doing the real thing? The only way to know for sure is to go to the concert, not listen to it on the radio.

3. Cop out answer passed down to me

That's a laugh. If there is anyone on planet earth who resists the machine and refuses to believe something just because someone in authority tells them so, It's me. You don't know me well enough to know how independently minded I really am. Nobody tells me how or what to think. I like to base my opinions on the facts of the matter, and after having the chance to examine them myself in this case I realized how foolish it was of me to comment without knowing them first. I'll be the first to jump on a crusade for truth and justice, but in this case I don't believe ISA is guilty of any of the claims you make of them, so yes I retract my first reaction completely.

I've read the proposal, I've asked for details and after receiving them I find ISA not guilty of being the villain portrayed in your quite creative illustration. ;)

If you find any conclusive, damning evidence, present it, otherwise you're basing your fears on nothing but fears.

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:smiley2eatingpopcorn:

Installation & Maintenance Services

Brian Phillips | expresssignandneon@sbcglobal.net | P. 812-882-3278

Express Sign & Neon | 119 S. 15th Street - Vincennes - IN 47591

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1. Tongue stepping
My only regret is in taking your original post at face value and not finding out whether or not your claims were true before weighing in on them. I am pretty passionate about things like that when they're grounded in fact. In hindsight, after a considerable effort of my own to find out the truth, I found I have an entirely different opinion.

Witch hunts only tend to hurt legitimate causes. The second you burn someone at the stake who in reality is innocent you rob your own crusade of legitimacy and will fail to have the means to fight against real injustices. The lesson to learn here is to endeavor first to be on the side of the truth, which goes hand in hand with justice.

I believe in the truth so passionately I want to make sure it is the truth I'm fighting for.

2. Complaint calls from board members
Since you're so eager to find out names, perhaps you'd go on the record and state here just who exactly, boardmembers and chairs, who called you with complaints?

Perhaps the reason you've never got that one name you're so convinced is responsible for these proposed changes is that it truly was a group idea and effort. No idea gains much traction in a group of peers unless it is one already held in common, in one way, shape or form. I don't think the lack of a specific name is any proof that the answer of it being a group concept is a false one. But if its answers you want from ISA perhaps you'd have better luck if you actually joined it and became part of the dialogue. You want to see whether or not the rock star is lip syncing or doing the real thing? The only way to know for sure is to go to the concert, not listen to it on the radio.

3. Cop out answer passed down to me
That's a laugh. If there is anyone on planet earth who resists the machine and refuses to believe something just because someone in authority tells them so, It's me. You don't know me well enough to know how independently minded I really am. Nobody tells me how or what to think. I like to base my opinions on the facts of the matter, and after having the chance to examine them myself in this case I realized how foolish it was of me to comment without knowing them first. I'll be the first to jump on a crusade for truth and justice, but in this case I don't believe ISA is guilty of any of the claims you make of them, so yes I retract my first reaction completely.

I've read the proposal, I've asked for details and after receiving them I find ISA not guilty of being the villain portrayed in your quite creative illustration. ;)

If you find any conclusive, damning evidence, present it, otherwise you're basing your fears on nothing but fears.


Pretty funny, you must not come around much nor read what I post. I do appreciate that you see the humor in the initial illustration, but humor is funny because it has "some" truth" to it

I don't/won't reveal my sources unless they want themselves known, so I protect them. Nor will I ever join an association, I have a better more important job here from the outside. I can't be bought, I can't be manipulated, I can't be dictated to. There are times I wish I could divulge everything I know about certain subjects, but that would get people into trouble who have trusted me, jeopardize relationships and employment. I'm not going to do that.

They (Assoc People) come to me for a reason because their in the association but they need more help so here we are. I won't waste anyone's time with baseless rants, it's a waste of my personal time and there's nothing in it for me. I'm not in an association, I have no power position to seek, I don't have anything to gain financially to getting this out in the public industry arena.

If you're of the opinion this re-organization is purely sunshine and rainbows and nothing "top heavy" anymore where the few can gain and masses can be left out, then so be it.

Is there a reason why there is a rush to get out a vote with very little details made available and a rush before everyone is properly educated. Why is there a vote a day before the WSSC meet in LA, before they can convene and meet, possible suggest or weigh in?

There will probably be job elimination by design, those who did not "get along to go along", shown the door. the International Sign Association appears to want more than what they were getting before.

What does a local sign assoc have to give up, or share with the International Sign Association, some of these associations are dependents of the International Sign Association's funding?

Who gets put in place in these new regional boards? How were they selected? Hmmmmm

There's all kinds of questions besides the ones above but more so based on case history of ISA my friend, most of which has been their stance or lack of stance when it comes to light sources, the personal agenda's and self interests as individuals or as companies. So, which questions were you carefully, and with great interest, were you "grueling" Robert with? What are Roberts concerns moving forward? Does he have any? Or is it just "in line" sunshine?

The cold hard truth is, ISA has never fought for the greater interests of the sign industry as a whole nor upheld it's traditions, their financial interests ALWAYS have come first. The simplest point we can look at is Neon, enough said.

Sorry Aaron, I'm just not buying into it. I don't and won't buy into one organization to serve the interests of all, it's like depending on a monopolized U.L. who expands far beyond the standards. I'm glad, and so are a lot others that there is another competitor to U.L., MET Labs. I violently LOVE competition.

Like I said, more info and details to come. I want to be educated and I want everyone involved to educated, but it's too early for you to assume as is with actual card holder members who don't even know what they will be voting on.

If you like what's coming around the corner as is, you know, fine. Not going to jump on you or your opinion, but believe me, I'm not making blind statements here. There is a reason and purpose what I do here, it's just not always clear or apparent to some, and it's not always detailed, sometimes it vague. Sometimes it's all by "design". My time in all this for the industry is limited, I'm not getting paid to post, so I do what I can when I have the chance to do it.

You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

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Below are some concerns about the new proposed Bylaws for the ISA Re-Organization expressed by Sign Association Members and Boards (in Blue). This is important information, concerns that need addressing that we would like to be made available publicly to educate the voter.

ByLaw Concerns File

Bylaw concerns.pdf

Bylaw concerns

1. Article III Definitions - Members of the Direct Member Council can include:

Members of the Direct Member Council can include:

• National sign companies that engage in the sale or lease of signs and/or related services to final users who operate in a multi-state, multi-province or national market area.

• Local sign companies that are engaged in the sale or lease of signs to final users who operate in a local market area

This will create competition between Affiliates and ISA for the local sign company membership unless the ISA Bylaws state that direct sign company dues will be at the same rate as for National sign companies, or at least no lower than an Affiliate's highest dues structure. A dues structure that would be lower than an Affiliate's would discourage those members from joining at the affiliate level.

2. Article IV Section 4 - Dues

The dues for the Direct Sign Company Member Council, the Suppliers/Distributors Council and the Associate Members Council shall be determined by the Board of Directors.

The Board of Directors or its designee shall establish appropriate policies regarding payment methods and times, and payment delinquency.

This section should state that the BOD may not create a separate dues structure for the local sign members in the Direct Sign company category that is lower than the rates of the affiliates. The Affiliates must have a reasonable guarantee that they will not be competition with ISA for local sign company members.

The bylaws should explicitly state that affiliate associations and their sign company members will not owe ISA dues.

3. Article IV Section 6 – Representation

Each voting member shall be entitled to one vote on each matter submitted to the membership for a vote.

In the commentary of the bylaw amendments there is a list of matters that that membership would have the right to vote on. This list should be included in the actual bylaws, not just the commentary, as the commentary will disappear. Clear definitions of the matters should be included with the inclusion of the ability to vote on Bylaw revisions.

4. Article IV Section 7 – Quorum

Members eligible to vote holding one-fiftieth (1/50) of the votes entitled to be cast represented in person or by proxy shall constitute a quorum.

This change appears to be a convenience issue, so that it will give ISA the ability to take action quicker. Is there really a need to change this, considering the way membership votes will change due to the removal of representation? Members will only be voting on a few items and as a total group not split groups as per the old bylaws.

5. Article IV Section 9 – Withdrawal; Suspension; Expulsion

State who would determine what is “conduct prejudicial”.

6. Article VI Board of Directors

Why has the requirement for conducting at least one divisional membership meeting each year been removed and not just changed to “council” instead of “division”? Assumption is that ISA will not be holding any meetings on the grounds with the Affiliates.

7. Article VI Section 5 – Quorum of the board of directors

At any meeting of the Board of Directors a majority of the voting members of the Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of the business of ISA

Any such business thus transacted shall be valid providing it is affirmatively passed by a majority of those Directors present and voting, except as otherwise stipulated in the Bylaws.

Does this mean a majority of those present? Or, does more than 8 members constitute a quorum? This should be stated more clearly.

8. Article VII Elections Section 1

The Leadership Development Committee will take into consideration geographic diversity when developing the Board nominations.

This should become a requirement as opposed to suggestion. Change “consideration” to “Good faith or reasonable and accepted practices” to include geographical diversity.

9. Article VII Elections Section 2 – Board Elections

What does “single” slate of nominees mean? Will all members be voting on all new board members?

10. Article X section 3 – Nominating Committee

Why do you feel the need to have both the nominating committee and the leadership development committee? Just for the nomination and election of officers? Why not allow the board as a group to vote on the Officers?

11. Article XI Indemnification

ISA may indemnify and reimburse all persons whom it has the power to indemnify and reimburse, pursuant to Section 13.1-875 through Section 13.1-883 of the Virginia Non-Stock Corporation Act. (Emphasis added)

ISA must indemnify its officers. The Bylaws are silent as to guarantee indemnification of its officers and directors, to the fullest extent of the law.

12. Article XII Misc. Section 1 – Amendment of the Bylaws

..amended or restated Bylaws must be adopted by the ISA voting membership by a majority vote of those members voting, provided that notice of such proposed changes is submitted to all voting members in writing, through the mail or transmitted electronically.

This technically does not even require the previously stated quorum be met.

13. Needs to explicitly state that ISA will not sell distribute, license or disclose in any way any membership data whatsoever without prior written consent of each member.


You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

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ISA Reorganization

Reorganization Update File

ISA-Reorganizationupdate-9-4-12.pdf

Over the last 3 years ISA has been working on reorganizing their association to better serve its members. TSA has been involved and attended several of the stakeholder meetings. Most of the discussion TSA participated in involved the Governance Structure and Membership Structure; we were NOT involved in the Bylaw revision process. Understanding that ISA’s Bylaws are very much their own business, the proposed bylaw revisions and the proposed Affiliation Agreement could drastically change ISA and TSA’s relationship.

After counsel review of the proposed changes to the bylaws, the TSA Board of Directors made the decision to take our concerns to members. On July 19th the ISA Board of Directors approved the Bylaw revisions. Prior to that meeting TSA sent a letter to the ISA Board of Directors asking for a postponement of 2 weeks to allow TSA and other stakeholders to fully review the possible changes before a vote by the Board of Directors was taken. ISA decided not to give us that time, and the Board of Directors approved the versions submitted by the Bylaw Review Committee “as is” with only two dissenting votes, South West Sign Council (SWSC) and Western States Sign Council (WSSC). Understanding that the next step was for membership to vote on the amendments, communication to members and other state/regional association was in order. TSA sent out a note to our members, SWSC regional members of ISA and to state and regional associations, stating our 3 main concerns;

• Amendment of the new Bylaws by a vote of the Board of Directors of ISA, removing membership votes.

• Concerns regarding the reduction of the ISA Board of Directors and the makeup of that board.

• Reduction of a quorum from 1/20th to 1/50th in an almost 2000 member association.

The ability to amend the bylaws by board vote only, the lack of guaranteed representational on the board of local sign companies, and the quorum amendment could ultimately give the board complete control of the association without member input or representation.

ISA’s Board of Directors met on August 22nd and agreed to send the Bylaws back to the Bylaw Committee for review of our concerns. On August 29th we received the proposed changes:

• Article VI, Section 2 (page 6): Requires that a minimum of 4 of the 6 sign company directors are to be members of the Affiliated Associations Sign Company Member Council.

• Article VI, Section 2 (page 7): States that at all times a majority of the total board shall be sign companies.

• Article VII, Section 1 (page 8): States that the Leadership Development Committee will take into consideration geographic diversity when considering board nominations.

• Article XII, Section 1 (page 13): Replaces the previous draft language on amending the bylaws with the same language from ISA’s current bylaws, which requires that changes to the bylaws must be approved by the full membership

This represents ISA’s response to member comments made after the Bylaw amendments were passed by the Board of Directors. While these were only the main concerns we have with the amendments, it was never our full list. TSA and other state and regional associations will continue to work with ISA on the Bylaw revisions and the possible Affiliation documents.

Membership Structure (Affiliation of state and regional associations)

The membership structure of ISA will change to:

• Direct Supplier/Distributor Members

• Direct Sign Company Members

• Affiliated Association Sign Company Members

• Associate Members

Local sign companies that are members of an Affiliate Association will received automatic membership into the Affiliated Association Sign Company Members.

To become an “Affiliated Association Sign Company Member” you must be a member of a state or regional “ISA Affiliated” association, thereby requiring an “Affiliation Agreement” between ISA and the state or regional sign association. The Bylaws will govern how that affiliation with the Affiliate associations works and the Affiliate Agreement will govern what the Benefits of Affiliation and the Obligations of Affiliation will be.

ISA also proposed changes to the Affiliation Agreement as follows:

• 6.a (page 5): clarifies that the statement was regarding the use of ISA trademarks

• 6.b (page 5): Adds a sentence stating that any changes to the geographic areas of the affiliate will be mutually agreed upon by both parties

• 6.d.2 (page5): Clarifies the original intent, which is that affiliates will have a role in forming “official position statements.”

• 6.14.e.6 (page 7): Clarifies the original intent, which is that affiliates will not take positions contradictory to the official position statements.

• 18 (page 12): States that amendments to the agreement shall be amended by written agreement of both parties.

TSA may be seeking your input as to if affiliation is something that TSA members would like to see. Lori Anderson, President of ISA will be in Texas meeting with the TSA Board of Directors in late September, answering some questions and concerns in regards to “Affiliation” with ISA.

The TSA Board of Directors will keep you informed at the process continues. Thank you for taking your time to be an informed member.

Possible Options for TSA Action

1. Do nothing, allow ISA’s Bylaws to pass or fail per member votes.

2. Continue to educate members as to what our concerns are in the Bylaws.

a. Send ISA “all” of our concerns on the Bylaws for review by the Bylaw Committee.

3. Respond to the allegations from ISA chairman line by line.

4. Getting more involved in ISA on Committees and board to afford more influence.

5. Join USSC instead of ISA.


You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

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      I think we need to draw a line that shows contrast, and show what the differences are between what the current associations are doing for the electric sign trade, and what the electric sign trade is, and what it's interests are.
      I look at ISA now and when I see the makeup it's frankly gotten too big, it's too broad and most of those that run it aren't from our trade, their from others and they cycle from one trade, to ours, and then they cycle right into another somewhere else.....and frankly their heart is NOT in the same place as ours is when it comes to OUR trade.....the electric sign trade, or...the American Electric Sign trade.
      I think it's become forgotten because there is just a lot of money in a lot of other areas when your association model becomes or is turned into a business model rather than taking a stand for the industry. The International Sign Association is acquiring and buddying up too fast to other areas that are and not related to the immediate needs of the most important aspect of the sign trade, the "Electric Sign Trade" The needs of the American Sign Companies to the needs of the American Sign Manufacturing Companies.
      Most of those seasoned people I refer too above who said the show was "...eh.." say they wish the show was separated so they wouldn't have to walk too far to see what they ONLY came to see, or to see the booths that relate to just them. That would be nice but, the show wants you to see the whole floor so they can collect that traffic and they need, that traffic to show all the exhibitors those numbers completely, even though those numbers don't really reflect who's there to really see what or who. The smart thing to do is scatter so one must tour ALL and give an opportunity for all to be visibly seen. That way later when they come up with attendance number is can be used to make all sectors think it applies to them, or maybe that's a stretch of a statement to make.
      I personally think a new association needs to be formed one day, and the framing from those fathers needs to begin today.
      I think some real intelligent like minded individuals that have experience in other sign associations, combined with component manufacturers and individuals from sign companies need to come together and meet the needs of the American Electric Sign Trade, an interest that puts American capitalism back in the forefront, and not the Asian or European model of our current. At the same time promotes our trade to the public and educates the public about what it is we do, who unique and specialized it is and what we can build. Our trade does NOT have that right now, we only have brochure mis-information that the public get blanketed with.
      I think that's what I see missing, and what I see as a big void that needs to be filled because we have a black hole forming.
      We need to show contrast and it's this.
      For the electric sign companies the trade itself is in the midst of being lost. The real education that one should be obtaining that most received of yesterday is gone. We need to get back to the basics when is comes to sign fabrication, structural, planning, light & energy engineering. Get away from the new model which is turning this trade into a commodity. We need strong leadership that truly, truly...fights regulation...not agrees, rolls with it, and figures out a way to make a program out of it to pass on down and charge their members....and instead of partnering up with other aspects of the sign industry that don't apply like screen printers, apparel, and printers, we need to partner up with other groups, watch dogs, causes, or associations that have mutual interests in staying regulation free. Regulation that interrupts the American Electric Sign Industry and robs us of our right to proser and right to happiness.
      Regulation is not going away, don't get me wrong I'm not anti- regulation nor an anarchist, I do believe we need to have moderate regulation...just not license stacked on top of license and over safety where it costs us who in turn pass it along to the consumer. The environmental product and safety movement that we have in this country is a strong powerful funded movement. Our own industry right now has large sectors that aids this movement and here we are as a whole shooting our own toes off trying to prosper at the same time killing our own future.
      Right now in some states the International Sign Association is trying to find ways to make it okay for companies who posses no contractors license, lack any kind of electric sign experience to just roll up in this industry by simply purchasing a vinyl quick stop shop and execute and sub large sign programs involving electric and architectural signs. This is happening right now in Wisconsin which was aided by their own association and it was attempted in Texas. The Texas Sign Association even had a pair and said "hell no" to that idea. We already have a bad enough issues when it comes to illegal sign contracts that involve companies posing as licensed contractors who hire legal contractors as subcontractors. A big problem for the west coast states and most others who have state contractors laws.
      The very investment of the electric sign companies who posses such a right to do business because they went through all the proper channels and avenues going from a apprenticeship to journeyman is being diminished because a particular sector of an association who has more members than the electric sign sector believes that the electric sign trade is NOT a trade, but rather a commodity? A commodity where even the Home Depot clerk and decide to execute contracts and sub out his own roofing or water heater jobs as work a 3rd party?
      This is not in the interest of the American Electric Sign Industry.
      A NEW JOURNEY
      Let's imagine the build of a new association for a minute to illustrate the differences between our current, and what our own beliefs are as a true trade that recognizes & reflects those traits that humble us. "Integrity & Tradition". We need to educate the public about what the electric sign industry can do and properly perform, what light sources can and can't do.
      To become apart of this American sign & lighting (I did sneak in "Lighting" there!) association there also has to be a strict code of conduct, and the standards and bar MUST be set high.
      Everyone has to be dept free, from the leadership to the basic member and not be behind or in debt with other members. Leadership roles need to be held to limited time, the last thing an association needs is someone who is concurrently serving in 3 to 5 different associations at once. Individuals can only serve a position once, ONCE. This again is in the best interest of our industry, and to the consumer who needs to get the correct information.
      The core or the employed of this association, from the president on down NEED to have a background in the electric sign industry, that's a requirement.
      ISA has this new Elite Program for the young and moldable "executives".
      We need to get back in touch with our more seasoned veterans of this sign industry and beg for forgiveness for pushing them aside for something greener, faster and cheaper.
      Our more experienced have a bigger key to play in all this than any of us, they hold the key to what's been forgotten, and that "character", character of this industry of a long time past. This industry needs to return to what makes America exceptional, it begins with mutual vision of hard work and values, and we can learn that best by those who came and ran this industry before us. Not by the old guard who like to keep things as they once were, nor by the few who liked to be empowered by ego.
      It's just an idea, an American idea, an idea that promotes to the public that we offer a very unique form of custom electrical advertising that is a specialty.
      This industry has a long hard road ahead if we are to maintain this as a trade and not let others who are outside of our industry dictate to us and turn it into something which it is not by executing statements about our capabilities and never fully explaining, that's the mis-information!
      We have to create our own industry standards by measuring what we know and what we work with so the public (consumers), outside groups, or government won't be clouded or mislead. When this happens in only enables the environmental, product safety movement that restricts what we do. I'm talking about coming up with a measurable standard that measures light and power, after all, isn't this what we do and build?
      No current sign associations does this, you have to ask yourself why? This is one of the most important questions of our day, seriously....ask yourself. Don't you wonder???
      If they actually did dare to create such a measurable standard that interferes with their membership advertising makeup we wouldn't be in the current mess that we are in now. We wouldn't have to rely on manufacturers, or government bureaucrats who end up misleading because they have something to sell or a reason to get more power for themselves by manufactured lies.
      If someones going to come into our industry and make a claim, it needs to be measured, and verified. This is NOT being done right now. If we can do that, it will make the integrity of our industry stronger, and in turn it will make us all more valuable. Not just to ourselves but against any regulation that might be endangering the way we do business.
      It looks like all we have done as a industry is make others outside of our industry profit as we loose. It's been this way for a while because we've given up control and given them the reigns of our own industry to those who have never spent a day in a sign shop where one has to trim cap, bend & process Neon, manage projects, stress over payroll, maintain licensing
      I believe that there are others who think as I and a few others do, maybe not completely 100%, but enough to know....to look at ourselves, at where we are and know where we have been....and know we are far from where we should be, and want that back. To leave something behind where the current residents now say "run, and get out of this industry as far as you can".
      In recent days I've had a a few conversations in person and by phone about this topic unknowing to them, they hit on some key points I've sort of hit or outlined here I've let them know what I pretty much said in this topic and most of what I've said is a big mutual concern. So this is the main reason why I'm getting this out there.
      It's not my intent to shit on our existing sign associations I think most of you know I've always had a difference of opinion on them, I'm just emphasizing the contrast in who they are, what they do versus what we need for the electrical sign trade. Their hearts and interests just aren't in it nor the same as ours, with all their other off/bi-trade acquisitions, mergers and partnerships in the print industry, garment industry and other off-shoots, coupled with the politics that goes into their membership......how can they be?
      In short, we need a new American Electrical Sign & Lighting Association that forms a rock solid wall of standards by measuring the components that we use, in lighting components and otherwise. We need to use these standards and educate the public, they need to know the strengths and weakness's of lighting and how they perform to their environment and application use. We need to promote American Companies ( & Canada), find ways to incentivize entrepreneurship, innovation, and production of products back in America and to this industry. We need to educate our trade about proper fabrication and installation of all light sources for all sign and lighting applications whether it's Neon, LEDs, Fluorescent Lamps, HIDs, etc. We need to partner up with similar groups, causes, movements, watchdog groups, and associations like the IAEI (National Electrical Inspectors Association) to fight and minimize regulation, the environmental product safety movement and increasing costs because of those factors to the consumer.
      I think I've said more than a mouthful, it's been hard to find the time to squeeze this thread in with so much work I currently have going, but here it is. Wish I had more time but I shouldn't complain.
      This Industry is looking for leadership, this industry is looking for ideas on how to bring that about, I have a few, we need others, and I think it starts with like minded individuals from various enterprises, expertise that might have a similar idea that is AESLA, or American Electrical Sign & Lighting Association.
      Anyone smell that new fresh car smell? Better get a whiff.....it only comes around once.


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