Signs of the Times - July 2012 - (Page 66)

Lessons for the Boss (and an Industry Boon) By Steve Aust Thanks to their efforts, the industry wasn’t subjected to austere regulations. had to sacrifice manpower and materials to the war In that vein, Catherine Monson, CEO of Carrollton, effort. During the 1970’s energy crisis, John Lamb and TX-based signshop franchisor FASTSIGNS, provided a other industry stalwarts compellingly testified before tremendous service to the sign industry by choosing Congress to ensure that signage wasn’t scapegoated to appear on the May 4 episode of CBS’ Undercover for creating an undue strain on energy consumption. Boss. On the show, a company or organization’s chief executive goes incognito as an entrylevel employee and gains a firsthand look at what frontline employees encounter in daily operations. Monson and the FastSigns leadership team embraced the opportunity, and, according to AC Nielsen’s ratings for that evening, more than six million viewers tuned in on that Friday evening. Not only did they see Monson in a very authentic, compassionate light, but they also observed hard-working, conscientious employees and managers at four busy franchise locations. Seemingly since antiquity, the industry has labored under the unfortunate perception that signmakers are light-hearted, unprofesFastSigns CEO Catherine Monson appeared on CBS’ May 4 episode of Undercover sional joke-crackers – or, even worse, the Boss, a show where company executives go undercover as rank-and-file employees. town drunks. Fortunately, Undercover Boss conveyed the reality of signmakers’ professionalism and attention to detail in providing powerful, cost-effective advertising. Here’s a look at how her appearance on the show occurred, and what Monson learned from the experience. Background Monson overcame growing up in a broken home (which she unflinchingly discussed at the show’s beginning) and excelled during her 28-year career at Sir Speedy and PIP Printing, where she rose to the position of regional operations manager. Monson thought she’d remain there for her entire career – until she received a call about the CEO position from the private-equity FastSigns CEO Catherine Monson appears on Undercover Boss The sign industry table.been frequentlyWar II, shops has forced to fight for its place at the During World (Left) Monson in standard, professional attire. (Right) The alter ego Monson created for the show, “rock chick” Louise Steely. As a ploy, workers at the shops Monson visited were told Louise was the star of a fictitious reality show, Second Chances, about struggling people getting a fresh start. 66 SIGNS OF THE TIMES / JULY 2012 /

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Signs of the Times - July 2012

Signs of the Times - June 2012
ST Update
Technology Update
Vinyl Apps
Strictly Commercial
Lighting Techniques
The Moving Message
Technology Review
Technology Review
Vehicle Graphics Contest Extension
New Products
The American Sign Museum Opens!
An Electric-Sign Company Snapshot
By Print or by Paint
Extreme Installs
Lessons for the Boss
The Value of Signs
Advertising Index
Editorially Speaking

Signs of the Times - July 2012