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Honoring ISA’s Women Leaders

Women generally possess more emotional intelligence than men, including “emotional self-awareness, empathy, conflict management, flexibility and teamwork,” according to a 2016 survey by Hay Group

This International Women’s Day (March 8, 2024), ISA is proud to recognize the many women in the sign & graphics industry whose unique strengths in leadership, guidance and strategies are invaluable in driving the industry forward.

The number of women in the sign & graphics industry is strong and growing, and the below list captures the invaluable contributions of time and expertise of only a small portion of the women leaders: the 2024 ISA/SRF committee volunteers and 2024 ISA Elite.

According to a Forbes article on women mentorship, “one powerful way to boost career growth is by building relationships with mentors in the workplace.” Along with leading, many of these women are also seeking out mentors and mentoring future industry professionals.

“I was first inspired to become a volunteer leader in 2000,” says Mandy Wisner. “Debbie Craig with H.A. Balton Signs in Memphis, TN was about to become the first female President of Mid-South Sign Association. She encouraged me to fill her vacant seat on the board. I was fortunate enough to work alongside and be mentored by her for many years. She is no longer with us, but I think of her often and know that she would be proud of me and all the other female leaders in our industry.”

Mandy Wisner, Southern Signs, Inc.
2024 ISA Executive Committee Chair

In 2024, ISA is proud to have the exceptional circumstance of women representing three of the four seats in the ISA board of director executive committee:

  • Mandy Wisner of Southern Signs, Inc. in Natchez, MS, leads the board as its chair.
  • Betsy Swan of Allen Industries in Greensboro, NC is vice chair.
  • Deborah Hutcheson of Agfa Corporation in Carlstadt, NJ, is past chair.

“I try to distinguish myself as a leader by integrating empathy and nurturing qualities,” Mandy shares. “I aim to create a workplace where my coworkers feel valued and appreciated.”

Exemplifying an emotionally intelligent leader, Betsy Swan says, “As a female leader in the sign industry, my leadership style is different from my male counterparts. I am an active listener, and I want to hear the opinions and solutions of others without demanding my answer to be correct. I empower employees to make decisions on their own and enjoy mentoring up-and-coming employees with the industry experience I’ve gained over quite a few years.”

Also serving on the 2024 ISA Board of Directors, Nicole Bergstrom, SmithCraft Custom Architectural Signs, shares a humorous perspective: “I recently helped clean out years of accumulated dust and debris in our company’s stock room, and now it is in much better shape,” says Bergstrom. “Just last week, one of our guys was expressing gratitude for the work I put in. He said, ‘Nicole, now our stock room has a woman’s touch! It even smells clean!'”

ISA’s 2024 Steering Committees include representation by six leading women:

2024 ISA Steering Committees
Karin Eaton, Sign Association of Canada
Amanda Lauridsen, Precise Sign
Nadia Palmerini, Pattison Sign Group
Michelle Pedley, Sign Engineering LLC
Lucy Pereira, APCO Signs
Brenda Velazquez, Future Sign Company

“Growing up, I was inspired to be a leader by my mother,” says Karin Eaton, Sign Association of Canada, who volunteers on the 2024 ISA Affiliated Associations Council Steering Committee. “With her as my example, I didn’t think there were any boundaries to what I could do. There were no jobs that were off limits, no positions that were unattainable. Today, I am in awe of the women in the Canadian sign industry, especially the Sign Association of Canada’s ‘Breaking Barriers Women in the Sign Industry’ group. I see them inspiring and empowering women in their ever-changing roles in the industry. I see them encouraging, mentoring, and leading by example. Because of their work, I see a new generation of women in the sign industry rising, with strong and resilient voices, with a seat at the table.”

“I firmly believe in surrounding yourself with people that have skills you are lacking,” says Dawn Homa, Signarama Brighton, who also served on the 2023 ISA Affiliated Associations Council Steering Committee. “For example, I am not a ‘detail’ person… I’m the ‘idea’ person! I come up with ideas for marketing, sales, operations and turn them over to my team to hash out the details.”

This year’s chair of the Sign Research Foundation is Sarah Wexler, with FootLocker, alongside three other women leaders who are volunteering their time to serve the industry:

2024 Sign Research Foundation Board of Trustees
Stacey Brown, Signarama Silver Spring
Elizabeth (Liz) Griswold, SEGD
Brenda Velázquez, Future Sign Company

We are honored to also recognize the leadership contributions – both present and future – for the women representing their companies and forging strong networks as ISA Elite in 2024:

ISA Elite 2024
Alicia Brothers, Poblocki Sign Company
Bethany Tindle, Springfield Sign
Brittany Lander, Metro Sign Corporation
Chrissy Smith, Star Signs, LLC
Courtney Hornung, Blair Image Elements
Jordyn Dwyer, Atlas Sign Industries
Kristen Bennett, SignCraft Industries
Laura Alsdorf, Triumph Signs & Consulting
Lindsey Lupino, Cima Network
Liv Branch, Art Display Company
Meredith Campitiello, ACSM Inc.
Michelle Schott, Roland DGA
Olivia Schaul, Mid-West Sign Supply Co.
Savannah Dammann, Bakers Signs
Shannon Summers-Hamis, Media Resources Inc

Join these many industry-leading women at the ISA’s Women Leading the Industry (WLI) event at ISA Sign Expo. Attendees will explore new paths to leadership, build lasting connections and leave with a knowledge bank of resources. Learn more about the program and register to participate at