Stellar Sign & Design
Winter Park, FL
Not long after he started working in the sign, graphics and visual communications industry, Ken Soday encountered a common frustration: a local sign code that meant he couldn’t deliver a project as planned.
"There were a few local code issues that were upsetting and restrictive," said Ken, partner at Stellar Sign & Design in Winter Park, Florida. He quickly got involved with ISA and received help. That help eventually resulted in positive sign codes, benefiting his business. The industry won, too. Ken found he really enjoyed the work of "trying to help people understand that we're not trying to sell bigger signs, but to provide the right product for our clients."
One of the most frustrating early issues was a code requiring that monument signs be placed in an island in a shopping center and stand no more than six feet tall. "Once you place a six-foot sign on an island and park cars around it, that sign becomes ineffective," Ken said.
Ken believes much progress has been made; much of that is thanks to people like him. At ISA International Sign Expo 2018 in Orlando, Ken was named the 2018 ISA Sign Code Champion for his longtime dedication to improving the sign code landscape throughout the Southeast. He chairs the legislative committee for the Southern States Sign Association (SSSA).
"I don’t actively get involved with every issue, but I monitor every issue within the SSSA region," he said. "When someone reaches out with an issue, I usually recommend ISA and send them resources."
Working on sign code issues for the industry means taking time away from his business, but it is a sacrifice Ken happily makes. "I've always felt like somebody needs to stand up for the people who aren't standing up. A lot of companies don't realize how this benefits them. Somebody has to do it. I have a passion for it, so I might as well do it."
Learn more about Ken and the ISA Sign Code Champion program by visiting signs.org/champion. Nominations for the 2019 ISA Sign Code Champion will open later this year.