Director of Manufacturing
Matt Vaughn just made a huge career leap. As director of manufacturing for Colite, he now oversees more than 50 people and six areas. "It definitely was a fast-track opportunity for me," he said.
It also was the perfect opportunity for someone still relatively young in the sign, graphics and visual communications industry. Matt got his start in 2006—also at Colite—before moving on to another sign company and then on to managing a large-format division for a commercial printer.
"I've always been a natural leader, so I've always wanted to be challenged," Matt said. That includes participating in the 2017 class of ISA Elite. Matt admits he is "right on the threshold" of the age requirements of participation, which is focused on young leaders. "Some of them have been in the industry just two years; others six or seven years. I've experienced a lot on both sides as a manufacturer and supplier."
Thanks to Matt's ISA Elite participation, he understands the important role that ISA and its Affiliated Associations can play in assisting member companies. Matt hopes that in his new job he can help his company better access and understand those resources.
"I'm actually trying to figure out more ways that we can use ISA to help us, whether it's through learning more about the manufacturing perspective or project management or using the Sign Research Foundation. We don’t fully understand what's at our disposal," Matt said. "People may pay for their membership for one aspect, without fully understanding this deep network for resources."
Matt gained much of that understanding through an ISA Elite peer who "uses ISA resources a lot," he said. "It sparked an interest in me to see what I can dig into and see what I’m missing." It aligns with how Matt has managed his career, which began outside the industry with a Fortune 100 manufacturer. But the sign, graphics and visual communications industry offered continual chances to grow and change. "I'm always champing at the bit to grow and advance," Matt said. "Sometimes it's not all about doing what's easy. But to grow professionally, you have to take on something that challenges you."