News Archives - Kieffer | Starlite

Kieffer | Starlite Cares: Vernon Township Food Pantry

11.22.19 – As part of an ongoing initiative to support the local community, the Kieffer | Starlite Lincolnshire team held a donation drive for items needed at the local Vernon Township Food Pantry. Located in Buffalo Grove, IL, the Food Pantry provides nutritionally balanced food to township individuals and families who are in need of assistance.

Through November 21st donations were collected and then delivered to the Food Pantry on behalf of Kieffer | Starlite. Pantry items consist of fresh, frozen and non-perishable foods donated by the community for residents in need. Along with donations of fresh, frozen and non-perishable foods, gift cards to local grocery stores and cash donations are accepted.

To learn more about the pantry, please visit this link. The Kieffer | Starlite team was excited to be able to make a difference for families in need during this holiday season. The Lincolnshire office continues to inspire our entire organization with their efforts in the local community!

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Employee Spotlights | Tim Harris

Employee Spotlight: Tim Harris
At Kieffer | Starlite, the success of our company is driven by the passion and dedication of our employees. We pride ourselves on having a work environment where our team can thrive, share ideas and help us evolve. Our key differentiator is our team and the passion they have to be the best in our industry!

Today our Employee Spotlight showcases Tim Harris. Tim is recognized as being a team member that continually goes above and beyond. One example is his passion for giving back to the local community. Each quarter Tim spearheads initiatives to give back in a variety of ways, including food drives and hands-on building efforts. While his activities are specific to the Chicago area, his efforts are recognized throughout the entire Kieffer | Starlite organization and inspire each location to get involved locally as well. Read more about Tim and his experience at Kieffer | Starlite.

Role at Kieffer | Starlite: Client Service Manager

What is a typical day for you at Kieffer | Starlite? I would say in the sign industry no day is ever the same. You have to really be on your toes for any issue that might arise throughout the day. The main goal is to really show your clients that you value them and you are willing to go over and beyond to make sure their needs are met.

What do you enjoy most about Kieffer | Starlite? I love working for a company where their employees are not just a number. It’s nice to be able to come to your management with changes you might think would benefit the company and they actually listen. Also, then even implement those changes as well. I came from a larger corporate job before arriving here and I just felt like a number. At Kieffer | Starlite I really feel valued as an employee.

What do you find most challenging about your job? I would say the most challenging part of the job is sometimes not being able to control certain aspects of the job. For example, the weather. If it rains or snows, it can impact your installation schedule.  In this industry there will be variables that you just have no control of that can impact your overall performance at times.

What do you enjoy in your spare time? Love to play sports. I play in a few recreational leagues. (Softball, beach volleyball, indoor volleyball, dodgeball, and kickball)

Bucket List Item:
I would love to visit Thailand someday.

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Spotlight on Client Services Career Opportunity

9.19.19 –  Kieffer | Starlite is pleased to announce the availability of new job opportunities in many of their most prominent locations across the US. Interested parties are also encouraged to visit all open positions by visiting the career section of their website.  Learn more here: Career Page

Our most recent job opening is for a Client Service Manager in one of their three most notable locations; namely Texas, Illinois, and North Carolina. The opening promises to be a good opportunity for those looking for a career with a well-established signage company. Learn more here: Client Service Manager Career Opportunity.

In order to facilitate a stable sale from start to finish, this individual will be working closely with the design, manufacturing, and installation management departments at Kieffer | Starlite.

Steve Born, Vice President of Client Services at Kieffer | Starlite, states, “Ideally, we are looking for someone who is very well-organized, able to self-manage, multi-task, and handle large volumes of work. They should be familiar with working across multiple teams and be able to fit in well with every environment. The ability to communicate effectively is also crucial. They will communicate our client’s needs and their basic idea for the product, making sure that all of our teams are on the same page about it.”

Kieffer | Starlite states that their career path expectations for their applicants vary depending on the level at which they intend to apply within the position.

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INFOGRAPHIC: When Brand Awareness is Pivotal, Kieffer | Starlite is Your Partner

Perception is pivotal to a marketing strategy, elevating a product or company into a brand—and this perception begins with brand awareness. Today, smart businesses in a variety of industries are turning toward signage to boost image building efforts and increase brand awareness.

Visualization is Key

Humans are visual by nature—90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. Therefore, by leveraging visual data displays, businesses are unlocking their true potential to meet branding missions and goals. A powerful, cost-effective advertising medium, signage helps attract customer attention, communicating clever, customizable brand messaging to target markets, both indoors and outdoors. Your visual display is what people will notice and remember about your business, often creating a first and lasting impression that will directly affect the success of your business.

In fact, a popular FedEx survey found that:

  • 76% of American consumers enter a business they have never visited before based on its signs
  • 68% have actually purchased a product or service because a sign caught their eye
  • 75% of consumers say they have told someone about a store based simply on its signage

As such, great sign design gives you an opportunity to stand out, while poorly maintained visual data displays can be worse than having no signage at all. As with all marketing strategies, signage is an investment—but ofttimes, once the provider has completed the installation, maintenance responsibilities fall back on the business. To ensure measurable ROI post-installation or past the warranty period, you need a signage partner… Kieffer|Starlite is that partner.

How Kieffer | Starlite Can Ensure ROI and Improved Brand Awareness

When branding, maintaining your image is paramount. Signage with failing lighting, damaged lettering or any other imperfections can hinder your image branding. Having a partner who understands the ins and outs of signage—that not only can fix any defects, but can make recommendations to improve its appearance—safeguards your ROI.

Kieffer | Starlite’s highly skilled technicians and service team are here to help service your sign, maintaining not only your investment, but your brand image as well. In example, for a company completing an LED retrofit. Kieffer | Starlite can do an exact replacement of existing components, or recommend an upgrade to the latest lighting while substantiating how the modernization will look, work, perform and more!

Kieffer | Starlite repairs, restores and improves damaged or faulty signage, replacing parts or making efficiency updates that ensure long term sustainability and improved ROI. Our service department has the capabilities required to perform a large range of different service requests, whether it be servicing high-rise building signage or performing maintenance on small directional signs, including:

  • Refacing faded or cracked faces, lettering and trimming caps
  • Repairing/replacing LED bulbs
  • Troubleshooting electronic message centers
  • Parking Lot Lights
  • Wall Packs
  • Cabinets
  • And more!

We also offer a service & maintenance plan that provides complete management of your brand signage.

Our experienced team will troubleshoot and repair any issues or propose a replacement when an investment in new signage may be necessary, helping to maintain your image while visually boosting brand awareness for years to come.

To learn more, contact us today.

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Kieffer | Starlite Launches Podcast Series

7.14.19 – Kieffer | Starlite is pleased to be involved in a podcast series that discusses various topics that include signage. A new section on the company website launched today and will host podcasts generated with topics ranging from trends in the signage industry to signage design.

The first podcast published discusses neon lighting and how that is a trade specialty that fewer and fewer in the industry have the skill set to complete. Pro AV Podcast, host Sean Heath sat down with Mark Jackson, National Account Manager for Kieffer | Starlite, to recount how they helped bring the iconic Dallas’ Lakewood Theater sign back to its former twilight glory. Mr. Jackson has been in the signage industry since 1995 and shares several stories about the impact signage can have and changes he has seen throughout the years.

Click here to visit the podcast webpage.

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Kieffer | Starlite Announces New Director of Procurement


6.13.19 – Kieffer | Starlite is pleased to announce that Joseph Havlovitz has joined the company as the Director of Procurement.  He will be based out of their Sheboygan, Wisconsin location and he will be responsible for purchasing, freight, and raw material inventory management, all at the enterprise level. Kieffer | Starlite recently expanded in the Southeast, resulting in the need to create the position in order to enhance the efficiencies of their operations, according to Chief Manufacturing Officer Jeff Fuhrmann. Those who want more updates about the company can view our Facebook Page.

Jeff Furhmann says, “We have several exciting changes and enhancements taking place within our organization. Specifically relating to manufacturing, we have made significant capital investments to each Kieffer | Starlite manufacturing location. These locations include Mt. Airy, North Carolina, Sheboygan, WI and Denton, TX – combined have over 250,000 sq. ft. in manufacturing space. From equipment upgrades to shop flow based on the work each location does, we are making sure we continue to lead in signage manufacturing. This includes our continued commitment to Lean Manufacturing, focusing on the minimization of waste within a manufacturing system without sacrificing productivity. Our team continues to follow the Six Sigma certifications as well.”

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Kieffer | Starlite Cares: Lake County Haven

local chicago charity

5.7.19- Lincolnshire, IL. As part of an ongoing initiative to support the local community, the Kieffer | Starlite Lincolnshire team identified several ways they could make an impact and give back through various organizations. Tim Harris, Client Services Manager with Kieffer | Starlite spearheaded this initiative and reached out to Lake County Haven to identify items the agency needed.  Working from a list of goods, members from the Lincolnshire office collected donations throughout the past several weeks. All donations were dropped off today at Lake County Haven.

Lake County Haven is a social-service agency dedicated to meeting the needs of homeless women and children by providing shelter, housing, and professional services. The agency has now served more than 900 people through its programs and services, the vast majority of whom have moved on to the next level of independent living.

Kieffer | Starlite was excited to be able to contribute several items needed and see the entire office come together to give back and help make this initiative a success.  The team at Lincolnshire continues to explore other charities and ways to make an impact locally. They plan to have a charity initiative once a quarter.  To learn more about the Lake County Haven, please visit this link.

“I wanted to spearhead a way for Kieffer | Starlite to make an impact in our local community at our Lincolnshire office. I researched several options and then hosted a team meeting that discussed charities. Several members provided feedback on other ways we can help our community in the future. We were pleased with the support and contributions from our team and can’t wait to continue to make an impact.” Tim Harris

local chicago charity
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Kieffer | Starlite Attending AAHOA in San Diego


4.15.19 – Kieffer | Starlite will be attending the annual AAHOA convention later this month. The tradeshow convention is set to take place in San Diego, California on April 25 and 26, 2019. They will be exhibiting in booth 1543.

Those interested can learn more about AAHOA and its events by visiting the organization online. Kelly David, marketing manager for the sign company says, “We are excited to be able to showcase our capabilities and feature signs to hotel owners and look forward to networking and forging new relationships.”

The AAHOA is the largest association for hotel owners in the world, with more than 18,000 members worldwide. The organization states that one out of every two hotels in the United States is owned by a member. The convention is designed to bring hotel owners together with companies that offer products and services to meet a number of needs in their industry.

“We know that companies want to stand out,” says Kelly. “We take opportunities such as the upcoming AAHOA convention to show businesses how we can help them to stand out. All of our signs and solutions are designed for the unique needs of each business, and we have an outstanding portfolio to showcase our work.”

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Kieffer | Starlite Announces New Website Launch


2.13.19 – Kieffer | Starlite is pleased to announce the launch of its freshly revamped website. The website now features a more simplified design as well as more streamlined content, including content regarding the company’s recent expansion in the Southeast, with its acquisition of Burton Signworks.

The new website provides regular updates as well as news regarding company products, accomplishments, events, and case studies that include projects completed by Kieffer | Starlite. “We are thrilled to debut our new company website to our customers, clients, and visitors who are looking to understand more about the products and services we offer,” said Kieffer | Starlite President Kevin Hofert.  “We are excited to represent all of our locations and manufacturing facilities via one website and showcase the work each location produces.”

Kieffer | Starlite is a national sign company specializing in manufacturing, design, service, and installation. The company has supplied clients across the country since 1956, with Starlite Signs being founded in 1956 and Kieffer & Co. being founded in 1959. Years later, in 2016, after identifying synergies and opportunities for growth, the companies merged to become Kieffer | Starlite, resulting in increased capabilities in manufacturing and sign solutions on both a national and global scale. 2018 saw the company acquire Burton Signworks, adding another 80,000 square feet of manufacturing space to the company’s assets, as well providing better value to its customers. Those looking for more information on the company may view their Facebook page.

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Signs of the Times: Neon and Electric-Sign Retrofits

Web Graphics - Untitled Page

1.11.19-  Signs of the Times published an article this month discussing neon and electric-sign retrofits.  This is always a hot topic within our industry and determined on a case by case basis.  The decision is driven by the customers objective for the look and performance of their signage/lighting. Our experience is that neon is typically replaced with LEDs.

Kieffer | Starlite was featured in the article written by Mark Kissling where the case is made that neon and electric-sign retrofits perform better, last longer and are cheaper.  We discuss the recent renovations completed for Micheals storefront signage located at the Mays Landing, NJ and North Hills, PA locations.

Highlights from our interview include: “Based on our recommendation; neon was failing in both,” said Rob Fehlman, director of national service for Kieffer | Starlite.  “In some cases, we see gen[eration] 1 or gen 2 LEDs failing as well,” he also noted. Though the energy savings of LEDs is a contributing factor to replacing neon with LEDs, the renovations for Michaels result “mostly to get proper lighting consistency and longevity of having a new LED product,” Fehlman said.

Kieffer | Starlite used SloanLED products for this and all their Michaels jobs. “This is a customer-specified product being used in all of their new signs,” he said. “This creates a consistency that helps with future service.” Company installers removed and replaced the signfaces for these two locations, saving the customer money versus doing that separately, and stripped all existing lighting components. They then cleaned the insides of the sign cans and installed new LEDs using a layout provided by SloanLED for each letterset. The install team then ran secondary wiring, supplied the power and tested all lighting before the new signfaces were attached. “All in all, a single Michaels sign takes about eight hours to complete,” Fehlman said.

The result for the two northeastern Michaels’ stores is “lighting that is usually much more consistent and brighter,” he said.  He notes that in most cases Kieffer | Starlite is replacing 10- to 15-year-old neon when making these renovations, “so these signs look brand new when complete.” The retrofits are expected to last another 10-15 years, Fehlman stated, depending on the usage, adding, “Power supplies will probably need to be refreshed after about 5-7 years, also depending on usage.”

“Based on our recommendation; neon was failing in both,” said Rob Fehlman, director of national service for Kieffer | Starlite. “In some cases, we see gen[eration] 1 or gen 2 LEDs failing as well,” he also noted.

We enjoy sharing our experience with the industry as to what we are seeing with our customers. Read the complete article by Signs of the Times clicking here.

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