News Archives - Kieffer | Starlite

Employee Spotlights | Courtney McDaniel

Employee Spotlight: Courtney McDaniel

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 Courtney McDaniel. Courtney is known for her industry expertise and ability to solve problems. She is an integral member of the Kieffer | Starlite team who is always willing to go above and beyond to support our company, team, and clients. Read more about Courtney and her experience at Kieffer | Starlite.

Role at Kieffer | Starlite: I have recently shifted into a more service-focused role and am running point on a national sign program.

What is a typical day for you at Kieffer | Starlite? Busy, Busy! Dispatching service calls for clients, fielding calls from techs on site. Training sessions with newer hires.

What do you enjoy most about Kieffer | Starlite? I enjoy helping to solve problems.

What do you find most challenging about your job? Being busy makes the days go fast, but I could definitely use a clone!

What do you enjoy in your spare time? We are a soccer family! My husband and I play on a co-ed outdoor team, and we coach our two kiddos. We also own a couple of shares of Manchester United and are big fans!

Bucket List Item: Since high school, it’s been my dream to own a 1972 El Camino.

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Employee Spotlights | Kevin Dalton

Employee Spotlight: Kevin Dalton

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 Kevin Dalton.  Kevin is known for his dedication and commitment to our manufacturing team in our channel letter department.  He is an integral member of the Kieffer | Starlite team. Read more about Kevin and his experience at Kieffer | Starlite.

Role at Kieffer | Starlite: Operating channel letter bender and fabrication.

What is a typical day for you at Kieffer | Starlite? Coming in every day to make ends meet to get jobs out the door on time.

What do you enjoy most about Kieffer | Starlite? The team that works with me, and their dedication to getting the jobs done for our customers.

What do you find most challenging about your job? Meeting some of the dates to have the jobs out the door on time.

What do you enjoy in your spare time? Enjoy in my spare time; Spending time with my wife and kids, watching them play sports, and taking care of our farm.

Bucket List Item: Just keep on learning new things.

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Understanding Fees for Non-Compliant Interior Signage

How to Avoid Fees for Interior Signage that is Non-ADA Compliant

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, businesses must make their premises accessible to all with proper signage as per the ADA guidelines. Besides saving you money, proper signage helps you create an inclusive environment for your employees and visitors, reduces incidences of injury and accidents, and boosts efficiency.

Failure to comply with the guidelines puts your business at risk of non-compliance fines that can be anything between $75000 and $150000. Fortunately, you can avoid fees for signage non-compliance by working with a legal expert to help you understand and implement ADA signage requirements. You can also work with an experienced signage provider to help recommend signage that falls within the recommended guidelines. To help you stay compliant, below are signage guidelines to adhere to when creating permanent signage for your property or business.

1. Use Appropriate Font and Character Properties
For your signage to be ADA compliant, you need to use the right font, size of signage characters, as well as spacing. The acceptable signage font is sans Serif and may include Helvetica, Futura, and Verdana. You may not use italics, decorative, oblique, or script characters on the signage. Also, keep the font at a maximum stroke of 15 %. Doing so ensures that your signage is readable to everyone, including individuals with visual impairment.

You should also space the words and letters appropriately and ensure that all raised characters are uppercase. However, the use of uppercase and lowercase characters depends on the type of signage. The spacing between raised characters with rectangular cross-sections should be at least 1/8 inches, while those with other cross-sections should be a minimum of 1/16 inch. You should also separate signage characters from raised borders and decorative elements by 3/8 inches.
The size of the lettering should match ADA standards. The size depends on the distance between the signage and where the reader is expected to stand. Usually, the vertical height of signage characters should be between 5/8 and 2 inches. For visual and raised characters, they can be a minimum of 1/2 inch from the base.

2. Mounting Height and Positioning.
The mounting and position of the signage are crucial in ensuring convenience when navigating around your establishment. This is especially true for room-identifying signs to make them easy to spot and read. According to ADA guidelines, you should place room-identifying signs next to the room they identify. Signs with raised characters should sit on the door’s latch side.
It is advisable to mount your signage between 48 inches and 60 inches above the ground floor or finish surface. Overhead signs should have a minimum clearance space of 80 inches from the finished floor and the bottom of the sign. The standards also apply for a projection mounted sign extending 4 inches from the wall. Doing so makes the signage accessible to everyone, including the functionally blind.

3. Choose Contrasting Colors
When choosing colors for your signage, ensure there is a contrast between the lettering and the background. You can decide to have light lettering against a dark background or vice versa. When the letters and the background blend, it becomes difficult for those with limited vision to read the texts.

While the ADA does not provide the exact amount of contrast you should use on your signage, it is advisable to employ a contrast of 70% for the characters to stand out. Also, you don’t have to use specific colors, as long as they produce a stark contrast. You can use your brand’s contrasting colors for a better representation of your business while remaining compliant.

4. Use Non-Glare Material and Finish
The material and finish you choose for your signage can make your signage non-compliant to ADA’s regulations and cost you hefty fines. To make the contents of your signage as visible and accessible as possible, you need to choose non-glare materials and domed Braille beads. Some of the best non-glare materials to use are metal, ADA wood, and plastic.

The reason for non-glare material and finish is because the elderly and visually impaired cannot handle glare well. For the finish, consider using a matte or eggshell finish instead of reflective or shiny. Note that the non-glare material and finish guidelines only apply to indoor signs. As such, you don’t have to adhere to the rules for outdoor signage such as traffic and parking.

5. Place Braille at the Right Location
Braille elements on your signage ensure that the blind or those with reduced vision can easily navigate your establishment. It provides essential information to help them confirm where they are or need to be. It is also an excellent way to show inclusivity. According to the ADA guidelines, any signage that identifies a permanent space or room must include Braille text, preferably Grade 2 Braille.

Also, the Braille dots should have a round or dome shape and be immediately the sign’s text. Placing Braille immediately below the text on all signs creates a consistency that those with visual impairments rely on. Lastly, ensure that Braille is 3/8 inch away from other raised elements and texts on the sign.

For more clarification on signage laws, it is advisable to consult an expert to ensure you understand the guidelines.  If you need ADA-compliant signs, including advertising and marketing signage for your business, don’t hesitate to contact us.

SEGD 2012 ADA White Paper Update

Click here to access their ADA white paper, explaining ADA guidelines as it applies to signage design.

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Employee Spotlights | Mark McClellan

Employee Spotlight: Mark McClellan

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 Mark McClellan.  Mark is known for his dedication and drive to ensure we provide the best product through the best practices in the industry.  His commitment to Kieffer | Starlite and mentoring employees to be their best continues to impact our success as a company daily. Mark is an integral member of the Kieffer | Starlite team. Read more about Mark and his experience at Kieffer | Starlite.

Role at Kieffer | Starlite: Plant manager of Sheboygan operations

What is a typical day for you at Kieffer | Starlite? Every day is filled with opportunities to work with our team to work on continuous improvements and building excellent signs.

What do you enjoy most about Kieffer | Starlite? Mentoring people and helping them see their full potential.

What do you find most challenging about your job? Teaching people how to have crucial conversations and how do we handle situations when tensions are high. I do enjoy doing this and I like to see the growth in people after they have been taught how to do this in a proper way.

What do you enjoy in your spare time? Bowhunting with my son and friends. My family and I enjoy our cabin in northern WI and like working on projects together on our property. I’m involved with my church especially doing community projects to help people in need. My grandchildren are a big part of my life and I enjoy spending time with them also.

Bucket List Item: I’m blessed to have done and seen many places in my life. I’m looking forward to retirement and living up north in my cabin someday.

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Sign Manufacturing

National Signage Company Highlights Benefits of Lean Manufacturing

Lean Manufacturing

Kieffer | Starlite continues to expand lean manufacturing efforts enterprise-wide. Lean manufacturing has many benefits that result in reduced waste, material efficiencies, and cost savings that directly benefit the customers we serve.

Stacy Hale, Lean Manufacturing Supervisor in Mt. Airy, actively trains our team on lean methodologies. Since joining our team, Hale immediately impacted our mission to deliver top-quality products at the best value within the sign industry. Hale identifies new ways to eliminate waste and focuses on direct value-added results. The video is a quick highlight from Hale on the benefits of lean manufacturing.

Kieffer |Starlite continues to optimize our manufacturing processes, strategically analyzing upcoming market challenges and seeking improvement in every step of our process. While the market continues to navigate material and labor shortages, lean manufacturing allows our team to innovate with available resources while minimizing waste while optimizing everything we do, from material purchasing to crating for sign shipment. Our team continues to set the bar for quality products and takes pride in the trade skills to deliver for leading national brands.

Kieffer | Starlite will continue to highlight additional manufacturing aspects over the following months leading to National Sign Manufacturing Day held on October 1, 2021. If you want to tour our facilities or are interested in joining our team, connect with us here.

Be a Part of the Sign Industry

Interested in learning more about manufacturing opportunities within the sign industry? Click here to view open positions.

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Employee Spotlights | Marti Goad

Employee Spotlight: Marti Goad

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 Marti Goad. Marti has a can-do attitude and continually steps in at any capacity to get the job done. We are thankful to see her excel during her tenure with our organization and appreciate her drive to help our team be successful each day. Marti is an integral member of the Kieffer | Starlite team. Read more about Marti and her experience at Kieffer | Starlite.

Role at Kieffer | Starlite: Job Order Specialist

What is a typical day for you at Kieffer | Starlite?  I start my day by taking care of consignment transfers and material entry for the Mt. Airy location. Then I work to create Bill of Materials (A bill of materials (BOM) is a centralized source of information containing a list of departments, materials, and time used to manufacture each sign and the instructions on how to do so.) for Job Orders, Shop projects, Bulk orders, Re-works, etc… I then get all those orders printed and to the shop floor for manufacturing.

What do you enjoy most about Kieffer | Starlite? The people. I believe it is important to always surround yourself with people who inspire the best in you. I have met so many amazing individuals through this company.

What do you find most challenging about your job? Keeping up with the constant workflow while challenging it is also rewarding to see the signs at completion and know that you had a part in the process.

What do you enjoy in your spare time? Spending quality time with my own family, church family, and Girl Scout family.

Bucket List Item: A family cross-country road trip in a classic car.

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National Sign Company Kieffer | Starlite Announces Mt. Airy Expansion

National Sign Company Kieffer | Starlite Announces Mt. Airy Expansion

Kieffer | Starlite is pleased to officially announce the groundbreaking for their expansion of the Mt. Airy manufacturing facility.  Formerly Burton Signworks, Kieffer | Starlite acquired Burton in the Fall of 2018. With a legacy of over 40 years in the Mt. Airy community, the current operation has two locations – one houses the companies thermoforming manufacturing operation.

The sign and graphics industry encompasses $37.5 billion in direct and indirect output, as reported by International Sign Association.  The sign industry was many of the sectors impacted by the COVID pandemic.  As a result, this created the need for Kieffer | Starlite to review and right size manufacturing operations. Consolidating locations and relocating equipment to meet demand and springboard to serve the market as it continues to rebound, part of this enterprise-wide effort included evaluating improved operations in Mt. Airy.

With the support of Surry Country, local incentives, and the landlord, Kieffer | Starlite is pleased to consolidate all manufacturing to one facility located on Junction Street.  As such, the facility will be expanded to include an additional 21,000 square feet.  Two new loading docks are included in the construction, and the layout is redesigned to accommodate channel letter and thermoforming equipment that will be moved to the main facility.

Roger Miller, Director of Manufacturing – Mt. Airy, NC, states, “We are grateful to have the support from our community leaders. Their commitment to our success is making our vision a reality much sooner than anticipated. We broke ground May 26th and expect the transformation to be completed in August.” Miller states that this expansion will ultimately provide his team with one facility that houses all lean manufacturing processes and methods and will result in a safer and efficient work environment.

Miller also stated that they are excited to increase job demand in the area. Miller says, “We have several positions open now and will continue to add more after the expansion.  Our company offers competitive pay, with benefits and many other monetary incentives.” He also elaborates that the sign industry offers an exciting career path as there are several cross-training opportunities. With custom sign work, there is always a new challenge. “We have a great team that works together to take a product from concept to watching it ship out to the customer. Everyone works together to see us deliver quality products to our customers across the U.S.”

Anyone interested in learning more about Kieffer | Starlite, or would like to explore the current job opening in Mt. Airy, is encouraged to visit the company website.

Inside Look at Thermoforming

Click here to take an inside look at our thermoforming capabilities.

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Employee Spotlights | Todd Elledge

Employee Spotlight: Todd Elledge

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 Todd Elledge. Todd is known for his dedication and drive to provide outstanding project management for national signage programs. He goes above and beyond to keep our customers informed while effectively managing the day-to-day activities needed to keep programs on track. Todd is a valued member of the Kieffer | Starlite team. Read more about Todd and his experience at Kieffer | Starlite.

Role at Kieffer | Starlite: Client Services Manager

What is a typical day for you at Kieffer | Starlite?  The basis of our job is customer service. Multi-tasking between multiple orders, customer contacts, and sub-contractors makes for a busy day.

What do you enjoy most about Kieffer | Starlite? I believe everyone shares the same vision and everyone works hard for success.

What do you find most challenging about your job? Juggling the demanding expectations of our clients across multiple orders while dealing with an always evolving project schedule. Both internal and external timelines.

What do you enjoy in your spare time? Spending time with my family, golfing & fishing as much as I can squeeze in.

Bucket List Item: World tour!

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National Sign Company Kieffer | Starlite Announces Hospitality Division

National Sign Company Kieffer | Starlite Announces Hospitality Division

Kieffer | Starlite in Denton, Texas, has announced the creation of their Hospitality Division. This move also includes the promotion of Larry Caracciolo to Senior Vice President. Among other internal restructuring in light of the COVID pandemic, the company states that they are pleased to have Caracciolo in this new role.

This new role will focus on formalizing the companies commitment to serve the Hospitality industry. Dedicated account teams specializing in turnkey signage service for many hoteliers throughout the US and beyond will benefit from expanded resources to increase capabilities to serve this market.

Caracciolo says, “I am thrilled to be able to step into the role with Kieffer | Starlite. While I will maintain my existing sales responsibilities, I will also outline a vision and actionable plan to ensure our commitment to being the premier signage and branding partner for this segment.  To learn more about our experience in this market, visit the Kieffer | Starlite company website.”

The hospitality industry was significantly impacted by the pandemic, which started to regain traction this quarter as states lift restrictions. The vaccination has created confidence among many consumers to resume travel. The pandemic began an immediate halt for many properties, which included planned brand refreshes and property expansions.

Kieffer | Starlite is a preferred vendor for signage, lighting, and other branding needs for well-known hoteliers such as Hilton and InterContinental Hotels Group.  Caracciolo states that Kieffer | Starlite will expand our reach and services to these properties and other brands through this strategic development of the Hospitality Division within the organization.

Caracciolo states that this move is a welcomed opportunity to bring his expertise to a broader range of internal and external customers. It will also show the company’s commitment to this industry and continue to position Kieffer | Starlite as a leading national sign company specializing in the hospitality sector. We have an outstanding team of people here. “My additional role will help bring more successes and support our teams to bring more value to hoteliers from code analysis, product innovation, and overall identification of market trends to maximize their signage and branding programs.”

Those who would like to learn more about the company can visit the Kieffer | Starlite YouTube channel. The channel, along with other social media channels, is regularly updated with company news and events. The company will also be attending 2021 AAHOA Convention and Tradeshow, which is in-person this year. Caracciolo looks forward to his team being able to connect face to face to better understand challenges and where we can add value as these properties regain momentum. Those who would like to connect directly with Caracciolo for further information are encouraged to visit LinkedIn.

Supporting National Hospitality Brands

Click here to view our capabilities in the hospitality sector.

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