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Out of Home Industry Leaders Presented with Top Awards
Date: May 17, 2017
New Orleans, LA (May 17, 2017) – The out of home (OOH) advertising industry yesterday honored seven industry leaders with its most esteemed awards. Reagan Outdoor Advertising Chairman William Reagan was presented with the highest honor, the Myles Standish Distinguished Achievement Award of Excellence, from the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) at the trade association’s national convention in New Orleans. Reagan’s career in OOH advertising spans 50 years. He began selling billboards in high school, and thereafter was hired to work at Packer Company in Cleveland. After graduating college, he moved to Ogden, UT, where he started Reagan Outdoor Advertising. Now in its 51st year, Reagan Outdoor owns 4,000 billboards faces in Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah. An active leader in the OOH industry, Reagan is the immediate past chair of the OAAA Board of Directors, is a founding director of the Foundation for Outdoor Advertising Research & Education (FOARE), and was inducted into the OAAA Hall of Fame in 2003. Reagan is also active politically at the local, state, and national levels, providing continued support for the industry’s legislative and regulatory goals. Reagan accepted the award from OAAA Chair Sean Reilly, who said, “A visionary with infectious enthusiasm, Bill exhibits an unyielding commitment to fidelity and is unafraid to speak his mind. He analyzes both challenges and opportunities from different perspectives, resulting in sound judgment and guidance.” The L. Ray Vahue Marketing Award of Merit, the industry’s top marketing award, was presented to Rick Robinson, chief operating officer and partner at Billups. Robinson has worked in the OOH advertising industry for more than 30 years. His time at Ackerley Airport Advertising, Gannett Outdoor, and Outdoor Systems gave him experience to open MacDonald Media’s Los Angeles office in 2001, which built up the agency’s west coast business to $30 million over 13 years. At Billups for the past two years, Robinson has brought a wealth of knowledge in the OOH space to propel the company’s success.
“Rick is a passionate and dedicated leader who is not afraid of change, hard conversations, or shocking the status quo,” said OAAA President & CEO Nancy Fletcher. “Clients recognize his loyalty and absolute drive to represent them with integrity, authenticity, and compassion.”
OAAA also inducted the following industry leaders into the OAAA Hall of Fame: Don Avjean, OUTFRONT Media Don Avjean has more than 40 years of experience in the out of home (OOH) advertising industry. He was instrumental in the development of vinyl billboard faces, replacing hand-painted signs. His recommendations on sign structure, tools, and safety are still used by the industry today. Avjean has served on multiple OAAA committees, including the Legislative Committee. He currently serves on the board for the Foundation for Outdoor Advertising Research and Education (FOARE). Paul Cook, Wolverine Sign Works Paul Cook leads a fourth-generation billboard company in Owosso, MI. As the longest-serving chairman of FOARE, Paul has led a robust entity respected throughout the industry for producing relevant, cutting-edge research and also awarding generous college scholarships to future leaders. Cook also serves on OAAA’s Board of Directors and is a member of the OAAA Legislative Committee.
Greg McGrath, Clear Channel Outdoor In 1980, McGrath joined billboard company Foster & Kleiser, a predecessor company to Clear Channel Outdoor. As he advanced, McGrath gained expertise in all aspects of the business, including sales, real estate, and operations. He played a key role in development of modern billboard posters called “premiere panels,” which display advertisements on sharp-looking vinyl.
Patrick O’Donnell, YESCO Outdoor Media O’Donnell has been with YESCO for 30 years. Under his leadership, YESCO created the software to connect the digital billboards to the AMBER Alert system. He chairs the OAAA Legislative Committee, and also serves on the boards of directors of FOARE and the OAAA Board of Directors. Debra Abdalian-Thompson, Cleveland Outdoor Advertising Debra Abdalian-Thompson has worked in the OOH advertising industry for more than four decades, operating one of the earliest woman-owned billboard companies in America. In the 1980s, Thompson was effective in opposing a national cap on billboards. She has served on OAAA’s Board of Directors since 2009 and serves as vice president of the Outdoor Advertising Association of Ohio. For more information, please contact Nicole Randall at email@example.com or (202) 833-5566.
OAAA is the national trade association for the out of home (OOH) advertising industry. Founded in 1891, the association represents more than 90 percent of the US industry based on revenues. OAAA is dedicated to leading and uniting a responsible OOH industry committed to serving advertisers, consumers, and communities. The OOH industry generates $7.6 billion annually in ad revenues and donates more than $500 million in space each year. For more information, please visit www.oaaa.org.
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