Our National Sales Executive, Brad Sorrow knows ADA Signs from his 30-plus years of experience in the industry.
Brad began his career in the sign industry producing etched zinc ADA signs for a wayfinding signage manufacturer. As Brad’s career progressed, he was promoted to a leadership position in the flexographic production and signage departments of the company. A few years later, Brad joined the Nova Polymers team.
In his three and a half years with the company, Brad has exceled in equipment training for new purchases, along with cross-training current customers on enhancing their skills to produce compliant signage in an efficient manner.
What roles do you play for the company?
I visit sign fabrication shops for equipment training and consultation on ADA compliance. Our industry has a high turnover rate, which means it is more important than ever to make sure that not only is there initial training, but a commitment to continuous training and cross training of the employees. I’m big on details when it comes to photopolymer production, so when I see something that may be “OK”, but could be better, I will address the issue head on. For example, if you’re producing 70 sheets of material a day but spending two to three minutes extra time on each sheet, those minutes add up quickly. Details are what get you from “good to great”.
What did you do before Nova Polymers?
I spent 29 years at Dixie Graphics in Nashville, TN. I began my career producing rubber printing plates, then moved into photopolymer. Dixie started manufacturing ADA signs using Zinc in the 90s. I was promoted to the flexographic production area in the early 2000’s and was asked to add the signage department to my responsibilities several years later. A few years later, as our environmental concerns related to utilizing Zinc as the material for ADA signs, we reached out to Nova. What began as a process that was complimentary, soon became the default option based on the support, training and positive environmental attributes.
What motivates you?
Making a difference when I leave a customer. I love knowing that my visit to a customer helped them become better at what they do.
What is your favorite thing about Nova Polymers?
It’s definitely the people on my team. We all have the same goal in mind: increase access for those with visual disabilities in the built environment and help our customers produce the highest quality and most efficient ADA compliant signs in the industry.
What is an accomplishment you are most proud of at Nova Polymers?
About 2 years ago I visited a customer that had transitioned to our material from a competitive product. The training that originally took place was either not thorough or (due to turn-over) was not retained. We worked with them to cross train several employees and then posted processing guidelines in the production area. We then followed up every three months with an on-site audit for a full year to ensure that the process was under control. Two years later, this company is now one of our Preferred Fabricators.
How have you seen Nova Polymers impact the industry?
Nova Polymers has the equipment, material, training and customer support that allows the absolute best method for producing ADA compliant signage. If all the tools and processes provided by Nova Polymers are utilized, the opportunity for non-compliant signs is virtually impossible as they should come out the same every time. There is no easier method.
Our industry affiliations show our commitment to educating the signage and A&D community. We work closely with our industry and the International Sign Association (ISA), to help sign fabricators produce the best signs in the business. For many years we have delivered continuing education at the ISA Sign Expo on ADA compliance. In addition, my visits to sign shops continue this education as I teach sign makers different processes to produce better signs and identify areas where they can improve
What is your favorite thing about the sign industry?
Hands down the people I meet. Sign shops can be multi-million-dollar enterprises or a retirement hobby for a couple who decided to install equipment in their garage. Regardless of the size of the operation, it always comes down to trust in the relationships that we build. The different personalities in the industry are what makes it awesome.
What are three words your coworkers would use to describe you?
Knowledgeable, courteous, and resourceful.
What is a fun fact about yourself?
I started my own trim carpentry business when I was 18. This has turned into a hobby of making and refurbishing furniture.
What are some things you like to do in your spare time?
I really like to fish, do some wood working projects for the house or other people, and practice with my daughter on her softball skills.
What is at the top of your bucket list?
Visiting all the major league baseball parks.
If you had an all-expenses paid vacation, where would you go and why?
I would definitely go anywhere with great beaches and warm weather. I love the calming effect the ocean has on me.
What’s your favorite place you’ve travelled so far?
Niagara Falls on the Canadian side. Simply mesmerizing!
What’s the first thing that you do when you start working every day?
I check my email to see if I have any technical questions customers are asking.
If you were not working at Nova Polymers, what would you do?
If I thought I could make a living at it, I would open a custom wood working shop. Otherwise, I would probably be back in a sign shop somewhere trying to make a difference.
What’s one thing no one knows about you that would surprise people?
I’m a preacher’s kid.
With assistance from Brad Sorrow, Nova Polymers continues its goal of educating the design community on maintaining and exceeding ADA compliance guidelines, while expanding our high-quality and progressive product line.
You can reach out to Brad at [email protected].