2020 Presidential Welcome Address

SIMPLY INSPIRATIONAL! That sums up the MSSA for me. For the many years that I have attended events, I have always felt inspired and invigorated. Immediately after one event, I am looking forward to the next. For 26 years, I have been fortunate to work with an ownership that is “association centric”. It was instilled in me that associations are the life blood of our industry to provide support, education, and networking opportunities. MSSA takes it to the highest level possible. Its members are caring, sharing, and inspiring. When anyone asks me about why I attend MSSA events, I tell them to come to just one event to find out and then you will be hooked for life. 


2019 was a phenomenal year that had many achievements, accomplishments, positive results and exceeded expectations.  Now that I am humbly serving as president for 2020, I gladly accept the challenge set by those before me. I am excited to serve along with new board members, chairs of committees and committee members. I also look forward to working with the 2020 Elite Class to help influence and inspire them to be the next leaders in our association and industry. 


In 2020, there are many opportunities for growth and higher mountains to climb. Our board will be challenged to operate as a business, hold each other accountable and value each other’s time. To always understand that the members are our customers, listen intently, respond with urgency, exude leadership, be decisive, and always put ourselves in their shoes. The economy is very strong, and the latest industry report shows that the sign industry is healthy. We must take advantage of that through collaboration, networking, open dialogue, education and mentorship. Yet as a board, we must plan thoroughly in order to grow wisely. 


My first experience of serving the board was Education Chairman. It was a huge honor as education is so valuable to this association. If we aren’t helping each other grow, then we are standing still. Passing along the torch of knowledge and continuing to share the rich history and tradition that is MSSA is a challenge I present to every tenured industry member in our association. Mentor new members and the next generation of members. I say this personally because of the way I was thankfully brought through the MSSA. 


We must engage other owners to explore a membership with MSSA by sharing return on investment and value-added examples. Past presidents and the board should challenge all owners to invite the next generation of members to our events. Who is the next committee member, committee chair, or president? MSSA’s 2030 president is most likely working in our shops or offices right now. Invite them to an event, get them involved.


2020 will kick off with a great event appropriately called Idea Exchange. Valuable education and networking opportunities along with a chance to show off your best Tricks of the Trade. A perfect event to energize your batteries for the upcoming year. We will then continue climbing when we meet for SignConnexion in July, and then reach the peak at Engage in the Fall. 



The final event of 2019 was phenomenal. One could say it was “Elevating”! Mark Scharenbroich provided us with several mantras, these two resonated with me: 

  • You must be present to win. In my mind it says, attend events! Be a squirrel gathering nuts to make your business better. 

  • 13th donut. Provide our members with the 13th donut. Give them a bonus to keep coming back to “engage, elevate, exchange ideas, and make connexions”!  



I look forward to seeing every one of you in the new year. May it be inspirational for us all. Please feel free to reach out to me, I am proud to serve you.  


Mike Lev,

MSSA President

(904) 207-7108