It’s “back to school time” for many and I am reminded of my early beginnings in a career of signage and visual communications. It’s hard to believe, but this fall marks my 40th consecutive year in business. During this time, it’s been most rewarding to have worked with lots of great people on many amazing projects, and to see our progress in the industry.
As grateful as I am about reaching this milestone, I am even more excited about our company’s future. It seems there is a growing appreciation and need for organizations like Gable who use creativity, technology and craftsmanship to help clients build their brands, revenues and visitor experiences. Additionally, there is a new generation here doing tremendous work and making a positive difference. This is fun stuff and it’s great to see such bright minds and energy, making an impact in so many ways!
My journey began fifty years ago. I was 8 years old and in the third grade. There was a school poster contest to promote safety on the playground. I already had been identified as a creative child, so I entered the contest and you guessed it, I won. I was awarded a trophy that I still proudly display in my office today. It is a constant reminder to me and others about the power of recognition and encouragement for a job well done. I didn’t know it then, but this event ignited my passion for designing, making and building things. It felt great to be good at something!
Throughout my years in school up to graduation, I built a reputation as “the kid who made signs”. My teachers and even the principal enlisted me to create any type of bulletin, poster, flier or chart they needed. In my parents’ garage, I spent countless after-school hours doing handcrafted lettering and sign projects for local merchants, helping them promote, advertise and identify their places of business.
These small projects became the foundation for the “real” company that began in the summer of 1980, after completion of high school. My side hustle payed off, and so did my years in school. The foundation was set, and I began a whole new level of learning when I entered the world of business.
Of course, there’s a lot more to this story. Forty years’ worth, so I’ll save that for another time. For now, I just want to shout out to the world how grateful and blessed I feel to have reached this anniversary year in business. These days, it’s easy to get drawn into all the bad news out there. I work with someone here at Gable who frequently encourages us to be mindful of our accomplishments in our relationships, careers and the communities we live in. Celebrate wins, both big and small! This is especially important during tough times when the world seems to be falling apart. Simply stated, we should rejoice on our successes more often!
In different times, perhaps we would have thrown a party to celebrate our four decades in business. Today, I just want to give a sincere and humble thanks to my family, friends, team members and clients that have been with me along the way to help make our company a success! You have made a difference in many lives, and one thing is for certain – we have a lot to look forward to in this ever-changing world of visual communications!
Paul P. Gable