Tim O’Donnell, a veteran sign and graphics leader, was presented the Kirk L. Brimley Distinguished Service Award at a reception in his honor. O’Donnell was hailed for his long work with the International Sign Association board of directors and for his mentorship of others.
O’Donnell was presented the award by Troy Crocker, a longtime friend and a previous Distinguished Service Award winner, at a reception as part of the ISA International Sign Expo® 2023 in Las Vegas.
O’Donnell joined the sign and graphics industry in 1976, cleaning and loading trucks for Heath and Company. By 1993, he was the company’s President & CEO. After a 28-year stint with Heath, including the acquisition of Federal Sign Company and subsequent rebranding to Federal Heath, he left for leadership roles at US Signs and Harbinger Sign and currently serves as General Manager of VIXXO Signs, Lighting and Projects business.
He joined the ISA board of directors—then known as the National Electric Sign Association—in 1987 and was chairman of the board in 1994 where he oversaw celebrations related to the association’s 50th anniversary. He also served on the technical committee at a time when the association was developing standards for pylon sign safety. When the association underwent significant changes—including a new CEO and new name—O’Donnell returned to the board to offer guidance and expertise during the transition.
As a company leader, O’Donnell often urged his team members to serve in industry associations, and many of them have gone on to serve on ISA Affiliated Associations boards and committees.
“I love the industry, and the camaraderie and the networking that comes from working on a board,” O’Donnell said. “I love being an influencer for things that we should do as an association. It has kept me plugged in to what was going on in the industry. That’s what really drove me to wanting to serve and be part of the ISA board.”
The award is named for Kirk Brimley, a longtime advocate devoted to legislative, regulatory and codes issues impacting the sign and graphics industry. O’Donnell served alongside Brimley during his tenure on the ISA board. “Kirk was a true servant leader and a gentleman,” O’Donnell said. “It’s humbling to receive this award named for him. I don’t have another word for it. It’s something I’ll wear with pride for the rest of my life.”