May 26, 2010
FASTSIGNS® CEO Recognized as Top Woman Industry Leader
(CARROLLTON, Texas) May 21, 2010—Catherine Monson, CEO of FASTSIGNS International, Inc. has been named among the Dallas Business Journal’s “Top 25 Industry Leaders” as part of their 2010 Women in Business Awards program.
According to the Dallas Business Journal, the Top 25 Industry Leaders award, new in 2010, was created to acknowledge women industry leaders who are affecting significant change in their professions. The final honorees were selected from a field of nearly 300 nominees. Each was chosen for making a difference in their profession and for having had a profound impact on their industries through their innovations and achievements. Unbeknownst to Monson, she was nominated for the award by the corporate team at FASTSIGNS International, Inc.
“I truly love what I do, having the opportunity to make a positive difference in people’s lives,” said Monson. “I get to help franchise partners achieve the American Dream of business ownership, build wealth for their families, put their children through college and achieve their financial goals. Franchising is a proven, successful business model. I have the honor of leading a dedicated, passionate team at FASTSIGNS International, each of whom are committed to providing our franchise partners world-class leadership, support and service. I hope that along the way I am able to inspire others, especially women, to believe that they can achieve anything they put their mind to.”
It was in January 2009 when Monson, a California native, relocated to Texas to become CEO of worldwide sign and graphics franchise FASTSIGNS®. She took over for retiring company co-founder and former CEO, Gary Salomon. Coming in during one of the worst economies in history, Monson quickly implemented a “back to the basics” focus with the corporate team. From there she created a sales incentive program; instituted monthly company meetings for sales updates, program developments, company announcements and praise for departments on their projects and efforts; and monthly “Connect with Catherine” calls with the franchise system to provide updates and answer questions. In April of 2009, Monson began a five-month, 28-city North American Town Hall Tour, during which time, she met face-to-face with as many franchise partners as possible to engage in dialogue, share ideas and encourage morale. To date, she has met with more than 380 FASTSIGNS franchise partners in four countries.
Monson first launched her career in 1980, with printing franchise Sir Speedy. Over the next 16 years she rose through the ranks from western regional operations manager to vice president of franchise development to chief marketing officer. When Franchise Services, Inc., parent company of Sir Speedy, acquired European printing franchisor MultiCopy, Monson became vice president of business development. In 1999 she became president and COO of PIP Printing.
An advocate for small-business enterprise and franchising, Monson also spends her time volunteering on the Board of Directors for the International Franchise Association (IFA). In 2009, she was the recipient of the IFA’s prestigious Bonny LeVine Award. This award is given annually to a female franchisor in recognition for her demonstrated ability in franchising through contribution to the growth of the business; contributions to her community through board positions, volunteer work and activities that promote the professional advancement of women; and her contributions as a mentor to women in franchising.
FASTSIGNS International, Inc. is the worldwide franchisor for the more than 535 FASTSIGNS centers located in the US, Canada, the UK, Brazil, Mexico and Australia (where centers operate under the name SIGNWAVE®). 2010 marks the fifth consecutive year that FASTSIGNS International, Inc. has been ranked #1 in the business services category, by Franchise Business Review. For more information, visit www.fastsigns.com or call 800-FASTSIGNS.
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Editorial Note: For a photo of Catherine Monson, CEO of FASTSIGNS International, Inc., please click here.