Meet our team of dedicated professionals leading the way for advancements in the sign industry.
Matthew Shad | Chair
Matthew Shad is an accomplished and respected an urban planner, attorney and economic development practitioner in the public and not-for-profit sectors. His career has spanned more than 25 years with a variety of managerial responsibilities and successful project implementations in the Cincinnati, Dayton and Columbus, Ohio regions.
Matt has described himself as an Implementer and not a Planner since his sophomore year of undergraduate studies. This perspective, combined with a wealth of practical first-hand community development experience has provided him many opportunities to bring divergent interests together and found creative solutions to turn strategies into successful implementations. Matt has served in regulatory, ombudsman, and business advocacy roles and understands the need to break down silos and learn to communicate effectively across disciplines and backgrounds.
Additionally, Matt has had a passion for small business development and witnessed first-hand the powerful results that occur when assisting small businesses; while doing microlending and business coaching at his years with the Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI) in Columbus.
Most of his career has been public sector focused, in both regulatory, economic development and city management positions. Currently he is Zoning Administrator, a division manager in Buildings & Inspections for the City of Cincinnati. Matt was on boarded to deliver institutional reforms to the building permitting and zoning administration processes as well as deliver effective regulatory reform and customer service delivery enhancements.
Mr. Shad earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Urban Planning from the University of Cincinnati and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Dayton School of Law. He is a certified urban planner and a licensed lawyer and real estate agent in Ohio. Board member for Clovernook Center for the Blind, and Board Member of the Sign Research Foundation.
Max Fulton | Secretary/Treasurer
Max Fulton focuses on driving positive change to unlock human potential. Mr. Fulton is currently a Senior Director at Alvarez & Marsal. He focuses on Interim CFO roles and leads the CFO Services Training Committee.
Mr. Fulton was previously the CEO of Gordon Sign Company and Radio360. Prior to this, Max built his career helping troubled companies navigate restructuring or bankruptcy processes. By assuming interim operational roles within struggling companies, Max was instrumental in increasing value, which led to several successful emergences or acquisitions. He has visualized the future of companies and potential investments during critical stages of the business cycle and operated business from start-ups to 100 year old entities. Mr. Fulton started his career with PriceWaterhouseCoopers in consulting and later joined Alvarez & Marsal, where he developed his operational experience.
Mr. Fulton has significant experience leading organizations and implementing change. He also has experience developing negotiation strategies, financial forecasts, performance improvement plans, operational restructuring, offering memorandums, simplification plans, strategic alternatives and business plans. He continually surrounds himself with successful people and enjoys leading and contributing to high-performing teams.
Mr. Fulton received a bachelor’s degree in finance and marketing from the University of Denver (DU). He received the Pioneer Award while attending DU for his leadership and making a significant contribution to the campus community. He holds two patents (one pending). He has held the following designations: Certified Distressed Business Valuation (CDBV), Certified Turnaround Professional (CTP) and Certified Insolvency and Restructuring Advisor (CIRA). He serves on the Mountain Goat Kids board and has helped Sacred Heart House, Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, Denver Founder’s Network, Junior Achievement, Habitat for Humanity and Food Bank of the Rockies. Recently, Mr. Fulton has developed exercise and fitness products for kids (XtremeStax) primarily used in physical education classes. Mr. Fulton has also served as a RAD Ambassador since 2013, exemplifying how people can remain more active though RAD’s self-myofascial release products and educational platform.
Stacey Brown is a visual communication and visual branding expert providing powerful solutions to help her clients build their brand and increase customer engagement. She is the owner of Signarama Silver Spring since 2010 and, in late 2018, opened a new location, Signarama DC North. Signarama Silver Spring is a full-service signage company delivering powerful marketing tools to help businesses promote their brand. What makes her different from other sign companies is that she focuses on the organization’s business and marketing objectives first and then utilizes that information to provide optimal signage solutions. She was recently featured in the October 2020 issue of Signs of the Times highlighting her full-service marketing approach.
Stacey has over 20 years of experience in project management, business operations and marketing, which she leverages to provide her clients with a consultative and holistic approach to visual communication and branding.
She has a BS in Marketing from Rutgers College and an MBA from The University of Maryland. She is also a certified PMP (Project Management Professional) and holds the Certified Apartment Supplier Credential (CAS) from the National Apartment Association. She is currently an adjunct professor at Prince George’s Community College Center for Entrepreneurial Development where she teaches about visual branding strategies and solutions.
She is very involved in her local business community. She is a member of the Maryland Black Chamber of Commerce, Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce and Montgomery County Small Business Association. She currently serves on the Purple Line Transit Community Advisory Team and served as the Chair of the Economic Development Committee of the Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board. She received the 2018 Top 100 Minority Business Enterprises Award and the 2019 Employer Champion Award from Cornerstone Montgomery, a non-profit behavioral health services organization.
MJ (Manish Jaisinghani) is an accomplished and multi-faceted veteran of the branding industry. His career has spanned more than 15 years with a variety of executive level responsibilities within manufacturing, operations, design, engineering, sales, and sourcing at various national organizations.
In his current role, MJ leads Design and Sourcing for Principle Global, a truly global organization based out of UK with offices in over 15 countries. His global travels encompass researching viable sourcing partners for a complete branding solution. MJ is passionate about building long lasting relationships with people and organizations. He has lived in Mexico City for several years during which time he led teams for a 2000 plus telecom store rebranding project that spanned signage, graphics, and furniture/millwork along with light GC work.
MJ has a Masters in Operations Management from Texas A&M and undergraduate in Industrial Engineering from University of Bombay. He is certified in Six Sigma and Kaizen and very accomplished in leading continuous improvement across organizations.
MJ loves to hike, travel and read. He has two beautiful kids – son at Vanderbilt and daughter working in Washington DC. He resides in Nashville with his loving wife and Pablo the Pug.
Brenda is the CEO of Future Sign Company. Her purpose for serving on the SRF Board of Trustees is to collaborate and bring ideas to the table that may assist the sign industry. With 20-years of experience in the sign industry and trust from local and national partners, she is open and available to talk about what she's learned and is still learning. Success stories are great, and Brenda has many to share. However, the chaos, lessons learned, code changes, and tough situations throughout the years are where she has grown the most. These experiences combined have given Brenda and her team the ability to share much needed creative ideas.
Sarah Wexler is the Senior Director, Global Store Design for Foot Locker, overseeing store design for both the retail and wholesale channels. She is responsible for creating & maintaining global guidelines & standards. In this role, she led the effort to establish brand consistency and recognition globally through developing branding & signage principles and guidelines. These guides navigate the intricacies of signage regulations in the multitude of spaces that the brand is represented – on city streets, in shopping & outlet malls and in shop-in-shop environments – in order to provide clarity on best practices and effectiveness to best represent the Brand. They also include a glossary of definitions and typical specification sheets to ensure both design intent and quality are maintained across the variety of sign types.
Sarah graduated from the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning with a degree in Architecture, and is a LEED Accredited Professional. She spent the first decade of her career in architecture firms ranging in work from national retail roll-out programs to large scale commercial retail, lifestyle centers, hospitality, workplace & multi-family. Her experience also included regularly working with and presenting to zoning & planning boards throughout the East Coast with a focus on signage ordinances.
Sapna Budev | Executive Director
Sapna Budev works with the Board of Trustees to establish vision and direction for the Foundation.
She establishes and oversees program, financial, and operational goals; guides the creation and implementation of the strategic plan, and represents the Foundation before key constituencies. She works closely with academics at Tier 1 universities to manage the research pipeline and enable academic research.
Ms. Budev previously served as the Director of Strategic Initiatives for the International Sign Association (ISA). Her interest in academic research was launched where she partnered with the Sign Research Foundation to spearhead the 2013 joint publication of the Urban Wayfinding Planning and Implementation Manual. This research produced a series of webinars and workshops which educated over 2,000 planners and downtown managers on the concepts surrounding complex wayfinding systems and projects.
Ms. Budev has published numerous articles and spoken around the world on the global sign industry, international commerce, integrated design and sustainability. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies and Political Science from Miami University and has worked in business development and strategic operations for more than 15 years with top technology companies and nonprofits, such as Compaq Computers, Hewlett-Packard, Trilogy Software, and RosettaNet. She lives with her husband, son and rescue black lab in Washington DC.
Emmalee Zaatar | Senior Manager of Education and Research
Emmalee Zaatar manages the development and implementation of all education and research initiatives for the Sign Research Foundation and the International Sign Association, working effectively with appropriate stakeholders, including staff, partners and member volunteers. Her responsibilities include managing the production and release of SRF research projects, generating education for the ISA International Sign Expo, developing and hosting webinars on a variety of topics, creating and maintaining ISA's online learning library, and hosting live and virtual workshops for unique learning experiences and networking.
Emmalee has been with SRF and ISA since 2015.