Nick Wilson grew up in the sign, graphics and visual communications industry. “It’s kind of all I’ve really known,” he says.
His father, uncle and grandfather ran a company that focused on screen printing. His father ventured off into digital printing and launched Oxford Graphics. Wilson worked there in the summers, but was focused on golf at the time, first attending college on a scholarship and later playing professionally for a couple of years. “When I decided golf wasn’t the right path for me, it seemed natural to keep working here.”
But his business drove forward significantly when a sales representative suggested he apply for the ISA Elite program, which brings future leaders to ISA International Sign Expo to learn more about the industry.
He had been to ISA International Sign Expo in 2015, walking the floor with his father, Ray.
When he came in 2016 as part of the ISA Elite, he was by himself. “Meeting the other ISA Elite members, it didn’t take long to build the friendships.”
Business was a natural outgrowth. Oxford Graphics is a wholesale digital print company, serving mostly smaller sign, graphics and visual communications companies.
“As I became friends with the other ISA Elite participants, the next thing you know, we’re talking about, ‘I’ve got this project.’ Some of them have become really good customers. I thought it was just going to be a good learning experience, but it’s also been really beneficial to
Ray Wilson calls the ISA Elite program “one of the best that I’ve seen.” “The ISA Elite program gave Nick a new perspective of the industry and helped him meet people in the industry that he’ll be dealing with in the future as he hopefully takes over the business.”
It’s a value that he believes could benefit any sign, graphics and visual communications company, whether or not family-run. “You can’t worry about them missing a few days of work. This is a really good way to keep younger people and keep them focused in our industry. And you just might benefit from some new concepts or new customers that they might bring from participating in the ISA Elite program.”