• Company of the Day – Grace Outdoor Advertising

    Company:  Grace Outdoor Advertising 

    Headquarters: 1201 Lincoln Street, Suite 300, Columbia SC 29201

    Markets: South & North Carolina, Atlanta & Memphis

    Phone: 803.252.7084

    Email:   hal@graceoutdoor.com, diana@graceoutdoor.com
    Grace Outdoor Advertising has been operating in the Columbia area for over 30 years. Their offices are located in the historic Congaree Vista where they have been for 20 years. Grace Outdoor owns and operate over 300 traditional static bulletins on major interstates and heavily trafficked roads. They also operate digital signs in Columbia, Lexington, Greenville and Charleston, SC, in Charlotte, NC and Atlanta, GA.
    Insider had the opportunity to talk with Hal and Diana Stevenson the owners of Grace Outdoor.
    Can you share a little about the history of Grace Outdoor?
    In 1984, I was working with Omni Outdoor in Oklahoma and I decided to ask Diana to marry me and go into business. We were basically lease hounds, working in the Carolinas, Indiana, Denver and LA before moving back to SC to raise our family. Diana had her hands full with our kids (5), so I started building sites one by one. I somehow kept the doors open until Diana returned in 2010 and eventually took on the role of CEO. I focus on sales and the development of new sites.

    Can you provide us a description of your billboard plant and operations?

    I leased and built almost all of our inventory, though we do manage some signs for other owners. The first 15 years, I focused on interstate directional and some prime local arterials mostly around Columbia, SC and on the I-95 corridor in SC. The last 15 years or so, I have focused on building key digital sites. We are now operating 26 digital faces along with 300+ traditional faces. We have 9 employees including Diana and myself. My youngest son Jacob also works with us in sales.

    How many digital signs do you have and which manufacturers have you used?  How have they performed?

    Back when I started building digital, there were not a lot of options. My first sign in LA was an Optotech, which was a provider for CBS’s arena displays. The sign was a 20×30 and cost upwards of $800,000. Needless to say, I got in way too early and was fortunate that CBS bought that sign from me. I subsequently bought from Watchfire, Daktronics, and Media Resources. All are performing well.
    Hal, you and Diana are experienced operators.  If you could share one thing you have learned what would that be?
    Have fun and don’t take yourself too seriously. God is in control and He knows what he is doing:-)

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