Leadership

Great company culture starts with great company leadership.

John Bruellman,
President and CEO

John Bruellman, President and CEO of Sign-Zone, LLC, began his leadership journey by receiving his B.S. in Economics from the United States Military Academy at West Point. John honed his leadership skills through several advancements within the U.S. Army, serving as an Armor Officer. Following his service in the Army, John received his M.B.A. from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota and began his business career. This has included progressive leadership roles with Nordic Track, Honeywell, Ceridian Corporation and now Sign-Zone. His business career includes experience in marketing, manufacturing, process improvement, business strategy, international management, mergers & acquisitions, supply chain processes and general management. Read More

John joined Showdown Displays, a division of Sign-Zone, in 2006 as President. He was promoted to President and CEO of Sign-Zone in 2011. Under his leadership the company has received many awards, to include placement eight times on the Inc. 5000 list and two-time recognition as “Manufacturer of the Year” in Minnesota. In 2014 John was chosen as “Executive of the Year” by Minnesota Business Magazine. He is most proud that Sign-Zone has been recognized as one of the “Best Places to Work” by a number of different publications.

John holds many community leadership roles as well. He is active in Common Hope, Junior Achievement, the University of Minnesota Veterans’ Initiative, and many others. John treasures his time with his family, much of which is spent at soccer fields and hockey rinks! But his favorite family time is spent at the place he most loves… his cabin in the Minnesota north woods.



Deb Weston holds a B.B.A. in Accounting and Management from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She has a track record of delivering strategic leadership within rapidly growing companies that quickly need to implement and integrate systems and attract and retain talent. She has 20 years of diverse experience, including progressively responsible management positions, in manufacturing, medical device, distribution and public accounting with public and private companies.

Deb joined Sign-Zone in 2012 as the corporate controller, and has provided executive leadership in Finance, Accounting, and Human Resources. She was promoted to CFO in 2014 and Read More
today Deb has responsibility for Finance, Accounting and Information Technology. As Sign-Zone has experienced significant growth, Deb has focused on establishing and executing the company’s strategic technology roadmap.

Deb is active in Financial Executives International, is a mentor for Team Women and is an active sponsor of a child in Guatemala through Common Hope. Deb was recognized as CFO of the Year in 2015 by the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal. In her spare time, you can find Deb at a softball field or basketball court cheering for her teenage daughters or golfing.



Deb Weston, CPA
Chief Financial Officer
Kevin Walsh,
Chief Marketing & Sales Officer

Kevin Walsh, Chief Marketing & Sales Officer – Throughout his more than 25 years in Marketing and Sales, Kevin has been building, growing and leading teams that deliver annual revenues in excess of $500 million. He’s done this with fantastic companies like Wrangler® Jeans & Shirts, Lee® Printwear, Red Kap®, Bulwark®, Montana Silversmiths®, New Buffalo Shirt Factory, ProPlayer®, VF Corp. and more. The collection of Sign-Zone brands - Showdown Displays®, Creative Banner Displays® and Victory Corps® - continue this long string of growth ventures.

Kevin wakes up every morning fully charged and with a big smile on his face because our team knows who we are, what Read More
we can do and how we do it. As a result, we are rocking and rolling an eight year pattern of growth. Our team is using strategies and methods that Kevin developed at those big brands to connect with - and educate - our B2B distributor partners. In the process, he’s been instrumental in helping build and grow ourselves, our team, our distributors and our brands.

Kevin’s passion for our story and the remarkable success we’ve demonstrated, is only exceeded by his commitment to being a loving husband and great dad.



Patrick (Pat) Matthews has been with Sign-Zone since October, 2010. As Vice President of Product Management, Pat created Operation Innovation, a think-tank for developing new product ideas. The think-tank is made up of employees who volunteer to share their ideas and creativity. As a result of Operation Innovation, his Product Management team averages eighty new products a year for Sign-Zone. Prior to Sign-Zone, Pat spent sixteen years with Polaris Industries managing Accessory & Apparel Product Development and Corporate Licensing. Pat received his Business degree from the University of Minnesota. He is married, has three children and enjoys spending weekends with his family on Minnesota lakes.



Patrick Matthews
Vice President of
Product Management
Phil Carlson
Vice President of
Operations

Phil Carlson is Vice President of Operations for Sign-Zone, LLC He holds a B.A. in Mathematics from Bethel University and is a Lean Six-Sigma Black Belt. Phil has over 20 years of leadership experience in various operational areas including purchasing, manufacturing, distribution, and transportation. This experience has taken Phil all over the world to set up supply chains and build teams of people in support of his ultimate goal of delighting the customer with the product and service they receive.


Phil joined Sign-Zone, LLC in 2015 as the Director of Production and in his current position provides executive leadership in Purchasing, Production, Distribution, Transportation, Graphics, and Maintenance. Read More
Phil’s focus every day is providing a legendary experience to our customers through the quick-turn fulfillment of quality products while building teams and processes to support a growing business.

When not working, Phil enjoys spending time with his wife and son. His family loves to travel and have visited 36 states to date on their quest to see all 50 states. Phil also enjoys getting outside and enjoying all Minnesota has to offer year-round whether that be camping, downhill skiing, or golfing with family and friends.




Jim Thomsen is Vice President of Customer Care for Sign-Zone. Jim is responsible for ensuring the delivery of Legendary Experiences through every customer interaction. His Customer Care team was nominated for most improved contact center by the ICMI organization in 2016.

Jim joined Sign-Zone in 2014 and brought with him over 20 years of Contact Center Leadership that have focused on building World Class Contact centers that enhance customer experience, developing highly effective and engaged teams and driving incremental revenue through the optimization of customer order channels. Jim has worked at companies ranging in size from $30M to over $1 billion Read More
in revenue.

Jim holds a BA degree in Marketing from Augsburg College. Apart from work, Jim enjoys spending time with his two teenage sons and serving as a volunteer coach in their sporting activities. As a Minnesota native, Jim enjoys ice fishing and firmly believes every year the Vikings will win the Super Bowl.



Jim Thomsen,
Vice President of Customer Care
Janet Bearmon, SPHR
Vice President of Human Resources

Sign-Zone’s Vice President of Human Resources, Janet Bearmon, received her M.A. in Industrial Resources from the University of Minnesota. Working initially as an HR generalist, Janet assumed a series of more challenging HR positions in the insurance, high-tech and telecommunication businesses. Her move to Sign-Zone, in 2012, introduced her to the manufacturing industry.

Janet joined Sign-Zone as the company’s first Human Resources leader. In 2014, she assumed the role of Director of HR and, in 2016, Vice President of HR.

Janet’s expertise encompasses a broad knowledge in benefits, compensation, recruiting, training, and talent Read More
management. Recognizing her contribution to making Sign-Zone’s Human Resources Department first class, Janet received the Emerging Leader Award from Minnesota Business Magazine in 2015. Her speaking engagements include Manufacturer’s Alliance and Gears ‘n Gadgets.

Janet lives in Hopkins with her husband, Dave, and their four children. She supports a little girl in Guatemala through Common Hope and is active in several Twin Cities HR groups. She enjoys playing piano and practicing qigong.