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Sign of the times: CEO strives to support Sign Association

Lori Anderson confronts existential questions with show cancellation; she responds with hard work, empathy and philosophical outlook


Dec. 11, 2020
By William Ehart

Ask Lori Anderson if the future of her organization is assured, and she answers rhetorically.

“Is anyone’s?” queries the CEO of the International Sign Association for the past 16 years.

Canceling a trade show responsible for 90% of association revenue on a month’s notice will get you thinking about the “impermanence” of things, as she puts it.

Nine months after COVID-19 caused a live-meeting shutdown, Anderson still has good days and bad trying to manage through.

“It’s really, really hard,” she told CEO Update. “Financially, of course, but it’s just personally, mentally draining for everyone.”

But ISA has been around 75 years, and Anderson’s mission is to secure its future.