Our Company

Single source.
Top notch.

We’re South Water Signs

We are a full-service, turnkey signage provider. We bring proven capabilities and credentials to meet the full spectrum of need — from audits and surveys to design drawings and permitting, manufacturing to installation and maintenance — spanning every sign project type and a wide range of industries, locally, nationally and worldwide.

When you call us, the job gets done.
The right way, on time and on budget.

Watch Video: We have the resources and capacity to handle the largest programs and the expertise and process discipline to track the smallest detail.

Current and active members of:

 

intlsa_logoisa_logousgreen_logodunbrad_logobbb_logo

Seasoned, committed experts

Companies do not deliver excellence. People do. When you work with South Water Signs, you’ll find ours to be highly skilled and experienced, totally committed to your project and your satisfaction.

MEET OUR EXECUTIVE TEAM:

Thomas Merkel

President

Tom Merkel is the President and owner of South Water Signs. He brings more than twenty-five years of sign industry experience, working primarily on large-scale architectural projects and high-quantity multi-location retail programs, totaling more than $200 million in aggregate. Tom currently oversees the executive management team and takes pride in his continued involvement in the daily operations of the company.

On the personal side, Tom is enthusiastically involved in setting up sports leagues and facilities for underprivileged children in the City of Chicago. He also is an active supporter of the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation.

Affiliations:

  • International Sign Association (ISA)
  • United States Green Building Council (USGBC)
  • Society for Environmental Graphic Design (SEGD)
  • International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)
  • ComEd Energy Efficiency Participant

Noah Pettit

Vice President of Sales

Noah Pettit has been in the sign industry for more than a decade. Over the course of his South Water Signs career, he has been involved in a wide variety of signage projects/programs of all scales and levels of complexity. Some of his larger accounts include Walmart and Sun Capital Partners, a private investment firm whose brands include thousands of retail and restaurant locations. Prior to joining South Water Signs, Noah spent six years in the construction, architecture, and shopping mall development and management fields.

Noah volunteers and hosts two large yearly events for PAWS Chicago, one of the country’s largest no-kill animal shelters. He also sits on the Associate Board at NorthShore University HealthSystem, which raises money for the Infant Special Care Unit (ISCU).

Affiliations:

  • International Sign Association (ISA)
  • United States Green Building Council (USGBC)
  • Society for Environmental Graphic Design (SEGD)
  • International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)
  • ComEd Energy Efficiency Participant

Stephen Meier

Vice President of Operations

Steve Meier is Vice President of Operations at South Water Signs. The majority of his career has been in the manufacture of high mix / low volume products. He brings years of lean manufacturing involvement to the position. Steve has over 25 years of managerial experience in the aerospace and industrial sectors.

Steve is a participant of the Manufacturing Fellowship Group and a VP on the board of the Alumni Association of the Delta Tau Delta chapter at Bradley University.

Affiliations:

  • International Sign Association (ISA)
  • United States Green Building Council (USGBC)
  • Society for Environmental Graphic Design (SEGD)
  • International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)
  • ComEd Energy Efficiency Participant

 

KEY MANAGEMENT PEOPLE:

Tom Campione

Vice President of Project Management

Tom brings a unique mix of big-picture vision and attention to detail to his role at South Water Signs. Prior to his current position, he spent seven years as a program manager in the signage industry, focusing primarily on multi-location rollouts.

David Garza

Plant Manager

David brings more than 20 years experience in industrial process management to South Water Signs, with a focus on efficiency, quality and sustainability.

George Wishon

Director of Estimating

George is a sheet metal expert who brings more than 40 years in the sign industry across virtually every aspect of sign production to his role as Director of Estimating.

Rob Miller

Art Director

Rob has designed and engineered virtually every sign type over the course of his career. In recent years, he has been instrumental in building standards for clients looking for brand consistency in signage across their real estate portfolios.

Nikki Mota

Accounting Manager

Nikki brings more than 10 years of sign industry experience to the management of all South Water Signs accounting department activities.

Michael Bey

Commercial Branding Portfolio Manager

Michael has six years of experience managing complex signage and branding projects from inception to completion. He has overseen full scope signage rebrands during bank and retail acquisition activity for some of the biggest names in their industries. Michael’s attention to detail and overall focus on the big picture provides positive results for our clients.

Kara Treat

Custom Architectural Portfolio Manager

Kari joined the South Water team in 2019 after being a corporate client of theirs for 5 years utilizing their services to install and maintain signage and lighting throughout her 90+ locations in the Chicagoland area. Moving from Marketing and Office Management roles for a construction company to Property Management of dozens of properties for a bank Kari’s rapport with contractors and clients has grown everlasting professional relationships.

Adrian Mois

Large Scale Turnkey Portfolio Manager

Adrian brings an MBA from DePaul’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business and more than a decade of experience in the construction industry to his role at South Water Signs.

Heather Sonsedek

Portfolio Manager

Heather has 25 years of project management experience in the sign industry, with 20 of those years in a leadership role. She is highly skilled in managing large programs, building teams, and organizing projects. Heather also brings excellent interpersonal communication skills to every project.