An Eberhart Sign & Lighting technician installs a new sign on the Edwardsville Fire Department's East Fire Station.

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EDWARDSVILLE - The new owners of Eberhart Sign & Lighting look to bring the company into the modern age while keeping much of what’s made it so successful for nearly 90 years - including a small but dedicated team and the relationships built with the Metro East’s ever-expanding business community.

Michael Romshek said on Our Daily Show! on Riverbender.com that he and his wife Savannah were looking to step away from their day jobs and into the full ownership of a business. Eberhart Sign & Lighting, with its experienced team and community presence since 1936, seemed a logical choice for the two.

“Having that long-term representation, especially in the community of Edwardsville, the Metro East, including around [Alton] too, just the opportunity to step into something that’s worth something … it’s a great business,” Romshek said.

He also credited the business’s previous owner, Sue Schmidt, and said he doesn’t aim to fix what isn’t broken.

“I think Sue, the previous owner, did such a good job in how she ran it too, where that was part of the enjoyable part of us stepping in, was having a good team,” Romshek said. “A lot of what we’re doing, if anything, is making little tweaks to maybe bring a little bit of new age to it, but it was a good business before and we’re just continuing to elevate off that.”

Some of the small but impactful changes implemented so far include an updated logo and a greater social media presence - to see both in action, visit their Facebook page while they work to update their website.

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While Romshek said he never expected to enter the sign business, he’s enjoyed meeting so many members of the local business community.

“If you would’ve said I would’ve been doing this, absolutely not - but from actualling taking over and getting to interact with some of the community business owners and everything too, I and my wife too … we don’t have a single regret, we’re super excited.”

In addition to the company’s new owners, Romshek said the team at Eberhart includes two technicians who install signs and billboards “out in the field,” a full-time graphic designer, and a project manager. He credits the team with making the transition in ownership easy, and said their work has taught him quite a bit about the sign industry as they gear up for a major project.

“We’re doing a big project right now in Edwardsville: the Raising Cane’s that’s going up,” Romshek said. “I was there on-site yesterday doing cleanup on stuff.

“It’s eye-opening when you look at these big signs, especially when we have them in-shop getting delivered, the overall size of them. You wouldn’t think, but when you’re watching them get installed, it’s in its own way complex but easier than you think - it’s super cool to be a part of. I think that’s the fun part that’s rewarding.”

He added another rewarding aspect of the business is seeing each client’s vision come to life through the work of the team’s talented graphic designer, then seeing that concept transferred from screen to sign.

“Seeing the look on their faces when they see their new business sign up and everything too, you can’t put a price on that,” he said.

Romshek said that goes equally for new developments and long-standing community businesses, the latter being some of Eberhart’s best repeat customers, even through the ownership transition. One of his goals for the company is to spread awareness throughout the community that Eberhart is here to help with any local business’s signage needs.

To learn more about the new ownership behind Eberhart Sign & Lighting, see the full interview with Romshek at the top of this story or on Riverbender.com/video.

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