A Family Business, Then and Now
Neon signs were the height of popularity in 1931, when Thomas R. Allen of Greensboro, North Carolina opened Allen Neon Display with four employees. The business prospered, growing into a family affair with the addition of Allen’s three sons, James, Bob, and Tom, Jr.
In the ensuing years, the brothers’ paths diverged. – more...In the early 60s, James assumed control of the original business, and brothers Bob and Tom Jr. spun off with a separate branch, Andco.
Under James Allen’s leadership, the company’s focus evolved from custom sign building to large-scale sign program manufacturing. The business grew rapidly, building on longstanding partnerships with the burgeoning fast food industry and numerous other business sectors.
James’ three sons, Tom, John and David, began working in the business as teenagers. Beginning at the bottom as shop floor sweepers, they progressed through estimating, accounting and sales, gaining a thorough knowledge and understanding of the family business.
In 1988, Tom, John and David took the helm and have continued to transform the business to meet the changing times. Included in their strategic plans were the purchase of Peninsular Sign Company in Clearwater, Florida, and the reincorporation of Andco under the Allen Industries umbrella. In 2010, Allen Industries opened a West Coast division in Phoenix, Arizona. Both Clearwater and Phoenix divisions continue to grow and have been expanded.
In the spring of 2016, Allen Industries greatly expanded its manufacturing capacity in the Midwest by acquiring Harmon Sign. Harmon, based in Toledo, Ohio, also has a manufacturing facility in Detroit.
Today, Allen Industries is one of the nation’s largest sign manufacturers, with the capacity, equipment and expertise to design, build, and maintain every type of signage. – less