Watchfire Taps Ben Barr as Director of Sign Division Sales, East Coast
Watchfire Signs announces that Ben Barr has been promoted to director of sign division sales, East Coast, succeeding John Kunze, who is retiring after 26 years with the company.
Barr joined Watchfire Signs in 2007. Over his tenure, Barr has held the position of territory manager in the mid-Atlantic and most recently the Northeast USA and Eastern Canada Office. In his new position, Barr will oversee nine sales reps covering a territory from Alabama to Eastern Canada. His experience includes working closely with local municipalities to identify weaknesses in zoning codes affecting electronic message centers, and managing relationships with more than 250 sign companies.
Barr is succeeding John Kunze, who joined Watchfire Signs in 1991 and is a well-known and respected expert in the LED signage industry. While at Watchfire, Kunze spearheaded and developed the company’s outside sales team of more than 25 representatives, and is responsible for Watchfire’s fleet of demo trucks that bring digital signs to prospects. He has been an avid participant in sign associations and an expert source on sign codes for national and regional municipalities.
“John has been a dominant part of Watchfire’s success and growth over the past 26 years. His drive to grow our national account business and build the Watchfire brand has brought us to new levels with our existing and new clients,” said Barr. “He has been one of the most influential people in my sign career to date. I wouldn’t be where I am today without John.”
According to Kunze, the industry has changed significantly over the past 26 years. “Digital signs today are used in all applications, including businesses, schools, churches and even funeral homes,” said Kunze. “Demand has risen from two to four units a week to two to four an hour. The key now is working with customers and municipalities to understand city zoning.”
Kunze has been instrumental in our growth over the last two decades, according to Steve Harriott, president and CEO. “John’s knowledge, hard work and ability to connect with people have been key to Watchfire’s success,” said Harriott. “He helped to evolve a family-owned business into an international company. While he was doing this, John always set the standard for treating our customers like they are part of the family. I personally try to live up to the example he has set. We are grateful for his service and are confident Ben will be an excellent successor.”