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The Specialty Graphic Imaging Association, congratulates the first 10 PDAA Master Certified Installers of 2019.

In a testing workshop held Jan. 9-10 at AdGraphics in Pompano Beach, Fla., the following installers demonstrated proficiency in all types of vinyl installations, including complex curves and vehicle wraps: Alex DaFonseca, Adrian Dixon and Walter Seidel (AdGraphics, Pompano Beach, Fla.), Matt Braswell (Arlon Graphics, Placentia, Calif.), Pablo Rubiano (Branding Concept Solutions, Atlanta) Chris Ulmer (Crystal Coast Graphics, Jacksonville, N.C.), Carlos Romero (I2K Digital LLC, Miami), James Campbell (JCGI, Louisville, Ky.), Christa Harden (MXC Media,  Vancouver, Wash.) and Kim Magraw (Vivid Sign, Mount Pleasant, S.C).

Spaces are filling up for the two additional testing workshops SGIA has scheduled for the first half of 2019. The Feb. 28-Mar. 1 event will take place at GeckoWraps Inc. in Las Vegas, and May 15-16 will be held outside Kansas City at CNJ Signs and Wraps.

A Rigorous Credential

The path to PDAA Master Certification begins with a written test, after which applicants who pass with 80 percent or higher are eligible for the hands-on testing workshop. The hands-on portion is a two-day event, with the first day spent on practicing and new skills, and the second day on testing.

“I enjoyed having the workshop the day before the testing to get a feel for the materials we’d be testing with and how they perform in different situations,” says Chris Ulmer, owner of Crystal Coast Graphics. “Whereas some certifications are focused more on vehicles, this had a good range of different things.”

PDAA Master Certified status is recognized by Arlon, Avery, FLEXcon, Mactac, Orafol and Ritrama, and automatically earns Avery certification as well.

SGIA Director of Digital Print Programs Ray Weiss says, “Growing your installation business requires knowing the industry inside and out. It requires proof that your company can handle any installation job with confidence. That’s what PDAA Master Certification provides.”

Master Certification Means Business

PDAA Master Certified Installers are indicated on the PDAA Find an Installer website—a clear benefit, according to Kristen Lanzarone-Scribner, owner-operator of WrapStar Pro who earned her PDAA Master Certification in April 2018.

“As soon as I got put on the Master Certified list on SGIA’s website, I began to get phone calls for quotes on installs. The money I put into testing and travel was well worth it. With the first calls I got from the SGIA website, it had paid for itself. I get calls weekly—I’m blown away,” says Lanzarone-Scribner.

Weiss noted that the unique two-day format for hands-on testing adds value to the certification.

Weiss says, “There’s value to practicing, and there’s also the opportunity to network with other installers. This is a group that values community and camaraderie. Training, followed by testing, maximizes the testing investment.”

For Lanzarone-Scribner, there’s another benefit: industry involvement. “Getting my Master Certification has led me to be more involved in the industry,” says Lanzarone-Scribner. “Now I’m on SGIA’s Women in Print Advisory Committee. I want to be more involved in the quality of installation, encouraging and motivating other installers. That’s what’s going to make our industry better.”

Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) is the trade association of choice for professionals in the industrial, graphic, garment, textile, electronics, packaging and commercial printing communities looking to grow their business into new market segments through the incorporation of the latest printing technologies. SGIA membership comprises these diverse segments, all of which are moving rapidly towards digital adoption. As long-time champions of digital technologies and techniques, SGIA is the community of peers you are looking for to help navigate the challenges of this process. “Whatever the medium, whatever the message, print is indispensable. Join the community—SGIA.” For more info, visit SGIA.org.

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