While you may meet several members of the SouthWood team during your project, we want you to know there are still many more who participate in the process to make your signs as great as they can possibly be.
A large number of our teammates have been with SouthWood for multiple decades, honing their craft and driving standards higher and higher. Our average tenure is ten years, resulting in a supportive and fun culture, and accepting of only the best for our clients.
These are the people who stand behind your signs and we are proud to stand behind them.
As President of SouthWood, John Petrone oversees all aspects of the business, serving more than 200 loyal clients across the U.S., Caribbean and beyond. John is a decorated Marine Corps veteran and a leader who effectively empowers his team to reach the highest levels of quality in product and in service, instilling a client-first mentality across all aspects of SouthWood operations. John recently wed his wife, Baxter, in June 2017.
Jefferson Ellington is Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at SouthWood. Previously, Jefferson was a member of the investment banking group at Deloitte Corporate Finance (acquired McColl Partners) in Charlotte where he focused on M&A and capital raising advisory assignments for middle-market companies across a variety of sectors. Jefferson is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he received a BS and MS from the Kenan-Flagler Business School.
As General Manager, Don leads SouthWood’s operations as the company grows its client base and geographical footprint to meet maturing market demands. Don has over 40 years of experience as an independent consultant, in investment banking/turn-around work, and in the creation of Logistics Recovery programs. At SouthWood, he manages production, budget, data, staff and time, ensuring outstanding results and scalability. Don enjoys golf and tennis, and is very active with both his immediate and extended family.
A SouthWood employee for over 15 years, Tony is responsible for the management and oversight of SouthWood's Design Department. With a background in signage and exhibit design and production, he understands both the design-driven side as well as the manufacturing side of the process and works with manufacturing in value engineering. Tony has a BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Akron. He and his wife, Gina, are proud parents to daughter Ava.
As Plant Manager, Mike oversees production scheduling, product development and working with department leads on quality control and maintaining a safe work environment. In Mike’s 18 years at SouthWood, the highlight for him was helping install the Amber Cove sign in the Dominican Republic. He loves saltwater fishing whenever he can get to the coast.
With 37 years of experience at SouthWood, Jeff has worked in almost every department and in every facet of the manufacturing process, including Installer, Manufacturing Supervisor and Drafting Technician. In his current role as Installation Manager, he leads a team of installers responsible for installing, servicing and repairing structures. Jeff and his wife, Renee, have one daughter and they enjoy RV camping with their two dogs.
As Marketing Manager, Carson oversees all aspects of SouthWood Marketing including sales materials, the website, social media, photography, and other projects that interface with clients and potential clients in the marketplace. She also organizes company-wide events as the leader of the Fun Committee and enjoys cooking, traveling, wine tastings and trying new restaurants with her husband. Carson is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a member of ULI-Charlotte.
Michelle is the Controller of SouthWood Corporation. She oversees Finance, HR and IT. Michelle moved to the Carolinas a couple of years ago with her husband and says she doesn’t miss those Illinois winters at all!
David is a veteran of the sign industry having been with SouthWood for a little over 39 years. During that time he has worked in and managed several manufacturing departments. This experience makes him ideal for his current position as chief estimator. David and his wife, Cathy, have two adult daughters and a granddaughter. An avid music lover, David regularly attends the annual Merlefest in Wilkesboro, NC, as well as many other live music events.
Elaine has over 27 years of experience building relationships with a diverse clientele, meeting their signage needs from conceptual development through fabrication and final installation. Managed projects include the rebranding of 1100+ Brookdale Senior Living properties, Mecklenburg County Greenways and The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS). Elaine is married, has two children and is a Disney enthusiast. She has a BA in Communications from Virginia Tech.
Diane is a Senior Account Manager who has been assisting clients with their signage needs for over 23 years. Although she works with clients in all markets, her specialty is guiding multi-family owners, managers & developers through every phase of the signage process, from early planning to complete implementation. Prior to joining SouthWood, she was Associate Publisher for The Apartment Finder Guidebook. In her free time, Diane enjoys spending time with her family and relaxing with a good book.
As a Senior Account Manager, Meredith manages a signage project from the beginning concept through completion, whether it is a simple “one-off” corporate rebranding project, or a multi-site acquisition or refurbishment project. After 11 years here, she’s the face of SouthWood to many clients across the country including Charlotte Ballet, Bank of America Plaza, North x Northwest, Beco South, Beacon Partners and Berkshire Communities. Meredith is a proud baseball wife and mom who loves Lucky Charms. In the fall, you can find her at Carter-Finley Stadium cheering on her alma mater, the NC State Wolfpack.
Ellen is an Account Manager at SouthWood. She engages with key clients to manage the organization of their projects from conception to completion, works as a part of a project team to develop designs and full program summaries to successfully reflect key aspects of each individual client’s brand. Ellen hit the ground running and already has an impressive list of clients, including Lincoln Harris, Johnson Development and Asana Partners. She is a newlywed as of September and she and her husband are avid partakers in Taco Tuesday and enjoy coming home each day to their cute chickens and lots of fresh eggs!
Emmy is a new Account Manager as of January 2018, managing some of SouthWood’s large, corporate accounts while engaging with clients from project beginning to end. She enjoys cooking, playing tennis, skeet shooting, and in the summer, traveling to her hometown at the beach. You can find her in the fall cheering on the Carolina Panthers and making trips to Williams Brice Stadium to cheer on the South Carolina Gamecocks, her alma mater.
Mary is a Jill-of-all trades. She is the Executive Assistant to the President, the Fit Trail Guru, a sales and office assistant, and excels in keeping everyone organized. Mary is going on her 30th year in the construction and manufacturing industry. She equally enjoys photography, cycling, paddling, hiking and camping with her husband, David.
Jeannette is a SouthWood project manager of six years and resident expert in the resort and luxury industry. Jeannette manages all Caribbean business, such as the Cayman Island accounts, Sandals/Beaches resorts and Amber Cove Port in the Dominican Republic. Her local clients include Kiawah Island, Inn at Palmetto Bluff, Primland Resort, The Goddard School and Anne Close Springs Greenway. Jeannette is an original ‘native’ to the area and enjoys spoiling her two grandchildren.
We would be lost without Donna, an adventurous team member of almost eight years. Donna handles many important aspects of our business including payroll, benefits, HR, A/R and A/P, sales tax reporting, and she is a member of the Fun Committee. Outside of the office, Donna is a cast member at the Carolina Renaissance Festival as the Fewterer (meaning: keeper of the hounds). She also enjoys scuba diving and skydiving.