#AmplifyOOH OOH Advertising Hall of Fame

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Jill Nickerson, John “JC” Clements, Rudy Ferrer, Gene Leehan, Jim McLaughlin, and George Merovich were inducted into the Outdoor Advertising Association of America Hall of Fame at the 2015 OAAA/TAB National Convention and Expo in San Diego Tuesday, May 12.

  • The sole female inductee was Jill Nickerson, senior vice-president and director of OOH at Horizon Media, New York.Nickerson began her career in traditional media buying and soon specialized in out –of-home advertising. She joined Horizon in 2006. Respected as an expert and innovator, Nickerson developed new interactive methods to explain OOH to clients.Nickerson participates in industry organizations including the 4As OOH Committee, DPAA Advisory Board, and on the TAB Transit Committee. Her passion for innovation and creativity have helped earn OBIE, Cannes, and OAAA Media Plan of the Year awards for her agency.

    “JIll has been committed to the success of the OOH advertising industry since she began her career in media buying,” said Stephen Freitas, OOH chief marketing officer. “She has quickly risen through the ranks to become a leader in her field, striving to help the industry reach new levels of innovation and accountability.”

  • John “JC” Clements is executive vice-president of real estate and acquisitions at OUTFRONT Media, Phoenix.“JC Clements is respected coast to coast. He knows as much or more about real estate than anyone in our industry,” said Nancy Fletcher, president and CEO of OAAA. “Peers and competitors applaud JC’s induction into our Hall of Fame as a tribute to his leadership and effectiveness.”At OUTFRONT Media, Clements oversees the company’s real estate. An innovator, Clements computerized management of a far-flung real estate database. Further, he has been instrumental in introducing digital billboard technologies, planning and executing maintenance, and acquisitions.

    A Navy veteran, Clements earned a real estate license in 1972. Active in the realty industry at the local, state, and national levels, Clements became president of the Southeast Valley Association of Realtors in 1978. By 1981, he was president of the 16,000-member Arizona Association of Realtors.

    For 17 years, Clements served as a commissioner and then chairman of the State of Arizona Governmental Mall Commission, charged with the planning of the state government campus including the House, Senate, and Capitol. He served on the Big Sisters of Arizona board of directors for several years, including two years as vice president.

    Via his involvement in real estate, Clements met the founders of OUTFRONT Media’s processor company in the early 1980s.

  • Rudy Ferrer, president and COO of Delta Media, Miami, has more than 30 years of experience in the OOH advertising industry, starting as an account and sales manager at TDI and Hancock Outdoor, respectively. He went on to become the marketing director at Shelter Advertising of America and was promoted to director of Hispanic marketing when Shelter was purchased by Patrick Media Group. In 1995, he joined Delta Media, an OOH specialist firm serving multicultural agencies and clients.Ferrer has been instrumental in bolstering OOH’s presence in multicultural communities. He has worked closely with multicultural agencies over the years, touting the value of OOH in reaching target demographics. He currently serves on the OAAA Multicultural Committee.“Rudy has been committed to the success of the OOH advertising industry for decades,” said Freitas. “His leadership in OOH sales and marketing, as well as his passion to support and promote the Latin community, has helped the industry reach new levels of engagement and respect within multicultural communities.”
  • Gene Leehan, senior regional president at Clear Channel Outdoor, is based in Dallas, TX.“Gene Leehan is one of the top leaders in the out of home advertising industry today,” said Nancy Fletcher, president and CEO of the industry’s national trade association. “His success is built on intelligence, work-ethic, and innovation.”Leehan began his career as an account executive with Patrick Media Group in 1986, followed by management positions with Eller Media Group, and Clear Channel Outdoor.

    Leehan now is senior regional president of Clear Channel Outdoor Americas, overseeing the company’s top 12 markets.

    He served on the Board of Directors for the Foundation for the Outdoor Advertising Research and Education (FOARE), a 501(c)(3) charity fostering research and college scholarships. Active at the state level, Leehan is a past president of the Outdoor Advertising Association of Texas.

    In Fort Worth, he served on the Board of Directors of the National Cowboys of Color Museum and Hall of Fame.

  • Jim McLaughlin is CEO of Signal Outdoor based in Roswell, Georgia.“Jim McLaughlin is among the most successful, entrepreneurial executives in the OOH advertising industry,” said Fletcher. “Jim is a builder, earning a well-deserved reputation for driving growth over multiple decades. He also has an eye for talent and passion for developing people.”Signal Outdoor sells advertising for transit agencies and municipalities in eight states along the East Coast. In 2014, Signal acquired a company that sells ads on kiosks on college campuses. Signal has expanded this unit of the company from 74 to 90 colleges.

    McLaughlin has more than 40 years in the OOH advertising industry, having started in sales with Creative Outdoor in Wheeling, WV. Rising to management, McLaughlin excelled in developing new business and acquisitions. In 2004, he founded Olympus Media based in metro Atlanta with eight employees, expanding to more than 100 employees in less than a decade. The company was instrumental in introducing digital billboards in the Atlanta market.

    A hallmark of companies led by McLaughlin is public service, via supporting nonprofits and charities and encouraging employees to join community groups. McLaughlin has a strong interest in the fight against lupus.

  • George Merovich, director of regional development at Lamar Advertising Company, is based in York, PA..“For more than four decades, George Merovich has been guided by strong fundamentals: integrity, fair regulation, and helping communities,” said Fletcher. “George’s life-long dedication has benefitted his industry, his company, and communities throughout the Northeast and beyond.”Merovich has been instrumental in educating elected leaders and government officials at the state, local, and federal levels. He is president of the Outdoor Advertising Association of Pennsylvania and the Outdoor Advertising Council of New York.

    A Navy veteran, his long career started as a billposter for Penn Advertising in 1972. In his current position with Lamar Advertising Company, Merovich is responsible for corporate development in eight states: Connecticut, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia.

    Involved in his community, Merovich is past president of the York Republican Club and a member of the Springettsbury Sertoma Club for more than 30 years.

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