SIGNAL 25: What a great ride!

Signal 25th Anniversary

A Signal milestone opens a new era with new partners

It’s Signal’s 25th anniversary! On February 28, 1992, founders Rick Haynes and Dave Grinnell launched Signal as a graphic design firm, operating from the room over Rick’s garage in Bahama, NC. Twenty-five years later, the company is headquartered at Brier Creek in Raleigh with a powerhouse staff of 22.

We’re grateful to our many wonderful clients, business partners and members of the Signal family whose contributions have kept us going strong for a quarter of a century and counting.

Coinciding with our anniversary, we’re announcing leadership changes to help solidify our strong foundation. Longtime employees Jim Ellis and Phil Stephens became partners on January 1, 2017, joining President Ricky Haynes and Vice President John Gibson. As we welcomed our new partners, we saw Signal founder Rick Haynes step down from his role as CEO. Rick continues to serve in an advisory role as Chairman Emeritus.

New Partners

Jim Ellis joined Signal in 1999 and will continue to serve as Vice President, Account Director. He manages the business development team with seasoned expertise in account management, digital marketing, brand strategy and new business leadership.

Phil Stephens joined Signal in 2005 and will continue to serve as Vice President, Client Services. Phil manages key accounts and strategic partnerships with a commitment to creating exceptional customer experiences.

“Jim is nimble and adaptable, always thinking ahead and working tirelessly to keep us moving in the right direction. He’s never satisfied with the status quo. Phil is a charismatic and wise leader, known for his moral character and easy manner. No one has a greater commitment to excellence in client services than Phil. We’re honored to work with both Phil and Jim, who are not only great colleagues, but great mentors and friends. We look forward to what our team will be able to do next.”

— Ricky Haynes



Donald Trull - Copy Director

By: Donald Trull

Copy Director

Donald offers our clients nearly two decades of experience crafting effective written content for a wide variety of international clients. He contributes creative campaign concepting, original copy development and editorial management to deliver professional and polished verbal communications. He is also the master of the tagline. Donald has won numerous Triangle ADDY Awards, including the best overall copy award in 2009. His writing has earned praise online in the fields of humor and film criticism.


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