Ward extols the benefits of the great outdoors

Filed under: One on One |

Hal Ward is general manager for Lamar Outdoor Advertising.

Even if you’ve never met Hal Ward, you’ve certainly seen his company’s work.

Most of the billboards, bus stops and bench advertisements around the city are the work of Lamar Outdoor Advertising.

Ward is vice president and general manager.

He took time recently to tell CSBJ about himself and his business.

Organization: Lamar Outdoor Advertising

Position: Vice president and general manager

Hometown: Dayton, Ohio

How long have you lived in Colorado Springs: 18 years

Education: Graduated from Ohio University with a degree in business administration

A few words about your company: Lamar Outdoor Advertising has been in Colorado Springs since the early 1970s. Lamar was started in Pensacola, Fla., in 1902. Today, Lamar is a publicly traded company operating 150 outdoor advertising companies in more than 40 states.

In Colorado Springs, our products include billboards of varying sizes, bus shelter kiosks and bus benches. Local, regional and national advertisers find outdoor advertising to be effective in reaching a broad audience with large, colorful messages at a low cost.

Recent accomplishments: We have established an intern program for recent college graduates, which allows them to develop professional skills in sales, real estate or office management. It gives us the opportunity to counsel the interns and teach them the “Lamar Way,” and it gives the interns a chance to decide if this is the career path they should follow.

Biggest career break: Being transferred to Colorado Springs.

The toughest part of your job: Providing the necessary number of outdoor advertising displays to meet the demands of our clients. Every year we lose billboard displays because of property development or ownership change. We work closely with neighborhood associations and government entities to add new structures in a manner that is environmentally friendly and acceptable to the community.

Someone you admire: Jack Nicklaus – he successfully balanced the demands of raising a family with a long and winning golf career.

About your family: Married 37 years to Nancy, three sons and four grandchildren

Something else you’d like to accomplish: I would like to continue my study and understanding of the Bible.

How your business will change in the next decade: Advances in technology will allow digital display signs to replace some of our existing signs. These new signs will offer our customers additional flexibility in their advertising messages, yet, will still be in harmony with community standards.

What book are you currently reading? The Bible and “Open” by John Feinstein.

What is the one thing you would change about Colorado Springs? Colorado Springs is facing many challenging issues, everything from transportation to water to commercial and residential growth. The solution to these challenges will require intelligent, thoughtful cooperation on the part of business, government and the private sector.