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Category Archives: PEC News

Sadler Sign & Design division steps into the spotlight



This summer, Pella Engraving Company and Sadler Sign & Design—two companies with long legacies in Pella—announced they were joining forces. Now a division of PEC, the Sadler team moved into a new, state-of-the-art studio located in the upper level of the PEC building in July.

It’s been a busy three months, so we’d like to pause for a moment to shine the spotlight on the Sadler Sign & Design division—its history, its services, its team … and what they’ve been up to since they moved in!

How it all began

“I’ve always had a love of typography and graphics, as well as architecture—particularly historic architecture,” recalled Tim Sadler. As an art major at Central College, he was able to explore his passion for drawing and painting. After working in print for a few years, it was natural for him to chart a career in the signage industry. Tim founded Sadler Sign & Design in 1979.

For nearly two decades, Tim designed and hand-painted signs for wide-ranging clientele. Then, in 1992, he started making the switch to vinyl signage because it is safer (no lead-based paint), more durable, and easier to train others to work with. In 2004, Tim’s team added digital printing to its repertoire. When Sadler Sign & Design became a division of PEC earlier this year, the team gained access to even more advanced sign-making technology (like PEC’s world-class paint booth, CNC router, and plasma cutter).

What Sadler Sign & Design can do

For nearly four decades, the Sadler team has specialized in designing, fabricating, and installing architectural signage. In particular, they’ve done a lot of corporate display work, tackling everything from storefront signs to large convention banners.

“We acquired Sadler Sign & Design to expand our indoor and outdoor signage offerings,” said PEC Co-Owner Jeff Vroom. “We’ve always been proud to offer high-quality products, so we knew Tim’s elegant vinyl work would fit right in. Plus, vinyl is less costly to work with, which is a plus for our customer base.”

Custom-painted acrylic nameplates with vinyl letters (courtesy of the Sadler division) provided the finishing touch for this directory for the Pella Regional Health Center.

In addition to the high-quality look and affordability, vinyl is a very versatile material. Aluminum, steel, acrylic sheet, and PVC can be cut to nearly any size and shape using the CNC router or plasma cutter. The top-of-the-line spray booth offers a vast range of color options. The result? A whole new world of signage possibilities for PEC customers.

Beyond signage, the Sadler team also brings in-depth knowledge of digital printing to the table. Over the years, they have established themselves as a trusted designer and provider of decals, labels, and graphics for vehicles and industrial machinery. This knowledge will fit right in at PEC; our state-of-the art UV flatbed printer has been creating colorful signage since April 2017.

Who makes up the Sadler Sign & Design team?

  • Tim takes the lead in design, sales, client services, and project quoting. He is also well-versed in code compliance and often helps out with sign installation.
  • Todd Richards also designs signage. He is a graphic technician, digital print specialist, and expert vinyl installer.
  • Greg Dickinson handles digital printing, vinyl finishing, and installation.

Pella Engraving Company Co-Owners Jeff Vroom and Jarid Purvis also play key roles in management and installation, and Cyndi Fynaardt lends a hand in layout work. Customer Service Rep Sam Wallace handles order processing, and Sadler clients get their invoices from Bookkeeper Alyssa Zickel.

 What they’ve been up to … and what’s next!

The Sadler division has been working on several large projects since the summertime transition. Here’s a look at a few of them:

  • On July 19, an EF-3 tornado ripped through the Pella campus of Vermeer Manufacturing, inflicting serious damage. The Sadler division was called in to create signage and banners that would help Vermeer employees find their way around as rebuilding took place.
  • The Central College Athletic Department is rebranding. They have enlisted the Sadler team to create signage and other materials with their new logo.
  • The Sadler division has fabricated new signs for The Cellar Peanut Pub, which has locations in Pella and Newton.
  • They are working with Precision Pulley & Idler on integrating the company’s new logo in its signage, vehicle decals, labels, etc.

“It’s exciting to work in this state-of-the-art setup,” said Tim. “We look forward to continuing to integrate what we do into Pella Engraving Company.”

“Plaques and signs go hand in hand,” added Jeff. “We are eager to introduce the Sadler Sign & Design division to the PEC customer base so it can continue to grow.”

PEC welcomes new Customer Service Representative

Kelly Walters joined Pella Engraving Company as a Customer Service Representative.

Pella Engraving Company is excited to welcome Kelly Walters to the team!

Kelly joined PEC in April as a Customer Service Representative. In this position, she takes phone calls and answers questions about products and services, placing orders, and prices. She also oversees the purchasing of inventory for production and the office.

Prior to joining PEC, Kelly worked at Sears Holdings in West Des Moines for nine years. She then relocated to Pella and joined Manpower as a client relations specialist. Kelly had heard only positive comments about PEC, so she applied for the open Customer Service Rep position after the Manpower office closed.  

“I did not want to work at a large corporation and PEC has an excellent reputation in business and in the community,” said Kelly. 

Her favorite aspect about working at PEC is her friendly coworkers.

“I love the family-oriented atmosphere and the respect everyone shows for our customers and each other,” she said.

In her spare time, Kelly enjoys camping and boating.

Pella Engraving Company acquires Sadler Sign & Design, opening the door for broader signage services

PEC owners with Tim Sadler
PEC owners with Tim Sadler

The Pella Engraving Co. ownership team of Cory Vande Kieft, Bruce Van Wyk, Jeff Vroom, and Jarid Purvis welcomes Tim Sadler (center). PEC recently agreed to acquire Sadler Sign & Design.

Two companies with long legacies in Pella have announced they are joining forces. Pella Engraving Company—which creates plaques and corporate awards and provides laser engraving and die-making—has acquired Sadler Sign & Design, a one-stop-shop for signage design, printing, and installation.

The types of signage provided by Sadler Sign & Design will continue to be offered as a division of Pella Engraving Company. Previous owner Tim Sadler remains on to lead client services and signage design. Sadler Sign & Design operations will relocate to the upper level of the Pella Engraving building at 1811 Washington Street later this summer. For now, it’s business as usual for Sadler Sign & Design from its current 16th Street location.

“This arrangement is a good fit for both of us, and we’re excited,” said PEC Co-Owner Jeff Vroom. “Tim is an expert at creating signage solutions that are upscale yet cost-effective. We admire his craftsmanship and are excited to have him on board, helping PEC reach new customers.”

Sadler agreed. “As two providers of graphic communications in Pella, our paths have crossed over the years. I’ve always respected the work PEC does. Our two niches complement each other, and I am looking forward to working with this team.”

Not only have their paths crossed, the businesses have already partnered on a few projects to create ideal solutions for their customers. PEC’s equipment and technology, such as its world-class paint booth, will make new signage options available to the Sadler Sign & Design customer base.

The combined years of experience the two companies have creating signs, plaques and graphics in general is as impressive as their intertwined history is intriguing.

Pella Engraving Company was founded by Ed Dupree and Duco Zylstra in 1934. Originally a manufacturer of plates for printing presses, the current ownership group of Vroom, Bruce Van Wyk, Cory Vande Kieft, and Jarid Purvis has successfully diversified the company, building it into a leading provider of engraving services, serial/asset tags, and plaques and awards.

Sadler founded his company in 1979 but traces his graphic roots in Pella back 114 years, to when his great-grandfather established Sadler Brothers Publishing. At one time, Pella Engraving Company operated out of the lower level of the original Pella Chronicle building, which was owned by Sadler’s great-uncle, Hoge. From 1952–1954, Vroom’s father, John, worked for Hoge Sadler at the Pella Chronicle. John Vroom bought into the PEC ownership group in 1957.

More specific information on Sadler Sign & Design’s relocation timetable will be shared when it’s available. In the meantime, Tim can be reached at


PEC welcomes new zinc etcher

Jason Jones

Jason Jones

Pella Engraving Company is excited to introduce new zinc etcher Jason Jones.

Jason is new to the world of zinc etching. Early in his career, his passion for cooking led him to pursue a degree in culinary arts. He spent time in the restaurant business and worked for Hy-Vee for 12 years. When Jason saw there was an opening at Pella Engraving Company, he was intrigued by the challenge of learning a new skill and decided to apply.

After accepting the job, Jason trained with Co-Owner Cory Vande Kieft for a week. He now works solo, primarily focusing on operating the zinc etcher and working on plates for wresting belts. Jason also helps out with other projects around the workshop when an extra pair of hands is needed.

“What I like best so far is that there’s something new to do every day. I’m always learning,” said Jason. “I am really enjoying the job and the people I get to work with.”

Away from work, Jason enjoys cooking, gardening, going to movies, and spending time outdoors.

PEC team sticks the landing with new sign for Winterset Gymnastics


Winterset Gymnastics outdoor sign mock-up

Winterset Gymnastics sign lettering installed

Top, the Photoshopped mock-up provided to Pella Engraving by Winterset Gymnastics. Bottom, an unaltered photo of the finished sign.

The athletes and coaches at Winterset Gymnastics are flying high thanks to the new company sign created by Pella Engraving Company.

The gym, which offers tumbling and trampoline classes to kids ages 2 to 18, was in need of a sign after they relocated in August 2016. “The building we moved into is much larger than our old space and just turned 100 years old,” explained Matt Floden, who co-owns Winterset Gymnastics with his wife, Holli. “We did a lot of renovation. While we were able to get the majority of the work finished before Christmas and start classes in the new studio in January 2017, we waited on the sign until a mason could come and repair some of the bricks and mortar on the exterior. That masonry work was completed this year, so we were ready to move forward.”

Matt and Holli knew the façade of their building featured a border and two diamond accents in white brick. However, historical photos of the building revealed there was a third diamond accent covered by old signage. Excited by the discovery, they removed the old sign and started brainstorming ways to design their sign around the three diamonds. Matt, an architect by trade, used Photoshop to digitally build a mock-up of the sign they envisioned.

Plasma Cut brown letters for outdoor sign in PEC shop

The brown color was selected from the Matthews Paint System.

Matt and Holli knew right where to turn to make their vision a reality. Holli is the sister-in-law of Pella Engraving Company Co-Owner Cory Vande Kieft.

“We got the mock-up, then chose a color from our Matthews Paint System that closely matched the color of the sign in Matt’s example,” said Cory. “This paint is specifically formulated for signage and performs really well in outdoors settings.”

Next, Co-Owner Jarid Purvis used the PEC plasma cutter to cut the 20-inch-high letters out of 1/8-inch-thick aluminum. He set the type to match the font from the mock-up. Once the letters were cut, he sanded them to remove imperfections and drilled holes for the stainless-steel screws that would secure the letters to the building.

Plasma cut brown letters for outdoor sign in PEC shop

The 20-inch-high letters were cut by the PEC plasma cutter to match the example.

“We painted the letters and the screws with the brown color we chose to match Matt’s example,” said Cory. “After that, we put on a clear coat to give the letters an added layer of protection from the weather. This coat also contains a UV inhibitor to help prevent fading.”

On a clear February morning—less than a week after Matt sent the Photoshopped mock-up to Pella Engraving—he installed the finished sign on the building with help from Toby Tyler, the dad of a Winterset Gymnastics athlete who was also very involved in the remodel of the new studio.

“If you’re looking for a sign I would definitely recommend working with Pella Engraving Company,” said Matt. “They were fast and easy to work with. The end product perfectly matches the vision we had.”

Gymnasts holding letters for new outdoor sign

Athletes from Winterset Gymnastics pose with the letters for the new sign.


Products & Services

Plaques and Awards
From individuals, to schools, to businesses, Pella Engraving works with a wide range of customers… Read More…
Plaque Personalization Options
From detailed artwork, to vibrant coloring, to irregular… Read More…
Indoor and Outdoor Signs
If you’re looking for an indoor or outdoor sign for your business or organization, Pella Engraving… Read More…
ID and Serial Tags
Using the unique Metalphoto® process, PEC creates highly durable ID and serial tags… Read More…
Recognition and Donor Walls
Pella Engraving Company’s recognition walls are a unique, component-based system that can be customized… Read More…
Magnesium Dies
Pella Engraving Company has been manufacturing quality magnesium dies and printing plates… Read More…
CNC Routing and Plasma Cutting
Pella Engraving’s CNC routing machine and CNC plasma cutter are capable of executing intricate engraved… Read More…
For a unique and beautiful gift or award, have your text, graphic, or logo sandblasted into a product…. Read More…
Laser Engraving
Pella Engraving offers a line of laser-engraved products which are perfect for a distinguished-looking…Read More…
UV Flatbed Printing
Add color to your plaques, awards, and other products with Pella Engraving’s flatbed UV printer.Read More…