Clifford J. Thomas Sr.

( Nov 1930 - Sept 2017 ) - Former President of Neon Contractors Ltd.

Cliff Sr. was a born and raised Calgarian. He began his career as an insurance salesman spending some time in Edmonton and Winnipeg before transitioning to the signage industry and joining the Neon Products team. This road led him back to Calgary to take a position as Sales Manager with Neon Contractors. When the original owner retired he and another co-worker purchased the company. Eventually Cliff became the sole owner of Neon Contractors and in his time the company saw many industry changes.

For many years signage designs were custom hand drawn in pencil/pen/ink with colour representations hand painted by the designers in the Art Department. For some sales presentations, three dimensional models were built and hand painted to show scale, colour and lighting options. This is now all done digitally and often presented to the client in the same way ( email / dropbox ), very different from the days of pen, brush and paper print and meeting the client in person with the proposed artwork. Cliff’s comments:
’Some of the bigger changes have come about with the computer and the sharing of information, safety and productivity. This is a very innovative and exciting industry and can be very rewarding.’

Cliff believed the success of Neon Contractors was the result of three single attributes: ’Honesty, Integrity, and Hard Work.’ He led the company in this manner, expanding in both size and scope and even winning the Small Business Owner of the Year award in 1999 in recognition for outstanding performance and contributions to the community. He commented at the time:
’We are very proud to have grown with Calgary in the past 50 years and look forward to the future in this fine city.’

In 2004 his son Craig stepped into the role as GM for Neon Contractors. Cliff then enjoyed his retirement with many winters spent in Phoenix with his wife Irene as well as summers at the family cabin in Invermere.

It was with great sadness that Cliff Sr. passed away in September of 2017 but his memory and legacy lives on by employing the core values that he believed in and instilled in the company. Neon Contractors will continue to grow and adapt as we have in the past and continue to provide outstanding products and exceptional service to all our valued clients.