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In 1961 on the South side of Indianapolis, Gene Wagner opened a small sign shop in his backyard named Gene’s Signs, where he made hand-painted signs on a part-time basis. With Gene's wife, Gayle, and son, Todd, the work was a family affair as they worked together to form the family owned business. Each brought their unique talents and ideas to develop and grow the business. Gayle was known for her creativity and organizational skills; Todd contributed his mechanical engineering background to solve tricky design challenges that resulted in unique and innovative sign designs.

Over the years, Gene trusted Todd to step into the business and in 1991, he took over as president and owner of the company. “It takes a special person to build a business and then turn it over and entrust someone to turn it into something more,” Todd said.

Other family members joined the staff in 1991 as well. Cris Wagner Mahern brought her advertising and public relations talent to the business. One year later, the business had evolved into a technology-driven full-service sign company. In 2005, Beth Wagner McMinn joined the company and added her financial background to uphold the company’s fiscal integrity. 

Today, Wagner Signs has grown from a one-man, backyard shop to a leader in the sign industry, constantly updating equipment and technology, and creating thousands of signs over the years – signs standing as a solid representation of thriving local businesses in Indiana and through the Midwest. Although the Wagner Signs staff are not all family members by birth, they are an integral part of the company and boast service terms for as long as 15-20 years. They are key contributors to Wagner Signs’ reputation of being one of central Indiana's most innovative and trusted sign makers with over 55 years of providing a tradition of expert sign solutions.


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