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Park Outdoor Advertising — OOH Owner Today

Sons in the Shadow: Surviving the Family Business as an SOB (Son of the Boss)

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OOH Company Today —Park Outdoor Advertising




Benny Taubman

by Benny Taubman, OOH TODAY Editorial Intern

Park Outdoor Advertising has more than 1,500 billboards all over upstate New York and northern Pennsylvania. The company started all the way back in the 1950s when Americans first started taking to the routes of the growing U.S. highway system. The company’s extensive history has been recounted in “Sons in the Shadow,” a book written by the company’s CEO, Roy H. Park, Jr. 

Here is a short excerpt from the book: “Underwood’s job was to lease and erect billboards all over the country. The five-by-sixteen-foot signs displaying the “Recommended by Duncan Hines” message with the distinctive logo rising above the top of the billboard advertised listed establishments willing to pay the average charge of $85 a month.”

message for Circle Graphics

Park has been CEO of Park Outdoor since 1984 and purchased the company from his father in 1988. Having received one of the best business educations in the United States, Park graduated with a master’s in business administration (MBA) from Cornell University in 1963. 

Rick Steele

Since 1997, Park and his family have promoted his father’s legacy by supporting the Roy H. Park Leadership Fellows Program at Cornell’s Johnson Business School. To date, the program has benefited more than 600 MBA students.

Rick Steele, Park Outdoor’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, answered some questions for OOH Today in an exclusive interview:

Q: Why are you in the OOH business?

A: While working for the world’s largest Advertising Agency at the time, J. Walter Thompson, Roy H. Park, Jr. recognized the power of OOH. He bought Park Outdoor Advertising 50 years ago because wanted to see for himself the impact that power can have on local businesses and communities.

Q: What is your key to success in the OOH business?

A: OUR PEOPLE. Although we have an excellent portfolio of billboard assets, none of them would produce at the levels they do without extraordinary people.

Q: What is the greatest success or satisfaction you receive from owning OOH?

A: AGAIN, our people. We are very proud that the average tenure of our 57 employees is 19.4 years.

Q: What are some future goals for your business?

A: We want to continue to grow. Our investment in new Digital inventory, along with conversions, remains a priority.  To date, we have 38 digital panels, along with a static inventory count of 1,500

Q: Share a fun fact about your company!

A: Our owner, Roy H. Park, Jr. is the author of Sons in the Shadow: Surviving the Family Business as an SOB (Son of the Boss) and recently had his first song professionally recorded: I’ll Tell it Once More – YouTube.


Upstate New York and North Pennsylvania

Ithaca, NY




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