Since the establishment of the James S. Womack/Gemini Chair of Signage and Visual Marketing in 2007, the UC Carl H. Lindner College of Business has continued to build a strong relationship with the signage industry. Following the vision of Sharon and James Weinel, donors behind the James S. Womack/Gemini Chair of Signage and Visual Marketing, the college forged a partnership with the industry through involvement with Signage Foundation activities, collaboration with the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning's Terence M. Fruth/Gemini Chair of Signage Design and Community Planning, and student projects and internships focused on signage and visual marketing.
History of Gemini's Success
In addition to being the generous founders of the James S. Womack/Gemini Chair of Signage and Visual Marketing, James and Sharon Weinel have achieved great entrepreneurial success. Through their business, Gemini, Inc., the Weinels have made strides in an industry that is very often in the background of our daily lives. While Jim started the existing Gemini, Inc., in 1963, the company he purchased out of bankruptcy actually began in 1933, working with sign professionals and architects to produce dimensional letters, logos and plaques. From injection-molded and thermoformed wood and cotton-based plastics to foundry-cast, laser- and water-jet cut metals, plastics and stone, Gemini produces the largest line of dimensional letters and logos in the world. They have manufacturing facilities across the United States and in several international locations. The Weinels also recognize that great universities nurture the great ideas that impact the future of business and that from great universities come talented, skilled students who will be the next generation of business leaders.
The Weinel's contribution to the college has provided new opportunities for students to learn about visual marketing through new internships, capstone projects focused on the field, and access to professionals in the industry through the Signage Foundation's National Research and Education Conference. These combined activities ensure that the partnership between the college and the signage industry continues to engage the next generation of business leaders in this field.