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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Business

Third owner takes helm at 50-year-old LCD Exposition Services

UPDATED: Tue., Feb. 6, 2018

Stuart Boylan is the new owner of LCD Exposition Services, which provides booth setup and items to business expos and trade shows. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Stuart Boylan is the new owner of LCD Exposition Services, which provides booth setup and items to business expos and trade shows. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
By Chris Street For The Spokesman-Review

Rolls of carpet in black, white, green, red, yellow, blue and nearly every other color imaginable are stacked one on top of the other – floor to ceiling – taking up one side of LCD Exposition Services.

Forklifts buzz to-and-fro as Stuart Boylan walks through the building. He bends his 6-foot-3-inch frame and dips below the over hanging aluminum pipes that are used as a backbone of sorts in setting up trade show displays.

Boylan, the new president of LCD Exposition Services, points toward the wall of carpet.

“We have enough carpet to cover the entire INB event center and the fair grounds wall to wall,” he said of the trade show-services provider. “Something in this building is always being used.”

In addition to its mainstay trade-show services, LCD handles corporate events, parties and themed gatherings for public, private and nonprofit sectors. Because the business is multifaceted, it stocks audio/visual equipment, banners, tents, tables, chairs, drapery, stage lights and other furniture. LCD Exposition Services has several revenue streams, Boylan said, including the rental and sale of equipment.

“We have a lot of stuff.” he said.

Boylan is the principal owner of Boysinger LLC, a Washington-based property and ranch management company that has interests in Montana and South Dakota. The company closed its purchase of LCD Exposition Services on Nov. 30. Prior to the acquisition, Boylan was vice president of business development at Pacific Steel and Recycling.

LCD’s building, a 7,500-square-foot facility at 220 E. Augusta Ave., serves as a combined work shop, storage space, prop room, loading dock and executive offices for what has become the city’s oldest and among its larger local contractors for consumer shows and conventions like the American Exploration and Mining Association’s annual meeting, the Home Ideas Show, the Spokane Auto Show and this week’s Spokane Ag Expo and Pacific Farm Forum.

Sandy Kates, LCD’s director or marketing said the nearly 50-year-old company had been on and of the market for about three years. “We had to find the right owners for the business,” said Kates, who’s been with the company more than 20 years.

“Bigger companies showed interest, but previous owners didn’t want the company to become a division of a division of a division.” she said. “We wanted to stay local and find a buyer who was committed not only to our employees but the community.”

The business was founded by Spokane resident Charles Phelan in 1969. Phelan, who died in 1997, had sold the business in 1991 to two employees, Barbara Lockhart and Ken Quimby, who grew LCD to include an in-house graphic arts department and expanded the company’s footprint across Washington and into Oregon and Idaho. Boysinger is the company’s the third owner.

Boylan said the new year , will bring capital improvements and strategic hiring ( 14 employees currently work at the business) beginning in the fall. He said the company grossed more than $1 million in 2017, but declined to disclose exact revenue figures.

In the negotiations for LCD Exposition Services’ purchase, Boylan said, he saw a business that stood the test of time, a well-positioned business in a mid-sized city that was poised for growth, However, the deal was more than the bottom line, he said.

“In LCD Exposition Services and in the city of Spokane, I saw a commitment to the community and to long-standing employees, some with decades of service,” he said. “… That means a lot in today’s business climate and said a lot about what this company stands for.”

In the short term, the company will not be expanding into new territories or adding services, Boylan said.

“In the next few months, I’m taking a small salary and we’re going to be spending money on assets by updating some equipment and marketing our current line of goods and services,” he said.

The revamped LCD Exposition Services will be in a crowded field, with it and its peers competing for 32 trade shows scheduled in Spokane for 2018.

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