Published on June 23rd, 2020 | by OAAA0
OOH Industry Salutes Marine, Marathoner Don Avjean
The out of home media industry honored Don Avjean for nearly a half-century of innovation and effective advocacy. Avjean, whose career started in 1973, plans to retire from OUTFRONT Media at the end of July.
- Avjean was inducted into the industry’s Hall of Fame in 2017
- A former Marine, Avjean completed 69 marathons including 19 Boston Marathons
- Avjean was instrumental in the development of vinyl billboards
- A team player, Avjean and colleagues achieved legislative success in multiple jurisdictions spanning decades; including phase-out of a gross receipts tax on billboards in New Jersey
Avjean was honored on June 24th by his colleagues and the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA). He served on the Legislative Committee of the national trade association and the board of the industry’s charitable foundation. View OAAA’s video tribute to Avjean below:
In 1973, Avjean was hired by United Advertising of Newark, NJ, as an electrician’s helper. He served in multiple executive positions at Gannett Outdoor, Metromedia, OUTFRONT Media, and its predecessors. He retires as vice president of government affairs at OUTFRONT.
Jim Moravec of Stott Outdoor Advertising in Chico, CA, shared Avjean’s passion for endurance sports, both running and cycling. As a college athlete in the 1970s, Moravec admired legendary marathoner Bill Rodgers.
“Decades later, while enjoying dinner and bottle of wine with Don, I discovered that he trained with Bill Rodgers during that era. Very impressive,” said Moravec.
Avjean ran for the military, Bill Rodgers Racing Team, North Central College, and Team Etonic; his mother and grandfather were also champion runners.
“We go back more than four decades,” recalled Nancy Fletcher former OAAA president and chief executive officer. “I’ve seen you as a master marathoner, a former Marine . . . you have been a very dear friend to me, OAAA, and the out of home industry.”
See OAAA’s newsletter (Outdoor Outlook) on Thursday, June 25 for a Q&A with Don Avjean about the formative role of the Marine Corps and endurance athletics.