California Issues Shelter in Place Order: A Letter from Denco CEO, Ken Von Wald 

COVID-19 Customer Update:  State of California Issues Shelter-In-Place Order

Our policy is to comply with all directives from local, state, and federal governments, as well as public health authorities like the CDC.  Our three California offices will temporarily cease operations in compliance with State directives.

We firmly believe that it is in the best interests of the health and well-being of our team, our customers, their families, and the community at large, that we follow the orders of the public health community and government in their fight to control the spread of this virus.

We have included a letter from our President and CEO, Ken Von Wald, detailing how we developed this policy, and how we are moving forward.  It is a long read, but, we think worth sharing.

We hope for health for all, and to quickly move past all of this together.

To Our Customers and Friends,

I’ve been in the Sign Business for 34 years.  Maybe like some of you that have been in this industry for a long time, I thought I had seen it all.  Holy cow, I was wrong.

As I write this tonight, two of our eight locations have been directed to temporarily cease operations by local authorities due to public safety concerns over the rampant spread of a corona virus known as Covid-19.


In Solono County, pursuant to California Health and Safety Code sections 101040, 120175, and 120175.5, the Solono County Health Officer orders “DIRECTING ALL BUSINESSES AND GOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES TO CEASE NON-ESSENTIAL OPERATIONS AT PHYSICAL LOCATIONS IN THE COUNTY” and goes on to say “VIOLATION OF OR FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THIS ORDER IS MISDEMEANOR PUNISHABLE BY FINE, IMPRISONMENT, OR BOTH (California Health and Safety Code 120295)”.  This order is scheduled to expire on April 7th.

Similar orders have been issued in numerous counties and jurisdictions within California and in other states.  They all share many of the same attributes and we have come to call them Shelter-In-Place orders.  In reading these policies, consulting with counsel, and in receiving clarifications from OSHA, it is clear that the intent of controlling the spread and impact of the epidemic is a paramount concern of public health authorities, and failing to comply may cause serious consequences to organizations like ours.

I love signs!  I have served on the Board for ISA and The Signage Foundation.  I know how essential signs are to every business.  I’ve read studies on the economic impact of signs, the contribution to public safety, and how they contribute to safe wayfinding.  They are essential to communities and successful small businesses.  I mention this because all of these Shelter-In-Place orders state that organizations that are essential, or those that supply them, can continue to operate.  In all of these orders, they specifically list the organizations that are defined as essential: hospitals, pharmacies, food stores and take out restaurants, and many other organizations that meet basic human needs.  Our customers supply signs and graphics to these organizations; we supply our customers and by extension should be seen as essential.

I so very much wanted us to be essential.  To keep our team working, our customers going, and to behave safely, but continue on business as usual considering our environment.  Unfortunately, my hope doesn’t pass close scrutiny, or the interpretation of authorities.  I can see the point, if we continue to extend every component of the supply chain to these very vital, essential organizations, literally every business could connect some or several dots and stay operational, business as usual. The world isn’t usual right now, and neither is business.  Public health officials are abundantly clear.  They are fighting a war for the health of our citizenry, specifically those of us that are at high risk of serious consequences of exposure.  They need our help and legitimate efforts to control the spread of the virus.

Years ago, I got some good advice, in times of chaos and disaster; stay focused on your mission and values.  One of our core values is to promote well-being, for our team, our customers and suppliers, and for the larger community.  Consequently, I have made a very clear decision to comply with all directives from local, state, and federal governments, as well as public health authorities like the CDC.  Denco Sales will temporarily cease our operations in any location that issues some version of a Shelter-In-Place order and will comply with all elements of those orders.  Every organization must make their own decisions, and some of our customers will continue to operate.  I respect their decisions; however, we are committed to ours.

As long as we have locations not subject to Shelter-In-Place, we will be shipping parcel orders (UPS/USPS/FEDEX) into customers subject to Shelter-In-Place, and pay the ground freight.  We will have some of our team on the phone from our open locations or from their homes to answer questions, arrange orders, and endeavor to drop ship product.  We will maintain telephone tech support for software, printers, plotters, and other equipment we support.  Our mission during this time is to serve our customers as best we can while we do what is right for the health and safety of our team, our customers, and our community.

As we navigate the churning waters ahead, we will continue to actively monitor the varying situations in our territory and will update all of you as soon as we can.  Based on our experience in Northern California and watching the progression in other locations, we anticipate that additional emergency directives will be issued with subsequent limitations to our branches’ business operations.  With whatever warning we have, our branches will attempt to extend will call hours as long as possible and complete any last minute deliveries.

Turning from the business aspects to the personal, our hearts and thoughts go out to the people who have been so adversely affected by this unprecedented event. We appreciate the hard working first responders, healthcare workers, local communities, and governments around the world who are working hard every day to contain corona virus. Now more than ever, I realize that our true top priority is everyone’s health and safety – I wish that for all of you and your loved ones.

To your health,

Ken Von Wald

President & CEO


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s