Service, Sincerity and Care: Legacy of Speedy Signs Passed to New Owner

Service, Sincerity and Care: Legacy of Speedy Signs Passed to New Owner

Gwen Akers

The Ashland Beacon

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Quick, friendly, and local–Speedy Signs has been the heartbeat of Carter Avenue in Ashland for several years, and now it is under new ownership.

Tom Conley, longtime owner of Speedy Signs and Banners recently passed away in October following a brief illness. Conley was a light in Ashland life, operating his business with a smile and a local touch that cannot be replaced. The new owner of Speedy Signs, Larry Bailey, purchased the business from Conley’s wife and was a longtime close friend of Conley’s.



Bailey met Conley during Bailey’s time as a golf coach at Paul Blazer High School and became close with Conley through Bailey’s work with baseball collectibles. A longtime hobby of Bailey’s–which has spurned two books–became something he shared with Conley, as well as hours of conversation.

“That's what Tom and I did. We could solve any problem anywhere. Now, we don't know if it's going to work, but we got a solution,” laughed Bailey.

The two would talk about any number of topics, and around the winter of 2020, Conley mentioned looking for a retired teacher to work down at Speedy Signs–having Bailey in mind. Bailey, a recently retired teacher, soon began working (unpaid) at Speedy Signs, helping out with the customers and working on his collectibles.

“He was such a genuine person and great friend,” shared Bailey.

Bailey was a close friend of longtime businessman, musician and veteran Tom Conley until his passing in October. After Bailey suffered a health scare of his own, he prayed about acquiring the business for a long time and eventually was persuaded to make an offer on the store only on the condition that the staff and crew came with the store. With the blessing of Conley’s wife, Joni Conley, Bailey acquired the business.

“I’ve just got a top-notch team,” expressed Bailey, who could not be more complementary of his crew.

Bailey himself, the 2019 Male Middle School Teacher of the Year, is now beginning his role as a business owner and hopes to expand upon the legacy of Tom Conley in everything he does.

The shop is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment to service all of the area's advertising needs, whether in traditional signs, banners, and t-shirts or through embroidered hats, stickers, or mugs. All of their work is done in-house, and delivery is always free.

“Tom was good at service and I mean that sincerely, but I'm trying to really elevate that service. We deliver for free. I don't care if you're in Morehead, or if you're in Elliott County. You need something from me and you can't get down here, I'll be out,” detailed Bailey.

Bailey’s and Speedy Signs, philosophy is much the same as it was in his classroom: service, sincerity and care above everything else.

The crew at Speedy Signs is grateful for all the customers who come through the door—as they have chosen Speedy Signs to be their advertising home.  “We appreciate our customers. If anything's wrong with the order, please tell us. I'll make it right. If I have to do it over, no problem,” expressed Bailey.

Bailey, led on by the legacy of Tom Conley, seeks to expand and lead Speedy Signs to the best of his and his crew’s ability.

“'I'm glad my business is in Ashland. I'm proud of Ashland, and I want to see it prosper,” commented Bailey.

From his 27 years as a teacher in the area to his love for sports and Ashland itself, Speedy Signs is sure to prosper along with our growing city.

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