Richard Honan opened the Honan Sign Company in 1972. One year later he joined the Winthrop Chamber of Commerce.
This year he marks his fortieth year as a member of the local business organization.
“The Chamber is an excellent organization,” said Honan. “I think it brings a lot to the town, whether it be this weekend’s Family Day at The Beach or other fun events. The Chamber not only promotes businesses but it tries to enhance the lives of people in Winthrop. The Chamber promotes the entire town.”
Honan, who just became a member of the Chamber board of directors, encourages new businesses to join the organization.
“I think it’s very important for new businesses to get involved. It might be for the networking, finding other business that can help you. I’m very involved in the town and for me, this is another way of being involved in what goes on in the town.”
Honan, a handsome, vibrant man of 65, said the Chamber has grown stronger and become more visible under the leadership of executive director Eric Gaynor.
“Without a doubt the Chamber has grown significantly – it’s well known that Winthrop has one of the largest and most productive chambers in the state,” said Honan. “The Chamber really does a lot to make Winthrop a little more interesting.”
Honan opened his business, originally known as the Richard Honan Sign Carving Company, at 10 Woodside Avenue, which is now the site of Christopher’s Flowers. He also operated the sign company at 17 Seaview Avenue, the former home of Benson Plumbing and Heating, before moving to its current spot at 66 Crest Avenue.
“My parents [the late William and Gertrude Honan] owned a holiday gift shop at 10 Woodside Ave. and we sold Christmas trees and flowers and pumpkins,” said Honan. “So ever since I was little, I was involved in some aspect of business here in town, whether it was with my parents or on my own.”
Honan said his father also owned a gas station, Bill’s Texaco Gas Station. “My father built that in 1941 and operated it up through the mid-1950s and constructed the building that is now Christopher’s Flowers. That was originally Minx car dealership which became The Holiday Shop.”
Honan has carried on the family tradition at his sign company. His daughter, Christine, works at the shop and his young granddaughter is already helping out. “It’s now three generations at Honan Sign Company.”
Honan has received tremendous acclaim for his “Support the Troops” program, annually sending care packages to Winthrop men and women who are serving in the military overseas.
“We’ve been doing that for twelve years and we’ve sent well over 28,000 pounds of packages to Winthrop men and women serving all over the world,” said Honan proudly. “I have to thank the people of Winthrop because without their help and donations of goods and postage, I wouldn’t be able to do it.”
In addition to his role with the Chamber, Honan serves on the board of the Winthrop Housing Authority. He also hosts a ‘Supporting the Troops” television program on WCAT and is a life member of the Winthrop Art Association.
Gaynor said Honan is one of the longest-serving active members of the Winthrop Chamber.
“It’s members like Richard Honan who have been integral to the success of the Chamber,” said Gaynor. “We’re really lucky to have people who are so dedicated.
“He joined our board this year – you figure after 40 years he’s legitimate,” added Gaynor with a smile. “He’s always been really supportive and he exemplifies the best of business people who want to give back to their community.”