Behind the Billboards
Get to know Grey Vick, the outdoor advertising extraordinaire boosting up billboards across the Carolinas.
Grey Vick, owner of Grey Outdoor LLC, is the mastermind behind the massive marketing signs you see during your commute along Interstate 95.
Armed with a background in selling real estate properties for three years and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, Vick delved into the billboard business in 2007, eventually launching Grey Outdoor LLC in 2014. His company now boasts more than 300 billboards and 620 faces throughout two states.
Born in Wilmington, Vick grew up in Goldsboro before moving back to the coast to attend college — with the draw back to his birth city being his love of the beach, surfing and the beautiful campus.
“I came back for the surfing,” Vick says. “UNC Wilmington was the only school I applied to because of that — there’s a lot of big decisions in my life that have been made based on surfing.”
He also wanted to own his own business for flexible work hours allowing him to both catch waves and serve clients throughout the day.
In addition to nurturing his love of surfing during his college years, Vick met his wife, Sarah, who graduated with a degree in nursing in 2010, while they were both undergraduate students. “She’s made me a better person,” Vick says of his wife.
The couple met in 2009 and married six years later. They are now proud parents to three kids — Mason (4), Veda (2) and their latest addition, Owen, who was born in October of 2022.
When Vick isn’t out and about in the ocean, working with clients and spending time with his family, he can be found at the jiu-jitsu gym.
After over a decade of experience learning the martial art, Vick finds a slew of similarities between the sport and doing business.
“It’s a hard sport and it’s hard on your body,” he says. “But there are so many ways to relate it back to business, from resilience and discipline to defense.” To boot, Vick also finds that his lifelong love of surfing helps with his professional prowess.
“Surfing and jiu-jitsu are both lifelong sports where you will never know everything,” he says. “It’s the same with business. You’re always learning, and you’ll never know it all. There will always be someone better to learn from.”
Throughout his years working with clients and building up his business, Vick’s goals remain rooted in being the best person, dad, son and husband he can be.
“I just want to keep doing right by people,” Vick says. “It’s rewarding to build people up and see results — and I’m just so grateful for our advertisers.” And it’s clear the feeling is mutual. After more than a decade, Vick has built up a consistent and loyal customer base, from a small starting point to hundreds of signs, with some of his clients having been with him from the beginning.
The next time you’re cruising down the interstate, keep your eyes on the signs — and remember the local company behind the outdoor ads.