Denny Holien

Watertown has lost a business leader. Dennis (Denny) Holien passed away Wednesday evening from complications of COVID-19 while being hospitalized in Sioux Falls.

Persona, and its parent company, ANZA Incorporated, announced the news in a press release Thursday afternoon saying they are very saddened by Holien's passing.  

Holien founded Persona Signs in 1980. It’s due to Denny’s hard work and dedication that the Watertown-based company grew to be a national leader in the signage industry. Persona has its corporate office and two manufacturing locations in Watertown, a sales office in Sioux Falls and an additional manufacturing location in Madison, S.D. Also included in the ANZA family of businesses are DakotaPost in Sioux Falls and Margle Media in Milwaukee.

Denny’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to become involved in local businesses that employed thousands of area residents over the past 40 years, including Persona, Midcom, ICONtrol and OEM Worldwide, now known as Spartronics.  He guided Persona’s philanthropic work which has included support for Relay for Life, Watertown Area People Against Hunger, Ronald McDonald House Charities, the ANZA Soccer Complex and many other organizations. In 2014, Persona was awarded the “Above and Beyond Award” for support of employees who are called to active military duty.

ANZA Incorporated President Greg Kulesa said in an email announcement to employees, “The best way for us to honor Denny is to continue to follow the philosophies and values that helped Persona become what it’s known for today: unequaled customer service, integrity and an unrelenting pursuit of excellence.”

Services are pending. Updates will be provided when information is available.

The employees and leadership of Persona and ANZA Incorporated express their deepest sympathies to Denny’s wife, Michele; his children and their spouses, and his grandchildren, whom he cherished.