Brewer Ownership Changes Hands: Paul Avery Expands on Brewer Philosophy
Brewer Ownership: Established manufacturer of sawmill and pallet lumber machinery changes hands as new owner Paul Avery expands on Brewer philosophy.
By Ed Brindley
Date Posted: 3/1/2011
Central City, Kentucky—
Company History and Ownership Change
Brewer, Inc. started as a local/regional saw manufacturer. Initially it developed a reputation for its single arbor and double arbor gang saws. As the company grew, its product line expanded to include other pieces of machinery, including notchers, chamfering machines, cut-off saws, and specialized pieces of sawing machinery.
Mike Gilles started to work for Brewer, Inc. in 1973. He came from Texas Gas in Owensboro, Ky. as a drafting engineer. Mike graduated from Brescia University in Owensboro with an accounting degree. With this background, his natural business abilities, love for teaching, and his philosophy that the customer is always right, he was a natural person for Clarence Brewer to turn to as the company’s second owner in 1977. Under Mike’s leadership, this small local company grew into a world-wide machinery manufacturing company. Both Mike and Cathy Gilles, recent past owners, are amazingly hopeful for the company’s growth and future as it moves into the third generation ownership. They have chosen Paul Avery to continue carrying forth their management philosophies and building Brewer, Inc. into an even better worldwide manufacturer of sawing systems with a special focus on the pallet industry.
As a publisher, over the years it has been our pleasure to work with the fine people at Brewer, including the Gilles family. We have been fortunate to be in a position to help carry the Brewer story to our readers around the world. We certainly wish Mike and Cathy the best in their retirement and the new Brewer team the best as they work hard to serve customers toward a successful future. Mike and Cathy said, “We want to thank everyone in the industry for being a friend. We love you all! Thank you and may God bless you.”
Paul Avery, the new owner, started working with the Brewer team in March 1993 at the age of 20. At the time, he had five years of experience working in the restaurant business as a dishwasher, cook, bus-boy, etc. Paul also had a small side business of his own. Mike said, “He was and is a natural business man.” Excited as a young man about the opportunity that employment with Brewer, Inc. offered, he set out to be the best that he could be. Paul started at the bottom, doing jobs such as cleaning machinery, painting, and all the basic beginning jobs at a manufacturing company. Paul soon grew to more advanced work until he was a well-trained builder of Brewer machinery. He also grew to be one of the best service and start-up technicians. He traveled all over the country and even foreign countries. Brewer regularly received wonderful reports back from Brewer customers telling how Paul was able to solve problems or suggest new and improved ways of handling their operations.
As he matured and benefited from many years at Brewer, Inc., Paul decided to go into business for himself. The desires and challenges of excelling continued to drive him. The people at Brewer hated to lose him but were excited for Paul as they are for all employees who can better themselves in this world.
After an extended period of time, Paul decided to return to Brewer; the company welcomed him back into its fold. After witnessing Paul’s growth from what he had experienced and learned while working in the business world, the people around him could see signs of Paul’s future at Brewer, Inc. There is no education like running a business for yourself.
In 2006, Paul stared working in management at Brewer. Mike said, “Paul learned so fast and has a natural business ability, thinking things through before making decisions and looking at every possible way to do a job before taking action. His leadership abilities with the management staff and all the employees showed strong very soon. Most of all, his attitude was the same as mine was when I first bought Brewer in 1977. Customers are #1, making money for our customers is Goal #1, and customers become our family. Paul had this same philosophy.”
Mike said, “Cathy and I spent our time making customers lives better and enjoyed getting to know them personally. We know that Paul will carry this same philosophy forward.”
Cathy said, “I have worked closely with Paul the last several years. Many times I have told him that he is so much like Mike that it is amazing. Mike and I feel he will be a friend and a business partner to all our customers and grow that group for many years to come. We feel he will do the customers as well as us a wonderful job. We hope all the customers and friends we have in this industry know how much you have meant to us.”
Paul is excited about the future for Brewer, Inc. and its large group of customers. He wants to carry on Mike’s philosophy for many years – “The customer is always right.”
Paul believes, “Brewer, Inc. has been and will continue to be the leader in our industry with wood working machinery. Our engineering staff is second to none in this industry. We recently purchased the latest in engineering software. With the addition of our in-house electrical engineer, we are in the process of introducing robots to the pallet industry.
“I feel that Brewer, Inc. has always had the #1 gangsaw in this industry but some recent modifications have made it even better. Because a large part of the bearings have been moved to the outside, it is now more user-friendly. Our MTA model has a movable top arbor, which allows a customer to run a smaller diameter blade. In turn this gives you thinner kerf.
“I am also excited about a brand new trim-saw we currently have in engineering. It should be out by the end of 2011. I believe it will set the standard in our industry for sawing boards or cants. I spent many years doing set-ups and service work, and I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a trim-saw that will compare.” The Brewer, Inc. team continues to strive for excellence.
Paul said, “I’m very proud of our current staff and employees. One recent addition has been our new plant manager, Bryan Uzzle. With approximately 18 years of experience with Brewer, Inc., his experience on the production side makes him a great asset.
The machinist department has over 40 years of combined experience. The sales staff includes Marty Fox and Shane Garret. Marty is a 30 year team member, and Shane has 18 years at Brewer, Inc.
To receive more information about Brewer, Inc. and its line of machinery, call Paul or Marty at 800-345-6516 or 270-754-1768.
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