Staff is Valued at Employee-Owned Brainard Rivet

Submitted by Leslie A. Phillips, Director of Strategic Planning
Brainard Rivet
222 Harry St., Girard, Ohio 44420

GIRARD, Ohio – I joined the Brainard Rivet team in January 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic reared its ugly head. It was apparent from the get-go that leadership was committed to the well-being (both medically and financially) of each and every employee-owner. No one was laid off and everyone was provided proper personal protective equipment and/or adequate social distancing.

My Brainard Rivet journey began at Youngstown State University. I was blessed to meet Laura Lamanna, an engineering manager, in YSU’s MBA program. She easily recruited me to this amazing employee-owned fastener-manufacturing company. I was attracted to Brainard’s century-plus history and American-made culture.

I could readily see how it provided quality of life for the present and the future. Laura was enjoying one of BRC’s great education assistance benefits. The company reimburses up to $4,000 per year to any employee-owner who completes management approved college/graduate or technical school classes/programs.

Pictured left to right are: Laura Lamanna, quoting and engineering manager; Joseph Lamanna, general manager; Terry Smith, newly retired production manager; Leslie A. Phillips, director of strategic planning; and Janice Hughes, accounts payable/order entry.

Further, Brainard Rivet’s retirement plan is truly unparalleled–providing every employee-owner 15 percent of his/her annual earnings in employee stock. Then, biannual dividends are earned on top of this. I have experienced modest 401k match programs at previous employers, but never have I been given an additional 15 percent on top of my income by an employer towards my retirement. Sadly, too many individuals in this world live paycheck to paycheck and cannot afford to save for their own futures. I am so proud to work somewhere that looks ahead for its people.

Beyond retirement, Brainard Rivet cares about its team in the present. They provide fully funded medical and dental premiums for every employee-owner, and their spouses and children where applicable. This means zero insurance premiums are deducted from paychecks for these two items!!! The healthcare is excellent through Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield. Employees also realize fantastic prescription drug coverage approved through this, only paying $10 for Generics and $30 for Brands. Along with medical and dental comes vision, basic life insurance and long-term disability.

The employee-owned culture is all about giving back to its employees. Quarterly profit-sharing bonuses are paid to every team member. These are personally handed to each owner by the general manager with a “thank you for your hard work” at bonus luncheons where everyone gets to relax and enjoy some free food.

Leadership fosters open communication and is genuinely committed to continuous improvement. This concept is part of the company’s quality policy and is openly embraced. All new employee-owners are evaluated every 90 days for their first year, ensuring they are getting what they need, learning what the company expects and experiencing financial reward if their performance is exceeding expectations. There are many opportunities for career advancement and merit increases across the company for motivated individuals.

This truly is a “great place to work.”

Donald Kirkwood, director of sales: We are an employee-owned company, akin to working with friends and family rather than a big corporate parent. The benefits of employee ownership speak for themselves and are some of the best you will find in any industry.

The products made here are used in millions of applications around the world so you get to see something you’re a part of being used in every day life.

We’ve been around since 1916. Combining the longevity of the company with employee ownership generates a sense of pride and accomplishment when you are part of Brainard Rivet Company.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.