INSIDERS My Oliver Story

My Oliver Story


Brian Burney
Brian Burney
Oliver Manufacturing - Brian Burney, a third generation family member, currently serves as the chief executive officer and the president of the board of directors for Oliver Manufacturing. He has learned everything about the company by working his way up through every area of the business. Participation and interaction with industry professionals, combined with collegiate development courses, allowed Burney to understand how to lead a world class manufacturer in today’s global economy.

I’m not sure if it’s harder to start a company from ground zero or to follow in the footsteps of your father and great-grandfather. No doubt, each is challenging but in different ways. Some might say I got lucky, and the truth of the matter is I did. I had the luxury of literally growing up in the industry and have worked through each area of the company.

My dad and I shared not just a love for metal, speed and cars but for the Oliver company. Oliver is my home. Just as I grew from a young boy to fearless teenager and then into adulthood, Oliver, too, has evolved… with the technology, with its customers and with the economy. I was at the ground level and I’m thankful to have that history and that perspective.

But with luck comes a lot of blood, sweat and tears. Times haven’t always been easy. In fact, they can be like a punch to the gut making you keel over gasping for air. Through the years, we’ve dealt with a fire, a long down market, tariffs on steel and the loss of key employees. The list goes on — no different from any other company.

There are times when I’m unsure what our next step should be. What I’ve learned is you’ve got to keep your head up and your eyes on the horizon, looking for that next opportunity. And if you focus on the customer, the rest will fall into place.

Oliver is my family — literally, but also the customers, the employees and all those in the supply chain. Some of these long-standing relationships go back decades and were established by my dad or my great-grandfather. These are our relationships and our sense of pride. We aim to not only meet but exceed expectations, no matter the need. That’s my commitment and one I fully intend to keep.

We will deliver quality, not just something that’s going to do the job, but equipment that is efficient, durable and that will stand the test of time — just like Oliver and like my great-grandfather and father did before me.