Local Family Business Becomes Worldwide Leading Cart Manufacturer
There is a cultural concept that some business experts describe as a “Just Cause”. It’s a fancy way of explaining “What’s our purpose as an organization? Why do we do the things we do? How do we do things differently?”
So what is CSB’s “Just Cause”? It’s two simple words, “Providing Opportunity”.
Providing Opportunity is at the heart of everything we do as an organization; it’s our reason for existence. We believe that being a successful organization goes far beyond earning money, generating deposits, or providing an exceptional banking experience. It means helping our customers, our communities, and our employees build their future and reach their goals.
For this special Providing Opportunity story, Community State Bank sits down with Topper Industrial President, Ryan Brown. We discuss how their family business located in Sturtevant, Wisconsin quickly developed into a worldwide manufacturer and also about Ryan's lifelong relationship with Community State Bank.
Ryan, can you tell us the story of how Topper Industrial came to be?
Topper was incorporated in 1994 by my dad, Ed Brown. The company was initially created to be a custom metal fabrication and weld shop. My dad has a background in engineering and is also very creative. Just four years after creating the shop, Topper became one of the top industrial cart manufacturers in the world. Today, we have grown to design and manufacture all of the equipment needed to move material and deliver line side.
In a nutshell, what kind of services does Topper all provide?
Topper is a metal fabricator specializing in material handling carts, equipment, and components. Our material carts are used throughout North America by virtually all automotive assemblers and suppliers.
Can you explain the value of running a family owned business?
We have now been a family owned business for over 20 years. We have had several multi-generations employed at Topper, strengthening the family culture. In 2010, I had the honor of becoming President. All of my siblings have also found their niche within the company: Cynthia became the Chief Financial Officer, Jillian became the Market Manager, Eric took on the role as Vice-President of Research and Development, and Jenna is the Safety Manager. Each contribute in helping the company create new innovative solutions to material handling needs for the next generations to come. My dad continues to oversee the company as Head of Research & Development and Engineering. In addition, Topper has nearly 100 employees maintaining the best quality and family culture. I think we have a strong family first culture and employees appreciate the flexibility and ability to prioritize family.
How does technology play a huge part in how you run your business?
We are adapting constantly to technology, like many other businesses, to run our day-to-day operations. The core of our business is good old fashion metal fabrication and welding.
How did you hear about Community State Bank?
I have been a customer of Community State Bank since I was in high school. Due to the relationship my family had with CSB, it was natural for me to join the CSB family as well. I really appreciate CSB being a local community bank and the fact that they truly know our family, business and have always been able to provide the financial tools we need.
What has your experience been like working with CSB?
We have always had a great relationship with CSB. They have always been able to help with our needs and produce creative solutions. I appreciate working with CSB Market President, Robert Pieroni. He's proactive and is always keeping us aware of products or services to help our business...which we usually take advantage of.
To learn more about Topper Industrial please visit TopperIndustrial.com.