Testimonials from Members of The Presidents Council

Read what past and present members are saying about The Presidents Forum.

Since the sale of Fel-Pro, I have been making an attempt to thank people who have made a contribution to its success. Certainly, The Presidents Forum is one of those institutions. At a time that we were trying to establish direction for our manufacturing, your organization took us on a field trip to Alkco Lighting Company where I saw, for the first time, flow manufacturing. The rest is history. We employed flow manufacturing at Fel-Pro as a direct result of what I saw at Alkco, saving tens of millions of dollars of inventory and forever changing the way that we did our business.

David A. Weinberg, Past Co-Chairman, Fel-Pro Inc.


Recently, we made a strategic change and, based on the insistent advice of one of my colleagues in the Presidents Council, our handling of the situation resulted in a seven figure savings to our bottom line. The commitment and coaching by this individual made a huge difference and I wanted you to know how much it means to me. Thanks for your continuing efforts in putting companies together to solve each other’s problems.

Stephen J. McShane, President, CEO Midtronics


As I reflect upon my twenty years in The Presidents Forum, I want to express my appreciation for all the Forum has meant to my company, as well as to me personally. I have always gained at least one useful idea from the Forum meetings. The Council meetings, whether mine or others, have always been interesting and educational. I believe that the Forum and Council meetings together have saved my company well over $5 million. The estate planning strategies of the members and alternatives presented by professional speakers have helped me immensely in establishing my own estate plans. Finally, the friends I have made through the Forum have enriched and continue to enrich my life. I am looking forward to the next twenty years in the Forum!

John D. Mueller, Chairman, G & W Electric Co.


Recently I was reflecting on my twenty or so years as a member of The Presidents Forum. I have participated in a few of your groups and they have all been very helpful. I do have a formal board of directors, but they primarily serve in matters of corporate governance and due diligence. In your group, I hear seasoned perspectives from guys who are not on our payroll, who are not family, and who are not competitors. Collectively, they provide objective and critical thinking that has helped me make more informed strategic decisions as I lead my company.

James E. Bramsen, President, Spraying Systems Company


The Council gets involved in all phases of your company’s sales, marketing, capital investments, operations, personnel, and profitability. The Council members are from non-competing areas and have no prejudices. Their input is based on their experience and knowledge of business operations. It is not the same as from your lawyer, banker or accountant; it’s much more comprehensive, more analytical, and more direct.

Barry Willey, President, National Cycle


Let me take a moment to express to you the value I have found in my participation in The Presidents Forum, as I near my 10-year anniversary as a member. The insight I get into the many ways a business can be run has been unique and useful. I often use my Council to get a “reality check” on my own thinking, and it is always interesting to hear differing philosophies and styles debated by such an experienced group of entrepreneur-executives.

Tom Liebman, President, Coilcraft


As the first anniversary of my Presidents Forum membership approaches, I wanted to tell you about the value I’ve received during the past year. Before joining the Forum, I did not have a resource for truly objective, independent advice. When I added a second manufacturing plant, it quickly became apparent that I needed to rethink every aspect of the company’s operation. The Forum has provided objective advice as well as powerful new ideas on critical issues.

Bruce Scott, President, Catty Corporation


I have been a member of the Forum for 27 years, and I wanted to tell you of the effect it has had on my business. The members of my Council are top-notch businessmen and have taught me a lot. I have made many good decisions based on their recommendations. I do not see how I could have achieved my present success without their help.

Ronald A. Friedman, CEO, Global Accessories, Inc.


I am fortunate to be part of The Presidents Forum and am grateful to my co-members for their attention and ideas. The collective intelligence assembled in the room each month when we all get together is earth shattering. Please feel free to share this with others as they consider the benefits of membership.

Byron Udell, President, Accuquote


I have just passed what I feel is a significant anniversary date – the end of my first full year as a member of The Presidents Forum. In a value conscious world, The Presidents Forum is unsurpassed in value. Nowhere else have I been involved in such a dynamic, resource rich organization. I look forward to being a member for a long time to come.

Thomas J. Olivieri, President & CEO, East Side Bank and Trust


Each day, we all make decisions, big and small, that impact our personal and professional lives. I thought I’d drop you a note today to let you know that I consider the decision made several years ago to become a member of The Presidents Forum was one of the best I have made for both the company and myself personally. As the facilitator of our Council, your support, as well as that of the group’s members, is invaluable to me. Those gentle, and sometimes not so gentle, nudges toward clarity of purpose and effective leadership are just what I need to keep our business on course and have played a large role in our continued growth and success.

Diana Braun, President, Exacto, Inc.


I wanted to thank you for the invitation and acceptance to The Presidents Forum. As a $17 million start-up, Austin-Westran will benefit greatly from this association. I recently received the July 15 Management Report from the Presidents Advisory Council held at Austin-Westran. This report is filled with so much information, ideas, solutions, etc., that it will require more than just a reading – I plan to study the report. In addition, I plan to use the report as a basis for the next Austin-Westran executive staff meeting where I will share select parts of the report to the executive team as a platform for improving our business.

L. Gene Berg, CEO, Austin-Westran, LLC


Thanks again for the great job you did facilitating my first Presidents Council meeting last week. The meeting was truly a life-changing experience. Lethargy can creep into our daily routine from time to time, and a thorough review of your operation with a group of knowledgeable peers is a great way to shake that lethargy. I’m on the way to making changes that I’m sure will significantly improve my organization.

Len Harder, President, Morgan Bronze Products, Inc.


After the recent tour of the Harger facility and the resulting suggestions from the Forum group, it became very apparent to me what an excellent job you did assembling our group. Joe and Pat excel in manufacturing, Ed excels in engineering, Bruce excels in sales, John is an idea guy, and both you and Dale have excellent financial backgrounds. The huge improvements that we made between the first and second tour can be directly attributed to the Forum group. We have made terrific progress improving our manufacturing efficiencies, and thanks to your recent suggestions, we will be doing the same in the financial arena. The decision to join your organization was a sound one; we feel our future will be much brighter because of The Presidents Forum.

Mark Harger, President, Harger Lighting & Grounding


I just wanted to drop you a note to comment on our last meeting. The main topic of the meeting was sales and marketing, and the group developed a hit list of 35 ideas and concepts for us to consider. For your information, we actually in the last month have taken steps to incorporate 19 of these into our sales and marketing approach. This just verifies that the meeting was extremely productive for us.

Russ Holmer, President, Haumiller Engineering


I wanted to let you know how highly I regard The Presidents Forum and the value it has already brought to me, a newly appointed President/CEO, within my first 6 months of joining. As a President, it is critical for the company’s strategic health to have external views from inside and outside its industry. The Presidents Forum provides a protected avenue to validate and obtain feedback regarding any aspect of business that a president may face.

Chuck Marble, President/CEO, Triad Goods Group

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