Perry Piparo has been an Otto Brehm, Inc. employee for the better part of 20 years. He remembers meeting then-president Ernest Brehm Sr., the oldest son of founder Otto Brehm. “I was an outside sales rep at the time, so I was on the road a lot,” he says. “One day when I stopped by headquarters, Mr. Brehm comes over, addresses me by name, and asks me about my family. That personal attention to every employee—it’s how they treat their customers, too. And that’s continued through three generations of the family business.”
Working at Brehm wasn’t Perry’s first job. With a degree in finance, he started his career on Wall Street. Then a friend who worked in shipping told Perry about an opening. “It was five minutes from my home, and the hours and pay were reasonable, so I took the job,” he says. When a job opened up in sales, Perry, with a wife and two small children to support, welcomed the advancement. After about 15 years, he returned to Wall Street, but before long he was back at Brehm.
“I never expected to get rehired. But Ernie Jr. and his wife Nancy welcomed me back with open arms,” he recalls. “It was very humbling. I will always be indebted to them for their kindness.”
It’s that one-to-one personal touch, the family business that treats employees like family and values its customer relationships, that makes Otto Brehm, Inc. a strong industry contender. Over the years, Perry has seen competitors come and go, often with high employee turnover. But at Otto Brehm, he says, it’s the relationships—with their customers and with their staff—that are more important, not just making a quick buck.
“A company that hires good people and keeps customer relations top of mind can absorb the ups and downs,” Perry says. “Otto Brehm will stay true to its roots as its branches grow.” He adds, “I would do anything for Nancy and the family members who run the business. I’m a company man, 100%.”