Barron Equipment & Overhead Doors is celebrating 40 years of excellence in the Material Handling industry as of December 2019.
Barb and Ron Modjeska originally founded Barron Equipment in Davenport, IA, December 15, 1979. In the past 40 years, we have upgraded our Davenport location to a larger building off of Brady Street, grown our team to 60 strong, added another location in Des Moines, IA, and increased our business to accommodate cities and states all across the United States.
Here is a timeline of the most notable events over the last 40 years:
An interview with the original owners of Barron - Barb & Ron Modjeska
What did you do before you started Barron?
"We both worked at Material Handling in Bettendorf, Iowa."
Why did you decide to start Barron?
"I wanted to set up a separate division at Material Handling selling everything but forklifts, we called them allied lines. These included dock equipment, conveyors, storage rack, etc. The owner of Material Handling didn’t think there was enough money in allied lines, so he didn’t see the need. I didn’t like selling forklifts, so I quit and started Barron."
How many employees did you have in the beginning?
"Just the two of us."
What are some of the challenges you faced with starting a company?
"The recession in the early 1980’s. The area lost about 20,000 manufacturing jobs, J.I. Case closed in Bettendorf and Rock Island, Caterpillar closed in Bettendorf and Mt. Joy, and John Deere cut way back."
How were you able to overcome the challenges you faced from local manufacturing companies making cuts during the recession?
"When the economy was so bad, we made a greater effort and made more calls. We also had to adjust our income down."
What was your biggest accomplishment over the 23+ years of owning Barron?
"Over the 23+ years, the fact that we developed a good reputation and gained great lines of products. The best part was that we hired great employees, and kept them."
If you could go back and change anything, would you? If so, what would it be?
"Not one thing!"
What advice do you have for the current owners of Barron?
"They’ve done an outstanding job! Just treat your employees well and the rest will come."
What is Barron up to now?
Cultivating Corporate Culture
Family, food, and fun are some words that our employees would use to describe Barron. While several of our team members are related, once you're a part of the Barron team, you become family! We enjoy having our monthly Barron employee cookouts where we get to know each other and enjoy some good food. We also take part in other fun events such as baseball games, concerts, bowling, etc.
With two locations, we are looking at expanding our brand not only throughout the Midwest, but throughout the whole country. We have found that even though we're a smaller, local company, we have the potential to become a nationwide brand. Our dedication to our customers and our ability to find custom solutions are what sets us apart from other material handling companies.
Working Together as a Team
Teamwork makes the dreamwork! As cliché as that phrase is, we've found it to be true. We are a sales driven organization, but we recognize the importance of each and every employee and how we can all work together to achieve a common goal. By investing in software and programs that allow for greater communication amongst departments, we've found our team cohesiveness has improved. We are excited to ring in new year and the new decade with a strong focus on team work and an emphasis on servant leadership.
Cheers to Many More Years!
We are so thankful to be able to celebrate our 40th anniversary in December of 2019. It has taken a lot of hard work, perseverance and team work to get to where we are today. We are excited to be able to grow our business and reach new markets. Special thank you to all of our loyal customers who have made us as successful as we are today.
Blast From the Past