Brett has always had a heart for developing and growing leaders, and over his 30-year career has been able to leverage that ability to deliver extraordinary results while creating dynamic cultures.
In his role as a CEO Mentor, he shares those insights and experiences to help other hungry leaders find their own path to greater levels of success and fulfillment.
Prior to joining Building Champions, Brett served for nearly a decade as the CEO and President of Premier Equipment, a 10-store John Deere dealer in Ontario, Canada with more than 300 employees. Premier Equipment was created when Brett successfully led the merger of two separate John Deere dealerships, including Elmira Farm Service where he held the position of General Manager for six years.
As part of the merger, Brett shaped a professional functioning Board of Directors with 11 Directors, pioneered the development and implementation of the Board of Governance and successfully integrated two separate ownership groups and leadership teams into new roles as one effective leadership team.
During his tenure, Brett was able to grow overall revenue by nearly 410%, with post-merger growth from $150M in 2012 to $245M in 2019. Key operational achievements include reducing expenses from 13.6% to 11.8% and purchasing, constructing and managing a brand-new $8M corporate office and facility. A big reason for the company’s success was Brett’s focus on leadership development and culture.
Under his leadership, the company developed its own internal leadership assessment based on their unique culture, launched Premier Leadership University to prioritize development and revitalized their performance management system through a focus on coaching leadership. Not only was Brett a client of Building Champions for years, he also brought the company’s coaching and tools to his people through one-on-one coaching and customized leadership experiences.
Before joining Premier Equipment, Brett led his own leadership development consulting company where he helped leaders and organizations improve their cultures and results with clients from the manufacturing, advertising, agricultural and food processing industries. He started his career in criminal justice, starting out as a correctional officer and working through all levels of leadership including serving as a director overseeing a staff of 25 at a non-profit youth correctional facility.
Brett graduated from Fleming College in Ontario and earned a certification in management development from Conestoga College. He has been married for more than 30 years, and along with his wife, Brenda, have two married adult children. In addition to golf, Brett still loves to play hockey and hits the ice on a regular basis.
“Leadership is not about how many direct reports you have but about who you are responsible to connect with, influence and inspire.”
Brett Barriage, CEO Mentor