WILLIAM A. “BUD” BRIAN:
Owner and Chairman of Highland Park-based Budco, a marketing services company. He started Budco in 1982 when he purchased D.W. Hacker Co., a small printing and distribution company in Detroit. At the time, the company employed 15 people and had sales of $800,000. Under Bud's leadership, Budco has grown into a $100 million operation with nearly 1,000 employees. It’s a recognized innovator in corporate communications, including contact center services, logistics, IT services, and creative services. Budco also has close to 600,000 square feet of business space in Highland Park, where it is the largest private employer.
“Lupton, Mich. It’s a town of 50 people and 200 dogs. It’s up around Rose City, Mio, West Branch.”
MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSON:
“I had to think about that, but it was really two people – my grandfather, my mother’s father, who lived with us. He had a really unique ability to relate to people differently depending on what kind of people they were. Watching him helped me in my relationships with people. My second one would be my mother, who was very stubborn and persistent, and like me, maybe not bright enough to know you can’t do something.”
LAST BOOK READ:
"For a novel, Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons. From a nonfiction side, Thomas Sowell’s Black Rednecks and White Liberals. People should forget the controversial title and read the book. It’s profound enough that I’m reading it a second time."
WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME:
“Passionate, verbal, persistent, stubborn.”
WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED:
“Again, when you take the four disciplines of my company—contact center, logistics, IT, and creative—it’s moving our customer base to a whole new level of dialogue with their customers and their business partners. They still haven’t figured out how to send someone a product by beaming it across the Internet. You still have to put stuff in boxes. So I believe you’re just going to have to stay focused and find the best and the brightest people to provide service in those areas.”
FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET:
“I’m not much of a techie. I’ve been fortunate to work with a whole bunch of people who are very good at it. For me, it’s probably high-definition TV, so I can watch all the sporting events that interest me—and irritate my wife.”
“Torch Lake. I love that area. We have a home there, six miles south of the north end of Torch Lake and we really do love it. I get to go out with my chain saw and work in the woods. It’s pretty cool.”
“I’m not very good at much of anything, so I do a whole bunch of things. Golf, exercise, skiing.”
“This goes all the way back to my English heritage. Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.”
MY HIDDEN TALENT:
“I don’t think I really have any. I guess I’m a teacher at heart.”
HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED:
“There are a lot of ways, but I think that people’s personal dignity many times starts with a job, and I want to be remembered by those I worked with that we went out and sold something, and gave them a chance to have a job, and maybe move on to a better job. Our whole success at Budco is based on that stewardship and the responsibility of providing people with opportunity and a place to grow. Not every job at Budco is a destination job, but it’s easier to get a job when you have a job, and when people move on and move up we celebrate that.”
||At the annual awards reception in April 2014, one Leader & Innovator from the previous 12 months will be selected
as the Grant Thornton Leader & Innovator of the Year.