Ariens Company Celebrates 80 Years with it’s Workers

Friday, September 13, 2013, Ariens celebrated their 80th anniversary at its Brillion, Wis. Headquarters.  Not by having a special sale or a huge media event proclaiming the best products, but by celebrating the workers of Ariens. 3rd, 4th, and 5th generations who have made Ariens the great family owned business it is. The celebration was for all the workers of Ariens and highlighted 16 families who’ve worked for Ariens for three or more generations.

To help celebrate more than 1200 guests came for the event, including dealers, current and retired employees, suppliers, local community members and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

Ariens 80th Celebration

Ariens Retiree Gary Matuszak

Instead of sitting with the news media I sat with the retirees. Employees who spent 30, 40, 45 and 50 years with Ariens. I listened to their stories of pride. Men and women like Jerry Reis, George Shamburek, Gary Matuszak and Patricia Krause.  Every one told me how working for Ariens was a fun, hard work and rewarding. I saw the privilege to do the work, to be in control of the things they built, is something worth cherishing. The retirees felt they were part of the Ariens family even if they weren’t born into it by blood. Would they do it all over again? Always a resounding, “Yes!”

As a little side note: You all know Nueske’s Bacon.  If you don’t you are missing the best bacon in the world. They have been making vegetarians jealous for 80 years. When Bob Nueske found out Ariens was celebrating their 80th anniversary he called Dan Ariens and said. “I’d like to buy you lunch.” Dan said, “You know there are going to be a lot of people here.” Bob said, “That’s OK.” Dan the said, “But Bob there will be more than 1500 people!”   Bob said, “That’s OK!” So Bob Nuske bought everyone lunch and not just the people in the tent. The first and third shift Production Employees who could not attend were given a breakfast and the second shift a dinner in the tent. Nuske is also celebrating their 80th anniversary this year. Go check them out at  Nueske’  

Governor Scott Walker

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

Governor Walker presented a plaque from the state.  “It’s a family business that not only treats their family like family, they treat the rest of you in this community (Brillion, WI) like family.” He stated, “Those are the types of companies we want in Wisconsin. (Ariens) is a company that not only gives back not just in terms of more jobs and more opportunity, but your leadership and your employees have been involved in so many different ways through out the State of Wisconsin.”

“It not just about our family (Ariens),” said Dan Ariens. “It’s about the larger world and the communities we are involved in. It’s about all the families that make this a special moment. We’ll continue to invest in the future by building on the values from the past.”

A bronze sculpture titled Generations was unveiled commemorating the event. The fourth generation leader of the company, Dan Ariens, said,  “This milestone event is a celebration of the generations of employees who have worked to ensure Ariens Company remained relevant in the marketplace decade after decade.”

Ariens 80th Sculpture

Ariens 80th Sculpture “Generations”

“Companies have to evolve over generations in order to survive,” “Our job is not simply to celebrate what we’ve achieved in the past but to recognize that our youth represents where we’re going.” Ariens continued.  ” We must always have this young person looking at these parts and learning from the generation before him. It’s about what he will bring to the table in the future.”

The 7-foot sculpture will be displayed under the flags at the main entrance to Plant Number One.

I would like to thank Angela Raddant, Product Marketing Manager – Snow for inviting me to this wonderful event.


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