In 1998, Brad Mountz was nominated by the Board of Directors to succeed his father as President and CEO of Mountz, Inc. After several years of alignment and succession plan consultation, Don handed the reigns over to a second generation with hopes of continued grow and prosperity.
The promotion for Brad came after years of development throughout the organization. In 1983, Brad came to Mountz part-time where he filled in as a clerk, warehouse assistant or machine operator. His practicum included working in the machine shop, shipping and receiving, calibration and time overseas working for suppliers in the UK as an assembler, machine operator, parts stores clerk, quality control inspector and in metrology. In 1985, he started in customer service, progressed to technical support, then sales, which set a path to replace his father as he gained the needed experience to manage the business.
Brad had several key mentors who guided his career within the company. His father preferred that he work directly for other managers to ensure he was well trained and prepared by those doing the day-to-day work within the company. Any promotion would come on the recommendation of dedicated employees, not on his namesake. Brad shared an especially close relationship with former Mountz Vice Presidents, Owen Johnson and Chuck Serafini. They would often share correspondence or travel together on business where Brad was always asking questions.
In 1987 Brad was transferred to Houston, Texas where he fast gained a foothold as a Regional Manager. He obtained significant sales growth, propelling Texas to the largest market for Mountz outside of its California headquarters. A progression of sales promotions led Brad to the position of National Distribution Manager in 1988.
In 1991, he was promoted to Vice President of Sales and Marketing and later assumed all General Management responsibility.
Brad was born in The Hague, Netherlands five months after Don was transferred to start up the European division of Cleco Tools. The family returned in 1964 and settled in Cupertino, CA – the first location of Mountz, Inc. Brad experienced a happy, carefree childhood in a neighborhood with lots of friends. He played Little League baseball, with his dad as manager in the early years. In 1967, Brad became the sibling to twin brothers, Troy and Kent and over the years the boys took turns accompanying their dad at work.
The family moved to Morgan Hill in 1974 where Brad completed school, played most sports, but excelled in baseball as a pitcher. He went on to Fresno State with hopes play in college, but suffered arm injuries that ended his baseball dreams prematurely. He later returned to San Jose and attended San Jose State University where he joined the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity and developed life long friendships.
Married to his high school sweetheart, Myra, they have four children. While dedicated to Mountz, Brad is a steadfast family man and a person who sincerely cares for each employee. In his spare time he has become an avid bicyclist, he likes to read, play golf and enjoy family travel and gatherings.
The succession of every family business is a serious thought on the mind of every business owner. For a business to remain in a family it must have a second-generation leader as passionate as the first generation. It must have a founder willing to let the next generation fail. That is easier said than done.
Over the years, artwork inspired by the growing relation of Brad and his father has been placed around the Mountz facility. A bronze statue of two eagles, talons exposed, symbolizes the early days of their relationship, as they navigated succession.
An inscription on the back of an artist portrait of Don says, “You are in capable hands. On to new heights!” This message written by Don on the back his portrait was the final commission as he handed the keys of the company he founded to his son. Our expectation is that Brad will be as incisive when his time comes to influence the third generation of Mountz ownership.
Stay tuned for more of the stories behind Mountz…. click here to go to all the Mountz 50 Year Anniversary blog posts.