Chairman and CEO of Barry-Wehmiller Companies
Spend just five minutes with Bob Chapman, chairman and CEO of Barry-Wehmiller Companies, and you’ll discover two things: His optimism is infectious and his passion for providing a fulfilling work environment for his employees is palpable. These two traits have been central to the success he has achieved at the helm of the privately-held capital equipment and engineering consulting giant, a thriving $1.8 billion global industry leader.
Chapman took over the reins of the struggling St. Louis bottle washer business in 1975 when he was just 30 years old, after the untimely death of his father. By 1985, he stabilized the struggling business and began to diversify its product line by acquiring beaten-down packaging companies and bringing them back to life through supporting and inspiring their existing leadership teams. Today, Barry-Wehmiller is a combination of almost 70 acquired companies spread among ten subsidiaries across the globe. Since 1987, the company has continued a pattern of 15 percent compound growth in revenue and share value.
Since the early 2000s, Chapman has championed the transformation of Barry-Wehmiller’s culture into one focused on bringing out the best in its people through communication, trust, celebration, respect, continuous improvement and responsible freedom. His launching of Barry-Wehmiller University in 2008, to teach the principles of Truly Human Leadership, has been instrumental in growing the organization’s people-centric culture.
A tireless advocate for the Truly Human approach throughout workplaces, Chapman shares his message regularly. His list of speaking engagements includes: TEDx ScottAFB, AME International Conference, Institute for Healthcare Consumerism Forum, Transformational Leadership Council, Conscious Leadership Summit, TAPPI Conference, Shingo Prize for Manufacturing Excellence International Conference, Mid-America Corporate Growth Conference, HERO Forum for Employee Health Management, Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership’s International Conference, and St. Louis Business Journal’s Salute to the Top 150 Privately Held Companies in St. Louis.
Chapman’s book (with Raj Sisodia) Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family, published in fall, 2015.