Ariens Company celebrated its 80th anniversary at its Brillion, Wis. headquarters September 13 with more than 1,200 guests who gathered for the event, including retirees, dealers, suppliers, elected officials and local community members. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker addressed the crowd and presented a Certificate of Commendation. (View the full event here.)
The power equipment company was started by Henry Ariens and his three sons, Leon, Steve and Francis in 1933 when they created a rotary tiller in the family garage. “The history of Ariens Company is intertwined with the transformation of the American landscape since 1933,” says Dan Ariens, Company President & CEO and fourth generation family member. “We’ll continue to invest in the future by building on the values from the past,”
Ariens recognized 16 families who have worked for Ariens Company for three or more generations. Two families have worked for the company for four generations. One family has worked for the company for five generations.
Rhonda Behnke and Mindy Behnke
Ryan Behnke and Rich Behnke
Bobby Brandenburg and Scott Brandenburg
Sarah Cook and Christopher Braden
Lori Ann Fels
Jeff Gerdes and Jared Gerdes
Chris Halstead and Chris Halstead
M. Jeffrey Herzog and Kristin Korstad
Cindi Loose and Debbie Voight
Randy Nicklaus and Chad Nicklaus
Bev Kalies, Bonnie Resch, Toby Resch and Bryan Meyer
Debra Schneider, Roger Schneider Jr., Tina Neumann and Nathan Schneider
Gary Kalies and Bryan Meyer
“This milestone event is a celebration of the generations of employees who have worked to ensure Ariens Company has remained relevant in the marketplace decade after decade,” says Ariens who is the fourth generation family leader of the company.
Extending the theme of Generations to the audience, Ariens observed that more than 300 dealer families were part of the event. “This is truly an extended family business,” says Ariens. “All of the dealers who sell our power equipment in communities across the country are family businesses as well and many of them are in their third and fourth generation of ownership.”
A 7-foot bronze statue, titled Generations, was unveiled to commemorate the anniversary which will be installed at the company headquarters. The sculpture includes three figures each representing a different generation at a work table contemplating a mechanical solution.
“This sculpture represents how companies must evolve over many generations in order to survive and remain relevant,” says Ariens. “The middle generation ponders a mechanical question with the guidance of the wiser first generation looking over his shoulder. An inquisitive young boy representing the third generation observes and learns.
“Each generation brings something new to the table,” says Dan Ariens. “The sculpture is a reflection on the spirit of entrepreneurship, American ingenuity and manufacturing craftsmanship at its best.”
The sculpture was created by the Studio of Rotblatt-Amrany in Highwood, Ill. The studio has received commissions for some of the best known sports figures including the sculptures of Curly Lambeau and Vince Lombardi at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. The artists and studio owners were introduced at the event.