July '19

Issue link: https://nbm.uberflip.com/i/1132225

Contents of this Issue


Page 132 of 156

124 • RV PRO • July 2019 rv-pro.com B U S I N E S S M ike Braun, the mild-man- nered businessman from Jasper, Ind., has defied expectations throughout his career. After graduating in 1976 from Wabash College, where he earned an eco- nomics degree with summa cum laude honors, he married his high school sweet- heart and enrolled in Harvard Business School, earning an M.B.A. in 1978. After graduation, when many of his classmates pursued careers on Wall Street, Braun instead returned to Jasper to start his career. In 1979, he co-founded Crystal Farms, which later became one of the largest turkey operations in the Midwest. After starting at Meyer Body Co. in 1981 and eventually acquiring full own- ership, Braun transitioned from the man- ufacturing sector to the distribution mar- kets, forming Meyer Distributing. Since then, Meyer has grown to be among the industry leaders in auto and RV parts dis- tribution. Three of his four children work in the family business. Meanwhile, as a state representative, Braun partnered with conservative leaders like then Gov. Mike Pence to enact a series of pro-business initiatives. The 2016 Indiana General Assembly was ranked as the most conservative legislative body in the country. Before 2018, Braun had never run for an office higher than the Indiana Gen- eral Assembly and was largely unknown among voters outside his hometown. He campaigned as a mainstream Republican and supporter of President Trump and defeated two incumbent U.S. House mem- bers running for the GOP nomination in the May primary. In the general election, Braun defeated incumbent Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly by 8 percentage points. Recently, he spoke exclusively with RV PRO about a range of topics including Q&A with U.S. Sen. Mike Braun his background as the president of RV parts distributor Meyer Distributing, the business experience he brings to Wash- ington, D.C., and some of his goals as a U.S. senator. His remarks have been edited for clarity and brevity. RV PRO: Prior to your election, you successfully led Meyer Distributing, which is a prominent distributor to the RV and automotive aftermarket seg- ments. Just curious: Are you an RVer? Braun: To be honest, back in the early '90s, I bought a bumper-mounted, 13- to 14-foot trailer to use recreationally to take on some fishing trips and so forth. Other than that, that's my only purchase of an RV product. I'm an outdoorsman, hunter and fish- erman. I'm blessed to do so much of it within a short driving distance of where I live, so I've not gone into what many Baby Boomers have done and taken it to the next level but I know a lot of people have. PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE SENATE OFFICE OF U.S. SEN. MIKE BRAUN Indiana's freshman senator talks RVs, bringing a business perspective to the capital and his legislative goals moving forward. By Steve Bibler

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of RV PRO - July '19