“Mike was our first choice because he really understands the importance of our relationships with our customers, suppliers, and team members here at IBT,” said Stephen Cloud, Chairman of the IBT Board of Directors. “He also respects our history and the legacy of the Cloud family.”
No Break in Quality for Customers
Flannery formally replaces Cloud, who has been acting as interim CEO since March 2015. He started with IBT on November 10, 2015, after an exhaustive nationwide search by the Board of Directors and Executive Committee. He was selected from a pool of 120 highly qualified applicants, Cloud added.
“Mike gives IBT continuity,” Cloud said. “His high caliber of leadership and depth of experience in this industry ensure that we’ll have a smooth transition, with no break in quality for our customers.”
Extensive Leadership Experience
Flannery was previously Vice President and General Manager at Paladin Attachments in Dexter, Michigan, which manufactures attachment tools for the agriculture, construction, material handling, and oil and gas industries. At Paladin, Flannery helped consolidate 14 former companies into a $350 million global leader, creating a 1-stop shop with 12 powerful brands.
“The more I explored IBT, the more interested I was,” Flannery said. “It’s a very strong company, with a solid cadre of products that has been built up over many years. Plus, I love the ‘1-stop shop’ proposition. A lot of companies say they do this, but few can actually deliver like IBT does.”
Focus on Enhanced Customer Service Levels, Strong Growth
At IBT, Flannery will work closely with managers to create a strategic plan to build the foundation for accelerated growth, continuing the company’s successful path. He expects to achieve this by enhancing customer service levels even further beyond today’s standards, as well as by investing in the company—and refining current processes.
“Mike has great long-term strategic thinking on where to take this company over the next 5 years,” Cloud said. “We like his continuing emphasis on customer service levels. He understands exactly how to take care of customers on a short- and long-term basis—which is the core value on which my family founded this company.”
At the moment, Flannery is focused on learning everything he can about IBT’s day-to-day business and products.
“Right now, I’m focused on my ‘First 100 Day Plan’—which means doing a lot of listening with team members, customers, and suppliers,” he said. “So far, I see lots of opportunities for us to maximize our strengths to align better with customer needs and current industry trends.”
Flannery added that he is amazed by two aspects of IBT’s workforce—the loyalty of the team members, and their extensive product knowledge. “IBT is a very, very strong company that has extremely high loyalty between employees and owners,” he said. “That’s one reason why we have such a good retention rate, which translates into valuable, intimate knowledge throughout the company.”
Moved to Kansas City from Ann Arbor
By joining the IBT team, Flannery and his wife, Kathleen, fulfilled a longtime desire to move to the Kansas City area, coming here from Ann Arbor, Michigan. Flannery and his wife were high school sweethearts and married 37 years ago. They now have 3 sons, 1 daughter, and 3 grandchildren.
In his free time, Flannery loves to fly his sport biplane Firebolt on short cross-country trips, and play an occasional round of golf. He and his wife fell in love with the BBQ and friendly people of Kansas City early in his career, when it was part of his sales territory.
“I can’t imagine being anywhere else than here, supporting the Cloud family and the amazing team members we have at IBT,” Flannery said. “I look forward to helping write more successful chapters on the tremendous history of this company.”
Cloud agreed, and said that the company is very satisfied with Flannery’s goals and direction. “Mike is already doing a fabulous job of running the company,” he said. “He’s meshed well with our culture and employees, and he’s just truly a nice guy. I could not be happier with our choice of Mike Flannery.”