What started as a wire coat hanger manufacturing company on Pine Ave in Niagara Falls has evolved over three generations into a multi-million dollar, global precision part manufacturing company.
Despite a highly competitive global business environment, Broda Machine is thriving.
Matthew Broda, 3rd generation owner, has taken the company far beyond his forefathers would have dreamed of. Since taking over, with the help of his sister Lindsay, they have doubled in sales and positioned the company to be a leader in their industry. All of this didn’t magically happen. Their father, Tom Broda, built a solid foundation on strong relationships with customers and suppliers and worked hard to grow the modest business he took over from his father.
Broda Machine Company was founded in 1935 by brothers Martin and Walter Broda. The company began in 1935 as a wire coat hanger manufacturing business after Martin and Walter Broda perfected a machine to produce coat hangers. After several years in this business, working from a garage behind their home in Niagara Falls, New York, they would gradually begin to expand into general machining. In 1968 the brothers moved to its current location on Packard Rd in the Town of Niagara. Tom Broda, Walter’s son, began working part-time while in school and kept his part-time position even while working a corporate job.
In 1985, when Walter passed away, Tom Broda quit his job to carry on the family legacy and become CEO of the business. He took out loans to purchase new equipment and hired skilled staff to provide a more specialized product to their customers. Tom was not only technically smart, but he was also people smart too. He had a gift for connecting with people. He was charismatic, charming and fun, but more importantly, he was genuine. Tom led his team with compassion, trust, and respect. His daughter Lindsay said, “he commanded a room and the respect of those around him without saying a word.”
Tom loved what he did, although it was not easy as a young father and husband. When Matthew and Lindsay were old enough to participate in small tasks, he would bring them to work and train them on the inner workings of the business. Eventually, both took official roles while in school and eventually joined the company full time. The three of them built a great team, a solid customer base and became known to specialize in key areas within the industry including Aerospace, HVAC and Automotive.
In 2013, Broda Machine doubled its size by expanding to 20,000 square feet. Along with increased capacity, the additional space allowed the company to introduce more state-of-the-art machining centers. The company was now able to manufacture large quantities of small custom parts for hundreds of thousands of products around the world ranging from airplanes and cars to heating and cooling units.
Despite a highly competitive global business environment, Tom and Matthew were able to grow the company by creating a unique business model and delivering world-class service. Matthew played a key role in helping Tom map out the future of Broda Machine with his fresh insight and perspective. Matthew knew the future of the company would be to stay competitively priced, technologically advanced, while still providing the personal service of a family-owned business and uphold the high standards his father set. Most young leaders would not be successful under this criteria, but Matthew inherited the determination and grit his father had.
Lindsay and Matthew were afforded the perks of a successful family business but they never took it for granted and both inherited the work ethic of their father. Although Lindsay has a critical role in the company, she is also helping her husband grow his business, the Village Bake Shoppe in Lewiston. A new mom and the backbone of two businesses don’t diminish her gratitude or her positive attitude. During the holidays, she works double shifts, meeting her obligation to Broda Machine and helping her husband bake, deliver and ship homemade baked goods. When asked how she does it all, she didn’t tell us how hard it is or how stressful it can be, she just simply said she was grateful. Her brother, Matthew, shares the same perspective. It’s obvious that Tom and his wife didn’t raise silver-spooned kids with entitlement issues. This 3rd generation is hard-working, motivated and committed to the family legacy and the staff.
Tom fell ill and passed away in 2015. Yet, you can still feel his presence on the shop floor and the images in the office tell a story of a man who loved his family and treated his staff like family. He left behind a foundation for Matthew and Lindsay to build upon and a legacy of love, compassion and integrity. If Tom is looking down on his children and his business, he would be proud watching two competent and capable business owners who care as much about the employees and the customers as he did.
Matthew said he is committed to keeping his Dad’s virtues and values alive in the day to day of the business. Just as his father did, Matthew has vision beyond the day to day business tasks. In fact, since Matthew took over the business, the sales have grown the most in the company’s history. When asked about the growth, Matthew stated “Don’t get me wrong, vision is only part of the battle. It’s imperative to have a solid team behind you to turn those visions into sustainable reality. I give my team as much credit as I take for myself in regards to the growth.” His father taught him to be a good study of his industry and his customer needs. Matthew’s approach is to bring value to his customer’s business by giving them what they need and when they need it at an affordable price. He will continue to invest in new technology and automation to keep the company technically competitive and continue to nurture and grow strong relationships by proving his company is the best business partner for his customers.
TNBPA is proud to have this family legacy as part of our membership. We’re looking forward to watching the 4th generation of Brodas come up the ranks and carry on the legacy.
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