Under the leadership of Bob Chapman, Barry-Wehmiller has built its reputation as a key player in the capital equipment and engineering consulting field through strategic acquisition and operational expertise. With his leadership team, Chapman has kept the company focused on creating long-term value, maintaining its impressive financial performance, and expanding the company’s global footprint. Chapman’s most enduring legacy, however, will be his fervor for Truly Human Leadership and the people whose lives he impacts through the workplace culture this people-first commitment fosters.
Chapman became chief executive officer of family-owned Barry-Wehmiller in 1975 at age 30, after the untimely death of his father. By 1985, he stabilized the struggling bottle washer and pasteurizer 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, $1.8 billion 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.
Chapman championed the transformation of the company’s traditional manufacturing culture in the early 2000s. He directed the drafting of its cultural vision statement, the Guiding Principles of Leadership, which established the company’s unique measure of success: by the way they touch the lives of others. The 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 its adoption throughout more 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 has a BA from Indiana University and an MBA from Michigan. Prior to joining Barry-Wehmiller, he was an accountant with Price Waterhouse.