Employee Spotlight: Paul Brawley
Quality is the clear dividing line between industry leaders and generic pretenders. Quality has always been the top priority at Gateway Bronco, as anyone who has driven one can attest.
“Our customers are consistently impressed by the quality of our vehicles,” said Gateway Bronco CEO Seth Burgett. “Often clients immediately call upon receipt of their Bronco to inquire about their next one. One raved that, ‘The exhaust looks like artwork.’”
The first step in producing a quality product is hiring quality people. Gateway Bronco has plenty at the Hamel, Illinois, factory; one is Paul Brawley, Director of Quality. Paul is a 23-year Air Force veteran who held positions as Director of Operations, Wargaming, at LeMay Center Wargaming Institute, and Commander, 1st Airborne Command and Control Squadron. He was tasked with supporting the President of the United States, the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. His post-service career prior to Gateway Bronco includes quality manager positions in the aerospace and defense industries.
“We were looking specifically for someone with experience in the aerospace industry,” Burgett explained. “Paul had a background in high-tolerance, high consequence environments, where the quality controls are mission-critical and life-critical. He’s brought that experience of quality to our business. In addition to Paul’s experience in Quality, his 35-year background in leadership, learning and application are equally important to our team. At the height of his career in the USAF he led a squadron of nearly 200 people supporting the Secretary of Defense travels and over a billion dollars of aircraft. Paul’s expertise contributes to the business in many ways, but leading our quality effort is one that makes him an exceptional member of the Gateway Bronco team.”
Paul leads a team that includes a quality inspector and seven front-line supervisors. He leads Gateway Bronco’s material review board, where he serves alongside Burgett, as well as the company’s Manufacturing Engineer, Chief of Product, and Field Service Manager. “Through the material review board, he brings a consistent cadence to identifying root cause, and eliminating and mitigating that root cause going forward,” Burgett said.
“I’ve been associated with Aerospace most of my life,” Paul said. “From the time I was learning to fly at 18 years old, through 23 years of service flying in the USAF as a Navigator on various platforms, to working with Fortune 500 aerospace companies after retirement, aerospace has been my life. The opportunity to work with this outstanding team at Gateway Bronco was one I was never expecting, but I am extremely excited about. The reality is that the tools I’ve gathered over my years in quality and aerospace are quite relatable to the automotive industry. Quality principles apply no matter what the industry. Understanding how to find the Root Cause of problems and implement Corrective Actions is essential to ensuring, first of all, a safe vehicle and secondly, a vehicle that is as much a piece of art as it is a mode of transportation. This team has made the transition easy and everyone here is incredibly dedicated to creating the BEST Bronco on the planet…period!”
“Paul’s background as a leader in our nation’s Air Force gives him a unique ability to relate to these men and women building these Broncos. His approach helps take a job that is often regarded as adversarial to overall production and turn it into a culture that people enjoy working within. Everyone supports Paul’s goal to create the best possible quality product,” Burgett noted.
Quality will continue to be the focus for the Gateway Bronco team with Paul Brawley as the Top Gun, leading the mission.
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