top of page

Brad Weinbrum

Founder & Chief Transformation Officer

Passionate about people  
Proud Florida Gator Alumnus
  • LinkedIn
UF Logo

"I believe in people."

For more than 25 years, Brad has earned an impeccable reputation as a successful leader, trusted advisor, transformation wizard, worthy ally and friend. He is valued for his loyalty, honesty, integrity and flexibility and the way he treats ALL people with empathy and respect.  

Brad believes in people. Convinced that people are the heart and soul of any organization, his focus always starts and ends with the people behind the company. Known in many circles as an adept, fair leader, he builds and mentors teams by ensuring the best people are in the right positions, empowering them to push past boundaries, challenging them to grow and providing structure and collaboration to drive results. 

 

Brad's focus is guided by an absolute passion for businesses, customers and employees. This deeply held belief that people matter most enables him to help others see the big picture, and to clarify the most efficient and effective pathway forward to achieve stellar results. Brad is an innovative problem-solver, strategic thinker and quick learner who uses strong analytics to transform businesses into accountable, profitable organizations, setting them up for sustainable success.   

 

From the boardroom to the warehouse, Brad is an ardent communicator and listener, profoundly skilled at simplifying complex issues to a wide spectrum of audiences and motivating people to do the work necessary to transform thinking, process and behaviors necessary to achieve new levels of development.

ABB Optical Group Logo

The Transformation of ABB Optical Group

In 1989, Angel Alvarez began what is now known as The ABB Optical Group, a present-day market leader in optical distribution. In the beginning, Angel, a senior sales representative had a vision for how he could solve distribution challenges in the optical space. Ten years later, he met Brad Weinbrum at a Vistage meeting, and through a series of collaborative sessions came to believe that the evolution of the office supply space could serve as an effective model to elevate efficiencies in the optical space.  And the transformation of ABB Optical began.

19 years later, ABB was transformed from a $23MM to $1.3B business, employing hundreds of workers across the U.S.

brad and angel.jpg

"Brad’s initial goal was to pay for himself by implementing what he saw as low hanging fruit. Brad actually developed a list prior to his official start date. He was able to generate sustainable income that more than paid for his expense within his first 90 days. We would use the same formula to eventually expand the rest of the management and most of the sales teams," says Angel.  

The biggest obstacle Brad had to overcome was what he referred to as “the end around”. As Brad worked to implement the necessary changes in the organization, several of the employees were resistant to the idea of change and had the tendency to try to work around the changes. Brad preempted the behavior by aligning and gaining support from the rest of the management team to direct these staffers back to him. Angel shares that "Dealing with this predictable behavior upfront allowed the entire organization to be aligned and signaled to them that we were serious about the changes that needed to be made." 

 

Authenticity, transparency and communication are hallmark characteristics of Brad's leadership style.  From the beginning of this period of change and transformation, Brad went the distance to stay consistently clear on what the goals were and the importance of execution. "Brad’s ability to have many early wins helped him to quickly earn credibility.  He kept the employees in the loop by over communicating which in turn generated a significant amount of trust," adds Angel.  "Brad allowed for the organization to execute at a very high level which was the basis of us being able to scale very successfully. We were also able to quickly implement the culture of trust, open communication and  accountability to the organizations we acquired."

 

Brad learned what he was good at and more importantly what he was not. His self awareness allowed for him to delegate his weaknesses.  This also served as an example for other key leaders, inspiring them to know their strengths and speak openly about their weaknesses allowing space for individual development.

 

Brad's nearly 20-year tenure serving ABB Optical Group as an executive leader, COO and then President, would see the organization evolve to becoming a $1.3B market leader as an optical manufacturer, distributor and provider of business services and solutions.

 

When asked about Brad's contribution to this success, Angel cites "Over the years I’ve been exposed to many leaders and managers. Brad has the leadership ability to bring out the best of others by supporting individuals in a non threatening collaborative manner. I know of many individuals that credit Brad for much of their success in business and in their personal lives due to his mentoring. There is no greater compliment to a leader."

Eyeglass Display
angel alvarez

Angel Alvarez

Chairman,
ABB Optical Group

The biggest obstacle Brad had to overcome was what he calls “the end around." As Brad implemented the necessary changes in the organization several of the employees had the tendency to try to work around the changes in an attempt to resist the change.

 

Brad preempted the behavior by making sure to have the rest of the management team direct them back to him. Dealing with this predictable behavior upfront allowed the entire organization to be aligned and signal to that we were serious about 

 the changes that needed to be made.

karenhobbs

Karen Hobbs

Former VP of Customer Service,
ABB Optical Group

Brad was always actively involved in every aspect of our business.  He wanted to understand beyond just the numbers, regularly joining live sales calls to gain perspective from customers and sales, spent time listening to customer service calls and regularly visited the distribution center. 

 

His open-door policy was real. He cared deeply about team members and connected with them personally and professionally.  It is this level of caring, passion and excitement in people that motivated our company to be the best we could and our success was a testament to so much of that.

gina rosano

Gina Rosano

Director of Marketing,
ABB Optical Group

Brad has this innate ability to adapt his approach based on the needs of the individual.  Over the course of my 20-year career I have had the unique advantage of calling Brad my mentor.  He can naturally shift his helpful approach regardless of what is happening in my career to best support my development and advancement.

 

His genuine care and insight helped me break down barriers as I pursued my professional dreams.  I will forever be thankful for his guidance.

bottom of page