Braun History

Madison-based Braun Corporation has been in operation for over 60 years, with roots tracing back to Rollie Braun’s joining Berman Electric Company in partnership with Les Berman during 1949. Subsequent consolidation with Berman-Kern Elevator Company in 1965 resulted in the formation of the Berman Electric and Elevator Company. Following Lester Berman’s retirement in 1970, Rollie Braun became sole owner of the company, changing its name to Braun Electric and Elevator Company in 1972.

A significant stage in the Company’s history was its establishment in the 1950’s as a distributor for the Montgomery Elevator and Rotary Lift Company, which later became the Dover Elevator Company. Substantial growth ensued beginning in 1957, when the Company was awarded its first major contract for the installation of two unique Montgomery freight elevators in the SAGE Air Defense System building (now Covance) at Truax Field in Madison. One of these 16,000-pound capacity units was an unusual corner-post design featuring three car openings.

The successful installation at Truax Field demonstrated the Company’s ability to handle large, specialized projects and heightened its visibility within the industry. During the same period, the Company also began manufacturing and installing its own line of dumbwaiters, scores of which were installed throughout Wisconsin. Many of these units remain in service today, including at the Governor’s mansion in Madison.

The Braun Electric and Elevator Company continued to thrive through subsequent decades, also becoming a leader in the accessibility lift market. Despite rapid growth and constant change, the Company never lost sight of its core values as a family-owned business.

After growing up in the family business, Rollie’s son Darrell S. Braun rejoined the Company in 1986 after an 11-year career with Westinghouse Elevator Company. The name of the Company was changed to Braun Corporation, and Darrell eventually became President in 1993. Under Darrell’s guidance the elevator division pursued a strategy of becoming a highly-focused, consumer-oriented service company, and was rewarded for its efforts. During this growth period, the Company restructured, opened operations in the Milwaukee area, and moved its headquarters to a new and expanded facility. The company also diversified product lines and began securing highly-trained, experienced, and motivated technical field staff, which remains a hallmark of current operations.

In the early 1990’s Braun Corporation established new distributor relationships with Concord Elevator and Thyssen Elevator Corporation. The latter relationship would prove to be central to Braun Corporation’s current success in the elevator industry.

In 2005, Braun Corporation entered into a unique partnership with ThyssenKrupp Elevator Corporation, the world’s second largest elevator manufacturer. The formation of Braun ThyssenKrupp Elevator, LLC, the banner under which the company provides elevator services today, solidified the Company’s role as an exclusive regional provider of ThyssenKrupp Elevator goods and services. With offices in Milwaukee and Madison, the Company operates under local ownership and management with full access to ThyssenKrupp Elevator resources and support.

Braun Corporation remains a highly-focused specialty contractor committed to good corporate citizenship and fulfilling its responsibilities to customers and employees. Concurrently, continued pursuit and development of market-leading products, services, and benefits positions Braun as an industry leader. The Company also remains family owned, with third-generation Braun involvement in daily operations; Darrell Braun’s son Andrew is currently Supervisor of Elevator Service and Repair out of the Madison Office.

Important to the Company’s continued success is involvement in various industry trade associations, including the Associated General Contractors, which Braun Corporation is a member. Timely industry news, legislative updates, and access to additional resources allows Braun Corporation to remain current on issues that have a direct impact on company operations. Company Vice President Mark Browning says “AGC’s resources help us to stay informed on relative topics, which helps us to provide our customers with better service. We continue to support the AGC and find new ways to incorporate their resources into our operations.”