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2023 C-SUITE Honoree Brian Montanari

President & CEO Habco Industries Size of organization: 65 employees Education: Bachelor’s degree in finance, Siena College; MBA, Central Connecticut State University Click here to return to the honoree page
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Winner Category | CEO, Small Company, Less Than 75 Employees

Brian Montanari is president and chief executive officer of Habco Industries, which provides ground support equipment and tooling to the aerospace aftermarket industry.

Montanari’s roots of starting his career on the shop floor at The Wiremold Co. shine through as he is an active, hands-on leader with a passion for continuous improvement and building a positive culture.

What have been your biggest professional accomplishments over the past year?

My 16-year Habco career has been dedicated to finding better ways to meet the demanding needs of our customers, while simultaneously providing a fulfilled work-life balance for our employees and significantly increasing the enterprise value of the business for our investors.

In 2023, we launched another business unit that will represent 50% growth, further diversifying us into the aerospace aftermarket. Additionally, we simultaneously achieved record market feedback surveys from our customers, and the highest results of our employee surveys.

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In what ways are you involved in the community?

I served as a church youth group advisor, volunteered in youth sports and have been an adjunct professor at Eastern Connecticut State University. I held multiple board positions at various nonprofits and trade associations, and currently serve on the executive committee and board of directors for the Connecticut Business & Industry Association.

On the job

Guiding business principle: Hire people smarter than me and then dedicate myself to removing roadblocks that get in their way.

Best way to keep your competitive edge: I get up and work out early in the morning, and then mentally prepare and plan my day before getting to work.

Best business decision: Leaving a great job, responsible for 14 facilities in nine countries and taking a significant reduction in compensation to work for Habco, which was a small, single-site, 20-person company at the time.

Biggest missed opportunity: There have been some investment opportunities that I was presented with that I didn’t take advantage of, but wished I did. However, the biggest missed opportunity has been allowing our youngest to go to boarding school to play ice hockey, which caused us to miss four years of experiences with her at the house. Although she loved it, we missed out on quality time that we’ll never get back.

Goal yet to be achieved: Getting a record return on investment for our investors.

Personal touch in your office: Pictures of my wife, Elise and our two daughters, Brylee and Mia; and the small putting area to escape to while on phone calls, or for when I just need a few minutes to free my mind.

Personal side:

City of residence: East Hampton

Favorite way to relax: Boating or golfing with my wife and daughters

Hobbies: Boating, golfing and watching the girls’ sports

Last vacation: Wilmington, North Carolina at the beach with family before moving our oldest back into college

Favorite movie: “Shawshank Redemption” or “Tommy Boy”

The car you drive: Toyota Tundra pickup truck

Currently reading: “Building a Culture of Innovation,” by Ripi Singh

Favorite cause: Being the best husband and father I can be

Second choice career: While in college, working on Wall Street was my initial plan; so working in manufacturing is my second career choice.

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