The BRANDT Family
The Brandt family is very much involved in the management of BRANDT, Inc. The two founders—Glen Brandt and his sister Evelyn Brandt Thomas—contribute to the company’s operations and remain as consultants to the Board of Directors. Rick Brandt acts as the company’s CEO and president. And Rick’s daughter, Sierra, has been taking part in company functions for as long as she can remember.
The quintessential entrepreneur, Glen Brandt is a true pioneer in the field of fluid fertilizer. In 1953, he founded the business that would become Brandt Consolidated, Inc. when he began custom-applying anhydrous ammonia for local farmers. He was using a tractor borrowed from his father; he was 27.
Glen briefly attended Springfield (IL) Junior College before enlisting in the US Merchant Marines in 1944. He returned home after three years of service to help his father farm, but was drafted into the Army in 1950 to serve in Korea. After two years with the 27th Regiment of the 25th Division, he was honorably discharged. He returned to Pleasant Plains to continue farming with his father.
Starting in 1953, Glen lead a line of companies that would become Brandt Consolidated. From Brandt & Gardner Gas Station to Brandt’s Fertilizer Service to Brandt Chemical Company, Glen presided over the company’s rapid growth and set a vision for the future. Glen stepped aside as CEO of Brandt’s Fertilizer Service and Brandt Chemical company in 1986, at age 60, to serve as chairman of the board. In 1990, Glen oversaw the formation of Brandt Consolidated, the company that exists today.
Glen has always been an active leader in the agrochemical industry. He served as the president of the National Fertilizer Solutions Association in 1972. The NFSA later spawned the Fluid Fertilizer Foundation, before becoming part of the Ag Retailers Association. In 2000, BRANDT was named Ag Retailer of the Year by the Ag Retailers’ Association and Ag Retailer magazine. In 2007, the ARA gave Glen its prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.
Still active in the business, in 2015, Glen, along with sister Evelyn, was named the Illinois State Ag Ambassador. A Patron of the Memorial Medical Center Foundation and charter member of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation, Glen continues to give to his community.
Evelyn Brandt Thomas
Evelyn Brandt Thomas is a businesswoman, philanthropist, and civic leader. She has been an inspiration for women and men in business for decades, and her generous philanthropy and sustained community service have contributed to the quality of life for all who live and work in central Illinois. In 2014, she received an honorary doctorate from the University of Illinois Springfield to recognize her service to the community.
After growing up on a small family farm near Pleasant Plains, Illinois, she earned an accounting degree from Illinois Business College, an unusual step for a young woman of that era. She and her brother Glen started a fertilizer business in the early 1950s to supplement the family's income on the farm.
For over 60 years, she and Glen have remained active in leading the family business, which has grown to become Brandt Consolidated, Inc., a multimillion-dollar international company dedicated to helping farmers adopt new and profitable technologies to enable their success on the family farm. In 2012, BRANDT was named to Inc. Magazine's list of 500 Fastest Growing Private Companies. Very few women achieve this level of success in an agricultural business and her accomplishments in agribusiness are a tribute to her expertise, determination and diplomacy.
Evelyn also has made significant contributions to a number of non-profit organizations in central Illinois, as well as to the University of Illinois campuses in Springfield and Urbana. She is proud to be an advocate for the 4-H and she is a member of the Illinois Women’s Symphony Guild, Illinois Agri-Women, Women in Leadership, Lions Club and Women Entrepreneurs of Central Illinois. She is a past Board member of the Illinois State Museum, Memorial Hospital Foundation and the Pleasant Plains State Bank. The Association of Fund Raising Professionals awarded Evelyn and her husband Gordon its 2002 Outstanding Philanthropist Award.
In 2011, Evelyn was named an Outstanding Woman in Agriculture by Illinois Agri-Women at the Illinois State Fair.
Rick Brandt has been the CEO & President of family-owned BRANDT since 1995. A major force in BRANDT’s phenomenal growth and expansion, Rick has overseen the acquisition and integration of 16 companies during his tenure.
Son of BRANDT founder Glen Brandt, Rick joined the company in 1991 after graduating from the University of South Florida with a degree in Economics. He spent the next four years working as an assistant to then BRANDT president Gary Grossweiler, pitching in and learning about the business. When Grossweiler retired, Rick was named president and CEO of Brandt Consolidated, Inc. Today, Rick oversees a global business with three complementary divisions, employing nearly 500 associates from the Springfield, IL, headquarters.
Rick is also CEO & owner of TradeMark Nitrogen in Tampa, FL. TradeMark is a wholesale manufacturer, marketer and distributor of bulk commodities for industrial and agricultural customers. TradeMark operates 24 hours a day/7 days a week/365 days a year to facilitate customer schedules and needs. With over 180 years of experience in the fertilizer industry, TradeMark’s highly trained staff has earned a reputation for reliability and performance.
Rick is married to Kristie and has a daughter, Sierra-Shae.