Since 1955, Bill Brown Sales (BBS) has been representing component manufacturers to lighting OEMs and representing the interests of those customers to its factories. The combination of sales knowledge and superior products first envisioned decades ago still offers the lighting industry’s best value proposition today, embodied in the BBS service motto, “One call does it all!”
In 1955, Bill Brown Sales begins representing lighting component manufacturers.
Makes first sales call to Lithonia, starting a commercial relationship that is to last more than five decades and is still going strong.
BBS begins representing Steel Craft Fluorescent and Adam Metal Products, two manufacturers it still represents today.
In short time, BBS outgrows its makeshift office in Bill and Norma’s apartment and moves to a storefront.
As the Brown family grows, so does the business, moving first to a new office, and then to a facility that includes a plastics extrusion operation.
Ida Weiss signs on as Bill Brown’s right-hand person, bringing the office staff to three full-time employees and a part-time high school student. Ida will remain a loyal, integral part of the operation for over 30 years
A.L.P. is born when a representation agreement ends, and Bill Brown must find a way to supply customers with louvers himself.
Fire destroys the West Coast operation. Customers and competitors alike offer their help to help BBS recover from the disaster.
The company begins operating in Atlanta, with the purchase of Gladwin Plastics.
David and Steve Brown finish their professional educations and join the company full-time. Subsequently Steve relocates to California as West Coast Regional Sales Manager.
Operations in Farmingdale, NY and Pennsauken, NJ are opened and later merged. Pennsauken soon becomes a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant.
In 1988, BBS/A.L.P. Denver begins operating, bringing the company to five sales offices and two manufacturing facilities. Advertising, Engineering, and International Sales become dedicated departments.
Bill Brown is presented with the Spirit of Life Award by the City of Hope, for his commitment to the community and leadership in the lighting industry. Donations to a research fellowship named in his honor advance diabetes research.
In 2000, Bill and Norma Brown celebrate 50 years of marriage.
International operations expand, with the addition of A.L.P. Europe in Birmingham, England, and plant in Monterrey, Mexico.
Domestic operations also flourish, first with the opening of the Lithia Springs, GA metals plant, the acquisition of Steel Craft Industries in 2004 and Spectrus, Inc. in 2007.
The company’s evolution continues. Bill Brown indulges his passion for sales and marketing, while Steve and David Brown take on increasingly important roles in the day-to-day operations. During this decade, the business and the Brown family achieve some impressive milestones.
Among the honors and accolades, Bill Brown is presented with a lifetime achievement award from RSM US and receives the Louis B. Marks Award from the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES). Additionally, Bill and Norma’s grandson, Jason Brown, is US National Champion in men’s figure skating and earns a Bronze Medal at the Sochi Olympics.
From a broader perspective, the early promise of LEDs is driving a full-scale lighting revolution in the lighting industry. As it has from the beginning, BBS is continually re-adapting products and strategies, and creating growth opportunities by listening, learning and finding new ways to meet customer needs.