Roger Allmand, BD & Glion Honored at Hall of Fame Banquet
13 Oct 2021
Awards and Recognition, Events
Holdrege native Roger Allmand found success in his hometown, where he helped build a multi-million dollar international manufacturing/marketing organization that provided jobs for hundreds of local residents and helped grow the community.
For his longtime dedication to the community not only through the company founded by the Allmand family but also his work as an individual, Roger was chosen to be inducted into the PCDC Business Hall of Fame for 2021.
“Employer, mentor, and philanthropist, Mr. Allmand has impacted hundreds of families directly and more from the ripples of his influence throughout Central Nebraska,” PCDC’s selection committee said. The committee noted his work to assist young companies in developing critical business skills that help them achieve and sustain success.
“Roger’s lifetime of experience coupled with his adherence to ethical and spiritual principles embodies a unique and meaningful approach deserving of this recognition and our community’s gratitude,” the committee said.
Allmand Bros. Beginnings
Roger followed in the footsteps of his father, Walt, who started Allmand Bros. with his brother, Les, in 1938 in a garage in Huntley. The two men developed an electric welder that became popular with area farmers. Allmand Bros. sold 15,000 electric farm welders over the first few decades of the business.
In 1944, the Holdrege Area Chamber of Commerce recruited Allmand Bros. and its five employees to Holdrege. Roger was 6 years old at that time. His dad started teaching him “how to work” at about age 10 at Allmand Bros. In high school, Roger worked at Allmand Bros. during the summers and learned welding, metal fabrication and how to run machines and presses.
Eventually, Roger took over the family business. He helped grow and expand Allmand Bros., along with help from his brother, Steve; his oldest son, Brad; and Steve’s son, Matt.
Roger said that Allmand Bros., like many businesses, experienced good years and bad years with many mediocre cycles in between.
“I just kind of felt like we were this funny little company,” Allmand said. “We didn’t really know any better, but we thought we had some products or ideas that might have some commercial value. So, we tried to learn to identify and serve those markets well.”
The portable lighting towers that Allmand Bros. developed became the company’s best-selling product. Other main products included portable heaters and flashing arrowboards. The company mainly served the mining, oil, gas and construction industries.
Roger moved from sales and marketing to president of the company and finally chairman of the board. During this time, Roger thrived on being an encourager to the more than 200 employees working at Allmand Bros.
Roger strived to create a culture of respect and value. “To me that’s how you develop a business,” Roger said. “You figure out opportunities for people to enjoy what they are doing and excel at it and do it in a loving and respectful manner.”
Roger and his family sold Allmand Bros. to Briggs & Stratton in 2014.
Serving the Community
Through the years, Roger has served the community through his involvement in the Holdrege Area Chamber of Commerce, Rotary International, PCDC and in various capacities in his church, Trinity Evangelical Free Church.
Roger has always loved flying and has logged more than 10,000 hours piloting airplanes for both business and pleasure.
After the sale of Allmand Bros., Roger and his wife, Marlis, formed Legacy Purpose, LLC. In this venture, they support entrepreneurs, various ministries and individuals to realize a life of purpose and value.
“I’m just trying to give others a glimpse of what I have found to be successful,” Roger said. “It’s encouraging people to live a life in order to leave a legacy of purpose and value. It’s deciding what kind of life you want to live, what you want to accomplish and how you are going to make the world a better place. We talk with people about living life intentionally rather than by accident.”
Because the 2020 Hall of Fame banquet was canceled due to the pandemic, both this year’s honoree and last year’s honorees will be recognized at the Oct. 28, 2021, event.
PCDC is saluting the county’s largest employer, BD, for its continued investment in Phelps County, its community support through donations, its support of economic development efforts, and its dedication to providing scholarships and apprenticeships to area students.
BD started Holdrege operations on October 16, 1966, in a 12,000-square-foot building with 66 employees. Today, BD’s facility spans close to 400,000 square feet and it has grown to become the county’s largest employer. The Holdrege BD plant is the world’s largest producer of insulin syringes, manufacturing more than 2 billion syringes each year and millions of other devices that are distributed around the world.
Recently, BD has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in plant upgrades and expansions in Holdrege, and more are planned in the near future.
Glion Electric Scooters
PCDC is also honoring Glion Electric Scooters, which was at the forefront of producing electric scooters for adults and has a patent on its Dolly foldable electric scooter. The company is owned by Holdrege resident Robert McCormick and business partners Jeff Kong and Wei Chang, who live in the Chicago area.
Glion doubled its sales each year since its 2014 Kickstarter campaign to launch the business, and in 2020 the company provided 10 full and part-time jobs at its downtown Holdrege service center in the F. Johnson Building.
Because of the entrepreneurial spirit of Glion’s owners, its international partnership, and its growing nationwide customer base and dealer network, PCDC selected it as a 2020 Business Hall of Fame honoree.