Gregg Brunclik

Gregg Brunclik
President/CEO, Clearwing Productions Inc.
11101 W. Mitchell St., West Allis
Industry: Business service – event production services
Number of employees: 90 full-time employees, plus seasonal over-hires
Family: Wife, Diane; Nine children (Five boys/four girls). Three sons are involved in the business.

What was the smartest thing Clearwing Productions did in the past year?
“We engaged a new sales associate in the Los Angeles entertainment market. His focus is solely on landing new tours. His efforts have previously landed tours like Norah Jones, Blue Man Group, Mumford & Sons, Linkin Park and many others. Although we’re already well engaged in U.S. concert touring, his contacts should escalate our client base to higher profile acts here and internationally.”

What do your production services encompass?
“We provide event production with sound, lighting, staging, video and even trucking for high profile concert tours, festivals, and corporate and special events. We are best known around Milwaukee as the production vendor for the mother of all festivals – Summerfest. We supply equipment for all the stages. We also do prestigious events elsewhere like the Super Bowl/NFL Tailgate Party and Super Bowl Boulevard, as well as Target, Polaris and Best Buy national meetings.”

Why do you maintain offices in West Allis and in Phoenix?
“Once we’d saturated the Midwest in the busiest times, we needed to bolster business in the slower winter season up here. Phoenix provided an opposing piston (if you will) driving revenue in winter, the busy season there. Over the 10 years since we’ve opened down there, both offices have revved up year round, eliminating the seasonal effect in both markets. Life is good.”

Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?
“Yes for both. We’ve been averaging four to six new employees per year for the last several years. We’ve already added 10 in 2015. We’ve also averaged $2 million to $3 million for the last three years in new asset acquisitions. We’ve already spent $1.5 million on new equipment in 2015. We expect new opportunities yet to come will dictate even more asset acquisitions later this year.”

What will be Clearwing Productions’ main challenges in the next year?
“New domestic and international business opportunities have been so abundant for the last couple years that there is never enough gear (or staff) in the right place at the right time. As much as we gear up, the business continues to grow quickly, always demanding more and more. Facilitating all that gets challenging some days.”   

How do you keep pace with technology as it continues to evolve so rapidly?
“One of our primary business advantages has been as ‘early adopters’ of technological advances in sound and lighting especially. We attend yearly trade shows in Europe that introduce new technology about six months prior to debut of those products in the U.S. We place orders for cutting-edge technology at those shows and therefore take delivery when other U.S. providers are just being introduced to the product. We optimize ROI by being first in the market to have gear being specified as the most state-of-the art by the most discriminating artists.”

What have been some of your favorite projects and/or events to work on? What have been your most challenging projects?
“My favorites have always been the most challenging. Successfully executing complex events with challenging logistics is the best way to get the ultimate sensation of satisfaction. A private party for Molson Beer on an arctic island 3,000 miles north of Ottawa, Ontario with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and a show for Gary Sinise’s Lt. Dan Band at the Coast Guard Base on Kodiak Island, Alaska, were both very exciting to execute. We’ve also done numerous concerts at the Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, over the years. Those were fun too as VERY limited civilian visits are allowed there.”

Do you have a business mantra?
“Service is everything. No real progress comes from working for any client once. The key to a successful business is repeat business. It’s easier to keep a good client than find one to replace him. Service is everything.”

What was the best advice you ever received?
“There’s no substitute for hard work. Success is earned. So, I’ve always worked hard.”

What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you in your career?
“Wow, that’s a tough one as you see it all in the entertainment business. But I was on stage with a band one time when a foot long chili dog, complete with Cheese Whiz, beans and all came out of the audience and hit the arrogant lead singer of the band in the face right in the middle of a song. That was pretty funny.”

What do you like to do in your free time?
“I have nine children and five grandchildren. Free time? What free time? But lying in the sun for a few minutes here in the summer (or in Phoenix) in the winter is very relaxing. And, I have been able to travel the world both for business and pleasure. I really enjoy that, too, especially if Diane or any of the kids are along.”

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