BRIAN B. ELIAS
Brian Elias established his reputation as a brilliant entrepreneur by founding 1-800 HANSONS in 1988. He grew it into a $80 million home improvement and remodeling company headquartered in Troy, MI, which now employs over 500 people. He has always had a "Get It Done" attitude and contributes this to his success.
Brian wasn't supposed to be a success story according to "the system". He didn't grow up with money and never liked school (having the grades to match). What Brian did have, however, were the gifts of speaking and understanding people. Over the years, he found success by coupling these gifts with his creativity, positive energy, and burning desire to win.
Eventually, Brian dropped out of college and started working at his father's friend's window company. He started at the bottom; a canvaser who knocked on doors to convince people to set up an appointment with a salesman. By analyzing the differences between his successful and unsuccessful pitches, Brian was able to quickly make effective adjustments to his delivery, increasing his closing rate to roughly 60% (that's really high).
As Brian worked his way up the ranks, he realized a fundamental problem with the company: they didn't care about their customers. So, after saving up $5,000, Brian left to start his own business, 1-800 HANSONS, with the principles of putting the customer first and having a supportive work environment. The rest is history!
Brian has since proudly sold 1-800 HANSONS to private equity, however, he continues to serve on the board. Now, Brian is the CEO of Refloor and DontGo. He also owns Hunter Financial, Gutter Grate of America, The Amazing Mirror Maze in San Antonio, TX, several Black Rock Steakhouse restaurants, and real estate. Learn more about his businesses!
Brian has been rightfuly recognized as a leader in the home improvement industry. Among others, he has received the Legends of the Home Improvement Industry Award, the Remodeling Big50 Award, and the 2012 Fred Case Entrepreneur of the Year Award. He has also been recognized in Crain's 40 Under 40. Read more about his awards!
Both through consulting and public speaking, Brian loves to share his experience and expertise with others. He is skilled in marketing management, negotiation, branding, lead generation, and search engine optimization (SEO). His background is primarily in the home improvement industry, but his skills have been applied elsewhere too. Listen to Brian!
Giving back to his community remains a priority for Brian. He is involved with local organizations such as Rebuilding Together Oakland County, Grace Centers of Hope, and Covenant House, as well as local chapters of national charities including Relay for Life, Breast Cancer Awareness, Habitat for Humanity, ORT and several Jewish organizations. Brian also recently created CanGive, a charity that partners with businesses to collect food for those in need. He has been both active with his time and donations.
Brian enjoys spending his free time with his beautiful wife, Michele, and two children, Daniel and Rachel.