Lessons from the Road: Climbing On Course


This week I had the opportunity to visit The Bogert Group in Pasco, WA in our journey to capture stories for MEP’s “Story of Manufacturing” video. Bogert is a family-owned company of 28 employees that innovate and make products in the aviation, marine and military industries (among others). Meeting the staff, spending time with President Richard Bogert and his sister CFO Cathy Bogert, proved to be some of the best times I’ve had yet working with MEP. Check out the picture of Bogert’s fabulous employee, Renee, getting “shot” by both our photographer Kristen (on the right) and videographer Cory (in the middle) as she welds. Her amazing artistry and spirit is one of the many memories I’ll hold on to for a very long time.

But I digress… you’ll hear those stories in the video (coming in May!)

What I really want to tell you is the small piece of wisdom Richard confidently shared throughout the shoot. He told us that while working with the MEP, having a proactive strategy, innovating, building a strong employee culture are all important… it’s perseverance that lead to the success of their company.

As he puts it… one needs to continue “Climbing On Course”.

Richard loves planes… loves ‘em. He turned his passion into a successful U.S. manufacturer that provides hundreds of jobs through the work of his company. Of course it’s fitting that he signs off each email with “climbing on course”.

What makes him unique, however, is that he means it. He lives it. It’s not a phrase he says to “sound good”. It’s a phrase he lives by constantly.

Over the last 25 years of their business they’ve had fires that burned everything to a crisp, worked out of a tiny 2 car garage with 3 feet of working space… even had a potential customer say “those little guys in Washington can’t handle the business” (don’t mention that one to Richard… sore subject). But he never gave up. He knew – just knew – when times were tough and when they failed on a prototype over and over …. and over and over… and over again… that they would prevail. That they would innovate & make the BEST solution for any customer that no one in the world could match. Though the wind, storms, maintenance issues, Bogert and his team continued to climb on course. Because of it, they’ve held on to local jobs, strengthened their suppliers and increased their revenues beyond their dreams.

Climbing on Course… it doesn’t always have to be dealing with a big project or overcoming impossible odds. It can be seen in the little things. Returning the call you are dreading to make, saying you’re sorry for forgetting to send that email or wiping the page clean and starting over again. Richard’s words hit home for me this week. Just keep going… just move forward… Onward & Upward.

Thank you, Richard, for helping me move forward on my personal path to success.

By the way… the customer that told Richard they were “the little guys” hired Bogert Group for a 5-year contract because no one could match Richard’s innovation. Richard never gave up – he knew his product was the best and proved them wrong.

Do you have a favorite sign off that you use or seen? Perhaps this week we all need to add a “sign off” to our emails to help us stay on course.

I hope it’s ok with you, Richard, if I borrow yours.

Climbing On Course…

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  1. Hi Jaclyn!

    Nice post! I can’t wait to see the video next month. Did anyone ever send you a link to the slideshow about the MMIR tour?

    • Thanks KeAnne! We’re very exciting to show the video! I need to follow-up with you to get the presentation. I think I saw it on the MMIR Tour Blog or facebook site, yes? We need to share that story throughout the country as your tour really made it “real” (pun intended) that so many amazing things are made here in the U.S.

  2. Pingback: Impact Washington Client to be Featured in National “Story of Manufacturing” Video « Made in Washington

  3. Jaclyn, thank you for your remarks. I have to say, having your team out to our “little company by the railroad tracks” was a real treat for us. As you found out, we have some awesome people on our staff and the level of creative thought and innovation that comes from our crew is confirmation that the American worker is the best in the world when given a chance to shine. We spend most of our time outside the box and like it that way.
    Climbing on course,
    Richard W. Bogert

  4. As an owner of a small product development company, I can appreciate the persevering attitude that has taken Richard to where he is now. It’s so easy to get discouraged when a job doesn’t come through, or when a prototype doesn’t initially work as intended, but Richard is right: it’s those folks who keep on pushing through the tough times that end up making it.

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