Story by Jeanine Nistler Photos by Joel Butkowski, BDI
After a lifelong career in the beer industry, Bernie Perryman is flipping the switch to try batteries and bulbs.
ou’ve done your homework. Your team is trained to provide exceptional customer service. And they deliver. You follow up interactions with customer satisfaction surveys and the results are music to your entrepreneurial ears: “Satisfied.” What do beverages, batteries, bulbs and boats have in common, besides beginning with “b”? All have played significant roles in Bernie Perryman’s life. Let’s start with beverages, or more specifically, beer. Perryman joined Anheuser-Busch brewing company in 1982. The job took her to all 50 states and every major sporting event in the country, from the Bud Light Triathlon in Hawaii to the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville. And she worked five spring breaks in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – until college students started calling her “ma’am” and she concluded
“I’m too old for that.” More about Perryman’s beer-related endeavors later. Let’s fast forward to batteries and bulbs, specifically Batteries + Bulbs, the franchise with one store in St. Cloud and one in Sauk Rapids that she bought this past August. Perryman has held high-level management positions for years, but this business is a big departure from beverages. In fact, several people asked her, “Are you sure you’re going to be able to make this move?” Her answer? “Yes! … You just adapt. You reinvent. You work it.” Perryman said she is, quite simply, the same person in a different role. “My character doesn’t change. I trust people. I want to build strong teams. I want them to always have trust in me,” she said. Perryman believes that no matter the industry, it’s imperative for a leader to trust, respect
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