The Monitor

Production Process Insights

Employee-Owner Profiles - Brian Nichols

Posted by Sentry Equipment on 5/7/20 8:00 AM

Brian-Nichols Work Cell Tech

If you’ve used any of our corrosion mitigation products, you’ve been the fortunate recipient of Brian Nichols’ work. As a Work Cell Technician on our Saf-T-Vise line, he’s responsible for assembling and testing our corrosion monitoring products so every customer gets a quality product. It’s all part of his drive to do his best every day and put a smile on people’s faces.

For Brian Nichols, there’s one simple question that drives all his decisions and actions.

Is the juice worth the squeeze?

Ever since he joined Sentry Equipment 18 months ago, the answer is yes. His hard work is worth the effort because his contributions are regularly recognized and appreciated by everyone at Sentry.

“Sentry is a stable, forward thinking company that truly cares about their employees-owners,” he says.

Brian joined Sentry after seeing President & CEO Brian Baker give a presentation about Sentry’s employee-ownership culture. Although Brian already worked at another employee-owned business, he was so captivated with Brian Baker’s description of Sentry’s unique culture and Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) that he decided to join Sentry as a Work Cell Technician.

“Sentry is a good fit for me because our ESOP culture promotes everyone to collaborate to solve problems,” he says. “This allows everyone to be active in the company and take pride in what they do daily.”

Brian works in the Saf-T-Vise and Corrosion Monitoring area of our Oconomowoc, WI shop, assembling and testing drip pots to collect samples for measuring corrosion; chemical injectors to help prevent corrosion; and probes, coupon holders and insertion tools to help measure corrosion. He enjoys the “hands-on” nature of the job, where he can troubleshoot issues for customers and drive improvements for the company.

“It allows for variety in my workday. I enjoy the autonomy and trust management places in their employees to do their jobs effectively,” he says.

Brian has always wanted to help people and make a difference in others’ lives. “I don’t care about what I’m doing, I just want to put a smile on people’s faces,” he explains.

One of the ways he does this is through his passion for BBQ. He regularly enters competitions and has plans to open a food truck with his delicacies. He’s also a craft beer connoisseur and used to brew his own home brew.


Brian Nichols

Work Cell Technician

Three things he’d take on a deserted island: “Something to read, sunscreen, and a mirror to try to signal someone to get off the island.”

What did he want to be when he grow up? “I wanted to be a pilot, but I always had terrible eyes and motion sickness, so that dream died quickly.”

Could he pronounce Oconomowoc before working at Sentry? “I grew up in Richland Center, WI, and I’m well-versed on all of Wisconsin’s difficult-to-pronounce towns.”

Making an impact

When Brian joined Sentry, he was impressed with how our sampling solutions impact so many different industries, and he was surprised by the variety of work available on the shop floor. After more than a year on the job, he’s proud of what’s he’s learned so far and appreciates the company’s “promote from within” culture. In the next few years, he’d like to expand his knowledge and skills by going back to school for further training. He says this focus on continuous improvement is key to success in any role at Sentry.

“You just have to apply yourself. You can do great things when you get out of your comfort zone,” he says. “Be open to learn new things and try out of the box solutions to difficult situations that arise.”

Now he says his biggest challenges come from day-to-day operations, where potential issues arise. However, these challenges also offer opportunities for improvement and to expand his thinking.

“There’s always a lesson to be learned,” he says.

In other words, the juice is worth the squeeze.


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Employee-Owner Profiles is a regular feature that highlights members of our team. As an employee-owned company, Sentry Equipment believes that employee ownership makes a difference. Our employee-owners are dedicated to hard work, positive results and continual improvement and innovation to provide our customers the highest quality products and services.

Topics: Company News

Written by Sentry Equipment

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With proven sampling expertise since 1924, Sentry products and services provide business operations the critical insights to optimize process control and product quality. We deliver true representative sampling and analysis techniques to customers around the globe, empowering them to accurately monitor and measure processes for improved production efficiency, output and safety. Standing behind our commitments, we are determined to tackle any application, anywhere.