In 1946, Robert Glier returned home from World War II. He bought a small store with a sausage kitchen and a smokehouse. Robert made sausages as his wife, Louise, assisted customers. In the winter months, he created his version of a celebrated regional dish of pork, beef, steel-cuts oats and seasoning. Somewhat like sausage and scrapple, this regional specialty is known as “goetta”, which was originated in the late 1800’s. Goetta has become the cornerstone of Glier’s Meats.
With hard work and fine products, the shop grew. In the mid 50’s, increased demand allowed Robert to wholesale other markets. In the 60’s, Glier’s Meats became even larger, adding a full meat processing facility and expanded the sausage kitchen. In 1972, Robert’s son Dan (aka ”The Goetta Guy”), who worked at the business before going to college, joined his father full time. In 1977, Dan assumed the presidency of Glier’s Meats and still remains today. Under Dan’s leadership, Glier’s continues to grow and evolve. More recently, David, Dan’s son has joined in the family business as Vice President of Glier’s Meats.
Dan is active in national, regional and local meat organizations. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Manufacturers, is a past board member and past president of The American Association of Meat Processors. He is a 41-year member of the American Meat Institute and a long-time board member and past president of the Mid-States Meat Association and maintains an active membership in the National Federation of Independent Businesses.
More locally, Dan serves as chairman of one of the advisory committees at Gateway Community & Technical College and has recently begun teaching classes part-time. He is a long-term member of the Better Business Bureau and both the NKY and KY Chamber of Commerce. He is very active in the professional development group, Vistage.
When Dan has time, he enjoys gardening, woodworking, reading and home maintenance projects.
Q&A with Dan Glier
What are you passionate about, in regards to your business?
Consistently high quality products. Over 45 years ago, my father counseled that we should always try to give our consumer the best possible value for our products. He was aware that bigger companies could always beat us on price, they controlled the supply. However, Glier’s could not be beat on the quality/price equation. He recognized that we could make an even higher priced/quality product but at some price point you could no longer sell enough product to make it in economic quantities, thus highest quality at the best value was the goal and our passion.
What is the most valuable leadership lesson you have learned?
This has played out time and time again. Hire the best people you can for the job. Management, sales, supervisors, production staff, no matter the position, hire good people. Oversee and be aware of what is happening, that is, direct and control but do not micromanage. Our people will make mistakes here and there but as long as it is not malicious, intentional or repetitive, let’s all learn from it and move on.
If you could give the 20-year-old you any piece of advice, what would it be?
Again, a lesson from my father, but one that was caught rather than taught. Even as a youth, I much admired my Dad. From my eyes, he was among the most fortunate of men, his profession and his hobby were one and the same. He loved the meat business and most especially making sausage. Most Saturdays and all summers, starting at 12 years old, I got to really know my Dad by working around or beside him. Thanks, Mom, for letting me be with my father!
While in college, I needed to decide on a major. I had many interests but when talking with my dad, he counseled to “love whatever you do, look forward to getting up and facing the challenges of each and every new day.” Running a small, family owned business has its challenges and there are days that it’s not fun. USDA, government in most of its forms, breakdowns and “people problems” head the list of ugh days but that’s what the boss does. Would I do it again? Yeah, some things differently for sure, but I love what I do. Thanks Dad!