Let us Re-Introduce You To Brian Bernard, President of Sweet Solutions LLC

Get to know Brian, a new member of the EFBC, who re-joined us in 2022.

Sweet Solutions LLC
Founded: 2013
Location: Plainfield, IL
Forum: Kairos

Tell us about your career leading up to where you are now:

I was born and raised in Chicago. After high school, I attended Bradley University where I studied Engineering, Chemistry and Business.  My career began as a design engineer for May Assoc. working with Collins Electronics / Hughes Aviation on the TCAS project.  I moved back to Chicago to work with a Small Company called Specialty Process Engineering Company [SPEC].  I worked as an application engineer developing system designs for their food and chemical customers.  I quickly moved into project engineering and management.  I received my certificate of business management form University of Illinois in 2003.  After several years as Vice President with responsibilities of business development and management of projects, I was presented with an opportunity to acquire the company from the founding family.

In 2006 we began to grow and enhance the SPEC Engineering capabilities and expertise to better serve the Food and Chemical Process Equipment Industries.  We grew from under $5MM and under 10 employees to $20MM and over 60 employees.  We built a platform of engineered solutions with a true innovative and entrepreneurial approach that was highly valued by our customers.  We brought several designs to the market and founded three supporting companies: MixSys, Sweet Solutions and SPEC Equipment.

In 2018 SPEC was acquired by Gray Construction to provide the equipment and process engineering expertise within their large design build projects in the food and beverage industry.  In 2022 I separated from SPEC to provide vision and support to grow Sweet Solutions and the other innovative companies.  I now serve as President of Sweet Solutions, a company dedicated to providing development services to the specialty ingredient business within the confectionary, nutritional, bakery, snack and beverage markets.

What do you like most about what you do?

Setting a compelling vision and working with a team of people to work together toward the goals.  Helping people grow professionally and personally is the most rewarding.  Developing leaders within the organization provides the biggest benefit to all and builds a sustainable base for next step growth and success.  Establishing and protecting the culture of customer first has been our roadmap to consistent success.  The mantra “Give the customer what they want and a little bit more”.

How did you hear about the EFBC?

Originally met Judy Hogel at a Crains event in Chicago and joined in 2013.  I am fortunate to have the opportunity to come back to the Kairos Forum after a 2 year hiatus.  The EFBC is a strong organization and essential for me as a guide for my personal and professional grow with Sweet Solutions and affiliates.

Why did you join, and what do you hope to gain from your membership?

To engage in leadership opportunities and continue to learn from the network of outstanding professionals in the EFBC.  I hope to contribute within my forum and the EFBC to help the organization continue to thrive and grow.

Join us in welcoming Brian back to the EFBC community.