A family business giving backNovember 12, 2018
Pat and Kim Brown
Mighty Lube Systematic Lubrication is a family business that originated in the early 1980s by Pat and Kim Brown. The business includes three of their four children—daughter Jamie is a nurse—along with dedicated employees, many of whom have been with the company for a decade or longer.
“We’re a big family,” said Kim. “A business isn’t one person. It’s like a puzzle. It takes many pieces and many people to make it up. There is always somebody bringing something forward.”
In 2009, Pat and Kim acquired OPCO Lubrication and created a joint alliance with Mighty Lube. Both businesses have grown internationally, with auto manufacturers and other companies using their products and their Next Generation conveyor monitoring systems. As the business has grown, they’ve added space and employees at their headquarters in Fremont and opened a new sales office in Nashville run by their son, Anthony. Everything is assembled here in Michigan, with many of the parts and materials used coming from West Michigan businesses.
“We’ve been very blessed,” said Kim. “So we wanted to help someone else like us.”
Wanting to give back and encourage others to consider careers in fields like theirs, Pat and Kim created the Mighty Lube/OPCO Scholarship for local graduates going into skilled and vocational trades.
“We need to push those hands-on abilities,” said Pat. “It’s kind of a dying art. But I don’t care how far into the future you go, someone needs to build these things. It’s all important.”
“We hope to see some of the scholarship recipients start their own businesses,” added Kim. “If we can help them get that start, that’s huge. We don’t want kids to give up. So many kids think they’re stuck, and they’re not. If you work hard, you can get ahead. Don’t be afraid to dream.”