Faces in the Crowd: Brett Moser

November 29, 2018

By Gene Bodnar

I have driven by Wood’s Furniture & Appliances located at 1401 N. McEwan St. in Clare at least four times each week.  I finally decided to contact the owner, so I

Brett Moser

Brett Moser

called Wood’s.  Brett Moser, the owner and manager, answered the phone.  He agreed to an interview the next day.

I had never entered the furniture and appliance store before this interview.  Arriving at the appointed time, I quickly learned that the appearance of the outside of the place doesn’t do justice to the inside, which is quite impressive.  Consisting of over 27,000 square feet – over a half an acre – it is huge, probably larger than most big city furniture stores, and it is filled with any imaginable type of furniture or appliance.  Brett met me at the main desk and guided me to a very comfortable easy chair – the classiest interview I’ve had yet.

Brett was born in Dearborn, Michigan in 1974.  A year later, his family moved to Clare where Brett attended elementary, middle and high school in the Clare public school system, graduating in 1992.  After graduation, he attended Western Michigan University for four years, acquiring a degree in Integrated Supply Management (ISM).  It is a degree that teaches one to be involved in every step of the process of providing goods and services to consumers, from the time of inception through consumption and redemption.  The curriculum combines strengths of supply chain, engineering and information technology, along with skills in team management, communications and problem solving.  While attending Western, Brett worked weekends as a disc jockey for Jim Paetschow’s Sound Productions, Inc.

Upon graduation Brett started his professional career at TRW in Livonia, where he stayed for 6 years.  TRW is an American global supplier of automotive systems and components to original equipment manufacturers.  Brett was Commodity Manager in the Braking, Steering and Safety divisions where he managed the Global plastics commodity.  Thus, he became a manager at an early age.  He also used this time to obtain his Master’s degree from Walsh College in Troy, MI.
Next, he worked as a manager for Advics Manufacturing in Plymouth, MI,  a company that specializes in the development of component and brake systems for the Big 3 automotive manufacturers.

For the next 9 years, Brett worked for Intermec in Seattle, Washington.  Intermec is a manufacturer of data capture equipment that focuses on workflow performance solutions, including such hardware as scanners, mobile computers and barcode printers.  Brett held various positions, ending as Supply Chain Director responsible for negotiating outside manufacturing agreement with its global partners.  He specialized in products such as the hand-held scanners and label printers that you see used every day by UPS and the airlines.

In 2009, while living in a suburb of Seattle, Brett married his wife, Jennifer.  They now have an 8-year-old daughter and 4-year-old twin sons.

In 2011, Brett had an opportunity to take a position with Harman International in Novi, MI.  That would get his family back to Michigan with the plans of moving to Clare within a few years.  Harman is a company that designs and engineers connected audio products and solutions for automakers, consumers, and enterprises worldwide.  Here, Brett was a Director of Procurement, focusing on their manufacturing contracts in the Professional Sound division.

In October of 2013, Brett and his family moved back to Clare, and he began working at Wood’s.  Since he had become adept in his highly diversified managerial skills, in 2016 he became its owner, buying the company from his parents.  He is the third generation of his family to own it.  His grandparents, Jim and Hazel Wood, opened the original store in February of 1946.  At that time, it was located near where the Pere Marquette Library currently exists.  Brett’s parents bought the business in 1980.

Today, Wood’s sells much more than just furniture and appliances.  Open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, and 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, it’s been expanded to include flooring, electronics, and mattresses.  They carry all the best-selling brands like Ashley, Lane, England, Best, Broyhill, Whirlpool, Frigidaire, LG, Maytag, Sealy, Serta, Mohawk, and Shaw.  This is the place where you could furnish your entire home on a shoestring, with their quality merchandise and truly affordable prices.  On top of that, Brett promises a “no pressure” sales staff and guaranteed service even after the sale.  To remain competitive the store fixes whatever it sells, so if you ever need repairs for a refrigerator, for example, just give Wood’s a call and they will dispatch a service technician directly to your home.  Brett is “committed to exceeding our customers’ expectations.”

I noticed several beautiful pieces of artwork among the furniture.  I asked Brett if those were for sale also.  He replied that “anything you see in the store is for sale.”

Wood’s also provides services for commercial concerns.  For example, he has installed flooring in hospitals and other large commercial buildings for varying customers.  In fact, the beautiful flooring in the recently opened Railroad Depot was provided by Wood’s.

In mid-February of this coming year, Brett will be celebrating the 73rd anniversary of Wood’s with a cash giveaway.  You will need to fill out an entry form and be present at the drawing to win.  Winners can receive $250 and $500, respectively among other prizes.

One of Brett’s managers, Terry “Wally” Hutchinson, will be celebrating his 40th anniversary working at Wood’s in May of 2019.  He started out working as a deliveryman for Brett’s grandfather.  This certainly says something about the working conditions at the store.

Brett always continues to actively support community functions.  He participates in many of the Chamber of Commerce events such as the Irish Festival and Clare Cash.  A new tradition of Wood’s is the annual donation of Santa’s chair for the Depot.  He recently supported the “Dueling Pianos” at the Doherty Hotel.  He is also a member of the Rotary Club.  He is on two committees in Clare:  he is a Planning Commissioner and a member of the Industrial Development Corporation.

One night last August, Brett hosted an outdoor movie event in the Wood’s parking lot.  Entry to the event was by food donation to benefit the backpack program at the schools.  Each donation was assigned a ticket quantity.  VIP winners received front row seats in an awesome Ashley Outdoor Sectional, with free concessions and a stocked mini fridge.  Highly successful, more than 200 people were in attendance, and they were able to donate back over $1,100 and a delivery truck filled with food to the program.  He plans on making this an annual community event.

Last August, Brett also won the BrandSource “Dealer of the Year” award for the Michigan region, which he is particularly proud of.  “There are many decades of hard work put into this award and the effort of a ton of people.  I am very proud of the team here on the accomplishment and appreciate the support of the community in achieving it.”

I asked Brett what he liked to do for entertainment.  Immediately, he responded, “I like to chase my kids around.”  When he has free time, especially in winter, he loves to go skiing with his kids at Snowsnake, a place where he spent countless hours growing up.

From the reviews I have read about Wood’s, I can see that Brett has not only sold furniture or appliances but he has also won his clients’ hearts as well.  Every great salesperson is viewed not only as a salesperson but as a trusted advisor who keeps clients’ interests at heart.  This is Brett Moser.

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