Southern Bleacher dates back to 1946 and Jim Geurin, a man who set out to build some bleachers, not a company. But word of what he and his friend Virgil Coleman had created spread throughout the region, and soon the men were building bleachers for all the local high schools.
Those early days of what would become Southern Bleacher were history in the making because decades later, under the leadership of Jim's daughter, Jo Ann Pettus, the company would build what were the biggest grandstands in the country at the time -150,000 seats at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.
Jo Ann Pettus brought new ideas and new energy to Southern Bleacher when she took the reigns in 1986, two years before Jim died. For the next 20 years, under her guidance, Southern Bleacher expanded to every state in the country and across North America and Canada. The company developed and tested new products, new coatings, new technologies in fabrication - all part of what makes us the strongest in the industry today.
While Jo Ann remains president of Southern Bleacher, now she mostly leaves operations to her sons, Garrett and Wyatt. As boys in the late 70s, they had their pictures taken in the very bleachers their grandfather built in 1946. Now, as men, they lead Southern Bleacher with complementary strengths and personalities.
Wyatt, the younger brother, with a bachelor's and master's in economics from Southern Methodist University, is a numbers man, with a keen analytical mind that gathers information comprehensively and studies it deliberately. By focusing on projections, estimating and outlays, he works to control costs in ways that allow us to deliver greater value while keeping the company strong.
Garrett, two years his senior, with a bachelor's in business administration from the University of Arkansas and a master of liberal arts from Texas Christian University, focuses most on sales and marketing. With a talent for instinctively knowing what people need, Garrett strives to ensure that Southern Bleacher's products and service are the best in the industry and dovetail with our customers' wants and requirements.
Both Garrett and Wyatt, like Jo Ann and Jim before them, hold strong family values and are passionate about creating a great place to work - the philosophy that by taking care of employees, you actually take care of your customers at the same time. The trust and mutual respect they bring to Southern Bleacher extends to everything we do. As one employee with more than 40 years at Southern Bleacher says, "It's mostly working together rather than for somebody."