The American Dream: The Remarkable Story of Allen-Bradley and Its Legacy Today

Richard W. Graber, President and CEO of The Bradley Foundation

Love the episode? Leave a review on your favorite podcast platform!


Join us on a journey through history, innovation, and the relentless pursuit of the American Dream!

The Allen-Bradley brand is a household name in manufacturing, but the origin story of the brand, along with its lasting legacy, is a true story of the American Dream. From humble beginnings to becoming a powerhouse in automation, this episode dives into the innovative minds of Lynde and Harry Bradley over 100 years ago and the impact their work has today.

Join us as we sit down with Rick Graber, President and CEO of the Bradley Foundation, and former U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic. Rick shares his incredible career journey, his experiences in international diplomacy, and the values that continue to drive his work in philanthropy.

In this episode, you’ll hear about:

  • The inspirational rise of Allen-Bradley from a small startup to a global leader
  • The pivotal moments and challenges that shaped the company's success
  • The philanthropic efforts of the Bradley Foundation that support education and American values
  • Personal stories and reflections from Rick Graber’s tenure as U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic
  • The enduring values and principles that define the American Dream

Quotable Moments:

"The American dream is not a guarantee of success, but the opportunity to succeed beyond your wildest dreams."

"We don't realize in this country how much people look to the United States for leadership, how they look to the United States for what to do."

"We need a strong civil society with volunteer organizations solving problems."​

3 Big Takeaways from this episode:

  1. The story of Allen-Bradley is a great example of the American Dream: Lynde and Harry faced significant challenges, yet their commitment to pushing boundaries led to revolutionary advancements in the automation industry. Their journey from near-failure to global success highlights the importance of resilience and innovation.
  2. Strategic philanthropy plays a vital role in supporting education and empowering communities: Through targeted funding and support, the Bradley Foundation has created lasting opportunities for individuals to access quality education and improve their lives. Rick Graber discusses how the foundation's initiatives, like support for St. Marcus School and Running Rebels, have made a tangible impact in Milwaukee and beyond.
  3. Americans have access to unique opportunities thanks to the nation's core values: Rick draws on his vast experience in international diplomacy and government to discuss how America's foundational values create vast opportunities for its citizens.

Resources in this Episode:

To learn more about the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, visit:

Connect with The Bradley Foundation:

LinkedIn  |  Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Twitter


What our listeners are saying

The #1 podcast in TechEd

This podcast is a great resource to keep up with all the exciting changes in the world of manufacturing and technology. Get key insight from industry leaders from the Midwest and around the globe that you won’t find anywhere else. A must listen for anyone interested in how technology is changing the way businesses operate.

The pulse of Industry 4.0

This podcast has its fingers on the pulse of Industry 4.0, and Matt K. is a phenomenal guide, traversing the complexities of manufacturing and education in one forum. A+ work all around!


I find Matt's approach to be very compelling. He brings both perspectives, industry AND education. He doesn't hold back on what he thinks is important...

New and Exciting Content With Every Episode

I really enjoy listening to this podcast when I'm driving or have a free moment. Each episode brings a new guest with a fresh and exciting perspective of both education and the workforce!

I needed this podcast back when I was in High School!

Such great content that deserves more attention at all level of education. I wish I heard some of these episodes when I was navigating my own career path. Incredible guests, with incredible messages to share. Keep up the great work!

Inspiring topics featuring inspiring leaders

I’ve listened to most of your weekly podcasts and enjoy listening to the stories and conversations that feature business and education leaders from Wisconsin. Kudos to you for creating a platform that presents ideas and success stories that are important to Career and Technical Education teachers and leaders.

Best Career and TechEd Podcast

There are a lot of education podcasts out there. This is the only one that really focuses on bringing together voices from inside AND outside education and focuses specifically on STEM and Career/Tech Ed. This is a great podcast for anyone in education and also for anyone who employs STEM or skilled-trades talent in their workforce.

Filling in Gaps

This show spotlights a large and growing aspect of education that doesn’t get enough attention. Practical and technical education is a field growing exponentially. This podcast Highlights many of the facets of this diverse field.

Fantastic Topics on the Future of Industry

These podcasts are the best for learning about current and future technology. The stories are great. We need more of these interviews.