40-Under-40: Class of 2018

Appears in Print as: '2018 Products Finishing 40 Under 40'

Former Nebraska football star Brandon Rigoni leads Lincoln Industries’ business development unit, and our 2018 young professionals class.


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We surveyed job shops and suppliers to find 40 individuals younger than 40 years old who are making a difference in the finishing industry, both in their businesses and in the overall finishing community. Lincoln Industries’ Brandon Rigoni leads the 2018 class:

At 5 feet 6 inches and weighing in at 185 pounds, Brandon Rigoni wasn’t your prototypical University of Nebraska football player. But what he lacked in size, he made up for in heart on the field. A walk-on from Lincoln, Nebraska, Rigoni turned heads with his practice performance each week, eventually earning a scholarship to the then-Big 12 school and being named a captain of the Huskers by his coaches. He was also named a co-most valuable player.

“He’s the heart and soul of our special teams and is a great kid,” former Nebraska head coach Bill Callahan said of Rigoni in 2006. “He has a great attitude; it’s infectious. And he’s great to be around.”

Rigoni didn’t fit the football player mold in many ways: he earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees from Nebraska’s neuroscience program, and achieved a minor in management. He also earned 1st Team Academic All-Big-12 honors three times.
While in graduate school, he designed the Nebraska Athletic Performance Lab and developed Power Tracker Technologies, which spawned the companies EliteForm and Ocuvera. Rigoni also formed his own consulting firm, Rigometrics, and his work on employee and personal performance has been published in Forbes, Harvard Business Review and ESPN: The Magazine.

Today, Rigoni is vice president of business development at Lincoln Industries, where he oversees business development, research and innovation, commercial sales, marketing, and branded products. Prior to joining Lincoln in 2017, he worked for the Gallup Organization as a managing consultant and practice leader, and conducted research for clients in manufacturing, healthcare, automotive, hospitality, retail and financial services industries.

“Brandon’s role is unique, as he leads many different sales areas,” says Marc LeBaron, Lincoln Industries chairman and CEO. “This would prove to be challenging for most, but Brandon utilizes his high energy level to his advantage and boosts motivation in his teams, creating both excitement and great moral.”
Lincoln Industries team members say Rigoni has a sincere focus on his work, and the work of those around him.

“He has created a strong foundation,” says John Jarecki, an innovation engineering specialist. “There is a solid sense of stability within the team and our goals.”

Lincoln Industries President Bill Ellerbee says Rigoni’s strengths make him a great leader. 

“He is creating excitement for the teams he works directly with, and for the company itself,” he says.

Rigoni says Lincoln Industries also has an incredible history, with an exceptionally strong culture and leadership.

“Our teams are focused on enhancing our capabilities with new coatings and finishes,” he says. “And we are addressing all aspects of the supply chain to expand our business into new industries.”

And the remaining 39 members of the 2018 Products Finishing 40 Under 40 class are: