President & CEO
Superior Crane Corporation
Location: Waukesha County, WI
Industry: Manufacturing of Overhead Cranes & Machining
Robert Healy grew up on a farm in Southern Illinois until 1975, at which time he moved to Spring Green, Wisconsin, and took on the responsibility of managing an 8,000-acre farm. He worked long hours repairing machinery and managing the farm, attending Waukesha County Technical College and Milwaukee School of Engineering along the way.
He stayed at the farm until he was hired by Miller Racing, where Healy built engines and competition vehicles. While at Miller, he designed a custom crane, buying it from Superior Crane and launching what would become a profitable and long-lasting relationship.
Superior Crane, founded in 1951, is one of the country’s leading overhead material-handling equipment design, engineering, manufacturing and service companies. Healy went from customer to associate when Superior hired him to lead the company’s machine shop in 1988. Seven years later, Healy bought into the business as a partner, along with two others. Today, Healy is the sole owner of Superior Crane and serves as president and CEO.
“I have always been one to lead by example, and to never ask someone to do something that I am not willing to do or have done myself,” Healy said. “I really believe that it’s important to set benchmarks and goals for the team, stay transparent in your vision and health of the company and to give everyone a chance to share ideas and thoughts to make us all better.”
Under Healy’s leadership, Superior Crane received nationally accredited ISO certification for its quality management system in 2013. Superior has grown from building 30 cranes a year when Healy bought the company to now building more than 200 cranes a year that are also much bigger in size. Healy also led the move and expansion of Superior Crane by consolidating the business under one roof in Waukesha County. Another point of pride for Healy is that his sons, Ryan and Chris, have joined their father in making a career at Superior Crane.
Healy threw his support behind the creation of Superior Crane Corporation University, a paid training program for students, offering hands-on learning for the following trades: welding, machining, service/maintenance repair, electrical, engineering and a solid foundation of life and financial skills. The program exposes students entering high school to the various aspects of a business while they are paid to learn, the company said.
“I try to inspire the team to have their own vision and share their ideas on what can help us grow as a company,” Healy said. “The team that we have is valuable, and I want to continue to build camaraderie and continuity with all departments while being sincere to the lives they lead. I have always challenged myself and will continue to come up with new ideas and products to stay on the leading edge of our industry.”
Fun fact about Robert that he shares with very few people, Robert turned down a generous scholarship to play football at Purdue University because he chose to follow his heart and farm instead. We are thankful that Robert leads Superior Crane today as he is truly a reputable, distinguished, and outstanding leader.