Sam Schmidt, Mike Bruno Join The Braun Corporation

The Braun Corporation has announced that Mike Bruno, of Bruno Independent Living Aids, and Sam Schmidt, of Sam Schmidt Motorsports, have joined the senior management group as strategic investors.

The news is part of a recapitalization of the Indiana-based manufacturer of automotive mobility products for people who use scooters or wheelchairs.

“Many qualities of both Sam Schmidt and Mike Bruno make them ideal partners of Braun Corporation. To begin with, Sam Schmidt has accomplished tremendous success through racing and business enterprises, and furthermore, he's achieved this success while living with a physical disability, which gives him a very clear understanding of what our customers are looking for in our products,” said Nick Gutwein, president of The Braun Corporation.

“Mike Bruno heads Bruno Independent Living Aids, a leading manufacturer of mobility products in home stair lifts, mobility seats for cars and scooter lifts for vehicles—all complimentary to Braun's product line,” Gutwein said. “Mike has a deep, successful track record growing the mobility business that his father founded.”

Both Bruno and Schmidt will serve as investors and active board members to help set strategic direction. They will not hold operating positions in the company.

Bruno, whose company manufacturers vehicle lifts for the mobility industry, is excited about joining Braun. “I have long admired what Ralph Braun has accomplished in building the premier company in the wheelchair accessible vehicle industry," he said.

Schmidt, a former professional racer, was paralyzed in a car accident in 2000. He later launched Sam Schmidt Motorsports and the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation for people with spinal cord injuries. "In addition to my career as a professional race car driver, I've been involved in several enterprises, from retail marketing to real estate development to business ownership," said Schmidt. "I sincerely believe my career and life experiences have all been in preparation for this opportunity with Braun.”

The change went into effect in late May.