The Best of Both Worlds

Briner Building’s new president values multi-generational teamwork more than titles.
Dec 1, 2016
Donna Detweiler
The Best of Both Worlds

At Briner Building, it has always been about the relationships. As Bryan Harshbarger assumed the role of president this fall, it’s not surprising that he wanted to talk about the team first.

“The company is managed by four partners: Mike Swinford, Chris Elser, Dave Dunwiddie and myself,” says Harshbarger. “We have employees with years of experience and younger ones who bring new ideas and different ways of doing things. It’s the best of both worlds.” 

Briner Building’s strong roots plus progressive thinking equal growth. An agricultural building firm in the ‘60s, it was retooled as a commercial industrial builder in the late ‘70s and evolved into the diverse design-build general contractor it is today with customers in northeast Indiana and parts of Ohio.

“We take clients from concept through project completion,” says Harshbarger. Design services provide initial schematic site and project plans to final details. Civil engineering services secure city/county and IDEM approvals. Construction services include an onsite project superintendent, current technology and delivery methods. 

“We self-perform steel erection services. We’ve installed five million square feet in the last five years,” says Harshbarger. “We do precast conventional steel, remodeling, detailed office buildings and commercial auto dealerships.”

A sampling of recent projects includes:

  • REV, Decatur, a 7,000 square foot visitor center expansion 
  • FCC (Adams), LLC, Berne, a 140,000 square foot expansion
  • Living Essentials (5-hour Energy), Wabash, a 528,000 square foot warehouse
  • Hiday Motors, Inc., Bluffton, a new 27,384 square foot Chevrolet Dealership 

Customer Focus
The vast majority of Briner’s clients are repeat customers. “Once we get to partner with somebody, we take care of that relationship,” says Harshbarger. “We recognize the importance of each project to our customer’s success, growth and peace of mind.” 

Upfront Competence
“We identify risks and talk about those first,” says Harshbarger. “A detailed site plan, floor plan and old-fashioned due diligence cover 99 percent of the aspects of the project.”

Small Projects & Maintenance
“We install machines, replace doors, repair columns, or take care of carpentry work,” says Harshbarger. “We quickly realized this service was a need for all area businesses.”

Projects range from gutter maintenance to creatively addressing customized business challenges. Briner recently removed a roof to take out a piece of equipment and then replaced it, a project that took more than 48 hours. It also prepared a plant for a mechanical/electrical plumbing installation, managing all the trades in the process. 

Briner Building has been growing steadily for the past 48 years, combining the best of experience and innovation while valuing relationships. “Our number one asset is our people,” says Harshbarger. “It’s not about titles, but a team effort.”

Briner Building, Inc.

Owner(s): Partners: Mike Swinford, Chris Elser, Dave Dunwiddie and Bryan Harshbarger

Address: 761 North Main St., Bluffton, 46714 815 Airport North Office Park, Fort Wayne, 46825

Phone: (260) 824-0120



Years in Business: 48

Number of Employees: 40

Products & Services: Design/Build General Contractor, Building Maintenance, Re-roofing

Canterbury - Rooted in Tradition

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