Barry-Wehmiller Network

Penny Bretl

Penny DretlPenny Bretl joined Barry-Wehmiller in 2006 as Director, Culture & People Development for Thiele Technologies.  She brings over 30 years of experience in the field of Human Resources and People Development.  For 20 of those years, she has led People Development in the Industrial and Manufacturing sector.  Previous to Barry-Wehmiller, Penny worked for an equipment manufacturer that provided custom automation, therefore, she has a wealth of expertise in the challenges and opportunities that are unique to our industry.  Penny joined BW Integrated Systems as Vice President of People in 2018 as part of the merger of two of Barry-Wehmiller’s packaging divisions, Thiele and BW Container Systems. 

What drives Penny each day is the desire to coach and inspire others to reach their full potential.   She believes in positively challenging associates to push beyond their comfort zone and working with leaders to provide team members with the opportunity for growth, while embodying the organization’s Guiding Principles of Leadership.

In addition to leading the People Team at BW Integrated Systems, Penny is also a Professor in the company’s Barry-Wehmiller University where she teaches both Communication Skills and Culture of Service Fundamentals, two courses about which she is incredibly passionate.  “To work for an organization that promotes personal development enabling others to create a better world through business is a great responsibility and one I take very seriously.  The training and development side of my role has always been exciting, but especially so given the culture here at Barry-Wehmiller.  Our associates embrace the ideals presented and in many cases, these can be life-changing.” 

Prior to attending college, Penny lived a year abroad in Finland.  She went on to graduate with a BA degree in Communications from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls. Penny grew up in Northern WI in a rural community which gave her a great love of the outdoors, including camping, hiking and canoeing.  Other hobbies include running and playing the piano. Penny currently lives in Stillwater, MN.  She and her husband John have three children.

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