Lyons HR: The Knoxville Story
Be True to Yourself & Be True to Your Customer
Lyons HR National Director of Sales Wes Brown reflects back on his 10 years of service to the company and the mentor that set his passion into motion many years ago
Wes Brown always knew he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps. Ray “Butch” Brown started out as a Navy medic in Vietnam, but in civilian life turned what he learned in the service into a career as a medical sales rep.
During the summers, Wes would ride with him to and from sales calls. And whenever the pager clipped to the car visor beeped, Butch would pull over and dash to the nearest payphone, with Wes in tow to hear the tools of the trade put to work. “My dad and I were best friends,” Wes says. Butch has since passed, but Wes brings the skills he learned from his father—alongside his own decades’ worth of experience—to bat every day as Lyons HR’s National Director of Sales.
Lyons HR is one of the United States’ premier professional employer organizations (PEOs). The company offers human resources management solutions, such as payroll administration and hiring assistance, for businesses, and stands among the five percent of companies in the field that are accredited by ESAC, the Employer Services Assurance Corporation.
These impressive credentials are what attracted Wes to the company 10 years ago, but it was CEO Bruce Cornutt who sold him on it. As soon as he met Cornutt, he knew: “That’s the company I wanted to work for. He reminded me so much of my father.”
Wes had already been working in the field for about a decade with smaller PEOs when he joined Lyons HR. “The ability to take a small business and streamline it and turn it into a potentially much larger business for the business owner by alleviating all the non-money-making processes and letting them focus on growing their business was mind blowing,” he says of his first leap into the industry.
From the start, he’s been determined to bring his friendly hometown service with him wherever he goes, and Lyons HR has proven to be a perfect fit. “I have clients that call me on Saturday and Sundays that I’ll answer the phone for,” he says. To Wes, serving your clients means making sure they are always aware of and ready for changes in their fields, but is also about making them feel involved and cared for. His weekend calls with clients might encompass him answering questions on the latest trends in the industry, but they might end also with Wes inviting them to a baseball game. Both are important parts of making the relationships they are building last.
Wes’s focus as Director of Sales this year is to bring the company back to its pre-pandemic heights, and the process, he says, is like coaching a sports team. His goal is to give his team the tools they need to succeed, just as his father gave him when he was a kid, but like him, they need to be willing to take them and make the run. “They have to have good coaching,” he says. “But it’s up to them to want it.” That’s why he leads by example. Even though he could take a step back from the nitty-gritty of the sales circuit as Director of Sales, he remains out in the field, keeping up his own client numbers and making sure they get the service they need.
“The biggest phrase that my dad ever taught me, as far as business goes, is, ‘Be true to yourself and be true to the customer,’” Wes says. “They are your lifeline.”
When he’s not coaching his sales team, Wes can be found coaching Knoxville’s Diamond Legacy U13 baseball team and spending time with his wife Samantha and their three children.
And who knows, maybe his kids will just happen to overhear one of his weekend client calls and gather the tools they need to keep the legacy of Butch Brown going for another generation.
424 Ebenezer Rd | Knoxville, TN 37923 | (888) 212-3687