Brian Gelner is a second-generation family businessman. In 1973, his dad, Richard, left a position with Hamm’s Brewing Company to start Premium Beverage Sales in Springfield, MO with support from his then business partner. It was a true family business with Brian’s mom, Susan, working in the office and Brian and his brother, Mark, contributing in the warehouse to help out where needed.
Brian enjoyed scouting and sports in his youth earning his Eagle Scout award in 1987. Taking his skills to the Kickapoo Basketball Chiefs, Brian learned the benefits of teamwork. He graduated from Kickapoo High School in 1990.
Brian went on to study at the University of Tulsa and earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Accounting in 1994. Brian joined the Baird, Kurtz & Dobson (BKD) accounting firm’s Tulsa office where he specialized in healthcare and education segment audit and tax preparation. In 1997, Brian joined the management team of Premium Beverage Sales serving several roles and was named president of the company in 2012. In 2016, Brian was instrumental in negotiating the merger of Premium Beverage Sales with another local family business, Heart of America Beverage (HOA). Today, Brian serves as an owner and executive at HOA, where he helps oversee almost 200 employees serving customers throughout 26 counties in Southwest Missouri. In addition to his role at HOA, Brian also serves as an owner and President of Crown Distributing, a family business focused on soda distribution.
Brian became familiar with the legislative process through a history of industry advocacy. In 2012, Brian was elected by his peers to serve as the Missouri State director to the National Beer Wholesaler Association Board (NBWA). In 2016, Brian was elected to the NBWA executive committee and was honored to serve as Chairman of the NBWA Board in 2019-2020. In this role, Brian oversaw the organization of over 3,000 distributors and 141,000 employees across the US through unprecedented changes brought on by the pandemic while continuing important advocacy work with policy-makers.
Running your own small business is full of opportunities and challenges. Brian knows that his experience will bring valuable, real-world perspective and a common-sense approach to Jefferson City as the next State Senator from the 20th District.
Away from the office, Brian enjoys spending time with his family. Brian and his wife of 22 years, Missy, live in Southwest Springfield with their two young children. They are most often on the sidelines of sports games and dance competitions encouraging their children or walking their dog, Waffles. Brian is active in his community and church. He is currently serving Boy Scouts of America Troop 239 as a Scout Leader and Committee Treasurer and is a Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce member. Brian has enjoyed service roles on the Ozarks Regional YMCA board and as Friends of the Zoo Committee Chair.
Brian is driven by concerns about the direction of our country today. He is worried about the kind of world we are leaving for our children. He is tired of career politicians who care more about advancing their own political ambitions than they do about the next generation. To solve the problems of today, we need citizen legislators, and not career politicians, who take the time from their everyday lives, to serve their community and state. Brian is running for State Senate as a dad who wants to make sure his kids inherit a safer and stronger country, and as a small businessman who wants to bring his unique experience and conservative common-sense principles to state government.