GREENVILLE — Gloria Keller-Brinley’s goal as store manager of the KitchenAid Experience in downtown Greenville is to be successful with the other businesses on South Broadway and partner in bringing people here to see what the city has to offer.
“We try to help out as much as we can,” said Keller-Brinley, who has been store manager since 2006. “We want to be in a partnership downtown. Our retail store is not my main focus. We want everybody to enjoy our downtown customers. It doesn’t take one person to serve a community; it takes all these stores to make it Greenville. People are wild about how nice this town is.”
Her love for the downtown area is just as genuine.
“I have always had a passion for downtown,” she said. “My dad worked downtown and we lived close to downtown. We would always shop here.”
The daughter of Helen Keller and the late Tony Keller, former Darke County recorder, she also enjoys representing the store.
“Our retail center is a destination,” she said. “We want people to visit the store, take a plant tour and experience what KitchenAid is all about. Our KitchenAid mixer has been an Ohio native since 1919. It was born and lived here in Ohio and now they are all over the world.”
Keller-Brinley, a 1977 graduate of Greenville High School, has worked for Whirlpool Corp. since 1992. She had worked at various jobs at the plant, including sub assembly, factory service, motor building, attachments and material handling, and she worked in receiving and at the call center, before she became assistant manager at KitchenAid Experience in 2001.
When the job opening came about in the retail center, she applied and was interviewed.
“What helped me about this job was that I had previous experience working downtown,” she said. “I worked at Wieland’s, and I was assistant manager at Hardee’s, worked at Farm and Fleet and at Wills Greenhouse. I worked in the public over the years, including insurance agencies.”
After she graduated from high School, Keller-Brinley traveled overseas for a year to New Zealand where she served as an exchange student.
“I still keep in touch with them through Facebook and Instagram,” she said. “I get emails from one of my host brothers in the South Pole.”
She is married to Barry Brinley.
“We have a blended family of yours, mine and ours of seven children, ranging in age from 18 to 40,” she said. “The last one is graduating this year.”
She successfully juggled her career and personal life over the years.
“I started third shift at Whirlpool,” she said. “I put my kids to bed at Mom and Dad’s, go to work, come home and get them up and take them to school, sleep, then get them and be with them until it was time for them to sleep and it went on and on. With my two younger ones, I was breastfeeding. It can be done if you work at it. It isn’t easy.”
She said she always made sure she had good baby-sitters.
“I only needed them when I was working,” she said. “If we went out, we took the kids with us.”
She met husband Barry at Whirlpool, the portable appliance manufacturing facility. They have been married 21 years. He is a 1976 graduate of New Madison High School.
“I feel like Lucille Ball sometimes from the movie ‘Yours, Mine and Ours,” she said. “With the kids, activities, work and everything else going on. Now, I’m a parent and a caregiver.”
Together, the Brinleys, have eight grandchildren.
Keller-Brinley used to be on the Darke County Visitors Bureau.
“It’s hard to be on a committee full-time, because there are so many venues on this job,” she said. “I travel up to six times a year, taking the store as a road show to other Whirlpool divisions. I really like it. It is a lot of travel and time away from home. It’s very rewarding.”
These road shows take her to Tulsa, Cleveland, Tennessee, Anderson, Indiana, and to various places in Ohio , such as Ottawa, Findlay, Marion and Clyde, plus the call center in Knoxville and corporate in St. Joe, Michigan.
“Our parents always took us on family vacations,” Keller-Brinley said. “I always picked to see different museum houses…see how people lived in the old days. Now, I’m giving people the experience of a brand.”
At KitchenAid Experience, she oversees the work of two full-time employees and 15 to 18 part-time people.
“Everybody is trained to do certain amounts of demonstrations/classes on Wednesdays, Friday and Saturdays,” she said. “Over the years, I’ve had great employees who have taught these classes and helped structure our cooking classes, such as Bob Marchal, Cindy Spohn, Lisa Meyers, Bev Baker, Gini Stuckey, Margaret Bortner and I hope I didn’t miss anybody.
Chefs over the years on Saturdays have included Ghyslain Chocolatier, Eileen Litchfield and Edward Schnzaino.
Keller-Brinley, too, enjoys cooking for her family and would love having more time to cook. One thing on her bucket list, she said, is to make the perfect biscotti, French loaf and puff pastry from scratch.
“I don’t want to just eat it, I want to learn how to make it,” she said.
Visitors to KitchenAid Experience have come from all over the world…Europe, Australia, New Zealand, China and South America.
“We’ve had famous celebrities and local, state and federal government officials here,” she said.
She is a member of Main Street Greenville, Darke County Chamber of Commerce and Darke County Visitors Bureau.
“Annie Oakley Days is one of our special events,” she said.
Linda Moody may be reached at 937-569-4315. Follow her on Facebook and join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.