CHATSWORTH, Calif.—Ron Braverman, the founder and CEO of pleasure products giant Doc Johnson, is the 2019 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement for the “O” Awards.
In 1976, when Ron Braverman bought a small adult novelty company in North Hollywood, Calif., he had a vision. He knew what he wanted to create and what he wanted to do with the company and its products. But no one, probably not even Braverman himself, could have imagined the powerhouse Doc Johnson would become four decades later.
Braverman was initially involved in adult bookstores in Europe, but wanted to return to the states to start a toy business. He eventually purchased an existing company that sold some adult toys, but focused more on gag novelties and rubber fishing items.
“My plan from the beginning was to focus exclusively on creating a top-quality pleasure products company, with all manufacturing to be kept in America,” Braverman told AVN in a 2016 interview. “So, while we had a few novelty items early on, gag gifts were quickly phased out of the equation. Since day one, we have always truly been an American pleasure products manufacturer.”
And Ron, who is known to visit the manufacturing floor and chip in when needed, brought his children into the fold in more recent years. In addition to son Chad, who serves as COO and CCO of the company, daughter Erica is Doc Johnson’s head of communications and PR.
“I feel incredibly proud when some of our customers tell me stories about my dad—the long hours, the innovations and breakthroughs he has made to shape our entire industry, the level of care and attention he poured into relationships with his employees and customers from the beginning, and still does to this day… It’s also incredible to know that we have customers who have been with us for that long— since the beginning of the pleasure products industry. And we value that so highly, and we have always realized it’s critical to change with the times to continue to serve and support our customers (that have become our family and friends) for the next 40 years, and long into the future,” Chad said.
The company’s growth was exponential, and Doc Johnson quickly came to be known as one of the Founders: five of the largest American sex toy manufacturers in the early years of the industry. CalExotics, Pipedream Products, Nasstoys of New York and Topco Sales round out that group.
The company was among the first to carry more unisex items that could be packaged to appeal to the straight and gay markets, as well as among the first to create niche products and lines. The company was among the first to offer toys molded from popular adult performers; and it was the first to offer a line of products molded from a TS performer (Wendy Williams).
“There are a lot of wonderful opportunities that come with this job— but working with my dad has been the best one,” Chad Braverman said. ”He’s taught me everything he knows about the industry. He’s been in this business since, really, the beginning; and I grew up around it, and it’s always been a part of me. My dad and I are also extremely close, and we have been able to separate the trials and stress of work from our personal relationship. And the more I’ve grown in this business, the more I appreciate his wisdom and his own ways of thinking— both personally and professionally. I feel proud and privileged for the opportunity to contribute to the success of the company that he founded and built. I’ve always known that I have something huge to live up to and it’s something I’m constantly working towards.”
On top of being an industry leader, Ron Braverman has ensured Doc Johnson is truly a family business. While even the best mainstream companies these days might struggle to retain employees, Doc Johnson has kept many on for years—of roughly 500 workers today, the number of those who have been with Doc for the past 20, 30 and even 40 years reaches into the triple digits.
“One of the things I’ve come to admire most about my dad is his deep sense of integrity and how he conducts himself and the business—with our partners, with customers, with staff, whoever,” Erica Braverman said. “He is the kind of leader who really values everyone he works with, and someone people want to go the extra mile for, and I think in modern business (and in life), that is a rare quality and an asset that has—and will continue to—stand the test of time as one of Doc Johnson’s core values. It has been incredibly rewarding to work with my dad every day for a little over eight years now—and of course, there have been challenges that became growth opportunities, that led to deeper mutual respect—but nothing beats knowing I’ve been helping and working with the man who gave me everything I needed to get to where I am today. He has given me an invaluable, tremendous education on business and the pleasure products industry; he taught me hard work, discipline, respect, integrity and leadership. And ultimately, learning from him professionally has shown me a different side of him, and has made me respect and admire my father even more, on a personal level as his daughter.
“I’d also like to point out that the majority of our people and leaders are not blood-related, but they are like family. A large segment of our team have been here 20, 30, 40 years—even since our founding in 1976. That is the kind of person and leader that my dad is—he treats everyone like family,” she added.
Braverman’s Lifetime Achievement will be presented during the “O” Awards, taking place Thursday, January 24, as part of the AVN Novelty Expo. For more information on ANE, visit NoveltyExpo.com.
Originally published on: https://avn.com/business/articles/novelty/docs-ron-braverman-named-o-awards-lifetime-achievement-winner-812394.htmlTags: Doc Johnson Ron Braverman Sherri L. Shaul...