The nuns gave Bobby Brewster an early lesson in faith, especially attending Mass: “God gives you 168 hours a week. All you need to do is give him one, on Sunday.”
Well, maybe not all. Brewster, whose birth name is Brzustewicz, finds a place for his faith throughout his life, both business and personal. He credits his Catholic upbringing, where even the elderly—sometimes folks who probably shouldn’t even be outside—will always find time to attend church. “It’s inbred in the Poles,” he admits.
The name change—not official—was strictly a business decision made early in his sales career, when the multi-syllabic name Brzustewicz was difficult for customers to remember. Now, near the end of a hugely successful career, he carries two business cards, one with each name. His three sons, each a dead ringer for Dad, have split the ticket: two opted for Brzustewicz, the third for Brewster.
“Kids need to remember their heritage,” he says, “regardless of what they call themselves. Hard work and schooling is key to everything you can achieve in life, that’s what our parents taught us from as long ago as I can remember. And faith? We especially need the kids to remember where everything, ultimately comes from.”
A former trustee at Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, Brewster is a huge supporter of good works; he’s responsible for countless shipments of food to the underprivileged in Guatemala. That’s a mandate of Catholicism, of course, but also the result of his visits to Poland, both before and after Communism. “I saw both sides of the coin,” he says. “Even though Poland is not perfect today, it’s immeasurably better off than with the Communists running things. And one of the obligations of a successful Capitalist is to give back to those who have less.”
Brewster/ Brzustewicz not only talks the talk, he walks it proudly.