Cameron Cane '03
At a young age, Cameron Cane ’03 learned that anything worth doing would require hard work. As the president and CEO of Deutsche, he has lived by that lesson.
Cane transferred to Radford University as an incoming sophomore and chose to major in finance with the original intent of pursuing a career in banking.
Part of that pursuit included being a founding member of the Student Managed Investment Portfolio Organization (SMIPO) at Radford. Alongside several finance professors, Cane and his peers obtained the funding needed to bring the organization to life.
“It was more of a practical learning experience – something we were all very proud of. We made a good amount of investments, learned how to collaborate with teammates and learned a lot about public speaking, which is a big part of my job today as the CEO of a company,” said Cane. “Those were all very important concepts that were fundamental in being able to start and build a business.”
Starting and building a business was something Cane and his wife, Sheila, had always envisioned for themselves.
After graduation, he shifted his career path from banking to construction. Cane spent some time working for a home builder before starting his own company as a general contractor. Then, the economy tanked, and Cane was out of work.
But, he had another plan. At the time, his wife was working in the brewery industry and had the knowledge base to help their business shift gears.
“We decided we weren’t going to change who we were as people – we knew construction very well – we were just going to change from being a general contractor to a specialty contractor,” explained Cane.
That’s when they formed the Deutsche brands.
“Luckily, some of my experience with SMIPO taught me that timing is everything in investments, certainly when you’re investing in a company,” said Cane. “We hit the brewery boom right when it had really started catching fire on the East Coast and found immediate success through that.”
Cane now has three Deutsche lines. Deutsche Beverage Technology is the primarily craft-beer-focused brewery equipment manufacturer and supplier, as well as the largest manufacturer of cold brew coffee equipment in the world; Deutsche Process is the more industrial line of equipment; and Ink Kegs is the manufacturing line, selling roughly 50,000 units per year.
Since the company’s inception, the husband-and-wife team has grown to roughly 50 people in its home base in Charlotte, North Carolina, and roughly 150 people internationally. Cane says Deutsche doubles in size on an every other year basis.
“If people think you start a business to be your own boss, they are fundamentally incorrect. I have 1,500 bosses; my customers spread [throughout] six countries,” explained Cane. “When they call me, it’s my job to pick up the phone and make sure they understand that not just myself, but our entire team, is committed to the success of their business.”
To learn more about the Deutsche brands, visit Deutsche Beverage Technology.
July 8, 2019