PROFILE 2010: Shane Spiller

Published 5:35 pm Sunday, March 7, 2010

Shane Spiller was named president of Spiller Furniture in 2005, but anyone who knows him will tell you there was never any doubt.

Presently, Shane oversees 14 stores in 11 counties, having worked his way up his family’s corporate ladder since he was a child.

“I’ve been on deliveries, I’ve worked the sales floor, done collections, managed inventory,” he said. “I’ve done just about everything you can do in this business at one time or another.”

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The family business was founded by Shane’s grandfather, James E. Spiller, during World War II. It was then passed on to Shane’s father, Mike, who named Shane president five years ago after assuming chairmanship of the company.

“I’m blessed to have worked with (Mike Spiller) and have such a great working relationship,” he said. “I get to get up everyday and work with my dad. I enjoy that.”

The Spiller family legacy is one aspect of the Tuscaloosa-based business of which Shane is most proud.

“I was taking a business class and was doing some research on family businesses,” he said. “I found some statistic that said only about 16 percent of family-owned businesses make it to the third generation. I’m very proud to be in that 16 percent.”

Growing up with the business, Shane said there was never any doubt that he, one day, would work alongside his father.

“You know, I don’t really remember ever wanting to do anything else,” he said. “Even when I was a kid. I always knew what I wanted to do and where I wanted to work.”

To that end, Shane graduated from the University of Alabama in 1995 with a degree in Business Management. However, his college life wasn’t without a little excitement.

“I was (Alabama mascot) Big Al from 1993-1994,” he said. “I went to a basketball game with some friends and saw Big Al performing a skit that, I thought, was sub par. I thought, ‘I can do better than that.’”

Always having been someone to “put his money where his mouth is”, Shane showed up for the next mascot tryouts and won the job.

“That was a lot of fun,” he recalled. “It’s not something I originally set out to do but how may people can say, ‘Hey, I’ve been Big Al.’”

Shortly after hanging up his elephant suit, Shane handled inventory management for his family’s stores before spending time in every other role in the company as he worked his way to the top.

“I really liked delivering furniture,” he said. “That was probably my favorite part. You go in these people’s houses who may have been saving for a long time to buy that couch, or that bedroom suit or whatever it is, and you see their face light up when that new piece of furniture gets there; seeing that satisfaction of getting something new. I really enjoyed that.”

Now that Shane’s grandfather and the company’s namesake has long since passed, Shane – the father of three boys (Mike, Mac and Major) works to carry the mantle forward for the next generation of Spillers.

“If my grandfather could see the company now, I think he would be proud to know that it was still being run by family,” he said. “I think he’d be proud that his son and his grandson have worked hard together to keep the business going.”