Darren posted this in 2010..
"LWRCI is a privately held company.
I cannot post company financials, but we made a profit this first full year under Mr. Bernstein's ownership at the same time growing by about 1000 percent. I imagine our P&L's look much better than most of the large firearms companies.
As I said, the company is owned an operated by Richard Bernstein. Here is a brief BIO/Story by the State of Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.
By Mindie Burgoyne – State of Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development
EASTERN SHORE, MD ‐ Richard “Dick” Bernstein began making contributions to economic growth on the
Eastern Shore of Maryland 38 years ago when he started a small microwave component manufacturing
company in Salisbury.
Over 30 years ago, Mr. Bernstein and one other person began K&L Microwave. Though he is not an
Economic Development professional, Dick Bernstein has pioneered the growth of modern
manufacturing on the Eastern Shore, built one of the top microwave industry clusters in America, and
created more jobs in the eight counties east of the Chesapeake Bay than any other single person in
Maryland’s Eastern Shore history.
Dick obtained an Engineering Degree. After college, Dick worked as an engineer in telecommunications
in several companies on the Western Shore and Indiana. He married and began raising a family. In early
1970 a recession hit and Dick’s Indiana employer was downsizing. Dick returned home and to start his
own small company.
At age 29, he began K&L Microwave in Salisbury, MD with himself and one other employee. But Dick led
K&L Microwave to success, and when he sold it 13 years later it employed 250 people and sold over $15
million that year. Five years later K&L sold $25 million, and today the company employs over 500
workers. Dick purchased another microwave technology manufacturer, Lorch Microwave and brought it to Salisbury.
Additionally, entrepreneurs employed by Dick spun off their own microwave technology companies
increasing the industry sector exponentially and making the Salisbury area one of the largest clusters of
its kind in the United States.
Dave Ryan, Executive Director of the Salisbury Wicomico Economic Development Corporation indicates
that this Microwave Technology cluster covers 23% of the manufacturing base in Wicomico County
alone. “The microwave industry is clearly the fastest growing industry sector here” Ryan states. The
cluster could not have formed without Bernstein and his philosophy on growing jobs and business.
Several others tried to establish companies in this sector and failed. Bernstein’s companies and the
ones that spun off were the foundation for the cluster.
The Bernstein philosophy for growth was to multiply himself through other people. The consummate
entrepreneur, Dick honed in on an idea or concept developed a plan for design and production ‐ then
taught others to reproduce it. Dick says, “Simply create a procedure and do a design that could be
followed. Then teach that process to other employees. Then establish good marketing.”
As K&L moved into machining Technology it became the first company to bring CNC (Computer
Numerical Control) equipment ‐ where a computer that drives the machining process – to the Eastern
Shore. This allowed for one machinist to do the complicated, highly skilled work, and then entry level
people could be trained through local community college. Soon that community college‐trained
employee is operating a machine by knowledge of a computer. This created a large need for entry level
people and maximized performance and productivity.
Dick believes the key to growing business is to trust and invest in the workforce. He states, “You can
grow your business when there’s opportunity at the entry level” he states. “You bring them in, offer
training, help them develop skills, pay them well, offer good benefits, provide the best equipment and
support entrepreneurial spirit where you find it. Turnover will be low, and continuity with people
breeds comfort and trust.”
In the last 38 years, Dick Bernstein has started, purchased or directly been a part of developing nine
companies on the Eastern Shore that include K&L Microwave, Lorch Microwave, Filter Networks,
MaTech, and MSI (Manufacturing Support Industries) in Salisbury; BAI Aerosystems, and Salisbury
Pewter in Easton; and LWRC International in Cambridge. From these companies, there have been
numerous spin‐off companies and support companies started and developed. Additionally, Dick has
completed Waterside Village, a mixed use shopping and commercial center in Talbot County successfully
bringing Target to Easton after many failed attempts by others.
Today, Dick is directly linked to the employment over 2000 workers on the Eastern Shore, and
companies that draw outside investment of more than $200 million annually and provide over $75
million in payroll. It is estimated that the secondary jobs from spin‐off and support companies would
take the job count to between 5000 and 10,000 on the Eastern Shore alone.
Dick is now the Majority Owner of LWRC International. In April of 2008, Mr. Bernstein bought
substantially all assets Land Warfare Resource Corporation an now acts as the President and CEO of
LWRC International. LWRC International is a defense contracting company that continues Dick’s trend in
establishing high‐tech manufacturing on the Eastern Shore. An American Small Arms Manufacturer,
LWRCI has seen explosive growth poised for expansion and to create a significant number of well‐paying
jobs in Dorchester County. Under direction of Mr. Bernstein, LWRCI is on track for 2009 sales in excess
of 25 million dollars and has shipped over 22,000 M6 Carbines to Commercial Distributors, entities of
the U.S. Government, and Foreign Government end users in its first full year of production at the new
facility in Cambridge, MD. Dick was able to do this by leveraging the strengths of his other DOD
Manufacturing companies. MaTech (Machining Technologies), and MSI (Manufacturing Support
Industries) also located on the Eastern Shore of Maryland had the infrastructure, human resources and
experienced Executive staff to allow LWRCI to vertically integrate manufacturing by bringing complete
control of manufacturing and quality assurance in house. This trio of companies has infrastructure and
manufacturing capability in excess of the Colt’s Defense. Colt’s is the current prime vendor for U.S.
Army’s carbine. Bringing LWRCI, Matech and MSI together was a natural marriage. In addition to
manufacturing LWRCI carbines and rifles, the team manufactures approximately 40% of the M240 and
M249 Machine Gun’s for FNMI (Fabrique Nationale Manufacturing Inc.) and for the U.S. Government
direct. Every 120mm Mortar Fin Assembly used by American Forces comes from the LWRCI team. Every
back up iron sight for the US Army's M4 Carbine and M16 Rifle comes from the LWRCI team. Every Bradley
Fighting Vehicle Up‐Armor kit comes from the LWRCI team. These are just a few examples of the work
Mr. Bernstein’s team currently does for the Department of Defense.
For years, Dick Bernstein has been recognized as a leader in business and a notable entrepreneur. He
sits on the Boards of Washington College, Chesapeake Utilities, M & T Bank, Eastern Shore
Entrepreneurship Center and Mid Atlantic Institute for Space and Technology. He has been recognized
both nationally and internationally with awards that include: the Ernst & Young Maryland Entrepreneur
of the Year Award (2007), INC Magazine’s Top 500 Privately‐held companies, Maryland’s Small Business
Person of the Year, and the Centennial Medal from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
Dick also won the Albert Einstein Aerospace Technology Award for leadership in Microwave
Communications and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle industries. This award was presented in Israel at the first
ever Defense Aerospace National Homeland Security Mission of Peace to Israel and Jordan. Dick was
hosted in the Royal Palace in Amman by King Abdullah.
As if being one of the most prominent business leaders in Eastern Shore history, and his iconic
reputation for entrepreneurship wasn’t enough, Dick invests in the Eastern Shore workforce by
affirming entrepreneurs and young people with vision. He is responsible for The Bernstein Award at the
Franklin Perdue School of Business, Salisbury University which annually recognizes students who put
together well researched and potentially successful business proposals. He created The Bernstein
Achievement Award at the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore which is awarded annually to a
graduating senior who demonstrates integrity and the ability to work with others who also had to
overcome physical or personal obstacles to earn his or her degree. The Richard A. Bernstein Research
Professorship is an endowed chair position that encourages outstanding performance among students
and faculty at UMES. Additionally, Dick puts in volunteer time to help entrepreneurs locally through
SCORE (Service Corps Of Retired Executives) and the Eastern Shore Entrepreneurship Center.
When asked why he decided to start his businesses on the Eastern Shore, Dick Bernstein replied, “What
[the Shore] had is what I couldn’t get elsewhere. It had resources … people. It had families that grew up
here, and they had roots. I had to leave the Shore to get a job in an industry that I enjoyed which was in
electronics – high‐tech communications. I figured there has to be people like me that want to advance in
technology but there aren’t the opportunities. So instead of me moving people to the Shore to work in
my company, all I did was bring the opportunity to the ones that lived here … What I did was show that it
could be successful. That’s all. By having the philosophy that growth is good. I shared the knowledge I
had with other people …and let them grow the business.”
That pretty much sums it up. It is not just about one person. It is the collection of companies, infrastructure and people he has developed and put in place."
Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.