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The fast-growing Philadelphia construction company is planning a transition to the third generation.

How did a small African-American-owned homebuilder from Alabama end up as one of the leading construction companies in Philadelphia, Pa., whose projects have included major sites like the Pennsylvania Convention Center, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and Lincoln Financial Field, home of the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles?

Angelo R. Perryman, the second-generation president and CEO of Perryman Building and Construction Services, uses the mantra that originated with his father, Jimmie Lee Perryman Sr., to describe the secret of the company's success: "A quality job performed by quality people counts." But beyond the bricks and steel, his business achieved its status through a step-by-step process of education, perseverance and family involvement.

Perryman, 57, now is grooming his daughter, Angelina, to be his successor. The entrepreneurial firm lacks an independent board and a family council. There's also no requirement that family members work somewhere else before joining the family business. Nor was there any formal agreement stipulating that Angelo Perryman, rather than one of his brothers, would take over the business from their father, the founder.

To date, Perryman has prospered without these governance structures. A 2016 Fortune magazine of the fastest-growing "Inner City 100" companies reported that Perryman generated $21.36...Read more

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