Careers

Robert “Matt” Beall has been named president of Bealls Stores Inc., headquartered in Bradenton, Fla. Beall, great-grandson of founder Robert M. Beall, began his retail career at Ross Stores and joined the family business in 2004 in an entry-level buying position. He has held several leadership roles at Bealls Stores, Bealls Outlet Stores and Bealls Inc., in buying, planning, logistics, finance and store operations.

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In a facility in Enumclaw, Wash.—near Mount Rainier and the Crystal Mountain ski area—a pair of next-generation entrepreneurs are distilling their ideas for a new business venture. Literally.

Brothers-in-law Sam Agnew and Tyler Teeple have spent 2 1/2 years building a craft distillery. Their custom-fabricated equipment is now up and running; whiskey, vodka, gin and flavored white whiskey are currently in production.

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Terry and Regina Locklear started a sock business in a textile mill in their hometown of Fort Payne, Ala., in 1991. They named their company Emi-G Knitting, after their daughters, Emily and Gina. Emi-G makes white sport socks for volume customers that in the company's heyday included Russell Athletic. Regina, 68, does the accounting, and Terry, 71, runs the rest of the operation.

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Thanks to a new venture called Chasing Paper, consumers can decorate their homes with peel-and-stick removable wallpaper. The two-year-old company has revolutionized interior decorating for renters and commitment-phobes alike. It's also revolutionized its parent company, Kubin-Nicholson, an 89-year-old family business. Chasing Paper's young, entrepreneurial founder, Elizabeth Rees, proved to her father and his employees that embracing technology can open up new markets.

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Picture yourself as a child on the Fourth of July, holding an unlit sparkler with great anticipation. Once lit, the sparks flew everywhere and all too quickly died out. That is, they died out until you figured out that you could keep the sparks flying by lighting another stick before the first one died, and then another and another. Creating sustainable sparklers became a game of collaboration with siblings, cousins and friends.

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In the nearly 20 years since Sam Menaged opened the Renfrew Center, it has become the world's largest network of eating disorder treatment centers. Renfrew, founded in 1985 as a single residential treatment facility in Philadelphia, now has more than 500 employees at 14 locations in 12 states. The center gets its name from the 27-acre Renfrew Farm, its flagship location.

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Cornfields Inc., headquartered in a 220,000-square-foot facility in Waukegan, Ill., makes an array of snacks that includes chocolate-covered popcorn, drizzled kettle corn and veggie chips.

The menu of offerings parallels the diverse ways the Cretors family has deployed its intellectual capital instead of all working together in a single company.

Five generations after Charles Cretors invented the popcorn machine in 1885, Cretors family members have started a variety of businesses—all with some connection to popcorn.

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When Jerry Murrell’s two oldest boys, Jim and Matt, spurned college, Jerry brokered a deal with the two teens: The family would use the cash collected for the boys’ college education to open a hamburger shop that the boys would then run.

That agreement, made 27 years ago, spawned a company —Five Guys Burgers and Fries—that now sits among the restaurant industry’s largest family-owned enterprises.

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Working with relatives requires a different set of rules than most jobs, and departing from the family business should also be handled with care. Unlike at another company, you’ll have to see these people again. A lot. When you leave the family company behind, it’s never just a business decision. Treading carefully is a must.

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