Article Library



How the Culvers Found Their Niche

Published June 1, 1990 Dan Rottenberg |

The early morning scene in the Middlebury, Indiana, farmhouse, just 10 miles from the Michigan border, could have been painted by Norman Rockwell. While Marilyn Culver, 61, bustles about her modern k...


Building a Dynasty of Bricks and Blood

Published June 1, 1990 Lou Moscatello |

The Lefrak Organization began as a simple construction company launched by architect Harry LeFrak in 1905 soon after he emigrated from France to New York City. Today, it is a $3 billion multi-buildin...


The Real Value of Outsiders on the Board

Published June 1, 1990 Gerald Le Van |

Jack is successful, powerful, and wealthy. But he is uncomfortably alone as CEO of JacMar Corp. His two sons, his other employees, his lawyers, and consultants all do his bidding. No one really chall...


Splitting the Business to Unify the Family

Published June 1, 1990 Mike Cohn |

Sometimes a family has to divide a business if it's going to conquer problems that threaten family unity, as David Boyd recently learned. His younger son, Kevin, had been managing the family's buildin...


When Brotherly Love Isn't Enough

Published June 1, 1990 Gail Buchalter |

At age 40, Rick Freeman was in crisis. He had to figure out what he wanted to do with his life. He knew one thing for sure — he was suffocating under the constraints imposed by his older brother Lar...


The Risks in Employing Your Kid for the Summer

Published June 1, 1990 Stan Luxenberg |

Parents who own businesses might seem to have an easy solution to the kids' summer employment problem. Employing children in the family business, however, can pose a delicate dilemma, and the stakes i...


Mother in the Middle

Published June 1, 1990 Craig Mellow |

One can not help but feel when speaking with Gertrude Crain that she could soothe a wounded panther. Or, more importantly for her purposes, iron out the differences between her two ambitious and capab...


Funerals R Us

Published June 1, 1990 Harvey D. Shapiro |

There are no sample products in the lobby of Service Corporation International's highrise headquarters on the fringe of Houston's downtown. Nor are there pictures of SCI facilities, or testimonials f...


A Contrarian's View on Retiring: Don't Do It

Published June 1, 1990 Donald J. Jonovic |

If a business owner retires at 65, plays 18 holes of golf a day, 365 days a year, until the day the actuaries predict he'll join the Eternal Cash Flow, he'll have to flog 660,000 golf balls off the en...


Why We'll Never Go Public

Published May 30, 1990 Samuel C. Johnson |

There are distinct advantages to being a family corporation, especially when you are competing against public firms. Public companies do have some advantages, principally, unlimited access to the pub...


They Foresee the Future and it Works for Them

Published May 1, 1990 Louis Moscatello |

The cycle of life starts every Monday morning at the publishing firm called The Kiplinger Washington Editors. It's then that Austin Kiplinger and his son Knight sit down with their 18 editors to discu...


Comes the Revolution at Dexter Corp.

Published May 1, 1990 Jayne A. Pearl-Hommel |

"If I thought it was better for the business to have a family member in it, I'd find one somewhere," insists David Linwood Coffin Sr., chairman of The Dexter Corporation. "I think the family has done ...


Using an LBO to Keep a Firm in the Family

Published May 1, 1990 Mike Cohn |

John Kramer's recent success created his current dilemma. As a building materials distributor, he had seen sales jump from $5 million to $20 million in five years.Now, at age 60, John was pleased to h...


To A Son, On His Entering The Business

Published May 1, 1990 Family Business |

"Advice is seldom welcome," Lord Chesterfield wrote to his son, "and those who want it the most always like it the least." And yet generations of fathers have, like Chesterfield, offered words of wisd...


The Smart Way to Cast Off That Shadow CEO

Published May 1, 1990 Edwin T. Crego Jr. |

Too frequently, naming Junior as the company CEO is a purely symbolic act. In these cases, the title of chief executive officer sounds important and prestigious, but it signifies nothing.The reason fo...


Hire Who? What? Pass the Spinach

Published May 1, 1990 David Graulich |

When business schools teach case studies about family business, a favorite technique is to create a scenario at the family dinner table. Unlike managers of other businesses, who have their big meeting...


Spinning Off Some Company Assets: A Capital Idea

Published May 1, 1990 Francois M. de Visscher |

Capital needs of a family and its business can clash, as CEO Dave Watkins learned at the last meeting of the 17 family shareholders of Watkins Construction Company in Dublin, Idaho. All but two wante...


The Politics of Family Boards

Published May 1, 1990 Peter Davis |

One of the boards I serve on engages regularly in a kind of ritualistic jousting with the founder and CEO. We try to show him that he can't continue to violate the most basic of management principles...


Hooray for Our Team!

Published May 1, 1990 Neil Cohen |

Watt Powell Park is an old concrete and steel ballpark that sits humbly on the banks of the Kanawha River, which runs through the center of Charleston, West Virginia. Beyond the center field fence loo...


How to Benefit from Creative Use of an ESOP

Published May 1, 1990 David L. James |

An employee stock ownership plan is not just a way to reward longstanding, loyal employees with a stake in the business. Creatively employed, it can bring significant tax benefits to owners and employ...