The best family business quotes of 2016

Here are some of the most powerful quotes that appeared in Family Business Magazine in 2016.


“When we took over, we made a pact that we wouldn’t argue about little things. We get along because the business is more important than who’s right and who’s wrong.”

Judith Lowry, one of three second-generation sisters who own Argosy Book Store in New York City (Family Business Magazine, November/December 2016).


“I think if we did not disagree on things, that could be a recipe for disaster. Business needs to evolve and adapt. Mom has been in the funeral home my whole life, so if I came in with nothing new, that sets up the funeral home for a whole generation with nothing new. In all organizational settings, you need some kind of change of leadership to make sure some things aren’t overlooked because we have our unconscious blind spots.”

— Stinson Woodward Ferguson, fourth-generation apprentice funeral director at J.W. Woodward Funeral Home, the oldest African American business in Spartanburg, S.C. The funeral home is run by Ferguson’s mother, Dr. Kay Woodward. (Family Business Magazine, September/October 2016).


“I believe that the tradition that follows a family through eight generations is extremely powerful, quite tangible and very relevant. The secret is to not let your tradition unreasonably burden you.”

John Lyman III, eighth-generation executive vice president of Lyman Orchards in Middlefield, Conn. (Family Business Magazine, September/October 2016).


“We have to collect our thoughts and desires and expectations for the business and share those with one voice instead of 100 different voices.”

— Stacy Mello, senior director of planning and communication at A. Duda & Sons Inc. and chairman of the Duda Family Council (Family Business Magazine, January/February 2016).


“What has been really helpful for us is going back and remembering and honoring our family history as well as our loved ones, focusing as a family on our common interests and causes. I think that’s really helped to develop a family glue.”

Heidi Vermeer-Quist, chair of Vermeer Corporation’s ownership council and a member of the company’s board (Family Business Magazine, January/February 2016).


“If a person is approaching retirement with a sense that he needs to make a big splash to make up for lost time, it’s highly likely to be a misguided effort.”

— Dave Juday, who in 2014 retired as chairman of IDEAL Industries (Family Business Magazine, November/December 2016).


Here are some memorable quotes about life in a family business that appeared in other media outlets last year:


“I don’t like the word ‘dynasty,’ but that’s what it is. It’s not just a business. There’s a lot going on in the background.”

Jake Dyson, heir apparent to James Dyson, the British technology company known for its vacuum cleaners (Co.Design, Dec. 6, 2016).


“Tradition is like a bow. The more we stretch the bowstring, the farther we can throw the arrows of modernity and innovation.”

— Giovanni Ferrero, third-generation CEO of Italian chocolate maker Ferrero International SA (Wall Street Journal, Aug. 9, 2016).


 “You have to come to peace with the idea that you’re going to do the same thing that your father did, and your father was pretty great at it. You also have to come to grips with the fact that he started it from scratch and you are never going to do that. It’s an internal struggle that took me 20 years to untangle.”

— Marc Glimcher, president of Pace Gallery and son of renowned art dealer Arne Glimcher (New York Times, June 16, 2016).


“One of my key objectives is to ensure the family is proud of the company and feels a part of it. The moment the company becomes more of a financial investment for the family, we may as well go public, honestly. The family never sees the value of the equity because that gets passed on. We see ourselves simply as a steward of that equity as it moves from one generation to the next.”

H. Fisk Johnson, fifth-generation chairman and CEO, S.C. Johnson & Son (Wall Street Journal, March 10, 2016).


“It’s seven generations, so the weight of history is heavy, very significant. The name is in the history books, so at some point you have to face that and say, ‘How do I live with it? Do I accept it or not?’ That part is much more complex than the money. There are a lot of wealthy people but there’s not a place, except maybe the African bush, where you say ‘Rothschild’ and people don’t say, ‘Aah.’ ”

Ariane de Rothschild, married-in CEO of Edmond de Rothschild bank (Financial Times, March 5-6, 2016).


“It’s hard to have a hereditary system that produces the competencies required to meet the demands of the public and the organization.”

— J. Mark Baiada, founder of Bayada Home Health Care, who plans to donate the company to a charitable foundation (Philadelphia Inquirer, June 28, 2016).



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