Celebrating 30 Exceptional Families

These business families have made significant progress in governance. Their meaningful — and challenging — work has helped their businesses prosper and kept family members united as responsible stewards. 

To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Family Business honored 30 outstanding family businesses:

A. Duda & Sons Inc.

The Agnew Family Enterprise

The Biltmore Company

Bush Brothers & Company

The Clemens Family Corporation

Crescent Electric Supply Co. 

Day & Zimmermann

Dot Foods Inc.

The Duchossois Group

E. Ritter & Company

Elkay Manufacturing Company 

Flanagan Foodservice Inc.

Herschend Enterprises

Hussey Seating Company

IDEAL Industries Inc.

Kiolbassa Provision Company

Laird Norton Company

Lloyd Companies

Lundberg Family Farms

Lyles Family Enterprise

MacLean-Fogg Company

Mannington Mills Inc.

Menasha Corporation

Midmark Corporation

Port Blakely

Sheetz Inc.

Vermeer Corporation

Vertex Inc.

W.S. Darley & Co.

Wittwer Hospitality/Boulevard Home

In 30 years of helping family business owners learn from each other and celebrating their achievements, we at Family Business Magazine have had the privilege of meeting families whose commitment to good governance is exceptional.

In this special section, we acknowledge 30 of these families for their significant progress in the following areas:

  • Creating family governance structures.
  • Developing sound policies to ensure the family continues as good stewards of the business.
  • Promoting harmony among the extended family.
  • Building connections among family members and encouraging their engagement with the business.

Some family companies profiled here are in the second or third generation; others are in the fifth, sixth and even seventh. The number of adult stakeholders in these families ranges from fewer than a dozen to several hundred. Some families began their governance journeys just a few years ago. Others have been at it for generations, making revisions along the way to accommodate changes in the family’s demographics and needs.

  • Finding the proper balance between business and family priorities.
  • Educating, developing and supporting NextGens and the youngest generation.
  • Managing transitions in the business, family and board.
  • Generously sharing their experiences and lessons learned with other business families.

These profiles reveal a variety of approaches to governance, reflecting the families’ individual cultures and traditions. Some have implemented conventional “best practice” structures and nomenclature, while others have forged their own paths.

These families understand that governance work is never “done.” Stewardship of a family enterprise requires a continuing commitment to work together toward the common goal of staying in business as a family. In several of these families, this commitment has lasted beyond the lifespan of their legacy business.

Their stories offer solid evidence that good governance can help business families work through their challenges and move their enterprise forward.

Article categories: 
Issue: 
September/October 2019

OTHER RELATED ARTICLES

  • Developing effective governance: Persistence pays off

    Our family business, E. Ritter & Company (ERC), was founded in the 1880s as a general merchandise store. ERC entered the communications business in 1906 when our founder, Ernest Ritter, install...

  • A son's push for planning

    In many family businesses, it’s the younger generation that’s eager to charge ahead and the elders who rein them in. At Summer Classics, a Pelham, Ala.-based manufacturer and retailer of luxury...

  • Good practices in family well-being: Embracing the rising generation

    Whether an adult son or daughter is eager to understand the ins and outs of the family business or a curious grandchild expresses passion for creating a difference in the world using impact investi...

  • How to determine whether your family office is successful

    Last year, someone asked me a simple question that led to quite a bit of thought and discussion: How do I know if my family office is successful? The most common initial answers (investment returns...