In this issue
The Jones family is celebrating the 100th anniversary of Dawn Foods this year, but they weren’t always bakers. The family entered the business in 1935, when patriarch Marlin Jones joined Dawn Donut Company as a bookkeeper.
Though the family didn’t found Dawn, now an international, multibillion-dollar company, they continue to grow the business under third-generation leadership.
When Charlotte Lamp was growing up in the 1950s and ’60s, no female family members worked in her family’s business, Port Blakely. The company, which is based in the Pacific Northwest and has been owned by the Eddy family since 1903, owns and manages working forests and markets renewable forest products.
If you’ve ever bought bread from a grocery store, you’ve probably noticed the plastic clip that closes the packaging. You may not realize that a family business — Kwik Lok Corporation, founded in 1954 and based in Yakima, Wash. — originated the closure. According to family legend, founder Floyd Paxton, an engineer, invented the clip during an airplane flight by carving it out of a credit card. He started out selling the clips as a secure way to close bags of apples.
The board selection process in family companies at times can appear rigged to perpetuate incumbent directors. Is this a good or a bad phenomenon? That depends on many factors.
In March, the United States celebrates Women’s History Month with exhibits, scholarship and events at the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress, the National Archives and other federal institutions. On Aug. 26, the country will mark a milestone in women’s history: the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which gave women the right to vote.
In recognition of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in America, Family Business is dedicating this issue to strong female leaders. I count my grandmother among them. In fact, Grandma Selma, born in Missouri in 1886, was a suffragette. She recalled voting in 1920 — while 8½ months pregnant with my father — in the first presidential election open to women.
Robert Matthews (Matt) Beall III has been named CEO of Bradenton, Fla.-based retailer Beall’s Inc.
Beall is the great-grandson of Robert Matthews Beall Sr., who founded the company in 1915. As a student at the University of Florida, he worked in the West Bradenton Beall’s Store as a sales associate and then at the Beall’s Outlet distribution center processing merchandise. After graduating in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in business, he worked for Ross Stores in Manhattan as an assistant buyer. He then earned an MBA from Stetson University.
Crescent Electric Supply of East Dubuque, Ill., was founded in 1919 by Titus B. Schmid. The Schmid family is now in its fifth generation. At the time of the company’s centennial celebration last year, there were 128 family members in seven branches. The Schmid Family Council was established in 2005.
Jensen Precast, based in Sparks, Nev., manufactures precast concrete products. Don Jensen founded the business in 1968. The 14-member Jensen family, now in its third generation, established a family council in November 2014.
Generation of family ownership: Third.
Revenue: More than $135 million.
Number of employees: Over 500.
Years with the company: 16.
First job at this company: In high school, I worked in the plant washing crates and buckets by hand and loading jugs on the line. After college, law school and working as a civil defense attorney, I came back to Milo’s as the vice president and general counsel in 2004.