In this issue
The Ritter family has been in business together for five generations, with our sixth generation now blossoming.
How do you explain the family real estate business to young children? The Golub family has used the board game Monopoly to help illustrate basic real estate concepts and strategy — and to introduce fun and friendly competition.
There are two aspects to transferring a business to children. Of course, there’s the technical aspect: transferring ownership in a tax-efficient manner and as part of a business continuity plan. There’s also the emotional aspect: preparing your children for the wealth and responsibilities that come with this very special family asset.
Human resources is a essential component of any well-functioning business, but in many family companies, HR is merely an afterthought. Even those family business owners who recognize the importance of the HR function may take an informal approach to fulfilling it.
At our Transitions Canada 2018 conference in September, attendees from second-generation businesses were eager to learn about the challenges they would confront when they transitioned to the third generation. Several were unaware of the monumental changes that occur when a company moves from a sibling partnership to a cousin consortium, a term often used to refer to a third-generation business.
Generation of family ownership: Second.
Company revenues: $140 million projected for 2017.
Number of employees: 500.
Years with the company: 14. I joined the company in 2004 and became president in 2006. Our parent company in India manufactures rugs and textiles, such as pillows, and we do the selling.
The Business: Ralph Gorrill, who had a degree in engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, was working on road and bridge projects for the state in the Durham, Calif., area. In 1918, he acquired about 2,400 acres from the Stanford University Trust, which was selling sections of what was then known as the Stanford-Durham ranch. The land, renamed the Gorrill Ranch, had been used for pasture and for growing wheat.
They call the Kentucky Derby “The Run for the Roses,” but the winner gets more than a rose garland and a sizable check at the end of the famous horse race. The owner of the winning horse receives a nearly 2-foot-tall gold trophy.
The trophy was first awarded in 1924, the 50th anniversary of the race. Since that time, just a handful of people have worked on its creation. For 43 years, a single family has been entrusted with making it.