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In this issue

  • Ensure Family Harmony

    In the early years of a business, when the founding generation needs or wants extra cash, they make a distribution from the business to their personal account (if the company is turning a profit). Over the years, they gift or sell ownership to the second and perhaps third generations, and distributions become more complex.

    The 10-Year Transition

    The five children of J.S. and Miriam Herr grew up within 100 feet of the plant in Nottingham, Pa., where Herr’s potato chips were made.

    “Sometimes we would get chips as they were coming out of the fryer,” recalls J.M. Herr, 70, past chairman of Herr Foods Inc., the family business that made those potato chips. “It was way before any real concern about safety, so we would run into the plant to see Dad or Mom working.”

    A Letter to a Brother

    Imagine this scenario: You are a successful business owner with two young children. Your business is increasingly profitable; the value is growing rapidly. You decide to set assets aside in trust both for estate planning purposes and to provide your children and future grandchildren with rainy-day funds. You plan to ask your brother to be the trustee of a trust for your family, but you wonder how his career in medieval French literature will be applicable to his role as trustee.

    At the Helm: Kent Johnson

    Generation of family ownership: Fourth.

    About the company: Highlights for Children reaches over 3 million families a year in the U.S., and Highlights products are available in 20 countries.

    Number of employees: Slightly more than 400.

    An Insider's View

    The onset of COVID-19, the movement for racial justice and warp-speed changes in biotechnology – these are a few of today’s realities transforming family aspirations to prepare the next generation of inheritors to anxieties about how to do just that.

  • How the pandemic revealed some hidden family business gems

    This March marks the one-year anniversary of Family Business Magazine’s shift to remote work following the outbreak of Covid. Our team pivoted well, moving to a virtual environment as seamlessly as possible. Our suite of conferences shifted from in-person to virtual events. We increased our communications and leaned into technology.

  • Celebration Corner: Perdue at 100

    With 21,000 associates across 18 states, Perdue Foods operations include a dozen harvest facilities and eight cooking operations: seven for food, one for pet food and another further-processing facility dedicated to specialty meats. The corporate headquarters and the firm’s Innovation Center are located in Salisbury, Md., and there is another corporate office in Denver.

  • Vision Boards

    It always starts with an idea — a spark, an aha moment or a solution. Most businesses begin with an entrepre­neurial effort and a founder whose focus is on building and growing a company. This founder assumes the risk to launch a business. Over time and after initial success, the founder must make decisions about the long-term future of the business. Should they plan for an exit strategy that will provide a liquidity event, or would they like to see the business continue to grow so they can pass it on to future generations of the family?

  • Purposeful Growth at Michelman

    Some families discuss current events or pop culture over dinner. The Michelman family talked chemistry. That was understandable, since Michelman, their Cincinnati-based family business, used chemistry to make its products.


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