At the Helm: Dick Yuengling
A few minutes with the CEO of D.G. Yuengling & Son, Pottsville, Pa.
Generation of family ownership: Fifth.
About the company: We're in 17 states, and in 2013 we sold 2,700,000 barrels. We have 1.2% of the U.S. beer market.
Number of employees: Between 290 and 300.
Years with the company: Probably 50 years, but not consecutively. For 11 years I worked in the beer distributing business, at another company.
First job at this company: Stamping numbers on beer cases in an old warehouse as a summer job, at age 15. We were switching from 8-ounce to 7-ounce bottles. I had to blot out the "8" and stamp a "7."
Most memorable thing I learned from my mother and father: Humility. We were almost out of business in the 1950s and 1960s, like a number of breweries our size. I'm very fortunate. We've been lucky.
One of our greatest successes: Even with the growth of the microbreweries, our growth has been phenomenal.
Best advice I ever got: Stay small and stay out of the way of the big brewers. I can't say I followed it.
Quote from our company's mission statement: We don't have a formal statement. I don't set goals, other than we want to grow every year.
On my wall: Portraits of the previous generations in this company that helped make it what it is.
One of my greatest accomplishments: What I've been able to provide to our employees. We have the best-paying jobs in the area, with benefits that include hospitalization and a pension plan.
Best thing about working in a family business: You're your own boss. You can do what you think is best, and you're not under scrutiny as in a publicly held company.
Worst thing about working in a family business: It's all on your shoulders. You have to be committed.
My advice for other family business leaders: If you're a manufacturer, stay with your product. Whatever you do, do it well and do it right. Watch your expenses and hire good people.
On a day off I like to . . . play golf on a weekend when possible. I own a home in Florida, and every year I enjoy a couple of weeks there.
Philanthropic causes our family supports: Through our foundation, we donate a lot to local churches, fire companies and other charitable organizations. At some point we'll sponsor a scholarship at the local high school.
Books I think every family business leader should read: Band of Brothers, because it teaches you to stick with a difficult situation.
I realized I had emerged from the previous generation's shadow when . . . I bought the company. I walked into the office and just sat there with appreciation for what the previous owners did.
Future succession plans: All four of my children are with me today and have committed to staying in the company. We don't know yet which one will run it.
Words I live by: Get up early, go to work, do the right thing and repeat it the next day.
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