Agenda 2011

  • Agenda 2011

     Buy this issue $19.75

In this issue

  • The Family Business Survey



    Family businesses are the engine of America’s economic growth. Indeed, family businesses were operating in the Colonies even before the Revolutionary War. In a 2003 study, researchers Joseph H. Astrachan and Melissa C. Shanker estimated that family firms contribute 64% of the gross domestic product and employ 62% of the U.S. workforce.

    America's largest family companies list: Page 1

    The Family Business 100: America’s largest family companies


    PAGE 1


    * Denotes company whose stock is publicly traded.


    Revenue and employment figures are the most recent available.
    The ranking from our 2009 list is given in parentheses. (NR) = Not ranked






    America's oldest family companies list: Page 1

    The Family Business 100: America’s oldest family companies


    PAGE 1

    * Denotes new listing


    17th Century



    1 1623
    Avedis Zildjian Co.
    Zildjian family
    Cymbals/Norwell, MA

    Navigating the political process

    Ross Born’s wake-up call came in the aftermath of a transportation problem. His Bethlehem, Pa.-based company—Just Born Inc., makers of marshmallow Peeps as well as Mike and Ike and other iconic candy brands—relied on a nearby rail spur to ship products and receive supplies. But in the early 1980s, the railroad decided to eliminate the line. Poor drainage in the city caused the tracks to flood frequently, requiring repairs the railroad deemed too expensive.

  • Final Point

    We asked participants in our Family Business Survey—an anonymous online poll conducted in July and August 2011—to list the family and business issues that keep them up at night. Here are some of the responses:

    Family concerns

    “Is it the business that keeps the family together or the family that keeps the business together?”

    “Increased numbers of family members in coming generations.”

  • Family business longevity examined in a new light

    In this issue, we celebrate the longevity of America’s oldest family businesses—companies that have been continuously owned by the same family for 155 years or more. Sustaining a family enterprise for more than a century and a half is a truly remarkable achievement. But does that mean family companies that last for only two or three generations are a failure? Should we consider families who have exited their businesses as less accomplished than those who continue to operate the legacy company—even if those who sell their businesses use the proceeds to create new, and greater, wealth?

  • Star-spangled survival

    As of this writing, the state of the American economy is grim. The state of American politics is contentious. But the state of American family businesses is resolute.

    Naturally, some have been more successful than others. Even in prosperous times, it’s not easy to balance the competing demands of family membership and business ownership. When investment yields and company profits are declining, conflicts below the surface are more likely to bubble up.

  • America's largest family companies: Index by state

    The Family Business 100: America’s largest family companies

    Index by state

    J.E. Dunn Construction Group Inc. 98
    Enterprise Rent-A-Car 27
    Hallmark Cards Inc. 62 (tie)
    O’Reilly Auto Parts 49
    Schnuck Markets Inc. 93 (tie)

past issues you might be interested in