In this issue
Family Business debuted in late 1989 with one simple mission, as our first publisher wrote in the premier issue: "to help the members of family-owned companies achieve the dual goals that are inextricably woven together—to operate a successful business that can be handed on to succeeding generations, and to maintain the family pride, harmony and satisfaction that the founders had in mind from the beginning."
Family businesses deserve a special role in the corporate world. According to a September 2003 report in Family Business Review, family firms accounted for 59% of the U.S. gross domestic product and employed 77 million people, or 58% of the U.S. work force, in the year 2000. Family-owned companies tend to have more loyal employees, a greater level of clarity about expectations, and a higher level of growth and investment.
During the 20th century, Extraco Corporation had grown from a family-owned cotton warehousing company to become the largest privately owned bank between Dallas and San Antonio, with 13 financial centers and 535 employees in central Texas. As Extraco approached its centennial in 2002, president and CEO S. Boyce Brown knew the company had reached an important juncture. In an era when most businesses had failed within their first 20 years, Extraco had exhibited extraordinary stability and longevity.
Most parents pay close attention to their children's development when the children are young. They worry if potty training doesn't occur by age three, get concerned if the times tables aren't mastered by fourth grade, and consult their physician if their child develops signs of puberty at age nine or doesn't develop them by age 17. Yet few parents understand the developmental needs of young adults in their 20s. Those who employ their children in their family company will benefit from learning about the needs and concerns of young adults at this stage of life.