In this issue
Faith can bring a family together in powerful ways. The communal rituals and meals, the traditions that continue year after year, the hymns and verses that grab the heart, the comfort of prayer in times of sorrow, the subdued giggles over little ones' misbehavior in the pews—these are just some of examples of how religion strengthens family bonds.
Will future generations be able to keep your family business in the family? As a reader of Family Business, you probably already know that the odds are against this. Still, Frank Perdue had some ideas that can help you beat those odds.
In estate planning and wealth transfer, various financial tools—including trusts and partnerships—are available to help the next generation "test the waters" of sound money management.
At some point, however, the heirs take over and the risk of errors increases. Responsible heirs follow two simple but critical rules of fiscal stewardship: Quantify what you really need to live on, and qualify what a rewarding or comfortable lifestyle means to you.
In 2014, members of the family that owns Sycamore, Ill.-based IDEAL Industries participated in what was to be a routine telephone meeting to discuss arrangements for an upcoming Family Business Network conference. "It was the first time we were going to a conference as a big group," recalls Jamie Tucker, a fourth-generation family council member. The family's Development and Education Fund planned to cover the cost of conference attendance.
The candy known to its fans as Bulls-Eyes was born in Baltimore. Goetze's Candy Company has made its products there since 1895, when Augustus Goetze bought a chewing gum company and started crafting sweets. His descendants automated operations and expanded distribution. Today, Goetze's has 90 employees and markets its confections worldwide.
The Business: Midmark was founded in 1915 as the Cummings Machine Company in Minster, Ohio, by four partners, including John W. Eiting, great-grandfather of Anne Eiting Klamar, M.D., the current chairman. The company started out as a manufacturer of concrete mixers, mining cars and locomotives and later changed its name to Industrial Equipment Company. Carl F. Eiting, John's son, succeeded him and led the company into its 50th year.
Generation of family ownership: Third.
Company revenues: $35 million (2014).
Number of employees: 120.
Years with the company: 13.
First job at this company: At 7, I was sweeping the floor and working the cash register. After college, I worked on Wall Street for just under a year and then joined the business full-time.
At what age? 23.
The Bentley Company, founded in Milwaukee in 1848, built churches, schools, municipal structures and commercial buildings, including historic landmarks like the Tripoli Shrine Temple in Milwaukee, the Villa Louis Mansion in Prairie du Chien, the Cincinnati Water Works and the San Francisco Post Office, which survived the earthquakes of 1906 and 1989. But the recession of 2008 hit the industry hard, and fifth-generation leader Thomas H. Bentley III decided to phase out of the construction business.
At the conclusion of our Transitions conferences my husband, Bob, has the pleasure and the pressure of summarizing more than 2 1/2 days of valuable content, providing tips and takeaways for attendees and their families.