March/April 2017

In this issue

  • Lidia Bastianich's recipe for a family enterprise

    Like a number of top chefs, Lidia Bastianich has her hand in several ventures. Tavola Productions, her entertainment company, produces her cookbooks and children's books; her TV program, Lidia's Kitchen; and her occasional TV specials.

    Family firms must consider the role of compensation in the war for talent

    Executive pay tactics are a potentially powerful set of tools for any business to use in recruiting, retaining, motivating and rewarding the key executives who are most responsible for sustaining and growing a business. However, there are important additional considerations for family-owned businesses.

    Family jewelry stores opt for closure

    Fine jewelry is one of the few retail categories still dominated by independent multigenerational stores. There are nearly 21,300 specialty jewelers in North America. Many are third-, fourth-, and even fifth- and sixth-generation businesses.

    The rocky road to transition

    For more than 145 years, Graeter's Manufacturing Co. has built its success on steadfast adherence to its process: making ice cream by hand, one batch at a time, in 2.5-gallon French pot freezers, regardless of the technological innovations adopted by competitors.

    The company has withstood the challenge from mass-produced ice cream. What almost destroyed it was a rocky generational transition.

    New Gen 3 hire has perfect timing

    Grant Rawlins joined R&B Wire Products in Santa Ana, Calif., on Aug. 11, 2016—exactly 50 years after his grandfather, Rea Rawlins, purchased the laundry cart company, and 42 years after his father, Rick, joined R&B.

  • Take a multidisciplinary approach to exit and succession planning


    Effective succession planning is a multidisciplinary process that combines an understanding of the psychological dimensions of the business-owning family with the legal structures necessary to realize the business leader's desires and objectives. What does the exiting leader wish to accomplish, and how can he or she achieve those goals while keeping the estate, the family and—if desired—the business intact?

  • The case of Poe Financial Group: Great power and great responsibility

    Imagine you are the founder of a family business that grows to become the third-largest private insurer in the state of Florida. Your company has more than 300,000 policies that generate more than $500 million of gross written premiums annually and is on a path to grow further with increasing exposure to hurricane and other forms of catastrophic risk. You are ambitious and even see taking the company public someday. Because you own 32% and you gave each of your five grown children 12% of the company, you have the power to promote either a serious or a shallow corporate governance culture.

  • Life cycle trends pose challenges to family business sustainability

    Sustaining a family business over multiple generations has never been easy, and several megatrends are making it even harder.

  • Celebration Corner: Collins Medical Equipment's 85th anniversary

    The Business: In 1931, Thomas P. Collins Sr. opened Collins Pharmacy in the Black Rock neighborhood of Bridgeport, Conn. What began as a corner drugstore with a soda fountain has undergone many changes and is now known as Collins Medical Equipment.

    Over its 85-year history, the business diversified its offerings, sold off some departments and made several moves. Today the company, located in Fairfield, Conn., focuses on home medical equipment and supplies.

Past issues you might be interested in