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.

  • At the Helm: Lisa Rowland Brasher

    Generation of family ownership: Fifth.

    About the company: Last year we made over 15 billion jelly beans. We have staff in the U.S., Thailand, China, Germany and Canada.

    Number of employees: More than 700 worldwide.

    First job at this company: The summer of seventh grade, I started working in the packaging department: sweeping the floor, scraping candy off it, making boxes and stamping the boxes. When I was really lucky, I was allowed to inspect the candy for imperfections.

  • March/April 2017 Openers

    A PwC survey of 160 stakeholders in U.S. family businesses has concluded that too few family firms are developing formal succession plans, instituting governance structures or planning responses to industry-disrupting scenarios.

    In its survey report, the accounting and consulting firm said many respondents appear to be neglecting medium-term strategic planning, which bridges the gap between day-to-day concerns and the family's long-term vision for the business.

  • Planning ahead

    In its recently released global survey of family business owners, accounting and consulting firm PwC found that too few of them are establishing structures that can help them meet the challenges of the future. (For a report on the U.S. edition of the PwC study, see the "Openers" section of this issue.)

  • Preparing for a generational shift

    When he was in fifth grade, Will Lyles wrote a paper outlining his future career path in his family's business. Although he didn't end up taking time off to get an MBA, as he had predicted at age 10, his career has largely followed his childhood vision.


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