March/April 2019

In this issue

  • MacLean-Fogg manages multiple transitions

    Although many people have encountered MacLean-Fogg Co.’s products, they probably haven’t noticed them, unless they’ve looked at the hardware that sits atop telephone poles or the parts inside car exhaust systems and transmissions, such as gear blanks and wheel nuts.

    Vermeer comes back strong from tornado damage

    On Thursday, July 19, 2018, the family leaders of Vermeer Corporation shifted gears from marking the 70th anniversary of the business to managing a crisis after a tornado struck the company’s Pella, Iowa, headquarters.

    Signs you may be ready to consider a family office

    When a family experiences a liquidity event, such as the sale of the family business, they may feel as if they’re entering an uncertain phase of life.

    Heeding early warning signs can transform business risk into success

    The decline of a family business can be heartbreaking. Often the extended family loses much of its fortune and the financial security of future generations is at risk. Why does this happen, and, if you are a family member who is not running the business, how do you prevent the decline? Minority family shareholders as well as controlling owners can learn to identify early warning signs and take steps to implement solutions that will transform risk of decline into success.

    It pays to plan for the worst

    As I write this, rumblings of an impending recession are getting louder. In January, Deloitte released a survey of 147 corporate chief financial officers that found 55% expected a U.S. recession by the end of 2020. The CFOs’ optimism about their own companies’ prospects dropped to the lowest level in nearly three years, according to Deloitte’s CFO Signals report. The finance chiefs predicted lower business spending and higher labor costs.

  • At the Helm: Kari Rihm

    Generation of family ownership: Third.

    Company revenue: $220 million in 2017 from our three companies: Rihm Kenworth, Rihm Leasing and RMC Truck Parts. Rihm Kenworth is the second-oldest Kenworth truck dealer in the world. RMC Truck Parts ships truck parts globally and delivers them in Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

  • Celebration Corner: Gallagher Asphalt's 90th anniversary

    The Business: James F. Gallagher Sr., a native of Chicago’s South Side who didn’t make it past fifth grade, began selling liquid asphalt after “working here and there in sales,” says his grandson Patrick Gallagher, 48. “One thing led to another, and he bought some old parts for a plant,” taking out a second mortgage on his house to fund the purchase, says Patrick. Gallagher Asphalt Corporation was established on June 5, 1928. The company opened its first plant in Chicago in 1932.

  • A chocolate-coated history

    Delaware is a small state, which makes it easy for people to build reputations — good or bad.

    Govatos Chocolates, based in Wilmington,  has a great reputation. Founded in 1894 by a Greek immigrant, the store — which includes a luncheonette — has operated in the same location for more than 100 years.


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